We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Kevin James in The King of Queens is the meme we didn’t know we needed

If you've been on the internet, you've probably seen Kevin James smirking from King of Queens. Here's where the meme comes from, and why it's just what we need.


These past few days, I’ve seen Kevin James more than I ever thought I’d see him in my entire life. Not because we’re personal friends, or because I felt compelled to watch Grown Ups a bunch of times, but because of that one meme. You know the one. Or, maybe you don’t, and if you’re wondering why you keep seeing Kevin James against your will, you’ve come to the right place.

The King of Queens was James’ big break, with the ‘90s TV show coming way before he was a regular in Adam Sandler movies. The CBS sitcom, which was one of the best TV series of the era in terms of ratings, centred around married couple Doug (James) and Carrie Hefferman (Leah Remini). Along with Carrie’s elderly father Arthur (Jerry Stiller), Doug was essentially the lovable goofball of the show.

At least, that was probably the intention of a promotional picture James took as Doug on the set of The King of Queens, where the character simpers unbearably into the camera.

YouTube Thumbnail

Because his smirk is somewhere between a wounded puppy, an irritating man at the bar, and a five-year-old at the foot of their mother’s bed telling them they threw up, the picture has become prime meme material.

It circulated so much on Twitter, in fact, that Kevin James is currently a trending topic, and is now even spreading to other platforms like Instagram.


Because of the sanctimonious aura Doug’s smirk and shrug give off in this picture, it’s become the perfect reaction image for people wanting to convey slyness, confidence or, God forbid, cheekiness.

Then, the internet did as the internet does and the meme started to become more and more meta (no pun intended).


The meme started circulating on September 21 which, coincidentally, also marked The King of Queens’ 25th anniversary since it first aired. In a post on his official Instagram, accompanied with an image of himself, Remini, and Stiller, James wrote, “I am so incredibly blessed to have taken this ride with the insanely talented Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller. I love you both so much… and thank you to the greatest fans in the world! Love you.”

The best comedy series of the ’90s might not be getting any more seasons, but we know plenty of drama series that are! So, check out our guides to Yellowstone season 5 part 2, Wednesday season 2, and Reacher season 2.