Big Chungus refers to an image of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, usually captioned with the phrase "Big Chungus" and presented as a game for PlayStation 4 console. The word "chungus" was coined by video game journalist Jim Sterling several years before the meme became popular. Starting in July 2019, the meme regained ironic popularity on iFunny and certain parts of Reddit, particularly as a part of Reddit Moment memes.
Fat Bugs Bunny
The image of Bugs Bunny appears in Merrie Melodies cartoon Wabbit Twouble, first shown on December 20th, 1941. In the short, Bugs is mocking Elmer Fudd, who in this cartoon was made much more portly than his previous and more iconic design (clip shown below).
On May 27th, 2017, an anonymous 4chan user posted the image of obese Bugs Bunny to /lit/ board (shown below, upper left). The next appearance of the image on 4chan can be tracked to July 19th, 2017 (shown below, upper right), with more posts containing it appearing on /lit/ and other boards later that year.
On July 21st, 2017, Redditor hollerbravo uploaded a screencap of 4chan thread containing the image to /r/4Chan subreddit. On July 27th, 2017, a captioned image of obese Bugs Bunny was posted by Eclectic Memes Facebook group. The post has since been deleted, with copies scraped by Me.me and Onsizzle.
The word "chungus" was allegedly coined by English freelance video game journalist Jim Sterling, who would often use it in various meanings without a set definition. The exact date when the word was first used is currently unknown, but is estimated to be prior to December 2012.
On August 8th, 2016, in a Reddit thread exploring the origin of Chungus, Redditor ASuitofT51PowerArmor posted his own description of Chungus based on Sovereign's speech from Mass Effect videogame. The comment would later resurge as a copypasta in December 2018.
Chungus has no beginning. Chungus has no end. Chungus is infinite. Millions of years after our civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, Chungus will endure.
Chungus is eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence.
We are but rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh. We touch Chungus' mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding.
Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Our lives are measured in years and decades. We wither and die. Chungus is eternal. Before it, we are nothing.
Chungus imposes order on the chaos of organic life. We exist because Chungus allows it, and we will end because Chungus demands it.
Chungus transcends our very understanding. We cannot grasp the nature of Chungus' existence.
The very first instance of a meme containing the caption "Big Chungus" was posted by Tumblr user gayreinhardt, now logarto, on November 19th, 2016, and contained an image of a Second Life life character bearing the nickname, as well as a second image showing a message from BigChungus reading, "gender is for smaller, lesser beings." (shown below, left). The post gained over 56,000 notes in five years. It has now been replaced by text reading, "please dont reblog this post anymore. it was in bad taste, and was perpetuating transmysoginistic stereotypes." on November 27th, a cropped version of the meme was reposted to iFunny, where it gained over 3,900 smiles in four years.
Logarto provided more information about the meme to Know Your Meme via Tumblr DM in July 2021. According to logarto, the Second Life Big Chungus post was inspired by a post to Tumblr by John Green which users at the time were reblogging and editing to read various absurdities, a feature which has since been removed from Tumblr. This is described in a 2021 article by The Focus. One edited caption read "I love it when you call me big chungo." Logarto goes on to say: "around the same time there was a bunch of nonsense words floating around like 'scringus' as well as a joke and i liked to mash them up. when i joined second life i tried to make my username big chungo, but it was taken, so i went with bigchungus." (exact DM quoted below)
idk if youre aware of the "meme" from a few years back on here where everyone edited john greens posts. when i was 15 or 16 i was particularly tickled by the one where it got changed to "i love it when you call me big chungo". around the same time there wasa bunch of nonsense words floating around like "scringus" as well as a joke and i liked to mash them up. when i joined second life i tried to make my username big chungo, but it was taken, so i went with bigchungus. thats it really LOL
On March 20th, 2018, the image of fat Bugs Bunny was first paired with the phrase by Redditor GaryTheTaco, but was not been made public until it was posted to /r/comedyheaven on December 1st, 2018 (shown below, right). In a /r/OutOfTheLoop thread launched by Redditor PunkyFickle on December 19th, GaryTheTaco claimed authorship of the image, providing further proof in a post to /r/BigChungus subreddit.
The true story behind Big Chungus is back in March I made the meme to send to a friend when Inwas bored in class, he didn't think much of it.
Over the summer I sent it to another friend, he thought it was hilarious, so I made Big Chungus 2, then 3, and so on.
Then I just sort of forgot about it until 2 weeks ago when I thought "Hey let's post it to r/comedyheaven"
It got some traction there, but the real traction came a week later when my friend sent me a post from Facebook of a kid who asked his mom for Big Chungus.
That was later reposted and got 10x the karma as the original Big Chungus, the OP of that DM'd me saying he was a meme thief.
TL:DR it's just a fat Bugs Bunny PS4 game, that got popular because a clueless mom asked a Gamestop employee if they had it in stock, like the Battletoads trend.
On September 16th, 2018, /r/BigChungus subreddit was created by Redditor youarepepemangay; however, the subreddit did not share any connection with the meme until it gained popularity in December 2018.
On December 7th, 2018, GameStop store manager Justin Laufer made a Facebook post sharing a story of a customer who wanted to purchase a game named "Big Chungus" for PlayStation 4.
On December 10th, 2018, Redditor j_dot21 reposted a meme originally created by u/republicof_Taiwan mentioning the word "chungus" to /r/me_irl subreddit (shown below, left). The post gained more than 7,900 upvotes over a 10-day period. On December 13th, 2018, Redditor namffauk uploaded one of the screenshots posted by @fluffypkmn to /r/comedyheaven subreddit, where it gained 13,100 upvotes within a week (show below, right).
Between December 12th and 17th, the creator of the original image posted Big Chungus "sequels" to /r/comedyheaven subreddit (shown below).
On January 5th, 2019, Redditor turtlenometry submitted a screenshot of a Facebook page for "Karen Chungus" to the /r/BigChungus subreddit (shown below, left). The profile was widely circulated along with references to the Big Chungus and Karen memes, along with jokes about the anti-vaccination movement. On January 7th, Redditor Internal_Blaze submitted a Mafia City-themed image macro comparing Big Chungus to Karen Chungus to /r/memes (shown below, right). That day, Redditor Kwonunn submitted a picture of the woman with a different last name in a post titled "Karen Chungus was fake. (Kinda obvious)" submitted to /r/F--kYouKaren.
U.S. Army Names Artillery Cannon After Big Chungus
On October 8th, 2019, the official U.S. Army's Instagram account shared an image of a howitzer artillery piece adorned with the name "Chungus" alongside the caption "Big #Chungus making history. The nine-man team from 3rd Cavalry Regiment recently earned the title of Top Gun." Within less than a year, the post (seen below) received over 142,000 likes.
Interview with Know Your Meme
On August 21st, 2020, KYM interviewed Braden, the original creator of the first Big Chungus meme, as part of its editorial series that follows up with people featured in meme culture. In the interview, Braden recapped how he came up with the idea for the meme, how he reacted to its spread, and what he made of the online phenomenon.
Looney Tunes World of Mayhem Addition
On March 29th, 2021, turn-based mobile RPG game Looney Tunes World of Mayhem posted a teaser featuring Big Chungus on its social media, also updating the Android icon to feature the meme character.
Your world may not be ready for him.
But our World of Mayhem is. pic.twitter.com/0MxoCrYrun
— Looney Tunes World of Mayhem (@LooneyTunesWoM) March 29, 2021
Space Jam: A New Legacy Cameo
Big Chungus in MultiVersus Speculation
It was reported that on August 26th, 2022, Warner Bros. (the studio behind the popular MultiVersus games) had taken out a copyright on the Big Chungus character through the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The first person to share the report with the broad public was Twitter user @the_marmolade, who tweeted a screenshot of the application (seen below) on August 27th, 2022, receiving just 11,000 likes in a week.
This led many to speculate that Big Chungus might enter the game, perhaps a skin for the Bugs Bunny character already featured. MultiVersus, which operates a lot like Super Smash Bros. However, the copyright application does not state what kind of product Big Chungus might be used in.