What is Pepe the Frog's origin?

Everything You Need to Know about This Weird Meme

Photo from MemeGenerator.net

Are you constantly being bombarded by strange looking Pepe the Frog memes in your social feeds? If not, then you likely don't have very many people in your networks that spend a lot of time hanging out on 4chan, Tumblr or Reddit.

This is one of those memes that hasn't exactly reached Doge- or Gangnam Style-level meme fame, but still lurks and thrives in weird places on the web that are mainly dominated by teens and young adults. That probably explains why you're not seeing it as much on larger social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

The Origin of Pepe the Frog

Despite how popular Pepe the Frog has grown to become throughout early 2015, it originated from a comic series (Boy's Club by Matt Furie) released back in 2005. The image of the anthropomorphic frog character made its way to the 4chan community in 2008, which is of course the birthplace of many big memes that have graced our computer and mobile device screens over the past several years.

According to Know Your Meme, the "Feels Good Man" version of the meme mostly dominated 4chan when it first broke out, and then warped into other versions later on throughout 2009 and later. KYM published an interview with Furie back in 2011 regarding his thoughts about his character and its impact on the web, and a more recent interview is now available to read on the Daily Dot.

Pepe the Frog Reactions

Although best known for the "Feels Good Man" expression, the meme's recent popularity has much to do with the many other reaction images that evolved from the original one. Some of the other viral versions of the meme include:

Feels Bad Man / Sad Frog: This is the opposite of the Feels Good Man meme. Rather than featuring the look of satisfaction that made the original so popular, a tormented facial expression became one of the first other reactions to emerge back in 2009.

Angry Pepe: Another popular version of Pepe the Frog comes in a reaction image that represents rage and fury. This one features Pepe with his mouth wide open and his tongue sticking out as if he were shouting or screaming in frustration.

Smug Frog: Smugness plays a big role in Internet humor, and there's a Pepe reaction to use for it. Smug Frog shows Pepe giving a subtle, squinty-eyed smirk with his hand held up to face, as if he were thinking about how much better he is than everyone else.

Well Meme'd: This one isn't quite as popular as some of the other reaction versions, but you can still see it pop up every now and then if you're active enough on the visual social platforms where lots of younger users like to go. It features Pepe wearing a suit and tie, reacting ironically as if he were congratulating someone for the appropriate type of post they used online.

Pepe the Frog on Reddit, Instagram and More

After seven years and a sudden peak in Internet popularity in 2015, you can now find all sorts of social feeds, blogs, and pages dedicated to this weird and wacky frog meme. You just have to look around the places where teens and younger users love to spend their time. (Not Facebook.)

There's the Pepe the Frog subreddit, a Pepe Instagram page with over 10,000 followers and the wildly popular Pepe the Frog Tumblr blog that accepts meme submissions. At one point, even eBay was littered with listings based off the popularity of the meme -- some being auctioned off for quite a bit of money.

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