Where does This is fine come from?
The This is fine meme comes from a webcomic called Gunshow, by KC Green. In the first two panels of strip 648, a character known as Question Hound sits in a burning house, sipping coffee and saying, “This is fine.” As he continues to reassure himself over the course of the six-panel comic, he also begins to melt due to the heat. The particular comic strip was published on January 9, 2013, and is alternatively titled “On Fire.” The alternative text on the image says, “The pills are working,” which is used as its title, as well.
The strip, mostly just the first two panels, began circulating on Reddit, Tumblr, and Imgur in 2013 or 2014. Some even created fan art of it, inserting their favorite TV characters, or animating the strip itself.
On August 25, 2016, the US Republican Party tweeted the meme with a smug shrug kaomoji ( ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ) in response to perceived chaos at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. KC Green responded the same day, expressing his disdain for the GOP, and requesting that they delete the tweet featuring his work. A political comic website, The Nib, also responded to the GOP’s tweet with a new version of the comic that they commissioned from Green, featuring the Republican elephant mascot in place of Question Hound. This whole incident helped launch the meme to a larger audience, as it was covered by major news outlets like The New York Times.
KC Green also published a follow-up comic on The Nib in August 2016, titled “This is Not Fine.” In it, Question Hound snaps out of his stupor and panics, shouting about the crisis at hand as he puts out the flames around him.
Who uses This is fine?
This is fine is generally used on social media as a reaction image. It usually appears as either the first two panels alone, or just the panel where Question Hound says, “This is fine.” On rare occasions, you’ll see the comic strip in its entirety, but even KC. Green has suggested that posting just the first one or two panels is “easier on the eyes than watching his skin melt off.”
The comic is ubiquitous enough that sometimes people just reference it by text alone (“This is fine”) rather than using the actual image.
There are two main contexts people tend to use this meme in: The first is to point out someone else’s obliviousness to or willful ignorance of an obvious crisis on their hands.
The other context is usually self-deprecating. Here, people use the meme to indicate that they’re consciously avoiding responsibility or that they’re wildly underprepared for something (like an exam). It can also indicate that someone is trying to keep calm and go about their normal business in a patently bad situation.
“This is fine.”
Stephen White @sgw94 Twitter (Feb 28, 2017)
“everyone is in their right to use this is fine on social media posts, but man o man I personally would like @GOP to delete their stupid post”
K.C. Green @kcgreenn Twitter (July 25, 2016)
“'This is fine,' which since 2013 has been cultural shorthand for the deadpan acceptance of a disastrous situation, is getting a plush toy.”
Owen S. Good, “The This is Fine dog is getting a plush toy,” Polygon (April 6, 2016)