Emma Roberts Shared The Story Behind Her Viral Beach Meme: ‘The Internet Had Its Way With Me’

Actress and meme goddess Emma Roberts appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to tell the talk show host what caused her to post that random video of her making faces on a beach that took over the entire internet.

Whether you know Emma from her appearances in American Horror Story, Scream Queens, or even Madame Web, the one place you have undoubtedly seen her face is in countless memes on the internet.

What is the Emma Roberts beach meme?

In 2021 the actress shared a video to her Instagram of her on a beach looking all glammed up, accompanied by the song “Happiness is a Butterfly” by Lana Del Rey.

And for whatever reason — who knows how the internet works these days — the video went absolutely bonkers viral, branching out into all areas of the meme economy.

If you’re a visual learner like me, perhaps this may jog your memory.

Source: @emmaroberts Instagram.

After the actress shared it with her followers, the video then began getting used in other contexts as a reaction image, or as a meme format.

@luke16x i fell and everyone stared at me laughing 😭😢 #emmaroberts #meme #school #tripped #stairs #embarrassing #fyp ♬ WolfKage WAP Remix – Brian Esperon

Even after almost three years, the Emma Roberts beach video is still a thriving part of the meme economy, becoming a staple in the space.

But how did it come to be?

Why did Emma Roberts post the beach video?

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon to promote her upcoming show, American Horror Story: Delicate, Emma was asked about what caused her to post the coy video in the first place.

Emma put all the credit down to her younger sister who “knows how to work social media”, unlike the self-described “33-year-old millennial”.

It was this sister, Grace Roberts, who told Emma to get on the video grind.

“She was like, ‘You’re not posting enough videos.’ And I took it so personally,” Emma told Fallon.

“I was like, ‘What do you mean I’m not posting enough videos? I post all the time!’”

Emma recounted that her sister then informed her of the importance of posting video content — gotta keep that algorithm happy! — and told her to add songs to the video for that extra boost in numbers. The actress claimed it was all news to her.

“And I’m like, ‘Songs?! You can put songs on videos?’” Emma joked, then explained what happened next and how it led to the iconic video.

“I freaked out, so I had glam. I did this video, I made this stupid face.

“I put a Lana Del Rey song on it because I love her and it was the first thing that popped up. Went to bed, woke up, and the internet had its way with me.”

Emma then pointed out that, ironically, her sister was entirely correct on which methods generate views, as the video received over a million likes on Instagram alone.

@fallontonight Emma Roberts reacts to unintentionally becoming a meme 🤣 #FallonTonight #TonightShow #EmmaRoberts #AHS #AmericanHorrorStory ♬ original sound – FallonTonight

As well as thanking Grace for the expert tips, when the video was first blowing up Emma shared her own version of the meme to Instagram, joking about how it was her first time going viral at 30-years-old.

And being the icon she is, she added a caption to the video thanking the real heroes: “Thank you gays and whoever else.”

Just meme queen shit.

Emma Roberts’ full recent interview with Jimmy Fallon can be found here.

[Image: Getty]