le spitRecently, the popular comics called Ragetoons they have been peppered with the french word "le" ("the"). It's the tiniest nuance, but it's a great example of how jokes within jokes evolve online, resurfacing and transforming years after their inception.

I've been browsing 4chan (the source of most of these rage comics, though Reddit is creating a lot these days too) over the last few weeks compiling comics that use the trope.

Earlier comics use "le x" as a way to illustrate unspoken actions, like how people use asterisks on actions in instant messages, a la *hugs*.







Over time, it became an in-joke to come up with more elaborate, clunky ways of integrating the "le x" meme into Ragetoons. (The face in the last panel is based on this guy's face and means, um, "disregard that female.")





Soon people started using "le x" all over the place, not just for actions.



The overuse of "le x" became so widespread that someone made fun of the trend on Reddit just this weekend:



But where did this usage come from? As far as I can tell, it was originally used in this Ragetoon, which portrayed a French guy raging in a uniquely French way, along with other nationalities. The stereotype of the smug, "too cool to rage" Frenchman caught on.



But where did the meme of French people saying "le x" all the time come from? I'm going to guess it comes from the 2003 viral animation "End of Ze World."

Warning: Video Contains Swears




"But I am le tired" most likely kickstarted the "French people put 'le' in front of every word" meme on the internet.

And that's why every other Rage Comic says "le x." History.