Im baby refers to a popular online catchphrase, seen on memes, image macros and shitposts.
While it comes from a text message conversation between a mother and a daughter, it has since been removed from its original context in favor of image macros, the most popular of which features Kirby, known for memes like Kirby With a Knife, Who Created Kirby? and Kirby’s Calling the Police.
— Michelle Bruton (@MichelleBruton) April 16, 2020
The first time “Im baby” was revealed to a wider audience can be linked to an ABC report, published on March 2nd, 2017, presenting viewers with the text messages of a girl who contacted her mother during a home invasion.
The mother’s reply was modified by autocorrect, to read “Im baby, Call 911”.
Screenshots of the message started surfacing on the internet in June 2017, with an early example uploaded to Tumblr by darknetexclusivetouhouterrorcore on June 5th, inquiring about the meaning of it all.
These screen captures would also grow rampant on other sites in the following months, notably on Instagram where numerous users shared the text.
Spread and Usage
“Im baby” was first featured on an image macro meme on February 22nd, 2019, when Twitter user @Moeshayan shared a Kirby meme with the phrase.
The meme garnered a large amount of likes and retweets, even appearing on news outlets like Mashable.
“Im baby” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on May 5th, 2019.
Starting in May 2019, the meme started spawning TikToks, with one of the earliest videos coming from @shleem.
A trend began emerging on the social media site in the fall of 2019, where TikToks would be uploaded depicting people posing as a younger self of themselves.
- Vice.com – How the ‘I’m Baby’ Meme Became a Cultural Obsession
- Junkee.com – ‘I’m Baby’ Is The Perfect Meme For 2019, Because I’m Baby
- Mashable.com – ‘I’m baby’ is the new ‘they did surgery on a grape’ and it’s beautiful
- Thecut.com – I’m Baby