Was William Shakespeare the original Nicholas Sparks? No. But the Bard of Avon was an expert at writing tragic teen romance. Romeo and Juliet is a story of young love, passion, and what happens when parents just don’t understand. The epic saga has captured our hearts for over 400 years. After the jump, we retell the lovers’ tale in the one modern language that can truly communicate our deepest emotions: animated gifs.
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, tough words exchanged between Capulets and Montagues erupt into a street fight.
Fresh from the fight, Benvolio runs into his cousin Romeo who’s acting all emo over getting dumped by this chick Rosaline.
Benvolio’s all #YOLO, man. The best way to get your mind off a woman is to find a new woman. Even hotter babes will be at this Capulet party. Romeo agrees to go in hopes he’ll see Rosaline there. (Subtle move, Romie.)
Meanwhile, Paris asks Lord Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Her dad on board despite being a little squicked out since Juliet’s not even 14.
Juliet’s not sure how she feels about Paris, but her very excited mother convinces her to give him a chance.
At the party, Romeo and Juliet meet. They don’t even know each other’s names, yet the attraction is instant.
Once they do realize that Romeo’s a Montague and Juliet’s a Capulet, they’re heartbroken.
After the party, Juliet walks onto her balcony and wonders why her Romeo had to be Romeo Montague. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” she sighs.
Unbeknownst to her, Romeo has jumped her garden wall and heard everything. Elated that she might feel the same way, he reveals himself and declares his love.
Juliet says she loves him, too, and is about to leave, when Romeo is all “Wait, aren’t you forgetting something? Wink wink, nudge nudge.”
To which Juliet is all:
Scrambling to save face, Romeo’s all “Lulz You thought I meant sex? No! No way!” and pops the question to change the subject.
The next day, the couple sneaks off and Friar Lawrence marries them.
After the wedding, Romeo and Mercutio run into Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt. Tybalt’s pissed that the Montague boys crashed a Capulet soiree and challenges Romeo to a duel.
Romeo tries to dissuade Tybalt. Mercutio thinks Romeo’s being a wimp, so he fights Tybalt instead. Romeo tries to break it up, but just gets in the way. Tybalt kills Mercutio. Outraged, Romeo kills Tybalt and flees. The Prince banishes Romeo to Mantua.
Meanwhile, Juliet’s all #FML after the nurse tells her that Romeo’s now banished for murdering her cousin and she’s supposed to marry Paris in three days.
On the bright side, that night, the nurse sneaks Romeo into Juliet’s room. The next morning, Romeo and Juliet are feeling pretty good.
After Romeo leaves, Juliet devises a plan with Friar Lawrence. He gives her a potion to drink that will make her appear dead. It’ll get her out of marrying Paris and that way the Friar can secretly transport to Mantua to live with Romeo.
But Priority Mail wasn’t exactly as reliable as it is nowadays, so Romeo never gets word of the plan. He thinks Juliet is really dead. Losing the will to go on, he buys some poison and goes to her tomb.
Seeing his seemingly-dead lover at rest, Romeo chugs the poison and dies.
But wait! Juliet awakens! Only to find a dead Romeo lying beside her.
Grief-stricken, she stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger.
Upon discovering Romeo and Juliet lying side-by-side, daddy Capulet and Montague finally make peace.
H/t to Tunamelt for the inspiration.