Today, the internet has lots of funny pictures and videos called memes. They often show famous people and animals. These people have normal lives, even though they’re well-known. After a meme becomes really popular, these people still live their usual lives. Have you ever thought about what happened to them after some time? Many of your favorite meme stars look different now, and people still remember their viral moments.
Success Kid — Sam Griner
In 2007, Laney Griner shared a photo of her son, Sam, attempting to eat sand. Little did she know that this simple act would become a viral sensation. The picture, accompanied by the caption “I hate sandcastles,” humorously implied that Sam was destroying a sandcastle.
Initially, Laney Griner wasn’t thrilled with the meaning behind the meme, but later, the “Success Kid” meme was born. Her family decided to embrace it. This meme became really popular and showed up in ads, on t-shirts, Xbox screensavers, and other places. Additionally, it played a role in raising money for Sam’s father’s kidney transplant.
Grumpy Cat — Tardar Sauce
Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, became the symbol for how people feel on Mondays. The cat gained fame when some of its pictures were shared on Reddit in 2012. The grumpy look on its face was caused by an underbite and feline dwarfism.
Grumpy Cat had a popular Instagram account, starred in a movie, had a line of shoes, and amassed 2.5 million followers on Instagram. Unfortunately, Tardar Sauce passed away in May 2019 at the age of seven. Even though he’s no longer with us, the internet will always remember him.
Doge — Kabosu
One of the earliest memes we recall is Doge, also known as Kabosu the Shiba Inu. This meme gained popularity in 2013 when Kabosu’s owner shared the picture on her blog. Kabosu’s funny expression quickly won the hearts of millions and brought laughter to everyone who saw it.
Nowadays, Doge, or Kabosu, is 15 years old and remains active on social media. She continues to be just as expressive as she was in her younger days, bringing joy to her followers with her charming personality.
Disaster Girl — Zoe Roth
When Zoe Roth’s father snapped a photo of his daughter watching firefighters manage a blaze near their home, he never expected it to become widely popular. Three years later, he submitted the picture of Zoe to a competition, and to his surprise, it won.
After the photo was published in the magazine, Zoe’s picture began appearing in various famous events, becoming a sensation on the internet. Now that she’s all grown up, Zoe expressed a wish for the meme to somehow assist her in getting into or funding college. It’s a hopeful thought.
Side Eyeing Chloe — Chloe
If you’re someone who’s not easily impressed, you have something in common with Side-Eye Chloe. This little girl became famous when her parents announced they were going to Disneyland, and she reacted with a look of either being unimpressed or uncertain about what was happening.
Even though the meme is still widely used, Chloe looks quite different from the time of the viral video. She is now around ten years old, and both she and her sister have undergone noticeable changes. Fans interested in live updates can follow her on Instagram.
Blinking White Guy — Drew Scanlon
The man in the famous GIF/meme where a guy blinks is Drew Scanlon. This GIF originated from a live screenshot in 2013 when Scanlon worked as a video producer at the gaming website Giant Bomb. The moment occurred during one of their “Unprofessional Fridays” shows, capturing Scanlon’s interesting reaction.
Drew Scanlon’s memorable reaction happened while watching the editor-in-chief, Jeff Gerstmann, play the game Star bound during one of their “Unprofessional Fridays” shows. When Gerstmann mentioned, “I’ve been doing some farming with my hoe,” Scanlon’s response to this statement became the iconic meme.
Harold Hiding The Pain — Andras Arato
The “Hide The Pain Harold” meme is perfect for those moments when you’re trying to hide the feeling of being unhappy but still have to smile outwardly. Andras Arato is the man behind this meme, and it originated in 2011 when he posed for a stock photo.
Yes, in 2018, Andras Arato indeed hosted a TED Talk in Ukraine, where he openly discussed the story of his life as a meme. He appeared to embrace the viral photo and the various changes it brought to his life. Arato continues to be active on his social media pages, engaging with and entertaining his fans.
Roll Safe — Kayode Ewumi
When you come up with a questionable idea and try to make it look like it will turn out well, that’s the perfect time to use the “Roll Safe” meme. This meme originated in 2014 when Kayode Ewumi and his friend created a mockumentary about “roll safe,” which was later picked up by the BBC. From there, the meme gained popularity and took on a life of its own.
In the scene, Kayode Ewumi was pointing to his head, suggesting that he found a woman attractive because “She’s got good brains.” As of today, he is 27 years old, and he doesn’t mind being a meme. Ewumi had a great time filming the mockumentary and enjoys the humorous impact it has had.
Bad Luck Brian — Kyle Craven
Absolutely, revisiting old school pictures can be cringe-worthy, particularly during the “awkward phase.” Kyle Craven is familiar with this experience because one of his awkward school photos gained immense popularity, turning him into the iconic “Bad Luck Brian” meme.
Craven’s friend posted the picture on Reddit in January 2012 with the caption, “Takes driving test…gets first DUI.” Interestingly, Craven’s reddened face was simply due to him rubbing his nose. Despite becoming a viral sensation, Kyle Craven prefers to maintain a private life and works in construction.
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy — Zeddie Smith
Yes, many people remember the ridiculously photogenic guy who looked flawless while running a marathon. That man was Zeddie Smith, captured during the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run. The picture gained quick popularity after being posted on Reddit.
People couldn’t resist commenting on how attractive Zeddie Smith looked, especially since most individuals appear sweaty and exhausted while running. He gained attention from multiple news outlets, and there was curiosity about whether he received any marriage proposals because of the viral picture.
Confused Nick Young — Nick Young
Nick Young is widely known as a professional basketball player, having played for the Lakers before signing with a team in China. However, for some people, he’s more recognizable because of the viral meme “Confused Nick Young.”
The “Confused Nick Young” meme originated from a 2014 episode of the YouTube series “Thru The Lens.” In the episode, Nick Young’s mother mentioned that he used to be a bit of a clown when he was young. As he turned to the camera with a perplexed expression, the moment became the birth of the now-hilarious meme.
Trying To Hold A Fart Next To A Cute Girl In Class — Michael McGee
When Michael McGee was caught on camera, it wasn’t because he was trying not to fart in front of a cute girl. Instead, he was demonstrating how he could make the veins pop in his forehead to his friends. They took a photo of the moment and posted it on Reddit with a humorous caption, leading to the creation of a funny meme.
A few months after his friend posted the picture, it gained popularity, and people started adding hilarious captions to it. Some examples include, “When you haven’t talked about being a student-athlete in three seconds.” Today, Michael McGee lives a simpler life, while the meme continues to bring laughter to many.
First World Problems — Silvia Bottini
The “First World Problems” meme, depicting a woman expressing trivial complaints, features actress Silvia Bottini. The photo was taken during one of her performances and later became a popular meme, often used to humorously highlight insignificant challenges, like forgetting to charge Airpods and having to use regular headphones.
Silvia Bottini, the award-winning Italian actress, cleverly used the “First World Problems” meme to enhance her fame and advance her career. Despite facing delays in a few projects due to the pandemic, it appears that the meme played a role in helping her secure more opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Good Luck Charlie — Mia Talerico
If you were a Disney Channel viewer during the 2010s, you might recall the show “Good Luck Charlie.” The meme originated from one of the show’s earlier seasons, and people often used it when they found themselves unsure or didn’t know something.
Although many of us witnessed Mia Talerico grow from a baby into a child on “Good Luck Charlie,” she has now transformed into a beautiful young lady. As of 2020, Mia Talerico is 12 years old and is actively involved in acting. She plays Paige in Brat’s digital show, “Mani.” Beyond her acting career, Mia enjoys activities such as surfing, gymnastics, and dancing.
Overly Attached Girlfriend — Laina Morris
Laina Morris became the “Overly Attached Girlfriend” meme after creating a parody of Justin Bieber’s single, “Boyfriend.” She submitted the video in response to Bieber’s announcement of an online sing-off to promote his perfume, Girlfriend. The meme humorously portrays an overly possessive and intense girlfriend, making it widely popular on the internet.
Regrettably, after becoming a meme, Laina Morris experienced privacy issues. She faced stalking on Facebook, unwarranted communication with her friends, and attempts to access her college records. In 2019, Morris announced that she was quitting YouTube for good, likely due to the intrusive and disruptive nature of the attention she received.
Aliens Are To Blame For Everything — Giorgio Tsoukalos
Absolutely, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, known for his wild theories about aliens, became a meme sensation precisely because his expressions often mirrored the experience of trying to explain an outlandish theory. Tsoukalos is an alien researcher and has gained significant fame in meme culture for his passionate and unconventional beliefs.
Certainly, Tsoukalos’s fame has given him a platform to share his unconventional theories with a broader audience. While the validity of his ideas may be questionable, it is indeed fascinating to witness the depth of his elaborate theories and the impact of his passionate storytelling on popular culture.
Sweating Jordan Peele — Jordan Peele
The sweating meme from the season three premiere of “Key and Peele” was born during a scene where a character played by Jordan Peele starts nervously sweating. In the scene, his girlfriend confronts him about his internet habits, hinting at the possibility that he was hiding something questionable. The meme captures the moment of tension and has been widely used to express nervousness or discomfort online.
While Jordan Peele was already famous before the meme, it certainly added another amusing element to the world of internet memes. The meme likely generated more interest in the show as people wanted to find out the origin of the meme and see the context of the scene within the show. Memes often have the power to draw attention to the content they originated from.
Ermahgerd — Maggie Goldenberger
The “Ermahgerd” meme features a picture of Maddie Goldenberger from the ’90s, expressing uncontainable excitement about new Goosebumps books. The image gained viral status after it was posted in 2014, and the meme humorously captures the exaggerated enthusiasm for something as simple as a book series.
Maddie Goldenberger was 11 years old at the time, in either fourth or fifth grade, when she and her friends dressed up and took funny photos, including the one that became the “Ermahgerd” meme. It’s clear that she has no regrets, as many of us have our share of hilarious and embarrassing pictures from our younger days.
Scumbag Steve — Blake Boston
“Scumbag Steve” is actually named Blake and is not a scumbag at all. The picture was taken by his mom as a joke when he was at his grandmother’s house. At the time, they never thought it would become famous, but it turned out to be a nice and unexpected perk.
Today, Blake, the person behind “Scumbag Steve,” is just a regular guy who enjoys being active on social media. He looks nothing like his meme photo. In an interview, Blake expressed that he doesn’t regret it, saying, “I still don’t regret it because, at the end of the day, that makes me who I am, so I wouldn’t go back and erase anything if I were to go back in time.”
A Schoolboy In A Swamp — Igor Nazarov
When 16-year-old Russian schoolboy Igor Nazarov went viral on the internet in 2016 for his photoshoot in the middle of a swamp, posing behind a desk while wearing a suit, people couldn’t help but find the humor in it. The concept of the picture left many people confused but amused at the same time.
Igor Nazarov took the picture for a contest with the hope of winning a $277 prize. The photo contest was undoubtedly unique, and his swamp photoshoot was certainly one-of-a-kind. Hopefully, he did win the prize as his dedication to the unusual concept deserves recognition, and who knows, maybe he’s still saving the prize money!
Dramatic Dmitry — Vladimir Brest
The “Dramatic Dmitry” photos were taken from the album “Paranoia” by Russian musician Vladimir Brest, released in April 2011. Vladimir had no idea that people would read so deeply into the pictures, but he was pleased that people were appreciating and interpreting them in their own ways.
Vladimir Brest mentioned that he is a positive person and expressed a hope that his songs would be associated with the memes. However, he didn’t want to influence younger generations negatively with his music. As of today, he is still actively writing music and remains as dramatic as ever.
Hipster Barista — Dustin Mattson
Dustin Mattson, dressed in a hipster style, became the subject of mockery for his fashion choices when he was photographed for an interview. Although he wasn’t pleased with the perception he received, the incident ended up providing some inadvertent marketing for his business.
Dustin Mattson believed that the meme had a negative impact on the perception of the culinary industry and professional baristas. He expressed concern, saying, “To me, it’s very telling on how we laud farm-to-table food, craft beer, cocktail mixology, but it’s okay to have no respect for the specialty coffee world and the people who are committed to it.” He felt that the meme did not reflect the dedication and respect that the specialty coffee world deserves.
Confused Math Lady — Renata Sorrah
“Confused Math Lady” is indeed a classic meme, versatile for expressing confusion in various situations. The images were taken from the telenovela “Senhora do Destino,” featuring the Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah. Renata Sorrah was already popular in Brazil, and the meme gained widespread popularity on the internet, especially when people added math symbols to convey perplexity in different contexts.
Renata Sorrah is still active in her acting career, and given the often intricate and complex plots of telenovelas, it’s understandable why she appeared so perplexed in that particular scene. Whether or not she is still as confused as in the meme, we can appreciate her for providing the perfect reaction image for moments of confusion in our own lives.
Why Don’t We Have Both? — Mia
While it might make some people feel old, it’s interesting to note that the little girl from the Old El Paso commercials, Mia, has grown up quite a bit since her commercial days. Currently, she is pursuing a career in psychology rather than continuing in acting. It’s always intriguing to see how child actors transition into different pursuits as they grow older.
The meme you’re describing, often used to express indecision or the difficulty of choosing between two options, indeed became highly popular. Its peak occurred in 2011 when someone paired it with a clip from the show “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Memes often gain widespread attention when creatively combined with popular culture references, contributing to their peak popularity.
Most Interesting Man In The World — Jonathan Goldsmith
“The Most Interesting Man in the World” originated from a Dos Equis beer ad featuring actor Jonathan Goldsmith. The meme became extremely popular in 2009, portraying Goldsmith as an intriguing and worldly character. His catchphrase, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis,” added to the meme’s humor and charm. Goldsmith’s portrayal as an adventurous and fascinating figure made the meme memorable.
Jonathan Goldsmith, the face of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” meme, remains active in acting. The Dos Equis ad credited with a sales boost in 2009 made the meme iconic. In 2017, he returned to TV to promote tequila, showcasing a shift in his drink preferences.
Crying Piccolo Girl — Roxanne Chalifoux
Villanova University senior Roxanne Chalifoux played for the last time in her college career, and the emotional moment brought her to tears. This heartfelt scene unexpectedly turned into a viral meme.
Roxanne Chalifoux went on to graduate and had the opportunity to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Being featured on national television for being a meme likely brought tears of happiness to her eyes during that moment.
Gavin — Gavin Thomas
Gavin, known for his expressive face, is not just one meme; he has become a series of famous memes and GIFs. The adorable little boy recently turned ten years old and has evolved beyond being just a collection of internet memes.
Gavin has extended his presence beyond memes and GIFs, featuring in various popular YouTube videos. He maintains a popular Instagram account that continues to showcase his adorable personality. Considering his early fame on Vine, it’s plausible that he may have transitioned to TikTok, given the platform’s popularity for short-form video content.
Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife — Antoine Dodson
Antoine Dodson became a viral meme in 2010 after being interviewed by his local news channel about an intruder breaking into his family’s home. His famous quote, “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife,” from the interview became widely popular. The video clip also received remixes set to music, further contributing to its internet fame.
Due to his viral fame, Antoine Dodson pursued a career in singing and acting. After grappling with his sexuality, he came out as bisexual in 2018 and has been living authentically since then. Currently working as a substitute teacher, one can imagine that Dodson brings a unique and interesting perspective to his classes.
Squinting Woman — Kalin Elisabeth
Kalin Elisabeth, also known as “the squinting woman,” unintentionally became a meme when someone captured a less flattering photo of her while she was attempting to take a nice Instagram photo. The image quickly gained popularity on the internet, with humorous captions like, “When you just crushed the Cha Cha Slide and the DJ goes right into the Cotton Eyed Joe.”
Kalin Elisabeth expressed contentment with the attention her meme received, as it helped her gain more Instagram followers. She found humor in the situation and didn’t mind that the picture was a little less flattering, embracing the lighthearted nature of the meme.
Cash Me Outside — Danielle Bregoli (Bhad Bhabie)
Danielle Bregoli gained fame after appearing on Dr. Phil and becoming a viral sensation when she confidently said, “Cash me outside, how ’bout dat?” Her attempt to fight Dr. Phil surprised many, and her unexpected rise to fame turned the once relatively unknown teenager into a public figure.
Today, the now 18-year-old is better known by her stage name, Bhad Bhabie. She has had an interesting upbringing, and at one point, she checked herself into rehab to address issues related to trauma and substance abuse.
Skateboarding Professor — Tom Winter
Tom Winter is the skateboarding professor, an unusual sight for college students. He uses a skateboard as a means of transportation to be more environmentally friendly, offering a unique and eco-conscious approach to getting around on campus.
While Tom Winter has retired from teaching, he continues to enjoy skateboarding as it helps him stay young at heart. Thanks to his meme, he received a mention from BuzzFeed on their list of the best teachers of all time, likely a rewarding acknowledgment for his unconventional and memorable approach to education.
Friend-Zone Johnny — Johnny Solis
Johnny Solis, also known as friend-zone Johnny, became a meme after expressing a desire for a date but ending up in the friend zone. Despite his internet fame, he may still be on the quest for a date, highlighting the challenges of navigating relationships in the age of memes.
Navigating the friend zone can be challenging, but with the right person, some guys manage to find their way out. It’s like a dating no man’s land. Hopefully, over the years, friend-zone Johnny has found someone who appreciates his date offers and companionship.
Alex From Target — Alex LeBeouf
Alex from Target, also known as Alex LaBeouf, became a viral sensation, with people talking about him everywhere. He even made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Since then, he has grown up in more ways than one, and it’s doubtful he would fit into his Target shirt anymore, showcasing the changes that come with growing up in the public eye.
Following the attention from his viral photo, Alex LaBeouf decided to hit the gym and has since gained significant muscle. He is now actively involved in bodybuilding competitions, showcasing his hard work and dedication to fitness. It’s commendable how he has transformed himself after his initial internet fame.
Annoyed Picard — Sir Patrick Stewart
Captain Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, portrayed by actor Sir Patrick Stewart, became a popular meme in 2012. Despite the clip being from over 25 years ago, its meme status was achieved when someone added a caption to the screenshot and shared it on Reddit, showcasing the enduring appeal of such cultural references.
Sir Patrick Stewart, at 80 years old, is still actively acting and currently reprising his role as Captain Picard in Star Trek: Picard. With no plans to slow down or retire, he continues to contribute to the entertainment industry. Given his enduring popularity, who knows — he might even become the star of another meme in the future.
Crying Old Man — Bernard Cribbins
Bernard Cribbins, known for his role in the British TV show Doctor Who, has a meme associated with expressing extreme sadness, often used when a favorite character is killed off. The meme captures the emotional response many fans feel when something unfortunate happens to their beloved characters.
Bernard Cribbins’s most recent acting job was in the 2018 comedy “Patrick the Pug.” Although we hope he’s not sad anymore, his ability to convey emotion as an actor is impressive. He made it genuinely believable that he was upset, showcasing his skill in portraying emotions on screen.
The meme, known by various names including Ten Guy, Really High Guy, and Stoner Stanley, features an individual whose name was not posted online. Nevertheless, one can hope that he is still enjoying life and wearing a smile, reminiscent of the expression captured in the right picture of the meme.
It’s conceivable that the person in the meme was delighted when weed started to become legalized in certain U.S. states. Perhaps he even made the choice to relocate closer to the nearest dispensary, aligning with what could be considered a fitting life choice for someone associated with the meme’s theme.
Too Damn High — Jimmy McMillian
Jimmy McMillan gained meme fame during his 2010 run for governor of New York when he emphatically declared, “The rent is too damn high.” The meme became widely popular because of its broad applicability to various situations. McMillan even made a fourth attempt at running for governor in the most recent New York election, maintaining his iconic catchphrase.
While it might be hard to imagine him running New York, Jimmy McMillan’s sentiment about rent prices resonates with many. He still maintains the belief that the “rent is too damn high,” a sentiment that resonates with those who have experienced the challenges of affordability, particularly in places like New York City.
Felon Bae — Jeremy Ray Meeks
Jeremy Ray Meeks, known as the hot felon or felon bae, gained fame when his mugshot went viral due to his striking looks. Despite his questionable past, he successfully transitioned into a modeling career, a feat not commonly achieved by those with a criminal history. His story highlights the power of social media and second chances.
Jeremy Ray Meeks, at one point, dated the heiress to Zara, and they had a child together. However, his romantic life has been marked by controversy, including infidelity with his previous partner. Despite finding success in the modeling industry, Meeks has continued to face challenges and controversies in his personal relationships, reflecting a mix of highs and lows in his public image.
Lil Terrio has made a positive impact since his picture went viral. Leveraging his status, he became involved in anti-bullying campaigns and inspired people to adopt a more positive outlook on the internet. His efforts have contributed to promoting a healthier and more uplifting online community.
In the present day, Lil Terrio actively engages with his audience on Instagram and TikTok, consistently promoting his message of positivity. Additionally, he has ventured into the realm of music, aspiring to achieve success as a rapper. It is hoped that he continues to be a beacon of positivity and inspiration for his followers.
In conclusion, discovering the best “then and now” pictures of your favorite meme stars involves exploring their journeys beyond viral moments. Whether it’s Alex from Target’s transformation, Jeremy Ray Meeks’ modeling success, or Lil Terrio’s positive impact, these stories unfold over time, showcasing personal growth, new endeavors, and the enduring influence of internet fame. To find these compelling comparisons, delve into their social media, follow their latest projects, and witness how they’ve evolved since their initial moments of online recognition.