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Redditor Releasethedreadknot submitted the first instance of Actual Advice Mallard to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit on June 19th, 2011, which featured an Associated Press photograph of a mallard duck with the caption “Push in the sides of your tin foil package / it will keep the roll from falling out” (shown below). This post largely went unnoticed, receiving only 16 up votes and 0 comments prior to being archived.
On the following day, Redditor Releasethedreadknot submitted another Actual Advice Mallard image macro to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which recommended leaving important items on shoes to remember them the next day (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post received over 460 up votes and 15 comments. On August 31st, 2012, Redditor ZorkmidSC submitted an image macro with the caption “Get the fuck off the computer” (shown below, right), which received over 10,000 up votes and 180 comments within three months.
On the following day, the Internet humor site 9gag reposted Redditor ZorkmidSC’s image macro, receiving over 4,600 up votes and 1,200 Facebook shares within the next three months. On December 1st, Redditor Gonten submitted an image macro to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which recommended microwaving pizza with a glass of water to prevent it from becoming spongey (shown below). The post reached the front page, receiving over 16,600 up votes and 900 comments within 48 hours. The same day, the Internet humor blog Pleated Jeans posted a compilation of notable examples from the series.
Malicious Advice Mallard
On December 2nd, 2012, Reddit TEmpTom submitted a post to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit titled “Malicious Advice Mallard,” featuring a photoshopped version of Actual Advice Mallard with a red-colored head with the caption “Want to replcae a broken game console? / buy another one, put the broken console in the new one’s box, and return it” (shown below, left). The same day, Redditor redvelvetmock submitted an image macro with the caption “Need to dry off your pet after a bath? / microwave” (shown below, right). Within 24 hours, TEmpTom’s post received over 11,500 up votes and 565 comments and redvelvetmock’s post received over 12,200 up votes and 250 comments. As of December 3rd, 2012, the “Malicious Advice Mallard” Quickmeme page has received over 240 submissions.
On January 24th, 2013, Redditor al19 submitted a picture of a cat and a duck strolling alongside each other to the /r/aww subreddit. While the image had been previously submitted many times since as early as in January 2012, Redditor al19’s post was met by several references to Sophisticated Cat consulting Actual Advice Mallard for financial advices.
That same day, Redditor ZeeHanzenShwanz submitted an image macro illustrating a dialogue between the cat and the duck about “catching the red dot” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit (shown below, left). As with other emerging advice animal series, a Quickmeme entry for “Boat Advice” was launched shortly thereafter.