CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Microsoft buys Bethesda Baby Yoda Lego Trump approves TikTok-Oracle deal SSDI and stimulus checks Emmys 2020 winners PS5 preorders Apple Watch Series 6

It's gonna be meme: Justin Timberlake's unofficial May anthem

Social Cues: Forget flowers, "It's Gonna Be Me" by *NSYNC is the real sign that May has arrived.


Social Cues is our look at what people are talking about across Twitter and Facebook.


Every year, like clockwork, *NSYNC gets a spike in YouTube views on April 30.

Thanks to the "It's Gonna Be May" meme, the long-ago boy band's hit song from 2000 gets new life every time May looms. If you're unfamiliar with the joke, a ramen-haired Justin Timberlake sings the chorus to *NSYNC's "It's Gonna Be Me" with a Tennessee accent, pronouncing me as "May."

The meme got its start on Tumblr in 2012, when a now-deleted post featured a photo of Timberlake with the text "It's gonna be May" on top of it. It's since spawned five years of copycat posts every April.

The joke has gotten so saturated that former President Barack Obama did it while in office in 2014, and the man behind the meme is aware of it too.

On YouTube, the music video quintuples in hits every April, as people flock to the clip to remind themselves what month it will be soon (it's gonna be May).


Views for *NSYNC's "It's Gonna Be Me" spike every April 30, with searches rising nearly seven times its average.


Searches for the song increase by almost seven times every April 30, while plays go up by five times that day.

The unofficial May anthem follows social media trends based off dates like October 3 and April 25, inspired from "Mean Girls" and "Miss Congeniality," respectively. Like the May joke, the October 3 clip from "Mean Girls" spikes every year around the same time.

On May 1, the second best time to post the meme after April 30, the jokes on Twitter have gotten so self-referential that even a photo of ramen in a pot is a jab at Timberlake's hair.

The resemblance is uncanny.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET's newsstand edition.