“I’m Somewhat of a Scientist Myself” was a memorable line that Norman Osborn (played in 2002 superhero film Spider-Man) uttered. Online A screen-capture of the scene was used in Image Macros containing the quote as a punchline for various jokes about scientific expertise.
The Spider-Man movie was released in 2002. However, the meme did not appear until June 20, 2017. Reddit user U/MildlyFrustrating uploaded the image macro to the subreddit R/raimimemes and added the caption “When my computer successfully connects to the wifi” to collect more than 1,100 upvotes.
The image macro spread quickly from there and was uploaded to reddit in many variations.
The original format was popularized and modified over time. Users may blacken out text or replace a few words with “scientist” to make the captions more interesting. This is an example of how it works. An image with the caption “When your maths instructor teaches you about sin(x), but you already know sin from church”, has the word “scientist” in the caption replaced by “mathematician”.
This format allows one to brag about their own knowledge on a topic, claiming to be “scientist”. There are some variations, but they can be considered serious statements. The format is usually used to mock people who claim to know more than they actually know.
The meaning of variations with altered captions may be different, depending on the new caption.