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“Thingken of Life” is a phrase associated with a close-up selfie of a teary-eyed teenager found on Facebook and subsequently spread on Tumblr, where it became a subject of mockeries and parodies for its cringeworthy quality. In the original Facebook post, when asked by a friend why he was upset, the boy responded “thingken of life.”
Alyssa Parks: Why were you crying :[?
Francisco Sierra: thingken of life
Over the years, the Tumblr post has spawned numerous parodies in which various fan drawings of fictional characters are shown in tears and overlaid with a Facebook-style conversation based on the snowclone “Thingken of X.” Perhaps the most well-known iteration is a parody illustration of Sonic the Hedgehog shedding tears while “thingken of fast” (a reference to Gotta Go Fast), which was posted on 4chan /v/ (video games) board on August 16th, 2012.
On January 21st, 2013, the Facebook selfie was submitted to FunnyJunk by user xxxcodsniperproxxx, and on March 16th, the same image made its way onto Reddit in an /r/cringe post submitted by Redditor Superbuza. Throughout 2013, more fan art parodies continued to surface on DeviantART, Derpibooru and Tumblr, many of them featuring fictional characters from a variety of media franchises, including My Little Pony, Dark Souls, as well as some Internet personalities and character memes.