Stonks Variants Are On The Rise Due To The Never-ending Appeal Of Meme Man

Stonks Variants Are On The Rise Due To The Never-ending Appeal Of Meme Man

The internet is undoubtedly a weird place. But if a bot could generate a rendering of a human being, it would probably look a lot like Meme Man, the silver mascot of surreal memes and shitposting.

In 2017, four years after Meme Man made his internet debut as the detached floating head found around Reddit and Tumblr, the 3D model made a sudden leap into the mainstream. Stonks, a series that uses a depiction of Meme Man as a successful stock investor, marries the unending appeal of misspelled words with the character's signature dead eyes. While previous iterations of Meme Man may have been difficult for the wider culture to grab onto, Stonks made sense as an ironic expression of poor decision making, financial and otherwise.

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For its part, Stonks has had an unexpectedly long lifespan. From 2017 to 2019, the meme never really went anywhere, providing memers with an easy reaction image and a template for image edits. During this time, My Little Pony, The Avengers the holiday of Halloween, all got their own Stonks variations.

Stonks may have been a starting point for many, but one of the strongest aspects of Meme Man is that he can do anything and be anyone. By the end of 2019, and the start of a new decade, memers decided it was time for Meme Man to switch careers. Enter: Helth, a Stonks variation that dresses Meme Man up as a doctor captioned with the intentionally misspelled variation of "health."

Just as "Stonks" focused on poor decision-making, particularly in regards to finance, "Helth" examines home remedies, historic medical procedures and other ways people try to convince themselves that they are taking care of their bodies.

Helth resuscitated Stonks, giving people a new angle on the meme and inspiration to push it a little further. Over the next few weeks, new variations emerged, such as Shef and Tehc, each one highlighting the limitations of people and commonly made mistakes in the kitchen and at the keyboard.

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Meme Man's appeal has survived for years. There's something about his cold exterior that speaks to people, allowing them to express blind confidence in their decision making while acknowledging their own foolishness. With his dead eyes, pointed nose and slight smirk, Meme Man a blank slate able to slip into a variety of situations without losing his core. The accompanying misspelling provides just enough context to signal their own stupidity. For memers, Meme Man makes for a perfect reaction.

The confidently stupid man is a long-running comedic trope, from Homer Simpson to Ron Burgundy to Michael Scott. Meme Man fits this model to a T. By placing him in various professions, costumes and situations, memers can express their own insecurities or poke fun at their own shortcomings. In the months leading up to the end of the decade, when self-reflection and plans for the future become all-encompassing, it's not surprising that Meme Man's needly nose would pop the balloon of New Year's resolutions. His self-deprecating style and supreme confidence allow people to enjoy their shortcomings without feeling like they need to apologize for them.

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