I'm Fine Meme

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Synonyms: What She Says, What She Means
Date Started: Earliest examples date to 2013
See Also:
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I'm Fine is a long-running text-based tumblr meme. It is always formatted as two paragraphs, the first line being "What she says: I'm fine". The second paragraph follows the format "What she means: [long paragraph on some esoteric subject]."

The meme plays on the gender stereotype that women (often in the context of a relationship) will say "I'm fine" when the opposite is actually true. It subverts expectations by following up the "I'm fine" with a subject that has nothing to do with relationships, and/or a long narrative.

While the meme's origins aren't specifically fannish, fandom was instrumental to the growth and spread of the meme. According to Know Your Meme, an early key example of the meme came from the Spirited Away fandom, in which tumblr user ichikun published a version of the post commenting on the film's ending and wishing for closure regarding the relationship between Chihiro and Haru.[1]

what she says: i’m fine

what she means: i will never achieve true closure and happiness until i know for a fact that chihiro and haru found each other again after the events of spirited away [2]

The meme has also been used as a vehicle for circulating detailed fannish meta, usually concerning some kind of revelation or burning, unanswered question regarding an aspect of canon. Another notable example of the meme, published to tumblr by homuratrash in 2015, featured a detailed analysis of the character Sandy Cheeks in SpongeBob SquarePants and the inconsistencies in her characterisation on the show:

what she says: I'm fine.

what she means: In the sixteen years since the release of the Spongebob episode, "Tea at the Treedome," and simultaneously, the introduction of Sandy Cheeks, only one thing has baffled me. Sandy is clearly rather intelligent, as we can plainly see, and later, confirm, in the episode, "Chimps Ahoy," where we discover she works for the company Treedome Enterprises. She is an accomplished scientist and inventor, not to mention she is musically and athletically skilled. She must have gone to a prestigious school, and she ostensibly knows much about marine life, as she must have studied it extensively before she was assigned to her treedome in Bikini Bottom. That all said, it begs the question: how is she not immediately aware of Spongebob's need of water for survival? In "Tea at the Treedome," she invites her new friend to her treedome, but it does not occur to her that he is a sea creature and needs a constant supply of water, much like she requires air? It just does not add up. And she is not one to miss social cues, either, so why does she fail to notice Spongebob's growing discomfort, and eventual desperation? It has been 16 years and I have not received closure on this gaping plot hole.[3]

Notable Fannish Examples

Stucky example (April 2014)
  • Original series Star Trek intro quote (archived version) by muuuuuuuuuuuuuuurdock (June 2013), with 33931 notes as of 24 February 2016. An early example of the meme in which the "I'm fine" is followed by the famous opening speech from Star Trek: The Original Series, "Where no man has gone before".
  • Harry Potter meta about boggarts (archived version) by tateratots (May 2015), with 152291 notes as of 24 February 2016. This meta post draws attention to a detail which many Harry Potter fans noticed whilst reading the fifth book: at one point, Mad-Eye Moody uses his magical eye to identify a boggart inside a cabinet. As the boggart can't know that it is being seen or by who and therefore wouldn't have assumed a form based on the person's worst fear, this makes Mad-Eye Moody the only person to have seen a boggart in its true form.
  • High School Musical meta example (archived version) by crissandmichele (November 2015), with 28,613 notes as of 24 February 2016. This piece of meta about High School Musical laments the treatment of the character Sharpay Evans in the three HSM films, as she is constantly sidelined in favour of the two main characters, Gabriella and Troy.
  • Sonic For Real Justice post by kotoricchi (June 2015), with 10,150 notes as of July 2015. In this example, tumblr user kotoricchi used the I'm Fine meme to call out a moderator of the fannish blog Sonic For Real Justice, Mod Sonic, for removing a fellow mod, Mod Knuckles.
  • Destiel entry (archived version) by fallen-angel-in-a-laundromat (February 2016), with 1281 notes as of 24 February 2016. This piece of Supernatural meta uses the meme to reflect on Dean Winchester's sexuality, Destiel and the Dean/Amara pairing, and how the showrunners consistently pass up what fans see as the perfect opportunity to have Dean come out as bisexual, instead insisting on a heterosexual characterisation.
  • Hamilton meta (archived version) by johnlauhrens (February 2016) with 5,415 notes as of 24 February 2016. This meta post about the musical Hamilton reflects on the way that writer Lin-Manuel Miranda chose to focus the musical's 'epilogue' on the character of Eliza Hamilton and how she coped after her husband's death, instead of confining the musical's scope to the life of Alexander Hamilton.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition[4] by xhermionedanger (June 2015)
  • Chronicles of Narnia meta (archived version) by multismusa (?July 2017) with 73,037 notes as of April 19, 2018. This post uses the meme to reflect on the impact that their experiences in Narnia would have had on the Pevensies after they returned to England, having lived full lives as adults but with the bodies of children, and question why C.S. Lewis never addressed this in-series. Subsequent reblogs of the post point out that this would have been the norm in Lewis' time, as young soldiers (including Lewis himself) returning from World War One and Two went back to their ordinary lives "battle wearied and aged beyond belief, but walking around in the body of a youth".


  1. ^ What She Says, What She Means on KnowYourMeme. Published August 5, 2015 (Accessed April 17, 2018).
  2. ^ what she says: im fine by ichikun on tumblr. Published September 3, 2013 (Accessed April 17, 2018).
  3. ^ Tumblr post by homuratrash (link broken); Screenshot of the post on Know Your Meme. Accessed April 17, 2018.
  4. ^ archived with 2,743 notes as of May 16, 2016.