Hello Internet, and Welcome to Behind The Meme, where we take a look at the meaning and the origin of your favorite memes! Today we have a look at: Pepe The Frog!
Pepe the frog is a human-like frog character who has gained substantial popularity and become one of the most recognizable figures in the meme world. He has earned his spot in internet culture thanks in part to his widespread use as a go-to reaction image online. In various forms in comment sections across the web his face is used to represent a person's expression or response far better than words possibly could.
We have happy Pepe which is often used when an individual is pleased. There's sad Pepe used to express sadness or dissapointment. Then there's angry Pepe, used to express feelings of rage or frustration. And of course we have the ever-so-popular Smug Pepe, often used when something sinister or malicious is occuring. Those are just a few in the library of expressions the meme has.
Pepe started his life in 2005 in a black and white comic series titled Boy's Club which was created by artist Matt Furie (Matt, Dude, your last name is pretty badass). Pepe made the transition from run-of-the-mill comic character to internet trend when a comic is seen with Pepe pulling his pants down all the way to his ankles while urinating became popular on the website 4chan. In the final panel of the comic, Pepe is questioned by another character about his prior actions. His response is a happy Pepe face which is accompanied by the text "Feels good man." And I bet it did! (Wait, You guys, Do frogs have penises? Serious Question)
The feels good Pepe face is what initially began to make the reaction popular with its use on forums throughout 2008 eventually the black and white picture of the frog had color added to it, creating the colorful Pepe we now know today. At that point, its popularity began to spread even further. By 2009, various other Pepe reactions began to appear online. The first variation on the feels good man Pepe was a sad faced Pepe with the phrase, "feels bad man", which was created by simply turning the smile upside down and flipping it around.
As we entered a new decade Pepe was well on his way to becoming the meme we now know and love today. Various sub-genres of the Pepe the frog meme started to take shape such as PooPoo PeePee Pepe, in which a smug Pepe is typcially involved in mischevious acts involving urine or feces (Yuck). There's also the well meme'd memes in which Pepe was originally depicted he is seen laughing and then saluting with a beverage in hand along with the captions "haha great post" as well as well "meme'd my friend". The original Pepe version of the meme has branched off to encompass various other characters doing the same thing.
Pepe has become such a big deal on the internet that in 2014 users on 4chan began to share and trade images of Pepe as if they were sports or trading cards. A rare Pepe is an image of Pepe not commonly found on images or search engines. Typically a rare Pepe has Pepe in unusual circumstances or with strange appearances. Various rare Pepes have even made their way onto ebay and other auction sites. An auction of a collection of rare Pepes recently reached a price of over $100,000 and was viewed over 250,000 times before it was removed from the website.
Throughout my research I could not find an instance where somebody actually paid a crazy amount for a rare Pepe online, but I wouldn't doubt it because this little green guy has become a pretty great thing on the internet.
But hey, that's the internet for you, and on the internet: meeeeeemes aaarrre keeeeeng!
Thank you all so very much for watching, Make sure you subscribe so you can catch more of my other videos and stay up to date on all your favorite memes. Who knows? Maybe you'll learn about a meme you never knew about before! I'll catch you guys next time!