While the critic- and fan-acclaimed 2019 adaptation of Little Women was snubbed at the Oscars and Golden Globes, the Twitterverse is proving that the fandom is still very much alive with the creation of a viral new meme. The Greta Gerwig film — which stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep — features one iconic feminist moment where Ronan's Jo March rejects Laurie's marriage proposal with some fighting words. Unsurprisingly, the internet put its own twist on the scene, and the 15 best Little Women "I can't" memes are so hilarious.
Viewers might remember when Laurie (played by Chalamet) and Jo March's friendship takes a turn following his unsuccessful attempt to ask for her hand in marriage. After her longtime family friend professes his love for her and asks her to marry him, a visibly upset Jo tells him that she "doesn't believe she will ever marry," saying that she "loves liberty too well to be in a hurry to give it up." In response to his attempts to sway her decision, an impassioned Jo exclaims, "I can't! I can't!"
There's no doubting how seriously Jo believes that she "can't" do what Laurie's asking in this scene, and fans took to Twitter to share their over versions that cover everything from hilarious pop culture references to relatable everyday tasks like getting out of bed on time.
While legions of fans have shipped Jo and Laurie in the decades since the book's release in the 1800s, author Louis May Alcott was firm about her decision not to have the pair end up together.
"Girls write to ask who the little women will marry, as if that was the only end and aim of a woman’s life," she confided to a friend in 1869. "I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone."
While publishers wouldn't let Alcott end up as the "literary spinster" that she intended, according to Vox, her surprising choice of the unromantic and older Professor Friedrich Bhaer showed that Jo was sticking to her guns when it came to not giving up her freedom and established her as the feminist icon that she is today.
In the spirit of Jo March, I'd recommend heading to Twitter, checking out the different meme submissions, and sharing your own take on the things you just "can't" bring yourself today.