There is a certain type of memes that contain the phrase "The guy she told you not to worry about". I am confused about the use of "she" on it, since the only person who tells you something is a guy. Is this proper English?

  • 2
    "She" is some unspecified third party. In some contexts it works well to make this person female. In other cases someone might say "This is what your grandmother warned you about" or some such. There is no strong implication that any "she" ever warned you about the "guy" or that your actual grandmother ever warned you about whatever "this" is. Rather it's just a way of conveying a bit of (supposed) "folk" wisdom or "common knowledge".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 7, 2017 at 22:06
  • FWIW, there is another way you frequently hear a "she" in memes... usually in a rather vulgar type of jokes with sexual innuendo. Someone might say something like "It's really hard" and the vulgar joke would be: "that's what she said". That is not the case in your example, but your title "she in memes" is broader and you may be asking for this second definition as well.
    – Tom22
    Apr 7, 2017 at 22:16
  • @HotLicks you answered the title, but 1006a's answer explained the meaning of the meme. I would suggest that the OP modify the title, because the confusion lied with a single expression, not with the feminine subject pronoun used in memes.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 8, 2017 at 7:07
  • What is this meme you're referring to? I've never seen a meme that contains “the guy she told you not to worry about”… Apr 8, 2017 at 7:13
  • I've found this link: [knowyourmeme.com/memes/…, @JanusBahsJacquet
    – lytex
    Apr 8, 2017 at 11:17

4 Answers 4


The answer that "that" is omitted,(the guy that she told you not...) is true however I might clarify why the "she"

I believe this is an example of a "woman to woman" conversation.

The context would be important. I can imagine this if a woman was going out on a date with a man who passed some limits on making unwanted sexual advances; that the woman that this happened to had felt comfortable accepting his invite because another women who knew him told her "he's a good guy" or vouched for him etc. A guy friend (assuming we're talking about a heterosexual date) would have no real experience about how he would act in private with a woman.

I believe it's pretty normal for a woman to ask another woman about whether it would a good idea to go out with someone. –

edit/addition @Hot Licks made a good comment that if used as a general expression, it doesn't need to refer to a particular incident, the "she" could be an unspecified third party ... he used the example "the guy your grandma warned you about".


Other posters are right that "she" is doing the telling, about "the guy". Essentially, the phrase means "she told you not to worry about some guy, and this is him." However, there is a specific "she" and a specific (kind of) "guy" implied in the meme.

The full meme is

You vs the guy she told/tells you not to worry about.

This is setting up a competition or comparison between "you" and "the guy (who she said not to worry about)". Key to this meme is in the pictures (Google image search here). They generally juxtapose a regular-looking guy with a much more attractive/younger/more muscular man.

One example compares "you": Curious George cartoon vs "the guy she tells you not to worry about": Harambe, an actual gorilla. Another compares a "pet rock" (a stone with googly eyes pasted on) with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, former professional wrestler and action movie star.

Here, "you" is used to address a hypothetical (male) person. The implication is that "she" is "your" girlfriend or wife. "He" is some guy she knows. "You" have felt threatened by him, but she says not to worry (he's just a friend).

The punchline of the meme is that really, you should worry, because he's much more attractive as a potential mate than you are, as illustrated by the images representing each of you.

  • Without context, i would have said Tom 22's analysis was also correct, but you actually provided links to the meme, and it is the last line which really explains the (double) meaning behind the words. As for the OP's initial confusion the phrase could be reworded as : "She told you not to worry about the guy, (because) he was only a friend"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 8, 2017 at 7:04

This seems to be a zero-realisation of "that".

"The guy (that) she told you not to worry about"

  • The problem is that the pronoun is "she" even the person who tells you not to worry is a guy. Who is this "she"?
    – lytex
    Apr 7, 2017 at 21:52
  • So from the information you give it sounds like there is guy A, guy B and she. So guy A says: "the guy (B) that she told you not to worry about". So A and She both tell you something about B. That's how I understand it right now. Apr 7, 2017 at 21:59
  • I don't know why, I thought that "she" was referring to the guy
    – lytex
    Apr 7, 2017 at 22:02
  • 1
    In the past, some female told you not to worry about some guy. So when I talk to you about that guy, I may call him "the guy she told you not to worry about."
    – GEdgar
    Apr 7, 2017 at 22:11

The phrase "the guy she told you not to worry about" is an answer to the implied question, Who is that guy?

Let's call him Mark--"the guy" Let's call the woman Lola. Let's call the questioner, who asks "Who is that guy?", Steve.

Steve used to be going out with Lola. But now Lola is with Mark. And Steve asks his friend, or acquaintance, "Who is that guy?"

And his friend says: "The guy (Mark) she (Lola) told you (Steve) not to worry about. (Lola said to Steve, "Don't worry about Mark. He's just a friend."

The meme seems to be two photos, Steve (the guy who lost Lola) and Mark (the guy who took Lola away from Steve).

The friend could be female, but it's likely a conversation between two men--the friend and Steve--in a bar or similar place where they see Lola and Mark together.

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