Bill O'Reilly. You either love him or you hate him. Most on the internet either hate him or love to hate him. With his brash, domineering, bullying, know-it-all personality, it is easy to see how this has been translated into a meme. It is one of the more obvious ones.
There are many Bill O'Reilly-isms, which are covered in the variations, but the main one for this meme is based on a phrase he has uttered multiple times, “You can’t explain that”, referring to various issues and events that he has deemed totally unexplainable.
Clever meme users jumped on the phrase, which he opened himself up to by using it in cases where things were actually explainable. People had a field day with the meme, coming up with multiple instances of things to render falsely unexplainable.
The interview that made the catchphrase a hit was taken from a discussion that O’Reilly had on air with American Atheists president Dave Silverman. O’Reilly was proving that God existed by comparing the presence of the divine in the tides of the oceans.
“Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that,” he postulated, and from there, the meme was born. In yet another example, O’Reilly countered theories from both non-believers in God and famed Physicist Stephen Hawking
, including not only mention of the tides going in and out, but the sun going up and down.
The meme grew even more popular once famous TV host Stephen Colbert got his hands on it and used it as the basis for a humorous segment on his show where he interviewed Bill O’Reilly himself.
An example of this meme is a photo of O’Reilly with the phrase: “Bread goes in, toast comes out. You can’t explain that.”