Picture this: it’s 2009 and you’re on MySpace. You’re listening to an Avril Lavigne track you downloaded off of LimeWire and you have five missed AIM messages. You come across a post with an image of a broken heart that reads “s(he) be(lie)ve(d).” It’s the deepest thing you’ve ever read.
Ten years later, the internet has collectively gone back in their feelings reviving this brand of relatable heartbroken quotes. Poking a little fun at our younger, more extra selves, this meme is a perfect time capsule of ’00s internet culture.
I must admit that middle school me found graphics like these, as well as variations like “s(he)’s br(ok)en,” so moving and evocative. It’s a nostalgic whiplash for many people, which according to Know Your Meme, first gained popularity with a Blogspot post in 2009.
The Urban Dictionary definition says the phrase “describ[es] the stereotypically-common occurrence of a male lying to a female for personal gain, and a female believing the male because she is ‘naive.'”
But recently, the meme seems to have picked up recently due to Billie Eilish’s single “sHE’s brOKen,” with Gen Z fans not realizing how we struggled back in the day.
Now we’re kicking it back to being preteens again and reliving that drama.
14 year old girl whose boyfriend dumped her so he can play more Xbox w his friends: s(he) be(lie)ve(d)
— Imagine Dragons Hate Account. (@_21Average_) February 27, 2019
*me on Facebook in 2007 before I ever had any type of relationship with a boy*: “s(he) be(lie)ve(d) 💔”
— jordo (@jordanshrinks) September 5, 2018
But the emotional impact lessens once you notice that in-between the lines, the statement just reads as “sbeve.” The sarcastic memes have since commenced.
loki: the sun will shine on us again brother
thor: s[he] be[lie]ve[d]
— cc (@thorstrilogy) April 1, 2019
professor: the test is going to be just like the practice exams so it shouldn’t be very hard
— GTStudents (@GTStudents) March 7, 2019
To anyone who got their hearts broken in middle school, elementary school, or even recently, this one’s for you. Sbeve. :'(