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I Want My Hat Back is storytelling meme based around retelling the children’s book of the same name with other popular characters losing their hats or other items they are known for having.
The original book was written and illustrated by Jon Klassen and published on September 27th, 2011. Tumblr user thesulfurandthesigh initially posted a series of images of the book’s pages some time in early November, which accumulated over 37,000 notes in a few weeks. The post has since been deleted but the images were archived on Buzzfeed and FunnyJunk.
The first parody of the book was posted as a part of a reblog of original post by modestmango on November 13th, 2011. It was Team Fortress 2 themed, illustrating the story of a Heavy looking for his party hat. The next day, afuturegentleman posted a version in which Professor Layton from the Nintendo DS game series of the same name is looking for his top hat.
The original book was reviewed by the New York Times on October 12th, 2011 and a month later, was listed as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2011. It was also reviewed on Wired’s GeekDad and has a TV Tropes page.
Search for “I Want My Hat Back” began in September when the book was published. Although these results are for the book in general, there is a large increase in search between October and November 2011.
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