Having been a little new to online memes, I am always curious where they come from! They start with one small thing and then grow into an Internet sensation to the point where most of the people who use it don't even know where it came from. Here I'm bring you the back story to the "True Story Meme."
True Story is a black and white contour drawing of a man smiling smugly while holding a wine glass accompanied by the caption “True Story.” The image is most often used as a final panel in rage comics to indicate that it is based on a story, sometimes even when the story is obviously fiction.
Prior to its online adaptation, the colloquial expression “true story” has been used as an affirmative statement to corroborate one’s claim or allegation. The earliest Urban Dictionary definition was submitted on June 20th, 2004:
It really happened. Ex: I ate six Big Macs for lunch yesterday. True story.
Similar to other reaction faces like “Aww Yea Guy”, “Fuck That Guy” and “Not Bad Obama,” this rage face is a crude vectorization of American actor Neil Patrick Harris (See also: Challenge Accepted).
Both the catchphrase and the reaction face are associated with the character Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) in the CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother. The image itself is based on a stillshot of Stinson from Season 4, Episode 1 “Do I Know You.”
In the series, Barney Stinson frequently uses the expression “True Story” as an ending to theories or stories that are for the most part probably false or nonsense, as is demonstrated in the below clip.