Home Entertainment The Stars of Infamous Memes: Where Are They Now?

The Stars of Infamous Memes: Where Are They Now?

Darren July 24, 2023

Memes became a massive part of popular culture in the mid-2000s. Some of the most infamous memes turned ordinary people into Internet stars. Most of them never expected millions of people to repost their photos with funny captions. But the Internet is a strange and ruthless place that never forgets.

So today, we’ll look at some of the stars of infamous memes and see where they are now. Some of them capitalized on their brief moment of fame and pursued media careers. Others continued on with their regular lives, became adults, or even died. Check out their fascinating stories now.

The Guardian

Hide The Pain Harold

Andras Arato had one of the most surreal experiences ever. A photographer approached the Hungarian man and asked if he could use his face for stock photos. But Arato didn’t expect to appear in one of the most infamous memes ever. Everybody has seen his anguished expression as he appears to have an existential crisis in front of his computer.

Hungary Today

However, Arato is a happy individual and decided to monetize his newfound internet fame. He created several social media accounts that captured attention and he also started a line of NFTs. Initially, his wife wasn’t happy with the Internet mocking her husband but he made it work (via The Guardian).


Disaster Girl

This became one of the funniest infamous memes of 2005. Zoe Roth’s father snapped her smirking menacingly in front of a fire in North Carolina. Firefighters set the property ablaze in a controlled inferno. Then the image found its way onto the internet and she instantly became one of the most notorious little girls on the planet.

The News & Observer

In one interview, Roth explained: “Nobody who is a meme tried to do that, it just ended up that way. Is it luck or is it fate? I have no idea. But I will take it.” However, Roth had the last laugh because she sold the original photo as an NFT for half a million dollars. She said that she will use the cash to pay off her college loans (via The Guardian).



There’s a huge difference between the baby in the picture above and the young man in the photo below. That’s lucky for Sammy Griner because it means most people won’t recognize him as one of the internet’s infamous memes. His mom, Laney, took a snap of her 11-month son with his fist raised and an intense expression.


It went viral and ‘Success Kid’ was born. Today Sammy is an ordinary teenager who never expected to learn about his Internet fame. These days he finds it a little embarrassing but it’s fascinating to see what he looks like now that he’s older. It’s also a warning to parents because it’s dangerous to upload pictures of infants like this (via Stuff).

Blinking White Guy

Blinking White Guy

This began as a classic GIF and shows a normal guy blinking in apparent disbelief. Everybody has seen this one on the Internet because it was massively popular. The best thing about this one is that it’s very flexible and we can use it for many situations. Everything from school exams to money issues, the list goes on and on.

The A.V. Club

Meanwhile, the man behind the GIF is a lovely person. Drew Scanlon is the producer of a video game site and regularly posts content on YouTube. That’s where this meme originally emerged from. He even attempted to raise money for charity by telling the world his identity and asking them to donate to MS research (via Sky News).

Live About

Grumpy Cat

The Internet’s favorite feline became the source of some of the most infamous memes we’ve seen. This surly cat had the moodiest face ever and made it perfect for hilarious captions. They made Nietzsche seem like an optimist but it was all good fun. Her real name was Tardar Sauce and she lived with her human companion, Tabatha Bundesen.

NBC News

This kitty had an amazing life until she sadly died of an infection at the tender age of seven. However, she had more fun than most human beings and attended WWE events as well as live TV. Her owner showed her an incredible amount of love so maybe Tardar Sauce cracked a few smiles when the cameras stopped rolling (via NBC News).

Know Your Meme

Overly Attached Girlfriend

Laina Morris is one of the few people on this list to recognize her comic potential. Justin Bieber once held a contest to promote his new fragrance and asked to submit videos. Morris took this opportunity and instantly captured the Internet’s imagination. Her hilariously creepy facial expression became the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme.


Morris went from strength to strength as she went on Jimmy Fallon’s show and appeared in commercials. Meanwhile, she focused on her YouTube channel as she continued creating content. There’s no denying that she’s one of the most self-aware inadvertent meme artists we’ve encountered (via Daily Dot).


Hipster Barista

Dusty Ottson works at Octane Coffee in Atlanta. He inadvertently became Internet cannon fodder when the photo above went viral. The Hipster Barista meme was born and an endless stream of mocking captions emerged. Ottson hates this picture so it didn’t make him very happy but it was already too late.

Eater Atlanta

Initially, he responded badly to his newfound fame. He told Eater: “I do find it discouraging and disappointing that there was so much exposure brought to an attempt at making a joke of a culinary industry and the professional barista.” However, now he sees the funnier side and appreciates that it’s good for business.

British Comedy

Roll Safe

This became one of the most infamous memes on the Internet because it was everywhere. However, unlike other creators, Kayode Ewumi knew what he was doing. He sought fame and media exposure with his web series #Hood Documentary. In this show, he starred as his alter-ego, Roll Safe, and won many online fans.

Net Worth Post

These days, the British actor has moved behind the camera and into the production room. Meanwhile, he also continues to write and direct short films. Ewumi is passionate about representing ethnic minorities and underprivileged groups in his country. He believes that everybody should have access to art (via Complex).


Ermahgerd Girl

This is one of those infamous memes that’s easy to forget. Most people probably haven’t seen this since about 2015 when it was trending. The full photo reveals a girl in a nice dress with a goofy expression. Meanwhile, she clutches a stack of Goosebumps books. Not shockingly, the Internet took full advantage of this.

Vanity Fair

However, the real ‘Ermagherd Girl’ is Maggie Goldenberger, who works today as a nurse in Arizona. She admitted that she posed for the photograph but never expected it to reach as many people. Nobody knows what will become popular online because people are weird and anything can seize our imaginations (via Daily Star).


Ancient Aliens Guy

Giorgio Tsoukalos has one of the most surreal stories on this list. First, he was a bodybuilder before he began organizing events. Even the legendary Ronnie Coleman praised him for his work with the sport. Later, he began pursuing his other passion, Ufology, and even became a History Channel star.

Sky History

Many people ridiculed him because of his eccentric appearance and wild theories. Some even surmised that he was Asian because of the meme that went viral. However, Tsoukalos loves his meme status and thinks it’s hilarious. He is also self-aware and admits that the show’s theories are wild but at the end of the day, it’s entertainment (via Sky History).


Bad Luck Brian

We don’t want to laugh at Bad Luck Brian but can’t help it. This was one of the most infamous memes on the Internet because they were so depressingly funny. Noteworthy captions included ‘Gets letter from a crush on Valentine’s Day – Restraining order.’ Poor Brian also didn’t have the most glamorous appearance with braces and a tartan sweater that clashed with his red hair.

Washington Post

But behind the meme is a real person. Many people don’t realize that Craven and his best friend intentionally took this ridiculous photo for their high school yearbook. He reddened his cheeks and wore this dumb sweater to annoy the principal. Then they scanned it and the Internet ensured that we remember it forever (via LadBible).


Popeyes Meme Kid

Sometimes people become memes without knowing what happens. It’s ok if they know what’s going on and consent to sharing their picture on the Internet. But that’s not what Dieunurst Collins experienced. He became the Popeyes Meme Kid after a stranger began filming him for no apparent reason.


Collins gave him the side-eye because he didn’t know what was happening. It affected him negatively and damaged his self-esteem. However, the young man turned his life around and is now a New Jersey State Champion. He won his first football ring when he helped East Orange High School to glory. Then he appeared in a Super Bowl ad as he achieved peak fame (via Mashed).


The Distracted Boyfriend

This classic meme template originated in Italy and remains massively popular today. It began life as a stock image but canny Internet users recognized its meme potential. However, most people don’t realize that this was part of a series of stock photos that had different potential outcomes. One of them saw the two women in the picture above marry.


Laura said: “For me, it was a curious and funny photo shoot, especially when we had to make the photos like the meme, more humorous. When people saw us simulate those scenes in the street, they stopped to look and laugh. In my case, I had to have a more serious face, I had a hard time keeping it” (via LadBible).


Scumbag Steve

The Scumbag Steve memes spawned infinite numbers of captions about not paying child support and receiving benefits. Let’s be real: they’re horrible but they’re hilarious. This photo also proves that we can’t judge somebody by their appearance. Blake Boston lives in a quiet Massachusetts town with his family.

The Boston Globe

He has two daughters and works in politics and comedy. This picture came from his teenage years when his mother was taking a photography course. Boston never expected it to become one of the most infamous memes of the 2010s but that’s life. He accepts it and thinks that it’s funny (via 9Gag).

Daily Star

Guy and The Bored Girl

This classic photo shows that sometimes looks can be deceptive. Patrick Ritchie and Lucia Gorman are friends in the UK who were hanging out in a nightclub. Little did they know that they would soon be in one of the world’s most infamous memes. The picture shows Ritchie shouting in Gorman’s ear but her bored expression speaks volumes.


Most people thought that he was a random guy hitting on her but they confirmed this wasn’t the case. Nonetheless, hilarious memes emerged with long captions that involved boring topics and mansplaining. There were unlimited possibilities and the Internet took full advantage of this (via Daily Mirror).

Elite Readers

The Fart Guy

Michael McGee’s photo is now over 10 years old and that probably shocks many people. Unlike many of the memes on this list, McGee knew what he was doing. He asked his friend to take a photo and strained his face in the most unhealthy way possible. It looks as if he’s about to explode and that’s why this one was a success.


Bright minds wrote captions like: “When you’re a vegan and haven’t told anybody for 10 minutes.” McGee and his friend never expected it to reach millions of people but that’s exactly what happened. It helped that he had a crush on the girl in the photo in real life. Now he has longer hair to cover those forehead veins (via LadBible).

The Sun

Side-Eye Chloe

This meme originally emerged from a YouTube video after a mother told her daughters that they were going to Disneyland. That’s when Chloe Kem produced the expression we see in the photo above. Her scathing side-eyed glance immediately became a hit and evolved into one of the Internet’s infamous memes.


This came after her sister began crying in the video. Chloe looked at her with visible confusion that became the stuff of legend. But Chloe is an ordinary girl and never asked for Internet fame. Luckily, she’s happy with the way things turned out. It could have gone badly but the Utah native is very relaxed about all of it (via Rojak Daily).

The Daily Beast


Many memes spawned NFTs and cryptocurrencies as creators tried to cash in. But arguably, none of them were as successful as Doge. This picture of Kabosu, a Shiba Inu, was one of the funniest memes ever. It always included multi-colored text with dumb but endearing messages in Comic Sans.

NBC News

Kabosu was a rescue dog in Japan whose owner, Atsuko Sato, named her after a fruit. Sadly, a vet diagnosed her with doggie leukemia and liver disease in 2022. Nonetheless, Sato gave her 17-year-old pooch a great life and turned her into one of the most famous canines on the planet. Many Love! (via The Guardian)

The US Sun

Cash Me Outside

None of the people on this list were already famous before their memes. Danielle Bregoli is an outlier because she went on TV and became one of the most infamous memes ever. She appeared on Dr. Phil when she uttered her infamous catchphrase: “Cash Me Outside Howbah Dah?” The Internet loved it and never forgets these things.

Rolling Stone

Bregoli channeled her online fame in a very unexpected direction. She evolved into Bhad Barbie and is now a massive OnlyFans star. The model says that she has made a huge fortune but she doesn’t have a good relationship with her family. Her father hates the direction that she’s taken her career (via Rolling Stone).

Daily Mail

The Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Zeddie Little never set out to become a meme but that’s exactly what happened. He was participating in the Cooper Bridge Run when a camera flashed in his direction. It captured him at the perfect moment as he smiled broadly, flaunting his perfect teeth. It went viral and captivated the world because of his photogenic looks.

Daily Dot

Most people go viral for weird reasons but Little achieved fame because of his attractive appearance. The restaurant manager made the most of his short celebrity life by appearing on various chat shows. But he continued to work in the hospitality industry and loves what he does (via The FW).