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Happy Gary, also known by its hashtag form #happygary, is an animated emoticon of a jolly-looking character dancing with both arms swinging back and forth, which may be used to express happiness or being care-free, in similar vein to the striding gesture portrayed in “Haters Gonna Hate” reaction GIFs.
On December 31st, 2013, Tumblr user weedstuck posted the original emoticon along with an audio clip to Tom Jones’ 1965 pop song “It’s Not Unusual.”
On January 1st, 2014, Tumblr user TheBalladofJakeTheSnake posted the original GIF instance of the character along with an audio clip to the Brodyquest soundtrack composed and produced by Neil Cicierega. In less than a week, the Tumblr post gained more than 89,000 notes, leading numerous users to dub the emoticon “the first meme of 2014.”
On the following day, YouTuber JakeWhyman submitted a Brodyquest-style music video of the character dancing in front of various background images, such as photographs of nebulae and the familiar backdrops from the animated TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. In the video description, JakeWhyman dubbed the character #happygarry, which soon became the unofficial nickname of the emoticon.
As of January 6th, 2014, the emoticon has seen moderate spread on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube, where several high-rated video remixes featuring the character can be found.