I see the phrase ...

I'm with stupid

... used in many occasions, especially on forums using a smiley similar to this one:

enter image description here

It's almost exclusively used with a positive connotation, in the meaning: "I agree with the poster above". But I just don't get why you'd call someone you agree with 'stupid'.

What is the origin and true meaning of this phrase?

  • 10
    and you call yourself Sherlock...?
    – Mou某
    Apr 28, 2014 at 9:53
  • 1
    In my experience, it does not mean that the poster agrees with the poster above them: rather, that they are calling the poster above them stupid. But then, that’s just my own, personal experience (and I haven’t frequented forums that see widespread use of the smiley for a couple of years); YMMV. Apr 28, 2014 at 10:14
  • I have seen this usage a couple of times, never quite understood it. I think it may be meant to imply what was said is obvious, and should have been previously known to the first poster, or the second.
    – Neil W
    Apr 28, 2014 at 13:01
  • I know this phrase only in the Pet Shop Boys song. It is not exactly a positive appreciation. Jun 24, 2014 at 21:05
  • It's known as "Praising with faint damn".
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 11, 2017 at 17:19

4 Answers 4


It was sometime in the mid 1970's that T-Shirts with the phrase I'm with stupid and an arrow (or actually it was often a hand with the index finger extended) pointing to the left or right (so it points to your companion) were initially available.

I don't think it means anything other than an attempt at wit.

Think of it as a pre-internet meme

This is the closest t-shirt I could find to what the originals looked like.

enter image description here

  • This T-shirt may also have influenced two others of the same era: one that consisted of the word BABY with a downward-pointing arrow beneath it, and another, perhaps more inspired version that consisted of the word BEER with a downward-pointing arrow beneath it.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 1, 2015 at 0:39
  • I am working on a design for a quantum theory version of this famous t-shirt, and became curious about the origin of the idea. I was a kid back then, but I do remember seeing this t-shirt in the early or mid 1970s.
    – DarenW
    Apr 12, 2021 at 2:59

Normally meaning you agree with the person your pointing to, but you don't like them, so you offend them by calling them stupid, instead of making them feel good by agreeing nicely.


Think that 'Stupid' purpose is to keep you with both feet on the ground. You complement the poster and say that you agree with him but he doesn't have to make any illusions that he is 'special'!


I think it is a gender-neutral way to say "I am with him/her" without using the word "them", which is boring, whereas "stupid" is more witty and fun on a T-Shirt.

  • 1
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