People are freaking out because they think T-Mobile ripped off a meme in its Super Bowl ad. Here’s what the person who posted the viral tweet says actually happened.

T-Mobile’s ad was noticeably similar to a tweet posted in 2017. T-Mobile
  • T-Mobile ran a Super Bowl ad that was directly inspired by a viral tweet from 2017.
  • In the ad and the tweet, someone mistakes a rideshare driver for a concerned friend.
  • T-Mobile didn’t rip off the tweet. Instead, the carrier licensed the joke, according to the person who originally posted the fake text screenshot.

One of T-Mobile’s Super Bowl commercials was inspired by a viral tweet.

But, despite social media conspiracies, this is not an example of brands callously ripping off memes.

Read more:
Here’s the full list of all the Super Bowl commercials we know about

T-Mobile’s ad, which aired in the third quarter, shows a text conversation that starts with the words: “Hey Mike. I’m just letting you know I’m here.”

Mike responds by thanking the sender and saying things have been rough lately.

“I meant I’m here,” the original character texts. “Outside. This is your Lyft driver.”

The conversation was noticeably similar to a tweet posted in December 2017:

Some people condemned T-Mobile for seemingly ripping off a meme.^tfw

However, according to the person who posted the original tweet, T-Mobile actually licensed the joke. Instead of tweeting about feeling ripped off, @decentbirthday has been tweeting in support of the ad.^tfw

Often, people who create memes fail to receive credit or payment when they are repurposed by other people or companies. In this case, however, it seems that T-Mobile actually did the right thing, resulting in a feel-good Super Bowl advertising story.

Neither @decentbirthday nor T-Mobile immediately responded to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Here’s the full ad: