Though the phrase “John Lennon beats his wife,” or variations of it, has been said colloquially for years, memes referencing the concept appeared online as early as 2014. One of the earliest posts to call attention to this was posted on Tumblr when a debate about known domestic abusers was brought up on the platform. In the post, Tumblr user grrspt listed off a group of people who were guilty of domestic abuse but are not known for it, with John Lennon being one of the first listed. This exchange was screenshotted and uploaded to Know Your Meme on September 28th, 2014, by user ChinRakka, where it received over 4,100 views in seven years (shown below, click to expand).

WHY ARE THEY | AND NOT THESE THE FACE OF GUYS? DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RAVENS grrspit pomoea ean-luc-gohard the-goddamazon We know why Don't forget Charlie Sheen. He's been arrested for domestic violence at least six times and shot a woman. With a gun. And he's still got a career Sean Penn tied Madonna to a chair and beat her. Fuck him. Fuck all of them Michael Fassbender Matthew Fox John Lennon Paul McCartney Ringo too I'm pretty sure Phil Spector, although he's now in jail for killing a lady he beat on Ronnie Spector for years and still got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Axl Rose Vince Neil Sean Penn Charlie Sheen Jim Morrison tried to set fire to his girlfriend Stephen Segal Tommy Lee Ozzy Osbourne Mickey Rourke Bill Murray Gary Busey Tom Sizemore Christian Slater James Caan Josh Brolin Edward Furlong l could go on The point isn't that the men on the left don't deserve everything bad they have coming to them. The point is where the fuck is all the outrage when the men on the right do it. So many of our pop culture heroes are abusers and nobody seems to care Like, even if we're gonna stick to the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger patiently sat out his six game suspension for rape and continued on with his career with little outrage If we're really going to care now about ostracizing perpetrators of domestic violence, we got a lotta slack to pick up #… how #important #smh 69,964 notes Chris Brown The Faces of Domestic Violence Kimpo University text

One of the first direct call-out memes about Lennon’s domestic abuse came from the subreddit /r/OkBuddyRetard where it was uploaded by Redditor boi_pucci on January 25th, 2020, receiving 275 upvotes in two years (shown below).

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