The 12+ Best “That’s not how this works” Memes | Plus Meaning & Origins

That's not how any of this works!

The “that’s not how this works” meme originated from an Esurance advertisement entitled ‘Beatrice’ in 2014.

In the viral video clip, several elderly women have a misguided argument about how Facebook works, with the woman in the purple responding to an ‘in-person’ unfriending request: “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”

The Original Esurance Beatrice Commercial


AdWeek interviewed the creators as part of a series on commercials that inspired memes, and they said that they thought “they’d be the first to create a meme from the ad shortly after it appeared on YouTube, they were surprised to find that people had already made their own GIFs and memes, directly from the broadcast version.”

For whatever reason, the phrase resonated with people. Social media users fell in love with it on Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube, producing a variety of funny image captions. In a nutshell, the reaction meme expresses mildly exasperated consternation.

It’s used in funny ways- check out some of our favorite memes to emerge from this viral ad:

The Funniest The That’s Not How This Works Memes


Over on Twitter, a user used the meme to mock a school’s misuse of the ROAR acronym.

Curing Depression

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. from WhitePeopleTwitter

The white people twitter subreddit had a funny meme. They were apparently triggered by a tweet in which somebody says that they cured depression simply by deciding to stop being depressed. In a weird way, it’s not so counterintuitive that this might work considering that emotional states are often a product of perspective.

PMS Problems


not how this works pms example
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
  • reddit

A woman with PMS symptoms strong reacts to her boyfriend’s suggestion that she take some Midol to calm herself down.

Proving Innocence

proving innocence
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
  • reddit

A more political perspective, the meme is used to make fun of the fact that proving innocence to get off a watch list is clearly ludicrous.

Flat Earth Believers

That’s not how any of this works from insanepeoplefacebook

In the midst of all of the flat Earth hype, a meme emerged mocking flat earth believers who were contrasting flat and circular Earth pros and cons.

Impeaching Trump

That’s not how any of this works you fucking morons from facepalm

Where would we be without some anti-Trump meme making? In this one, a user shows off a shirt that explains the definition of “Trumpeached”. It’s a long and meandering definition that’s pretty funny- it clearly triggered some Reddit users who are quick to overreact to anything MAGA related.

My Dad Played Basketball

That’s not how any of this works from facepalm

Another social media post showcased a woman bragging that she is a “black queen”. When she was challenged about her race, she claimed that her father played basketball. Somebody responded to her saying that’s not how that works.

Shitty Car Mods

Thats not how any of this works! from Shitty_Car_Mods

This cars modification subreddit showed off a really weird wheel rim design that was apparently affixed to the car door.

Tinder Bestie

That’s not how any of this works! from Tinder

Another funny example comes from and Tinder. It shows off a 23-year-old girl writing that she’s using the dating platform to locate a best friend- not a romantic partner.

Essential Oils MLM

That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works. from antiMLM

Inside of Reddit’s anti multilevel marketing forum, they had a lot of fun with a screenshot of a woman apparently claiming that essential oils can be used to treat brain tumors.

Fellow Kids Hilarity

That’s not how any of this works from FellowKids

r/FellowKids specializes in out of touch uses of memes. They’ve found a funny example here- a misused Toy Story meme apparently issuing a PSA for kids to wear their issued ID cards.

How Genes Work

That's not how any of this works
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
  • reddit

Over on r/trashy, a woman was mocked for her comical misunderstanding of how “jeans” work.

More Background

the funniest that's not how this works memes
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Gmail
  • reddit

The that’s not how this works meme came emerged initially as a TV advertisement. After its introduction to social media, the meme secured its use in contradicting different ways of doing things. In most instances, the meme would work as a way of criticizing something that isn’t being done in the right way. It is often used in connection with politics- frequently used by politicians to mock their opponents.

The that’s not how this works meme really exploded onto social media back in the year 2014. It was a commercial advertisement for an insurance company. In the advert, a lady is explaining to her friends how she fails to understand how Facebook works. The meme didn’t seem to capture the attention of many with immediate effect until its reach on social media platforms.

After the release of the video advertisement, not many had a good grip on the joke in the video. However, after its landing into the social media platforms, people understand better about the meme. It changed from an advertisement meme into an informing phrase that criticizes the negative way of doing things. And with 2016, the meme got a lot of attention- considering how toxic the campaigns were.

Take for example of this post, “math: if a mother can give birth after nine months, then nine women can give birth in one month.” The hilarious response for the statement was, “The that’s not how this works.”

If 1 woman can give birth to a baby in 9 months, can 9 women give birth to a baby in 1 month? from shittyaskscience

The meme is still popular on social media platforms. Its use spread throughout the world with the phrase translated into different ethnic languages.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here