The iconic image of a little boy wearing a brown monkey suit while inspecting a phone at an Apple store has been kicked around the internet for over a decade. The boy's signature arched pose and the image's cryptic blurry quality made it ripe for memes, with many dubbing the child Gay Little Monkey at the Apple store.
Thirteen years after it was first unearthed, the meme is having a resurgence thanks to a series of AI-generated memes created by a TikToker who insisted on mapping singer Lana Del Ray and actor Timothée Chalamet into the infamous Gay Little Monkey suit.
Where Does The Image Of The 'Gay Little Monkey' Come From?
The exact origins of the image are unknown, but the earliest archived upload of the monkey boy was posted to a site called ZanyPickle on June 18th, 2010, in a meme dump "grab bag" collection post. The image was subsequently reposted on other image-sharing sites in June 2010.
How Did The Image Of The Monkey Boy Become A Meme?
The image of the monkey boy gained viral fame in the late 2010s, after MySpace user (you read that right) @windows93 posted an image macro of the monkey boy captioned "what the f--- gay little monkey." The image macro was reposted to Twitter by @reactjpg in September 2019, censoring the f-word with "cool," while another version of the meme was posted to Reddit's /r/traves later that month.
What's With The Images Of Timothée Chalamet Dressed As The Gay Little Monkey?
In November 2023, AI-generated images combining the Gay Little Monkey with various celebrities began going viral. The trend was kicked off by TikToker @microplasticangel in late November 2023, after they posted a slideshow of AI-generated images showing singer Lana Del Ray and actor Timothée Chalamet making a Thanksgiving meal together while dressed in Gay Little Monkey outfits.
Images made by @microplasticangel were reposted to X by user @yassambassador asking "is this real" and by user @airbagged, who remixed the image into a meme.
Soon after, X user @Baileymoon15 posted a version of the image showing British singer Ed Sheeran in the Gay Little Monkey suit, gathering over 80,000 likes in two days.
For the full history of the Gay Little Monkey, be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.