Even though the memes don’t change or age, the people in them do. Many of them now bear almost no resemblance to how we have always pictured them.
Whether they’ve grown up, re-thought their dress sense or just moved on… Where are they now?
Scumbag Steve. Whenever you want to find a picture of someone who looks a little shifty, slightly unreliable, and generally not someone to be trusted, Scumbag Steve is at the top of the list. His real name is Blake. He took the picture for fun at his grandmother’s house, and didn’t expect it to be broadcast to millions of people around the world.
Bad Luck Brian. Those mid-teenage years can be hard. We haven’t properly grown into our bodies yet, we don’t know the best way to wear our hair, many of us have braces and spots, and our fashion sense could use some work. Worst of all, there’s always someone around to take an official photograph of you during these formative years, and you’re stuck with the photo forever. That’s a real case of bad luck – and nobody sums it up better than Bad Luck Brian. He is Kyle Craven. He lives a quiet life with his wife, and works for his father’s construction firm. He’s never taken that picture into his school yearbook.
Grumpy Cat. The face of all of us who were being made to do something we didn’t want to do. Those early mornings when we woke up and didn’t want to go to work or school, those awkward social engagements that we just knew were going to be a disaster, and our general sense of malaise with the world around us were all best summed up by the permanently-dour face of Grumpy Cat.
Sadly, Grumpy Cat passed away a little earlier in 2019. She was never truly all that grumpy – she just had feline dwarfism coupled with an overbite that made her look like she was frowning all the time.
First World Problems Girl. Have you ever been served a soy latte instead of a caramel macchiato at Starbucks? Been to the local store and found out they’re completely out of avocados? Been unable to log onto Facebook for twenty minutes in a public place, because there’s no Wi-Fi connection available?
The well-known shot of a crying woman in close up is actually of Italian Silvia Bottini, and she wasn’t really upset when the photo was taken. She’s an actress, and she was just giving a performance.
Disaster Girl. We’re all familiar with the concept of a ‘scenery selfie.’ The idea is a basic one – you travel to somewhere that has a famous landmark, for example, the Statue of Liberty of the Eiffel Tower, take a picture in front of it, and make sure you include your face in it just to make sure that everyone knows you really went there. Most of the time, whatever’s pictured in the background is impressive. For four-year-old Zoe Roth, it was a house fire. Not only that, it was a house fire she seemed to be enjoying, judging by her smile.
Roll Safe. This meme is usually used sarcastically to represent a bad idea which someone actually tries to pass off as a good idea. The man in the picture is a British actor called Keyode Ewumi. Being meme-famous has been a shot in the arm for his career; he’s since been cast in a brand-new television show called Enterprice, and is making the most of casting directors knowing who he is before he walks through the door.
Side-Eye Chloe. No One can impress Chloe. The story behind this picture is that her parents had just informed her and her sister Lily that they were going to Disneyland for the day as a surprise. Even though that’s the dream of many a small child, Chloe looked like she’d rather be doing just about anything else.
Both Chloe and Lily have done very well in life, thanks to this picture. They have a joint Instagram account with over half a million followers, and get modeling and photography bookings from all over the world.
Confused Nick Young. To about 80% of the world, the somewhat-mystified looking man in the image on the left-hand side is the face of confusion. Fans of the NBA would be able to help them out. This is Nick Young, a once-promising shooting guard who played for the LA Lakers and the Washington Wizards.
Doge. Nobody knows why this particular good boy was chosen to be the universal face of dogs — perhaps it’s the happy expression, or it might just be the fluff ratio. He’s not a puppy anymore, but he’s retained plenty of his youthful fuzz, and has an army of loyal followers on his own personal Instagram account.
Gavin. If you can’t say it with your own face, say it with Gavin’s. This isn’t so much a single internet meme, but a whole series of them. It’s almost as if he was raised for the purposes of bringing joy to the internet. Thanks to his wonderfully expressive face, he seems capable of capturing almost any mood perfectly.
He’s been turned into an Instagram star, with his every mood, thought and feeling captured and shared with the world, as if he belongs to all of us.
Ancient Aliens. This wild haired meme is a favorite of everybody who wants to promote — and also mock — conspiracy theories all over social media. The Pyramids? Aliens. The Bermuda Triangle? Aliens. The British Royal Family? All aliens. For once, this meme isn’t a misrepresentation of the original image.
The man pictured is Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, and he really is an alien researcher and investigator. He believes that aliens have been visiting our world for years, and have embedded themselves into the fabric of reality right in front of our eyes.
Success Kid. Passed that test? Been offered that job? Successfully completed a DIY project? The expression of self-satisfaction and the clenched fist of celebration let everybody know that you’ve won at life today, without you even having to say a word.
The little fist-pumping boy in this meme is Sammy Grimer, who wasn’t even a year old when he had his epic moment in front of the camera. The picture may have saved his father’s life. When his dad was struck down by illness and required a kidney transplant, Sammy used his meme notoriety to drive a crowdfunding attempt successfully raising the money required for the expensive treatment. Then, he celebrated with a brand-new fist-pump picture.
Confused Math Lady. We’ve all been there, trying to make sense of out of a situation that simply doesn’t stack up.
Confused Math Lady an actress, but she’s actually Brazilian Renata Sorrah.
Sorrah did bear a passing resemblance to Roberts in her younger years, although the scene from which the meme is taken is actually a little old now. It’s a clip from the Brazilian telenovela Senhora do Destino, which translates as Lady of Destiny, and originally aired between 2004 and 2005.
Overly Attached Girlfriend. There are a lot of girls who’ve looked at pictures of this famous meme, and thought “I sometimes resemble that meme.” There are also a lot of people who know what it feels like to date someone like the image she represents. If you’ve ever had a partner who’s a little extra, likes to know where you are every minute of every day, and would preferably like to be there with you, then we bet your friends have sent you the overly attached girlfriend meme more than once.
As we’ll see is the case for many people on our list, Laina Morris actually made the video the meme came from as a joke. She embraced the fame it brought with it though, reprising the character for several television advertising campaigns. She still regularly releases videos for her one million YouTube subscribers.
Trying To Hold In A Fart Guy. We all know what it’s like when we need to ‘pass wind,’ but we’re trapped in a situation where it would be completely inappropriate to do so. That leaves us pulling pained facial expressions while we’re trying to prevent the inevitable from happening.
But Michael McGee wasn’t trying to hold in a fart at all. He’s just capable of making the veins pop out of the side of his head whenever he feels like it, and his school friend thought it would make a great picture for Twitter.
Blinking Guy. Did that person really just say what you thought they said? Have they expressed something so unreasonable, or so in defiance of the obvious facts, that you’re shaking your head in disbelief? When it happens, you sometimes have the words to express what you’re thinking. Instead, you’ll send the meme of the blinking guy. His astonished expression says more than a verbal retort ever could.
The man who became a meme is Drew Scanlon, who was innocently watching his friend crush it on a video game when the footage was recorded. He didn’t even know there was a camera on him. Taking his internet fame and running with it, he’s now decided to become a professional YouTuber, backed up by 16,000 people who financially support him via Patreon.
Felon Bae. Life could have taken a very different turn for this man, who’s generally thought of as being the most handsome felon of all time.
His real name is Jeremy Ray Meeks, and he found his fame in 2014 after police on anti-gang operations in California arrested him on suspicion of theft, and illegal firearms possession. The former member of the Crips was guilty as charged, and served a two-year sentence. When he got out, modeling agencies were waiting for him.
Good Luck Charlie. When children think you’re not making any sense, they’ll certainly let you know about it, often with a big “I have no idea what’s going on right now” shrug, as Good Luck Charlie does in this famous meme. It’s commonly used to mock people on Twitter post nonsensical arguments.
The name of the meme has been taken from the television show that featured the footage — which was once a fixture on the Disney Channel. “Charlie” is actually Mia Talerico, who’s still only ten years old, and remains active in the world of acting.
Sudden Clarity Clarence. Sometimes, a thought just hits you. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you’re doing – inspiration will strike like a lightning bolt and leave you reevaluating everything you currently think you know about life. For Sudden Clarity Clarence, it happened in the middle of a nightclub.
He’s very difficult to track down online, and we don’t even know his real name. Buzzfuse did manage to find this more recent photograph of him. It looks like he’s still out there partying.
Hide The Pain Harold. Smiling when you’re dying inside is a rite of passage for all of us at some point in your life.
Nobody knows for sure what emotion Hungarian man Andras Arato was trying to convey when the famous picture was taken. As far as he was concerned, he was just posing for a few stock photos.
Ermahgerd. This meme is a Little bit cruel, even the name of it is supposed to mock the way that people talk when they have braces in their mouth. Ultimately, this poor child was only posing for the picture because she was so happy to have a brand-new collection of Goosebumps books. Years later, she became “Ermahgerd, gersbermps,” and then a thousand different variations on the same idea.
In real life, she’s Maggie Goldenberger, and she’s grown up a lot in the many years since this very-1990s picture was taken! Even though her treatment on the internet could have made her bitter, she’s actually decided to treat people kindlier than they’ve treated her, and become a nurse.
My Momma Said. This is clearly about the know-it-all kid who’s heard something they shouldn’t have done from their own parents about either you or your own parents, and is now reciting it back to you. Perhaps you even did this to other people…
As you might be able to tell if you know the story, or if you look closely, the little girl in the picture is actually megastar Cardi B. She sort-of did this to herself by posting the picture to Instagram, and the memes started appearing the very next day.
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy. There are two types of people in the world: those who can pose for photographs, and those who can’t. At the other end of the scale, there’s this guy who looks fresh as a daisy while running a marathon, with his hair perfectly in place, and not a trace of sweat anywhere.
The happy runner is Zeddie Little, who makes a habit out of running marathons. Zeddie has an active Instagram profile, from which it would seem he’s still out there running.
Cash Me Outside. Talk show moments have been going viral on the internet for as long as the internet has existed, and it used to be the case that we relied on the Jerry Springer Show for the most eye-grabbing moments. All of that changed when the badly-behaved Danielle Bregoli appeared on the Dr. Phil show, completely rejecting all advice offered to her by the host, the audience, and just about everybody else.
Bregoli has spent all the time since capitalizing on that notoriety. She’s never changed her behavior, but she has taken it to the next level.
Good Guy Greg. This is the guy you’d always want on your side when things weren’t going your way. With his friendly smile, the somewhat “relaxed attitude” suggested by the cigarette he’s smoking, and his general air of worldly wisdom, Good Guy Greg is the guy who’ll tell you to go home from a party when you’re making a fool of yourself. He makes his living as a commercial fisherman, and he has the exact same welcoming smile that tells you that you could unburden all your problems on him.
A horrible place
They can talk
The Art of Reading
Christmas to my eyes
Lines of Ordinary Madness
Shoot the Virus
Room for Contemplation
Ferme les yeux. Ouvre-les
Post Neo Cubism
The Enchanted Forest
Need No Education
They’re among Us
Born to be Wilde