The inside scoop on the people behind your favorite memes

Hi everyone,


This week I’m talking everyone’s favorite internet sensation: MEMES!


This article, though not the best site or credibility, brings up an interesting point – memes are actual people too!


For those who aren’t familiar, a meme is an image someone posts online, that people caption, usually creating humor based on stereotypes of the pictured person, that goes viral, and people add their own captions.  They usually originate on sites like Reddit and move through social media to Tumblr, then Twitter and Facebook.


Memes have become a bit of an cultural phenomenon, as certain memes become more popular or successful than others, and people try to come up with the funniest ones, and even use them as reactionary images on online forums or in texts (I have had conversations with friends exclusively through memes a time or two). There are sites dedicated simply to generating memes, such as QuickMeme. And they wouldn’t be possible without the internet!


Some of the most popular memes include  Bad Luck Brian, Good Guy Greg, Success Kid and College Freshmen, among many many others.

Here they are as memes and real people now! You can read up more on their bios at link above.






All in all, it just hit me that these are actual people, who never intended their picture to be all over the Internet and edited by others.  It just shows how pervasive viral images can be, and the capabilities of digital media as a whole.

From a design standpoint, its interesting too how iconic the type of memes has become.

My questions to you are: What’s your favorite meme? Are memes dehumanizing in a way? Offensive? Do they propagate stereotypes?  Or are they just funny?

How would you feel if you were the real person behind a meme or other viral image?


~Katie Loughrey




One thought on “The inside scoop on the people behind your favorite memes

  1. I’ve always wanted to know how the people behind the memes all over the internet feel about having become such sensations. Sometimes I wonder if they feel embarrassed by it, proud of it, or if they feel like it’s an invasion of privacy. While I certainly have memes that I enjoy and laugh at, if I were in their shoes, I would probably be very uncomfortable. Getting that much attention from people around the world and possibly becoming ‘famous’ for something like that, especially if its a meme that publishes an image that isn’t true to you but that is now associated with you, could very well effect aspects of your life. For instance, what if I were recognized in a job interview for being that girl in the “ermahgerd” meme? I may be associated with awkward speech and behavior and they may not want to hire me. It may be a bit of a stretch, but memes do spread pretty widely, and outcomes like that wouldn’t be surprising!

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