What makes a Kermit goof spread? Meme thieves

Is Kermit the perfect meme star? In 2014, a picture of the frog sipping tea, dubbed “But that’s none of my business,” was used as a passive-aggressive retort; the meme saw a brief resurgence after the #tealizard gaffe earlier this year. Now, Kermit is back in the form of Evil Kermit.

Evil Kermit plays off of a still taken from the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted, in which pure and wholesome Kermit is chatting with his sinister doppelgänger, Constantine. In this meme’s case, Kermit and Constantine are a stand-in for our socially acceptable selves warring with our asshole instincts.

Twitter user @aaannnnyyyyaaaa is credited with kicking off the Evil Kermit trend on November 6th with this tweet:

me: sees a fluffy dog
me to me: steal him pic.twitter.com/XuJFCBi7st

— dried apricot hater (@aaannnnyyyyaaaa) November 6, 2016

The tweet itself has gathered more than 23,000 retweets and 32,000 likes, and was created by @aaannnnyyyyaaaa, a 19-year-old student named Anya Sudarkina.

What’s it like to create a meme? We spoke with Sudarkina over email to find out.

So, the tweet. What do you remember about composing it? Did you expect it to take off the way it did?

I had to expose a dark impulse with this pic I came across. My first thought was my boyfriend trying to convince me to steal every dog I see. I use to laugh when he said it, but then my own inner Kermit started telling me that those really fluffy cotton ball dogs could really be worth some time. It was just perfect.

I have really low meme confidence, so I seriously didn't think it would go anywhere.

When did you notice your original tweet start to go viral? What was your reaction? Have you had tweets go viral before?

Once my tweet hit a couple hundred retweets, I was cracking up for two days straight. I've already mentioned this, but ask anyone — I'm notorious for laughing at my own jokes. But this was on another level. I felt the need to start telling people I had tunnel vision and nothing but my retweets mattered. I was tweeting about my newfound fame and even told my followers I had Oprah on the phone.

A parody account DMed me to say that I was getting too much of an ego. The tweet just kept growing. At one point, I'd check Twitter after an hour and it would have another 3k likes. How'd I even think of a tweet so genius? Am I Einstein? No, I am prettier.

There are so many Kermit memes that have really taken off — what do you think makes him so memeable?

I think this meme touched so many hearts because everybody could bond over scapegoating a frog in a cloak for their bad decisions. In my case, I guess dogs and bad decisions was just the perfect recipe.

It seems like a few accounts have tried to to steal ownership of the joke — what's your reaction to that? Is it different from your feelings about people adapting Evil Kermit to their own jokes?

I hate to say it, but meme thieves have gotta be the backbone of a really successful meme movement. Without huge parody accounts reposting my original, there's no way it would've reached Facebook and Instagram the way it did. Shoutout @dory 1 time. Then, I started seeing people adopt the same format I used and quite honestly most of them were too hilarious for me to get too over protective. There was even a whole [Twitter] moment trending that Alex Tumay created and it didn't include my original. It's okay, I guess that's the price of fame...


SHARE THIS
Previous Post
Next Post