Memes dictionary

I like turtles

What does I like turtles mean?

Taken from a viral internet video and meme, I like turtles is a humorous non sequitur often used to indicate you’re blissfully clueless about a topic.

Where does I like turtles come from?

i like turtles
Know your meme

At Portland, Oregon’s Rose Festival on May 31, 2007, a young boy named Jonathon was being interviewed by a reporter who inquired about the zombie face paint he’d received at the festival. She asked, “Jonathon just got an awesome face paint job. What do you think?” Jonathon responded: “I like turtles.” The unplanned awkwardness of this moment was enough to derail her interview and, amused, she quickly moved on.

One viewer who caught the interview found the moment funny enough to upload on YouTube. Under the user name 3mediapro, this video was uploaded on June 10, 2007—and it quickly gathered hundreds of thousands of views, inspired countless remixes and parodies, and even launched I like turtles-themed products like t-shirts.

The news interviewed Jonathon after his video went viral to inquire as to why he’d responded the way he did. He said he’d just been to a display of turtles near the face-painting booth. A combination of excitement about the turtles and nervousness about the interview led him to spout the famous phrase.

By April 2017, the video has accumulated more than 55 million views.

The fascination with I like turtles persisted years after the meme first went viral. There have been numerous attempts to track down the I like turtles zombie kid,” as he is commonly called.

Examples of I like turtles

“Everyone in my family is good at math and I'm over here like 'I like turtles'”
@lexiebitter Twitter (April 15, 2017)
“That awkward moment when your friends are talking about people they have dated and you're just like; 'I like turtles.'”
surisme Tumblr (December 22, 2011)
“Many like one that said ‘The Dinosaurs Never Saw That Asteroid Coming. What’s Our Excuse?’, addressed the need for action on climate change. Others were more political: ‘Keep Your Tiny Hands Off The EPA.’ One simply read: ‘I like turtles.’”
Sharon Guynup, “The March for Science makes its stand: “There is no Planet B”,” Mongabay (April 24, 2017)

Who uses I like turtles?

Outside of memes and products inspired by Jonathon’s internet-legendary declaration, I like turtles has gone on to be used as a sort of verbal shrug. When you don’t know what else to say or don’t think a question is worth answering, you can respond “I like turtles” as a dismissal of the question or your own knowledge of a subject. I like turtles can also just be as a humorously random statement.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of I like turtles like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of I like turtles that will help our users expand their word mastery.