‘Bye, Leticia!’

In 2018, Jimmy Fallon held up a picture that showed Barack and Michelle Obama giving a last wave before boarding Air Force One after Trump’s inauguration nearly two years earlier.  She was there to promote her new book, Becoming, which helped boost her sales to 10 million copies in its first five months of publication.

“This is you,” Fallon said, “this is after the Trump inauguration just waving from Air Force One.  Can you just walk me through what …”

“Bye Felicia!” Michelle blurted to Fallon’s boyish guffaws and rapturous applause from the audience.  The spurn set the tone for laughter that lingered until Michelle’s slight against Melania Trump’s Tiffany Box gift moment.  Which, to me, was extremely un-Becoming of a former first lady and something I could never imagine Melania blurting out in the same circumstance.  But I digress.   

The dismissive, “Bye Felicia” (correctly spelled Felisha), trickled into a pop obsession in memes, songs, TV shows, and movies after a throwaway scene in Ice Cube’s 1995 stoner comedy, Friday.     

Felisha (Angela Means), the neighborhood’s smelly, unkempt, drug-addicted moocher, asked to borrow Smokey’s (Chris Tucker) car, then for marijuana.  He gave her an emphatic “Hell, naw!” served with annoyed jesters

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