Origins of popular memes follow dank, infamous paths

Memes – They’re pretty much the only thing that’s getting America through this horrible year. You hear about them everywhere you go. “Dude, check out this dank meme,” or “That’s such a stale meme.”

But how do these memes come about? Who is making them? Where do they come from? Here’s a rundown of some of the dankest memes around and where they came from.


Pepe the frog:

Pepe was created by Matt Furie’s comic series Boy’s Club. Pepe was created in 2008, and his popularity steadily increased until 2015/16 when his popularity reached its peak. This meme’s original usage has evolved by quite a lot since his creation. Certain evolutions or variants of Pepe can be known as “rare Pepe.” These Pepes have been sold on Ebay and Craigslist. Pepe has been described by Hillary Clinton’s campaign as “a symbol that is associated with white supremacy,” but it’s important to state that true meme lords would never use Pepe in a hate-related context.






Harambe was originally just a western lowland silverback gorilla that lived at the Cincinnati zoo, but his death, unfortunately, turned him into a meme. A 3-year-old boy had fallen into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo and was attacked by Harambe, and Harambe had to be put down. Many people were outraged over his death. Memes of our fallen friend have taken many different forms such as songs and heartfelt tributes. One person even showed up to the RNC with a poster that said, “Bush did Harambe,” which is a play on the infamous meme, “Bush did 9/11.” Harambe will forever live on in our hearts as our favorite gorilla.







Spongegar/Primitive Sponge/Caveman Spongbob are all ancient ancestors of the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants. Primitive Sponge first appeared in a 1999 episode titled “SB-129,” in which Squidward Tentacles travels back in time and meets Spongebob’s and Patrick’s early ancestors, but somewhere along the way of his evolution to become a meme, his name somehow got mixed up with Spongegar, and since that’s what everyone calls him, there’s no going back. His purpose is to demonstrate our primal reaction when we are put in a given situation.




Arthur’s Fist: 

Arthur’s fist has been used as an reaction image, and it features a screenshot of Arthur’s clenched fist. It is usually paired with many situations that would make someone angry or upset. The episode where this meme came from aired in September 1999 and shows Arthur clenching his fist before he punches his little sister D.W. In July 2016, a redditor posted the picture with the caption, “when they say Harambe was just a gorilla,” and from there it took off and started evolving.

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