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Thomas Had Never Seen Such Bullshit Before is reaction image macro of the character Thomas the Tank Engine with the phrase added by users for humorous effect.
On December 18th, 1984, the episode of Thomas The Tank Engine “Thomas in Trouble” aired in the United Kingdom. In the episode, a police officer stops Thomas, which causes the character to make an angry reaction (shown below, left). <1>
On July 25th, 2019, Redditor KittyBadget posted the image with the subtitle “Thomas had never seen such bullshit before” and the caption “When you roll a nat 20 for a grapple but the enemy also rolls a nat 20 and has 1 more strength than you.” The post received more than 5,000 points (99% upvoted) in less than three months (shown below, right).
Prior to its usage in this meme, the reaction image of Thomas angry had been used by people online since about 2015, when the earliest known usage was posted. On March 17th, 2015, Tumblr <2> user battered-sausage shared the image as part of a dump of what they called “the gold standard of reaction images.” The post received more than 300 notes in less than five years (shown below).
In late August 2019, the meme grew in popularity on Reddit. One of the biggest early posts was submitted on August 29th, 2019 by Redditor<3> Cyberostrich, who captioned the image “When you tell a third grader that there are numbers below zero.” The post received more than 22,000 points (98% upvoted) and 75 comments in less than one month (shown below, left).
Two days later, on August 31st, Redditor<4> ShadowRedditer shared a variation in the /r/dankmemes subreddit. They captioned the post, “When u finish 1st place, but then the teacher says “u are all winners.”” The post received more than 85,000 points (97% upvoted) and 235 comments in less than one week (shown below, center).
The meme continued to rise in popularity that week. On September 1st, Redditor<5> ham_salsa shared a variation that reads, “When the teacher won”t round my 58 to a 94.” The post received more than 23,000 points (97% upvoted) and 100 comments in less than one week (shown below, right).