It has happened again: fans on social media have realized that Robert Redford is “the guy in the nodding meme,” confusing younger users who were sure it was Zach Galifianiakis. This is something that pops up on Twitter about once every three to six months, and it’s always entertaining to see the reactions when fans realize that the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Captain America: The Winter Soldier star is the guy they’ve been sharing around the web all this time. The image, from Redford’s 1972 movie Jeremiah Johnson, is a popular reaction GIF, often used by people who weren’t actually born when Jeremiah Johnson was a movie people regularly talked about.
This is a classic example of social media collectively realizing something that many see as obvious, and others see as totally mind-blowing. It’s fun to watch the dynamic play out, and not too dissimilar to the super-sexy photos of Patrick Stewart with hair…which are actually photos of Spartacus TV series star Andy Whitfield.
In Jeremiah Johnson, a Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Woefully unequipped for the task at hand, Johnson is fortunate to come across a seasoned mountain man (Will Geer) willing to teach him the necessary survival tactics. As life continues in the mountains, Johnson finds himself a native bride (Delle Bolton) and an adopted son (Josh Albee). However, their peaceful existence is threatened when Johnson incurs the ire of the Crow Indians.
You can see some of our favorite reactions below.
I was today years old when I learned this. ??? Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t know this before today. pic.twitter.com/9X605mKhQs
— TG (@TG22110) May 5, 2022
Shoutout to the ones who knew that was Robert Redford as Jeremiah Johnson pic.twitter.com/FOthYxbRzo
— DKT (@darleneturner53) May 5, 2022
every three years half of twitter realizes that this is Robert Redford pic.twitter.com/tgCDOgo25u
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) May 5, 2022
I like how every year or two this gif trends because a new batch of people are realizing for the first time it’s Robert Redford and not Zach Galifianakis https://t.co/HndyXj4TQr
— Kelly Turnbull (@Coelasquid) May 5, 2022
of course i knew this was robert redford pic.twitter.com/5cPjcKjz85
— Family Guy (@FamilyGuyonFOX) May 5, 2022
Who looks more like Robert Redford…
Robert Redford or Zach Galifianakis? pic.twitter.com/JL31on4BwD
— Carpe Diem (@__CarpeDiem__3) May 5, 2022
I did not know that Jeremiah Johnson was Jeremiah Johnson much less that Robert Redford was Jeremiah Johnson.
— ?weird twisted little witch person? (@marcinthelotus) May 5, 2022
? True. Though many internet users assumed that the nodding guy pictured in this meme was actor Zach Galifianakis, it actually features Oscar-winning actor Robert Redford. https://t.co/NFUXXCfccO
— snopes.com (@snopes) May 5, 2022
Well, people are realizing that Robert Redford was Jeremiah Johnson in that gif again. Guess it’s time to change the smoke detector batteries. pic.twitter.com/Fg3SPXxsgx
— he who must not work (@UnemployableMan) May 5, 2022
Sooo… If you’ve seen this meme. It’s actually Robert Redford and not Zach Galifianikis
I refuse to believe. pic.twitter.com/gqeYlMeuya
— AlexNase (@AlexNaseTCG) May 6, 2022
from Ultimate Comic Blog