Who knew that one of the ways that people would learn algebra is through the use of memes? For a refresher, letters such as X and Y are used to denote numbers that are unknown. The goal o Algebra is to solve the equation and figure out what X and Y mean.
In this particular meme, it is not much different. Humor is derived from inserting various words and phrases into the X and Y categories specifically.
This meme is also sometimes known as "X all the Things". The colorful line drawing used in this meme is often replaced with another graphic associated with whatever text is being inserted for that particular version.
The original art for the meme shows a crudely drawn … um. Fish? Human? Woman? Frog? Ahem. It shows a crudely drawn character brandishing a (broom?), with a yellow sunburst graphic behind it. The figure is gesticulating with an upraised fist.
In 2010, the website blog Hyperbole
and a Half published a cartoon drawn by Allie Brosh. It was titled "This is Why I’ll Never Be An Adult". It was originally a two-paneled cartoon with the first caption stating "Clean All the Things!" and the second caption, less enthusiastic, stating, "Clean All The Things?"
After that, the meme flourished, with the character in question being re-adorned or decorated to suit that particular version of the meme.
Notable versions of this meme include the text: "Back to All the Futures?", and "Eat All the brains?!".