A glitch in the Matrix appeared Thursday night: U.S. swimming god Michael Phelps came face-to-face with his Internet self. Phelps isn’t just an all-time gold-winning Olympian; he’s also an all-time meme. Prior to the 200m butterfly race in Rio and some pre-race antics from South African rival Chad Le Clois, Phelps revealed his alter ego: angry-face Phelps. Better known as #PhelpsFace.
Surely you remember the face. It remains a stalwart of Internet meme culture.
— M.A.Larson (@M_A_Larson) August 9, 2016
But when Phelps appeared on “The Tonight Show” Thursday, he started into the eyes of his angry soul—a cardboard cut-out of the Angry Phelps meme.
“I always know there’s two cameras in the upper right hand corner before we walk out,” Phelps said. “And I’m sitting there spitting water, like ‘Man, what is going on?’ And as I’m making a face I was like, ‘Yep, that’s on camera.'”
Phelps also went on to explain how he retired to run his baby Boomer’s Instagram account, which has developed quite a following of its own.
Phelps and Fallon also played a classic “Tonight Show” game, Egg Russian Roulette. Let’s just say his performance wasn’t that of the most-decorated Olympian in history. In other words, dude got yoked.
Finally, a bonus: here’s a couple of our old favorites of the angry-face Phelps memes from the Olympics. Try not to be intimidated.
tfw u wanted gryffindor but were sorted into hufflepuff pic.twitter.com/I9UcziEmun
— Taylor Trudon (@taylortrudon) August 9, 2016
I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative pic.twitter.com/5zuTbQJxwN
— Michelle Lee (@heymichellelee) August 9, 2016
— hehateme2012 (@hehateme2012) August 9, 2016
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) August 9, 2016
When you're the real Slim Shady but someone else stood up. pic.twitter.com/CtQTu7FXEa
— Brend@n (@ChiBDM) August 9, 2016