There are hundreds of memes on the internet every day. We have become so used to them that we forget that they all represent real people just like us. While they may appear frozen in time, they have changed much in real life since the memes became popular. If you have ever wondered what the heroes of your favorite memes look like today, you’ve come to the right place.
We have assembled a collection of “then” and “now” photos with some of the most well-known meme heroes. You’ll find it hard to recognize some of them. You can check them out!
#1 Success Kid (Sam Griner)
The “Success Kid’s” origins date back to 2007 when Laney Griner uploaded an image of her son Sam to Flickr. Sam’s photo went viral first with the caption “I Hate Sandcastles”, but Laney didn’t like the context of this meme as it made her son seem like a bully. The meme became the “Success Kid,” and Laney eventually accepted it.
#2 Disaster Girl (Zoe Roth)
Dave Roth captured this photo of Zoe Roth, a little girl who was watching firefighters put out a fire in 2004. The photo was published in a magazine that ran a photo contest. The photo quickly became viral, and Zoe said she would love the meme to help get her into college.
#3 Doge (Kabosu)
The “Doge” meme was born in 2013. This photo of a Shiba-Inu named Kabosu became a viral hit. Despite rumors that it was dead, this cute doggo is still around and can be followed on Instagram.
#4 Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce)
Tardar Sauce, also known as Grumpy Cat, was made famous in 2012 by her Reddit photos. People fell in love instantly with Grumpy Cat’s unique appearance, which gained millions of fans worldwide before, unfortunately, passing away in 2019.
#5 Roll Safe (Kayode Ewumi)
The meme “Roll Safe” comes from a BBC documentary series, “Hood Documentary”, which was shot in 2016. Kayode Ewumi is seen smiling and pointing at his head after calling a woman beautiful for her “good brains”.
#6 Blinking White Guy (Drew Scanlon)
Drew Scanlon is the actual name of Drew Scanlon. This gif was taken from Drew Scanlon’s stream in 2013. Gaming Bomb’s editor-in-chief Jeff Gerstmann was playing Starbound. Drew heard Drew say, “I’ve been doing some farm with my h*e.”
#7 Ridiculously Photogenic Guy (ZeddieSmith)
Zeddie Little (aka “Ridiculously Photogenic Guys”) took this photo in 2012 during the Cooper River Bridge Run. After Will King uploaded it to Reddit, it went viral and received more than 40k upvotes.
#8 Side-Eyeing Chloe
The sided-eyed girl, whose real name was Chloe (KAftC), became a viral sensation in 2013 when KAftC uploaded a video titled “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise… AGAIN” on YouTube. This video shows the reactions of Chloe, and her sister Lily, after being told they will go to Disneyland. You can now find her Instagram account, which has nearly 600k followers.
#9 Bad Luck Brian (Kyle Craven)
Kyle’s yearbook photo became viral after Ian Davies, his friend, uploaded it to Reddit in 2012. The caption: “Takes driving test .?.?.”. During their first DUI, Kyle claims that he made his face red by rubbing it with a sweater and then putting on an offensive smile.
#10 Confused Nick Young (Nick Young)
The meme “Confused Nick Young”, which was first aired on “Thru The Lens”, dates back to 2014. This screenshot is from a scene in which Nick’s mother said he was “a clown” during his youth.
#11 Harold Hiding the Pain (Andras Arato)
Andras Arato (aka “Hide The Pain Harold”) is a stock photographer model whose facial expression became a very popular meme in 2011. The meme has been popularized over the years, and the man even gave a TedTalk in 2018 about his new fame in Kyiv.
#12 Overly Attached Girlfriend – Laina Morris
In 2012, the “Overly Attached Girlfriend” meme was created when YouTuber Laina Mors uploaded a parody of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” video to a contest for Bieber’s new perfume “Girlfriend”. Unfortunately, Laina states that she was confronted with privacy issues after her viral video. Fans found her personal information and tried to access her college records. In 2019, she stated that she would stop creating YouTube content.
#13 Trying to Hold a Fart Next to a Cute Girl in Class (Michael McGee)
Reddit’s viral meme featuring Michael McGee was created by user aaduk_ala in 2014. It featured the caption, “Trying to hold a fart beside a cute girl in school”. In an interview with Unilad, Mike stated that the man who took the photo was a friend of mine ever since I moved to Texas. He knew I could make a face whenever I wanted. “So he wanted to create a funny Twitter caption and told me I should make a face. It took off after he posted it.
#14 Good Luck, Charlie (Mia Talerico)
The Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie” meme features Mia Talerico.
#15 First World Problems (Silvia Bottini)
Silvia Bottini, an Italian actress, is the woman featured in the meme “First-World Problems”.