Do You Know the Origin of These Popular Internet Memes?

The history of some of the most iconic memes on the internet, from "Distracted Boyfriend" to "Woman Yelling at a Cat."

Memes: The Language of the Internet

If you've spent any amount of time online, you're sure to have come across internet memes. These pieces of viral content, often humorous and satirical, have become an integral part of digital communication. But do you know where some of the most iconic memes originated? Let's dive in.

The Distracted Boyfriend

Our first stop is the "Distracted Boyfriend" meme. Originating from a stock photo taken by photographer Antonio Guillem, it wasn't until 2017 that the image gained immense popularity. It features a man looking at another woman, while his girlfriend shows disapproval - a humorous representation of being tempted by something new while neglecting the old.

Woman Yelling at a Cat: A Tale of Two Photos

Next, we have the "Woman Yelling at a Cat" meme, which is actually a combination of two unrelated images. The first half shows reality TV star Taylor Armstrong from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" in mid-argument, while the second features a bewildered-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate. United in 2019, these images created a new context - that of an irrational argument, where the accuser is met with nonchalance.

Mocking SpongeBob SquarePants

Not all memes come from reality, as the "Mocking SpongeBob SquarePants" meme shows us. This image features SpongeBob from the children's TV show "SpongeBob SquarePants" in a chicken-like pose. First circulated in 2017, it is often used to mimic or ridicule someone's statement in a childish tone.

Expanding Brain: Levels of Enlightenment

Then we have the "Expanding Brain" meme. This meme originated from a series of illustrations showing brains of increasing size and radiance, symbolizing higher levels of enlightenment. First shared in 2017, it is often used to depict various stages of comprehension or to sarcastically illustrate a series of absurd logical conclusions.

Pepe the Frog: An Innocent Start

Pepe the Frog, first featured in the comic series "Boy's Club" by Matt Furie, also found its way to internet fame. Although initially representing a laid-back lifestyle, it was co-opted by various online communities for different meanings, some controversial.

The Iconic Arthur Fist

Lastly, the "Arthur Fist" meme, featuring Arthur the Aardvark from the children's show "Arthur." It encapsulates a moment of intense frustration or suppressed rage, an emotion that resonates with many, explaining its vast spread across the internet.

Memes: A Global Phenomenon

The digital age has turned memes into a global phenomenon, serving as a form of expression transcending language and cultural barriers. Let's continue our journey of exploring the stories behind some of the most viral internet memes.

This is Fine: A Meme for Troubled Times

The "This is Fine" meme has its origins in a comic strip created by KC Green in 2013. It features a dog calmly drinking coffee while his house is engulfed in flames. This meme has seen a surge in usage during difficult times, capturing feelings of denial and acceptance in the face of adversity.

Rickrolling: An Internet Prank

"Rickrolling" has a history dating back to 2007. It started with a prank link to Rick Astley's song "Never Gonna Give You Up" disguised as other relevant content. The prank became so widespread that Rick Astley himself acknowledged it and performed a live Rickroll at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2008.

Doge: Much Meme, Such Popularity

The "Doge" meme, featuring a Shiba Inu dog surrounded by a cloud of Comic Sans phrases, originated from a 2010 photo posted on a Japanese blog. The meme didn't take off until 2013, when it was adopted by English-language internet communities. It has since been used in various contexts, even spawning its own cryptocurrency.

"Hide the Pain Harold": A Meme Model

The "Hide the Pain Harold" meme centers around Andras Arato, a stock photo model. Arato's pained smile in a series of stock photos became the face of hiding discomfort behind a facade. He embraced his meme fame, giving interviews and participating in a TED Talk about his unexpected internet stardom.

Nyan Cat: A Pixelated Phenomenon

Lastly, we have the "Nyan Cat." Originating from a combination of a Japanese pop song and an animated GIF of a pixelated cat with the body of a Pop-Tart flying through space, it quickly gained traction in 2011. The endless loop of the flying Nyan Cat has since become a symbol of harmless, joyous internet absurdity.

As our exploration continues, one thing becomes clear: the internet's ability to create shared cultural moments from the most unexpected sources is remarkable. From a cartoon dog in a burning house to a smiling man hiding his pain, these pieces of viral content not only serve as a source of entertainment but also reflect our shared experiences and emotions. So the next time you encounter a new meme, remember - there might just be an intriguing story behind it.