The meme turns up every April 30, and has even been used by the band members themselves

By Rachel DeSantis
April 30, 2019 01:25 PM

This we promise you — *NSYNC’s annual “It’s Gonna Be May” meme is here to stay.

As April cycles into May each year, one thing can be certain: some version of an early 2000s era-Justin Timberlake proclaiming “It’s gonna be May” is going to pop up on social media.

The meme — which originates from a line sung by Timberlake in the 2000 hit “It’s Gonna Be Me” — was born in 2012, according to the database KnowYourMeme, and lives on in photos, videos and animated GIFS of the line every April 30.

Even former President Obama once got in on the fun, sharing a Facebook photo featuring Timberlake in April 2014 with the caption, “It’s gonna be May.”

The “Mirror” singer explained his decision to sing the titular line with a distinctive twang in 2016, telling a UK radio station that he was instructed to do so by the song’s co-writer Max Martin.

“In my defense, Max Martin made me sing ‘me’ that way,” he said. “I think he just wanted me to sound like I was from Tennessee.”

RELATED: Justin Timberlake Applauds ‘NSYNC’s Coachella Performance with Ariana Grande: ‘You Guys Killed’

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Bandmate Lance Bass recently backed up the origin story in an interview with The Cheat Sheet, saying Timberlake was told by Martin to make it “sound more like it’s gonna be May” and the suggestion “kinda just stuck.”

Timberlake has embraced the meme several times, tweeting in 2016: “Everybody… It is ACTUALLY GONNA BE MAY! #canyoumemeyourself Probably not, right?”

One year later, he wrote, “Hey guys… it’s May” on May 1. On Tuesday, he captioned a shortened clip from the “It’s Gonna Be Me” video with “YOU ALREADY KNOW.”

The other members of *NSYNC — Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Bass — have also been known to have fun with it, with Kirkpatrick writing on Instagram this year, “Happy it’s gonna be May Day!!!”

Kirkpatrick’s post included a picture of the group reunited at the 2013 Video Music Awards with words, “Bye bye bye, April… it’s gonna be May.”

Meanwhile, Bass and Fatone both shared a version of the meme this year featuring the Maytag Man as part of a partnership with the company.

“Wink wink, nod nod,” Fatone wrote on Twitter, while Bass added, “Get it?” Bass also shared a second post poking fun at Timberlake’s legendary bleach blond curls.

 

Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Justin Timberlake in 2018
Vince Flores/Startraks

Chasez previously referenced the meme, too, when the group reunited on April 30, 2018 to receive their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“By the way, in case any of you guys didn’t know, tomorrow it’s gonna be May,” Chasez quipped, making sure to sing the last part.

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