It’s weird that we can see someone’s face so many times and never really think about who that person is and what they’re doing now. They’re just “a meme” to us, but it turns out they’re actually still out there in the world being people. Here’s what they look like today.
1. Bad Luck Brian
Bad Luck Brian came into existence in 2012 when his longtime friend, Ian Davies, uploaded Brian’s yearbook photo to Reddit with the caption: “Takes First Driving Test, Gets DUI.” It didn’t gain much traction until someone else re-uploaded it with the caption “Tries To Stealthily Fart In Class, Shits Pants.” The rest is history.
Ermahgerd, which is a play on the trope of it being difficult to talk with a retainer, also first appeared on Reddit in 2012. Much like Bad News Brian, the original upload of just the photo wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t until someone commented, “Gersberms, Mah Favrit Berks” that the meme was born.
3. Success Kid
Success Kid, sometimes also known as I Hate Sandcastles, is probably one of the oldest and most well-known memes of all time. His mother first uploaded the picture to MySpace in 2008, then someone photoshopped a crying child in the background and titled it “I Hate Sandcastles” and it started getting passed around. It wasn’t until 2011 until the “Success Kid” meme format we all know began.
4. Blinking White Guy
Blinking White Guy, also known as The Drew Scanlon Reaction, was THE reaction gif of 2017 and is still widely used today. It originated in 2015 from Drew’s reaction in this video:
But wasn’t used as a reaction gif until this tweet in 2017:
me: ill take a biology class, im smart enough for this just watch me
— INIRO 🥕 (@eskbl) February 5, 2017
5. Disaster Girl
Disaster Girl first hit the internet when Dave Roth snapped a picture of his daughter Zoe while they were watching a routine firefighting drill down the street from their home. It was quickly memed by photoshopping Zoe into different disaster settings.
6. Confused Nick Young
Confused Nick Young comes to us by way of the web series Thru The Lens which featured young NBA player Nick Young. As they were capturing a day in his life, this was Nick’s reaction to his mother saying he was “a clown” when he was a kid. The internet tossed some question marks on it and took off running.
7. Hide The Pain Harold
Hide The Pain Harold might be one of the most recognizable people in the world. What started as a stock photo shoot ended up being one of the first major memes to explode. Now Hide The Pain Harold can’t go out in public without being stopped for a picture.
8. Side Eyeing Chloe
Side Eyeing Chloe is a reaction picture that’s still being used today. It actually comes from a YouTube video posted in 2013 called, “Lilly’s Disneyland Surprise…AGAIN.”
9. Scumbag Steve
Scumbag Steve AKA Blake Boston AKA Weezy B was a rapper in the group Beantown Mafia. This picture was taken by his mom. Yes, you read all of that correctly. While this is an embarrassing past, Blake has a good philosophy about it now. “I have no regrets in my life …no matter what I do. I can completely fuck up on something and I still don’t regret it. Because at the end of the day, that makes me who I am, so I wouldn’t go back and erase anything if I were to go back in time.”
10. Trying to Hold a Fart Next to a Cute Girl in Class
Trying to Hold a Fart Next to a Cute Girl in Class was uploaded to reddit with that title in 2014. Within days it became one of the most viral memes of the year. He has since released that fart and is feeling much better.
11. Conceited Reaction
Conceited Reaction is a reaction gif that comes to us from a 2013 YouTube video of Conceited and Jesse James rap battling.
While this reaction gif will live on forever, I’m not so sure about his rap career.
12. Hipster Barista
Hipster Barista first showed up as early as 2011. The heyday of society taking a dump on hipsters, years before everyone became one.
After going viral, Eater.com interviewed him about his thoughts on becoming a popular meme.
“I do find it discouraging and disappointing that there was so much exposure brought to an attempt at making a joke of a culinary industry and the professional barista. To me, it’s very telling on how we laud farm-to-table food, craft beer, cocktail mixology, but it’s ok to have no respect for the specialty coffee world and the people who are committed to it.”
Which honestly sounds like some shit a hipster would say.
13. Math Lady
Math Lady is actually Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah playing the part of Nazaré Tedesco in a scene from the telenovela, Senhora do Destino.
It’s still used as both a reaction gif and a meme. If there was an Oscar for best actress in a meme, she’d be a shoo-in.
14. The Most Interesting Man In The World
The Most Interesting Man In The World, who you probably know as the Dos Equis guy was memed almost as soon as the commercials first aired. The meme was centered around variations on his catchphrases “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis,” and “Stay thirsty, my friends.”
15. Overly Attached Girlfriend
Overly Attached Girlfriend comes from the 2012 YouTube Video in response to Justine Beiber’s newly released single “Boyfriend.”
While hilarious on its own, the meme we all know and love spun off from the famous screenshot.
16. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy comes from a photo published in a Charleston newspaper. The picture of Zeddie Little soon caught fire after someone noticed just how photogenic he is. I mean, look at him. The memes mostly centered around photoshopping him into bad pictures to improve them. As you can see up top, he’s still crushing it.
17. Roll Safe
Roll Safe comes from the 2016 BBC mini-documentary on the Hood Documentary series in which the character Simpson (Kayode Ewumi ) is shown pointing to his head and smiling after saying that he finds a woman “beautiful” because “she’s got good brains.”