Expanding Brain meme
The expanding brain meme shows the ironic progression of ideas (from supposedly primitive to more advanced) using a sequence of images depicting various stages of spiritual or mental enlightenment. It’s used for general humorous observations, satire, social commentary, and ridicule of others or to show an original, clever, or out-of-the-box idea.
The expanding brain meme first emerged in January, 2017 on the Reddit subred: r/dankmemes. The original meme consisted of four images. The first featured a small brain inside an x-ray next to the word who. The second image illustrated a larger brain, with pink and purple lights representing neural activity, next to whom. The third (larger) brain image was paired with whom’st. The final head, next to whomst’d, had green beams radiating out of the brain, as if it were exploding with enlightenment. Whom’st and whomst’d are nonsense words, inspired by corrections (or miscorrections) of who and whom, and they are used to mock faux-fancy forms of whom.
The meme quickly spread in 2017 from Reddit to Tumblr and Twitter as users cleverly substituted the who-whomd’st progression for other absurd sequences.