The entire purpose of the “Draw the Squad” meme trend is simply to draw or create something featuring characters posing in an unusual way or doing something silly. People have used this trend with many different characters and shows.
The first time any version of the meme appeared on the Internet was back in April of 2015. Tumblr user court-the-qunari posted a picture of two characters in a unique pose and captioned it “draw ur otp like this [sic].” People then responded to the post with original drawings of their favorite characters doing the same pose as in the original post. The post skyrocketed and “managed to receive over 34,000 notes in the following 10 months” (Source).
If the original image features more than two people, it is usually instructed that you “draw your squad,” hence the name of the meme. This could include your favorite characters from a television show or movie, or even from a book series or a musical band. It usually includes people from your favorite fandom.
A fandom is known as “a social group based around a particular interest and comprised of individuals who share that interest” (Source). So, for example, if your favorite show on television is Game of Thrones, and you participate in many online discussions about the show and in many events that people organize for the show, people might say that you are a part of the Game of Thrones fandom.
However, if the original image is of two people, you may be instructed to “draw your OTP.” The abbreviation OTP stands for “one true pairing,” meaning, two people that you would like to be together romantically from your favorite fandom. They do not necessarily have to be romantically involved in the particular show, movie, band, etc.
The entire purpose of the meme is for someone to post an original image of two or more characters doing something out of the ordinary, and then to encourage everyone who views it to draw their own version of the image using characters of their choice.
Once again, the original Tumblr post spread across the website and gained more than 34,000 notes back in 2015. It encouraged people to copy the meme and to post their own favorite characters carrying out a similar pose. The original post featured two people with one of them posing with their back to the camera and the other one facing forwards. The one facing backwards had their arm on the other person’s shoulder. People copied the meme using their favorite “OTP” characters (two characters whom they wanted to be together romantically from a particular series) in the same pose.
Draw The Squad Boneless Tribute
The phrase was used by Tumblr user garbageboi-archive as the caption underneath a photo of a boy band. The caption said “draw the squad like this” and was featured as a new drawing challenge in 2015. The post had received 62,000 votes over the course of eight months. Then, a blog was created during the summer of the same year titled “Squad Poses.” The purpose of this blog was to reblog (share) different versions of the meme where people were encouraged to copy the pose for their own favorite characters. A lot of people on Tumblr liked the blog and it had more than 4,700 likes in a very short period of time.
A gallery was created on the photography website Pinterest back in February of 2016 where people were able to submit their versions of the meme. There have also been hundreds of searches of the meme on DeviantArt.
Another version of the meme spread, which was called “Draw the OTP and the Third Wheel Best Friend,” based off of an image where a girl and a boy were kissing and another boy was taking a sip out of the drink in the girl’s hand. People were encouraged to draw pictures of their favorite OTP with another close character as the third wheel. “Third wheel” refers to the odd one out in a group of three where two of the people are in a romantic relationship.
This is the original image that the meme was based off of.
Original Third Wheel Meme
The original photo for the “Draw the OTP and the Third Wheel Best Friend” meme.
Third Wheel Drawing Example
An example of a piece of art someone created using the Third Wheel meme as inspiration.
Damaged Space Bois
Daithi De Nogla (From The Subreddit)