Here's the story behind that 'American Chopper' meme you're seeing everywhere

The argument between the father-and-son motorcycle makers on <em>American Chopper</em> has gotten a whole new life as a meme. (Photo: Discovery)
The argument between the father-and-son motorcycle makers on American Chopper has gotten a whole new life as a meme. (Photo: Discovery)

After five years in Discovery’s proverbial TV garage, the hit reality series American Chopper rides again this May, with battling father-son duo Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. back on the hog. The show’s imminent return is being hyped on its official website, where old and new viewers can preview the Season 11 premiere (which airs on May 28) and catch up with the highlights of Chopper’s original run. One of those highlights has taken the Internet by storm.

The short behind-the-scenes featurette Meet the Teutuls contains footage of the explosive 2009 argument that resulted in Paul Jr. being fired from his dad’s custom motorcycle company and setting up his own shop. “I look back at it when I watch the show, and I wish I would have responded differently,” an older, wiser Junior says in the minidocumentary. (Watch the full shouting match below.)

He may wish he had handled things differently, but Twitter sure doesn’t. Since footage of this argument resurfaced recently, it’s become social media’s newest, hottest meme. Instead of pointing fingers and screaming about Junior’s commitment to his dad’s company, the Twitter versions of Senior and Junior are arguing about whether Garfield is a hero or menace, and the tastiness — or lack thereof — of soup. Scroll down for some of the best versions of this meme that we’ve seen.

Of course, as with every widely circulated meme, there’s already pushback from some quarters of the internet.

But a few naysayers aren’t likely to derail this tweet-generating machine as American Chopper’s return date approaches. And hey, if the Teutuls’ motorcycle businesses are ever in danger of closing, they can easily make a living manufacturing memes.

American Chopper returns May 28 at 10 p.m on Discovery.

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