Examples of the meme:
and finally my contribution
The origins of the phrase is not entirely clear, as is the case with many memes, but the following tumblr post appears to be where it started.
The meme then began to gain traction with the following two posts.
Some believe the phrase originated with the nick jonas tweet, however there is no proof that he ever tweeted that. From there the meme exploded for a short period of time around early July 2014.
Appeal and Cultural Relevance:
While the original post is a simple conversation, the phrase can be applied to a lot of situations. The phrase plays on that feeling of discomfort when someone calls out the strange things we are doing, or makes us feel uncomfortable, and escalades the label of that feeling to “attacked”. People love exaggerating their inconveniences, and so everyone began using the phrase. People also like to take things literally on the internet, so the phrase was applied to numerous tv show or movie characters who were literally being attacked, and celebrities who were under fire for something controversial they may have done. Because the meme can be applied to characters and celebrities that everyone knows, there was more of a mass appeal. The phrase was also easy to say in everyday conversation, given thats how it started, so many people even put it into their everyday speech pattern, making it a kind of #thanksObama or #thanksSusan kind of thing. This meme truly shows how quickly something so simple can spread on the internet, despite starting out as a witty response from some girl, the internet latched on.