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The day N’Golo Kanté became a Reddit meme

The Internet is a weird place. I think that much goes without saying. It’s also a wonderful place, and a scary place, and, sometimes, even a useful place. Of course it’s not really a place at all, not exactly anyway, but whatever. It all just adds to the weirdness. Unless you’re younger than me, in which case I’m assuming it’s part of the normal fabric of society, like, say Chelsea are a normal part of world football’s elite if you’ve only been football-aware for the past decade or so.

But back to the weirdness. And I’m hoping some of you more in touch with whatever it is that kids find entertaining on the Internet can clue me in as the what exactly is happening here.

So, that’s parts of N’Golo Kanté’s face, chopped, edited, and then adorned to look like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or should we say Teenage Mutant Ninja Kantés. (Could the Kanté twins turn out to be quadruplets instead?)

How did we get here?

The simple answer is that the Internet is weird.

The slightly longer answer is that someone (/u/bunnyclam, to be more precise) made a series of three posts on /r/me_irl (“selfies of the soul”) using Kanté’s face chopped into three bits. When lined up properly, they displayed like this.

Why would someone do this? That’s a good question and one that could be asked at just about every step of the way during this journey. Your guess is as good as mine. Things only get weirder from here.

Reddit’s upvote and display algorithms sometimes have a mind of their own, so when others looked at the top posts in /r/me_irl, they’d often see unintended results.

Get it? Because there’s a picture of a dog between the top of Kanté’s head and his eyes, where his brain would be. Clever.

But sometimes, things would get completely out of order and the one that took off was one of these incidences, when it was just the top of his head and his mouth. So then somebody (/u/bigbiggers?) made that a separate post and a meme was born.

It was only logical make him green and put a TMNT mask on him at this point, right? Nine hours had passed, and Kanté was on the front page of Reddit, with thousands of upvotes and hundreds of thousands of image views on imgur.

Just another day on the Interwebs.

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