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Origins Of Your Favorite Memes

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posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 09:56 AM
Memes. A lot of people use them, a lot of people love them, some even hate them. They can be a funny way to reply to a comment or show the hypocrisy of things like human behavior. They often start out on message boards like 4Chan or Reddit and spread across the internet being changed, modified, or enhanced by different people.

The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more philosophical content.

The world of memes (which rhymes with 'teams') is noteworthy for two reasons: it is a worldwide social phenomenon, and memes behave like a mass of infectious flu and cold viruses, traveling from person to person quickly through social media. According to Cecil Adams of, the concept of memes "is either really deep, or really, really obvious".

But where did some of the most popular memes start? Is it possible to make a profit from them?

Troll Face:

This is probably one of the most prolific memes with hundreds if not thousands of variations. It was created by artist Carlos Ramirez from Oakland California. He is best known from deviantART under the name Whynne. He uploaded it in September 2008. It was meant to convey the stupidity of trolling on 4Chan. Here is the original comic that was uploaded.

Form there it took off as the face of trolls. It was also known as "Cool face".

Throughout the first half of 2009, Trollface quickly gained favor with Redditors and rage comic artists in particular, in part owing to the rapid growth of the /r/f7u12 subreddit around that same time. On August 1st, 2009, the first Urban Dictionary definition for “trollface” was submitted by user A Terrible Driver. Thousands of additional webcomic and photoshopped instances featuring the face can be found Tumblr, Cheezburger, Reddit, Facebook, Quickmeme and Memegenerator among many others.

In July of 2011 a cease and desist letter was sent to Reddit claiming copy right infringement.
In keeping with the nature of trolls, the background image to the subreddit was changed to:

Troll Face was also used in a 2015 game called Meme Run. However it was pulled from the Wii U e-Shop following the issuance of a Copyright Act take down notice from Ramirez. So can you make a profit from your Meme? Apparently so.

On April 8th, 2015, Kotaku ran an in-depth interview article with Ramirez about his now-iconic rage comic character. In the article, the Trollface artist estimated that he has earned more than $100,000 in licensing fees, settlements and other payouts since registering with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2010, with monthly revenues reaching as high as $15,000 at its peak in popularity.

Success Kid

Also known as I hate sand castles, everyone loves this kid. Photographer Laney Griner originally posted this picture of her 11 month old son to her Flickr account in August of 2007. In early 2008 the picture was being widely used on social media often with funny sayings attached. They were reposted to various humor websites. Making it's way to Reddit in 2011, there are over 66,000 variations of this meme.

In July 2011, the single topic Tumblr # Yeah Success Kid was started and collections of these images were posted to humor sites Pleated Jeans in July 2011 and Uproxx that November. There is also a category for Success Kid images on Ranker and Memebase and a Facebook fan page with over 4000 likes.

Amazingly, this picture of Sammy helped save his Dads life. Over $88,000 was raised for a kidney transplant.

On April 13th, The Daily Dot published an article about the crowdfunding effort, which included an email from Griner in which she revealed her husband “spends 12 hours a week in a dialysis clinic.” On April 15th, Redditor IrishProf submitted an article about Griner’s campaign page to the /r/UpliftingNews subreddit, where it gathered more than 3,900 votes (85% upvoted) in the the first 24 hours. In the coming days, many news sites published articles about the GoFundMe campaign, including Time,E! Online,Today, IB Times and Metro. Within one week, the page reached over $88,000 of its $75,000 goal.

Sammy was even featured in a British advertising campaign and a vitamin water commercial.

What would a meme thread be without Pepe?

Pepe started off as a comic character from the comic Boy's Club by artist Matt Furrie. It was created in 2005.

The spread really took off in 2008.

Throughout 2008, Pepe was mostly associated with the “Feels Good Man” reaction image. In 2009, an edited version featuring a distraught-looking Pepe with the caption “Feels bad man” began circulating as a reaction image on 4chan and the Body Building Forums. On January 25th, 2011, an interview with Furie was published on Know Your Meme, in which he discussed the origins of Pepe the Frog. On June 13th, 2014, the PepeTheFrogBlog Tumblr blog was launched. On July 23rd, the Pepe the Frog Instagram feed was created. On October 25th, the /r/pepethefrog subreddit was launched for content featuring the frog character. On December 7th, a Facebook page for “Pepe the Frog” was created. On December 18th, the PepeTheFrogNet Tumblr blog was launched.

On October 13th, 2015 Donald Trump tweeted a personalized version.

If anyone here follows Wendy's on Twitter, you know they are one of the funniest tweeters out there. Often trolling their competitors like McDonald's. A few months ago they replied to a tweet asking if they had any memes.

There are so many versions of Pepe it is rediculous, you can even buy "rare Pepe's" on ebay.

On April 3rd, the Internet humor site Smosh published an article about the rare Pepe images, which subsequently began to appear on other sites like Reddit and Tumblr. By April 9th, there were over 230 “rare Pepe” listings on eBay.

There have been a few controversies with Pepe including with a Spanish clothing line. There was even a "#save pepe" campaign with the creator and the anti defamation league joining forces after some members of racist groups started using the meme.

Well that's it for today. Maybe I will do a part 2 in the future. I hope you enjoyed this look at where some of the most used memes got their start. Check the links below for more info.

Success Kid
Troll Face

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 11:23 AM

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 11:36 AM
a reply to: FauxMulder

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:06 PM
a reply to: knowledgehunter0986

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:21 PM
a reply to: FauxMulder

Stars and Flags for you my friend. How things get started such a memes has always been interesting to me. Looking forward to seeing more.

Blue Dude - Shed 15

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: LookingForABetterLife

Thank you good sir! Sometimes origin stories can be really cool and interesting. I think coffee has one of the best origin stories.

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 12:52 PM
a reply to: FauxMulder

You are right. Coffee is a gift from the gods.

posted on Apr, 20 2017 @ 01:34 PM
a reply to: FauxMulder

Synchronicity alert!!!
I was watching Dexter last night, (episode 3×10) and Dexter gives a brief summary on the orgin of coffee as well.

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