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If you’ve ever been on any form of social media — or really just the internet at all — you’ve likely come across the Michael Jordan “Stop It, Get Some Help” GIF or meme at some point. Perhaps you’ve even used it yourself.

While the original intent of the now-famous quote wasn’t meant to be comical whatsoever, it’s now used by millions as a humorous way to state their disagreement with — well, anything. It was heavily featured on Vine before the video-hosting service shut down, and its popularity has only gotten bigger and bigger over the years.

So, where did this internet staple come from?

Where did the Michael Jordan “Stop It, Get Some Help” quote come from?

Michael Jordan circa 1987
Michael Jordan circa 1987 | Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Regarded by many as the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan is also arguably the most popular athlete to ever walk the planet, which is why so many companies wanted him as a spokesperson. And that started early in his career with the Chicago Bulls.

One of Jordan’s biggest endorsement deals back in the day was with McDonald’s. And as many big-name companies did during the 1980s, McDonald’s decided to put out an anti-drug public service announcement targeted at children and young adults.

And that’s where the Michael Jordan “Stop It, Get Some Help” quote was born.

Released in May 1987, the one-minute PSA featured a then-24-year-old Jordan in a horrific tan suit telling young people that they could “just about be anything you want to be” and things of that nature if they stayed away from drugs. And near the end of the spot, of course, MJ tells those who are already on drugs to “stop it, get some help.”

There’s certainly nothing funny about substance abuse. But this PSA was ridiculous, as were so many of the scare-tactic spots back then. The folks at McDonald’s had their hearts in the right place, as drug use was (and continues to be) a significant problem in this country.

But did nobody notice before it aired that the spot offered up no resources or information of any kind on how to actually get help? Even just a phone number or something at the bottom of the screen would’ve sufficed. If anything,

In any event, that’s where the Michael Jordan “Stop It, Get Some Help” phenomenon began.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.


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