The Origins of the 5 Best Internet Memes

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The Origins of the 5 Best Internet Memes

One of my favorite hobbies is scouring the internet for hilarious pictures and memes. This is a great time-killer when I’m bored (boredom doesn’t seem to come as often as it used to, but when it does hit, what else is a guy to do?). While I can generally manage to find a lot of amusing memes, I don’t usually give much thought to where they originated. I’m betting you don’t, either. So, we’ve put together a list of the 5 best internet memes, and how they started.

Overly Attached Girlfriend

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The Overly Attached Girlfriend meme began on June 6, 2012 when YouTuber “wzr0713” performed a parody of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”, even going so far as personalizing the lyrics. Those lyrics contained clingy, stalker-like language. The video upload became so popular that it received over 1.3 million views in less than 48 hours. It helped the popularity when, the next day, a Redditor posted the link, which ended up with over 800 comments within the next seven hours. Overly Attached Girlfriend turned out to be 20-year-old Laina Walker. Due to the popularity of the meme, Walker eventually disabled her social profiles. In a June 2012 Tweet, Walker claimed to be slightly disturbed that her face was attached to a meme, but still considered it amusing and awesome.

Grumpy Cat

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The Internet sensation known as Grumpy Cat is an angry-looking snowshoe cat named Tardar Sauce. The cat, owned by Tabatha Bundesen, hails from Morristown, Arizona and has become popular with people who like to, well, be grumpy. So popular, in fact, that the meme has given rise to a feature film and numerous commercial products. Not bad for a cat, right? What makes Tardar Sauce grumpy? The cat isn’t grumpy at all, actually. In fact, she’s normal 99% of the time, according to her owners. The facial expression is due to a form of feline dwarfism, which also results in the feline also being undersized with hind legs that are “a bit different.”

Scumbag Steve

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Scumbag Steve, the iconic kid with the sideways cap, centers around situations involving unethical behavior, often regarding drugs, partying and other bad behaviors. The origin of this meme is actually much simpler than you’d think. In fact, it comes from Beantown Mafia’s “Ma Gangsta” album cover. The “kid” in the popular meme has been identified on Reddit as none other than Blake Boston, otherwise known as “Weezy B”. What makes this photo so hilarious? Apparently, according to the self-proclaimed gangsta rapper, it was taken by his mommy.

Good Guy Greg

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The “alterego” of Scumbag Steve, Good Guy Greg is an image that features a square-jawed guy smiling at the camera with a “joint’ hanging out of his mouth. This meme is used to depict empathy and generosity. The photo first made its appearance on April 26, 2011 on 4chan’s random board, although the thread seems to have disappeared at this point. Ironically, the real identity of Good Guy Greg has yet to be discovered. There have been, however, a couple notable claims, although 4chan and Reddit users cite differences in facial features as proof that Good Guy Greg is still unknown.

Conspiracy Keanu

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We’ve all seen tons of Keanu Reeves memes floating around the Interwebz. The original picture used in the meme was lifted from a screenshot of 1989’s comedy “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. As of April 2012 over 37,000 derivations of the popular photo had been uploaded to the Quickmeme page. The meme features Keanu in a constant state of paranoia (not surprising, considering his character in the film was a bit of a stoner. Hey, maybe he should hang out with Good Guy Greg!)

So now you know where a few of the popular memes actually came from, and why they’re funny. If you have a favorite, be sure and send it to us. We love funny memes!

About The Author
Deanie
Gardenia Boyle, aka "Deanie," is a freelance writer from Seattle. When she's not busy working on a variety of writing projects, she enjoys volunteering at the Humane Society or hiking. If it's raining though, which it does a lot of in WA, you'll probably find her with a controller in her hand playing one of her favorite games, WoW or Final Fantasy.