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“Sad Rat” is an exploitable image meme that has been photoshopped within the comments sections of a few blogs.
On October 23rd, 2009, New York-centric blog Gothamist featured a photo sent in by a reader with the details:
“I was walking along and texting. Not really paying that much attention. Then something caught my eye. I thought I was about to step in dog shit, but quickly realized it was a rat stuck in the sidewalk. A big rat. It had tried to squeeze through a crack in the sidewalk and failed.”
The simplicity of the image and the relatability of the rat led Gothamist readers to immediately begin photoshopping the image to add other people trapped in the sidewalk, or rat accessories. Gothamist began collecting a gallery of the user generated knockoffs.
The same day, the Gothamist story was reblogged on Buzzfeed.
On October 24th, Gothamist published a gallery of all of the user-submitted edits to the photo.
October 27th, it was submitted to Buzzfeed again.
October 29th, Urlesque also featured Sad Rat.
Search interest in sad rat was confined mostly to the last week of October. This was a relatively small blip in the long run.
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