I spotted this ad from 511.org, the Bay Area’s transit and traffic hub, last weekend on the back of a 10-Townsend Muni bus in San Francisco:
“Every minute in traffic is a dream come true, said no one ever.”
It was the said no one ever that caught my attention. I recognized it as a popular Internet meme, but I’d never seen it used commercially.
According to Know Your Meme, which researches Internet memes and viral phenomena, said no one ever is “often used online to mock something that is generally disliked or of an unpopular opinion. Though it is often employed as a Twitter hashtag, it can also be found as a caption on image macros or in the text of e-cards.”
Know Your Meme traces the phrase’s origins to a single-topic Tumblr, Shit No One Has Ever Said, which launched in May 2010. The first tweet to incorporate said no one ever was posted on July 6, 2010, by @donni.
"I see you're admiring my striped vest," said no one ever.— donni (@donni) July 6, 2010
In some renderings there’s a comma between no one and ever. (See, for example, the examples in this August 2012 post by Pithypants.)
Until I pulled up directly behind the Muni bus, I couldn’t decipher the small, compressed, reverse-type said no one ever punchline. (Who designs these ads?) All I saw was “dream come true” and the man’s blissfully smiling face. In a different situation, the sarcasm might have been lost on me; I’d have assumed that the ad was selling some product – music? audiobooks? – to make car commuting more pleasant. But because I was briefly stuck in traffic – until the light changed – I had just enough time to marvel at the copywriter’s appropriation of a six-year-old Internet joke.
Said no one ever.