The "Don’t Worry He Knows" meme is practically internet canon by now, but where did it originate? Back in 2015, a Redditor going by the handle of Reapus1 started a thread on r/4chan titled ‘Don’t worry, he knows’ that featured a screenshot detailing an unrelated infidelity revenge anecdote originally posted on 4chan itself. The post was 92% upvoted and received just shy of 100 comments before it was archived. The anecdote in question told of a guy dumping his cheating fiancée in front of her family during a particularly awkward Easter dinner. While Reapus1’s fellow Redditors were in agreement about the story’s awfulness, they seemed mostly oblivious as to what the ‘Don’t worry, he knows’ title hinted at.
A couple of years later, the meme was introduced to a wider audience when meme generator S***postBot 5000 posted a picture on Twitter of a young woman with the caption “When your little cousin says he's better than you at Smash Bros". A few Twitter users knowingly responded with “Don’t worry, he knows” while it flew over the heads of those not in on the joke.
That’s probably because the "Don’t Worry He Knows" meme originated on 4chan – the deepest, darkest corner of the internet this side of the dark web where often ridiculous rumors are started, movie plots are leaked and memes are made. Back in 2013, an anonymous 4chan user posted a greentext story detailing how his heart got broken by a childhood friend turned pseudo-girlfriend. According to the anonymous 4channer, he and his pseudo-girlfriend – the same girl pictured in S***postBot 5000’s tweet – hung out with two other schoolmates called Eric and Dave. Eventually, the four of them started gathering at Eric’s older cousin's house to drink beer and play video games like Halo.
While keeping the lovelorn 4channer hanging, pseudo-girlfriend starts flirting with Eric’s older cousin – who, it should be noted, is 37 years old and married. Pseudo-girlfriend ends up sleeping with the cousin and she and the 4channer fight about it but eventually makeup. However, the next time the group hangs out at the cousin’s place, pseudo-girlfriend starts making out with the cousin in front of the lovelorn 4channer. When Eric tells the pair to chill out, pseudo-girlfriend replies with “Don’t worry, he knows”, implying the 4channer was aware of and perfectly fine with her cheating on him. And so, the "Don’t Worry He Knows" meme was born.
4chan has been responsible for many memes since its launch in 2003, including LOLcats, Doom Doot, and Rickrolling. Though "Don’t Worry He Knows" might not be as well known as spamming people with Rick Astley music, it’s nevertheless a must-know for any self-professed meme fan.