Viral ‘Crying Face’ Meme Kid Reveals Comeback Eight Years Later
His reaction was so memorable on his first day of school to KTLA 5’s Courtney Friel that he became forever immortalized on the internet. Catapulting thousands of memes that will be part of the Millennial and Gen Z consciousness. It was the cry heard around the world.
For this iteration of Where Are They Now, we see where he is and what he thinks about the first day of school.
While Macias’ vulnerable TV moment was relatable, some chastised Friel for asking if he would miss his mom
In 2015, KTLA 5 sent Friel onsite to Macias’ elementary school to do a lighthearted piece about the first day of school. She encountered a then-four-year-old Macias on his way to pre-kindergarten with his mom Patricia Macias.
The reporter asked him if he was excited about his first day of school, to which he eagerly replied, “Yes.” She then asked Macias if he would miss his mom during his first school day. Initially, he said, “No,” before pausing and then….crying. His mom, who was off-camera, gave him an encouraging hug.
The mom told KTLA 5 that she agreed to the interview not thinking anything would come from it.
“I’m like, ‘Oh, just an interview, nothing is going to happen. And then suddenly, an hour, two hours after — ‘Oh, he’s famous now. He went viral,’” she told the station.
The clip, which the news station shared online, garnered over 19 million views and over 89,000 comments on their Facebook alone. Many parents related to the Macias’ feelings and reminisced about their kid’s first day of school moments.
One Facebook user commented, “So sweet! Mine is 27 yrs old and I cried when he started school and followed the school bus for a week!!!”
Others let it be known that they weren’t fans of Friel’s question.
“Why the hell would the lady ask him if hes gonna miss his mom. Are you kidding me????. You could tell he was ready to cry before she asked him that.. Thanks for upsetting that sweet boy even more. Anything to make your news better,” one person shared.
Macias is reportedly no longer afraid of the first day of school — and gave a spin to his original viral moment
In 2017, New York Magazine detailed that while the internet-famous boy was still a little shy, he’s not scared of going to school. When asked whether he would miss his mom, he noted, “Yes.” No tears spilled.
Since their 2015 encounter, Macias has met up with Friel a few times — something she’s documented on social media. In 2019, Friel shared pictures of a playdate she and Macias’ mom set up with their kids.
Between the carousel of pictures, Friel shared a sweet video of her and Macias where she asks the then-eight-year-old about what he’s been up to. He shared he was in third grade, that he enjoyed roller coasters, and that all of his friends knew he was famous.
Earlier this year, the dynamic duo teamed up again for a special project with Netflix for the “Spy Kids: Armageddon” film. Macias, now 13, left Los Angeles and is a middle schooler in Nebraska.
In the video’s caption, Friel shared that her initial story with Macias was her favorite “KTLA entertainment reports ever.” She asked Macias how he’s been and if kids still ask him if he’s the boy from the crying kid meme. He says that his friends still bring it up.
He also asserted that he no longer fears school and is looking forward to catching up with Friel on his first day of college.