20 Not My Circus Not My Monkeys Meme Examples

Everybody has experienced getting caught up in situations or problems that weren’t really their concern, to begin with. Becoming involved in something that is not your problem can be frustrating, to say the least. All of a sudden, there’s all this drama. Sometimes you’re not even sure how you got dragged into it! 

So how do you get rid of that extra drama in your life?

Simply say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” 

What does “Not my circus, not my monkeys” mean?

via Dreams Time

The phrase “Not my circus, not my monkeys” describes something that is not under our control and, more importantly, something we do not want to be bothered with. 

This phrase has ambiguous origins, but many can agree on its general meaning. It is said in many languages, such as the Polish “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.” This literally translates to “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” 

People may use this phrase to express frustration when others don’t take their advice. They may also say this when their attempt to remedy someone else’s problem fails. Essentially, the phrase means “this is not my problem,” sometimes with a hint of “I told you so.” 


One example of how to use this certain phrase is when another person wishes to discuss the details of a problem they are having with somebody else. In this situation, you may not wish to get involved. You can say, “I don’t know what to do. It’s not my circus, not my monkeys.” This removes your responsibility from a problem that is not yours, to begin with. 

This can also help you avoid getting tangled up in another situation. For example, if someone you know gets into a fight, you might think “Not my circus, not my monkeys” to avoid getting caught up in their altercation.

However, there may be negative connotations to this phrase as well. Some people may use “Not my circus, not my monkeys” to dismiss someone’s legitimate concerns. If your friend is asking for advice and you say this phrase, it might come across like you don’t care. 

The popularity of the phrase

This phrase gained popularity on the internet after a post on Reddit titled “Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys” received attention. In the post, the writer, who works as a server at a restaurant, talks about a scenario wherein he was asked to bring a bottle of ranch to a table he wasn’t attending to. 

Although he agreed, he forgot since it was a very busy evening. This resulted in the customer giving the server many derogatory remarks. Fortunately, he had an excellent response: he asked her to take out his mistake from his tip.” The diner realized that, technically, the server wasn’t responsible for their table.

And that’s how “Not my circus, not my monkeys” was applied in this situation. 

Pros and Cons

Saying “Not my circus, not my monkeys” is very useful in the above-mentioned situations. However, there are pros and cons to consider. 

On the one hand, this approach may help you avoid involvement in things that are not your own and you cannot control. This can help you maintain peace of mind and avoid stress.

On the other hand, not getting involved in situations that may not concern you may lead you to miss out on valuable opportunities to help others make a difference in the world. You might also feel left out if you aren’t in the know of these situations.


  • It is important to remember that we cannot control everything in our lives
  • It can be freeing not to take on the problems or the stress of other people


  • This may lead to downplaying or neglecting important issues with which you can help
  • It may give the impression of your indifference or apathy towards others

In the end, it is up to the individual to decide what’s best for them. 

Not My Circus Not My Monkeys Memes 

Of course, given the phrase’s popularity, many memes have also been created. Here are some of the best “Not my circus, not my monkeys” memes for you to enjoy: 

1. Whenever you’re dealing with too much of someone else’s problem, just remember this!

via Make a Meme

2. Even this monkey knows that it isn’t his circus!

not my circus not my monkeys
via Memes Happen

3. Keep this card on your desk and repeat whenever you feel like getting involved.

via Some ECards

4. My monkeys are different from your monkeys.

via Meme Maker

5. Even Yoda has to agree with this!

via Memes Monkey

6. It may not be my problem and I may not want to get involved, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less interested.

not my circus not my monkeys
via Etsy

7. This witch’s monkeys FLY!

via Meme Creator

8. It’s funny when all of a sudden someone realizes their problems shouldn’t be taken out on you.

via Meme Fun

9. Sometimes you realize that, yes — this is actually a problem for you to care about.

not my circus not my monkeys
via Pinterest

10. This isn’t my circus, and these certainly aren’t my monkeys!

via Make a Meme

11. Do I have to clap my monkey hands to make it clearer?

via Meme Generator

12. Sometimes you can’t tell the difference between them!

not my circus not my monkeys
via Mouthporn

13. Obama approves!

via Make a Meme

14. Whether you’re talking about your circus or your monkeys, one important thing to remember is that I own neither.

via Imgflip

15. Grumpy cat knows how important it is not to get too involved.

not my circus not my monkeys
via Quickmeme

16. Do I look like I’m joking when I say “Not my monkeys, not my circus?”

via Make a Meme

17. This hits hard.

via Facebook

18. Say no to drama!

via YouTube

19. Wait… maybe I AM part of the drama!

via Pinterest

20. Sometimes you’ve got to own it: my circus, my monkeys.

not my circus not my monkeys
via Memes Monkey

As much as you don’t want to get involved in someone else’s mess, there also comes a time when you may have to help out, especially if they’re your family and friends. If you enjoyed this gallery make sure to also read our article about the OP never delivers meme that will crack you up

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