You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to get a kick out of these memes. Olympic gold medalist and former WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle has entered the meme game thanks to some creative fans who honed in on his... stare.
You see, in August 2023, the Pennsylvania legend who retired in 2019, joined TikTok. In his first video, he reintroduced himself and encouraged folks to follow him. And one thing about Kurt is he sure knows how to make eye contact.
“I’m gonna be here on TikTok talking about my diet, my workout, my podcasts, and things that are near and dear to me. I want you guys to follow and enjoy the ride,” Kurt said, as he stared intensely into the camera. It was such a creepy, almost manic stare where it felt like he was looking deep into your soul. Like 1000 yards deep into your soul.
Kurt's steely gaze is nothing new and has always been one of his most defining features. And in a way, it almost seems fitting. Like of course this is the stare of a man who won the Olympic gold medal with a broken neck in 1996!
But it wasn't until December 2023 that fans really fixated on his signature gaze. In fact, they slowed down Kurt's debut TikTok to make his stare feel even more dramatic. And it wasn't long before a new — called the Kurt Angle 1,000 yard stare — was born. Below, we unpack how the meme got its name and share some of the funniest examples.
Kurt Angle’s 1,000 yard stare meme can be connected to this wartime painting.
The thousand-yard stare, or 1000-yard stare, wasn't just a phrase made up on the spot to describe Kurt's gaze. The term has existed for decades and describes the blank, emotionless expression that people sometimes experience with acute stress or dissociation, per Healthline.
Originally published in Life magazine in 1945, Tom Lea's 'Marines Call It That 2,000 Yard Stare' captures a World War II soldier standing in a wrecked battlefield, staring off into the distance.
Over the years, the phrase became closely associated with combat shock or shell shock that military personnel face. However, it can also describe the same emotionless expression that people with trauma may experience during episodes of dissociation.
The best Kurt Angle 1000 yard stare memes:
Without further adieu, here are some of the best Kurt Angle 1000 yard stare memes.
As of writing, Kurt has yet to address his newfound meme fame. But knowing his fun and easygoing personality, Kurt is probably laughing along with us. Or he's emotionlessly staring into the soul of each meme in the most disconcerted way.