Elmo raising his arms amidst flames elmo meme.

Elmo Rise

Part of a series on Sesame Street. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 18, 2023 at 10:53AM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 31, 2017 at 08:31PM EST by Wesley.

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Elmo Rise, also known as Hellmo or Elmo Fire, is an exploitable image of a crudely designed Elmo from the children's television series Sesame Street that originally appeared as a cake decoration before it was photoshopped onto a black background surrounded by fire. GIF and still-image variants of the Elmo character surrounded by flames are often used as reactions in memes.


The earliest known example of the Elmo Rise image was posted on November 1st, 2012 by CakeWrecks.com[1] user Jen. The writer describes the image as, "if it's wearing the stricken expression of someone who will give you all the candy you want if you please just don't hurt him…then you're probably looking in a mirror. So go have some fun-size Snickers and put your feet up, my friend, because you've earned it."



On June 28th, 2013, Tumblr [4] user teruteru666 reblogged the image from CakeWrecks.com and added the comment "rise." Several years later, on October 5th, 2015, the post received more than 250,000 notes in five years.

On February 14, 2014, Tumblr user Gnarville[2] posted an animated gif of the Elmo picture against a flaming background titled "All hail Hellmo, our dark lord of the internet". It only received 837 notes, but later reposts from the same Tumblr received over 300,000 notes.

Over a year later, on July 24th, 2015, YouTuber Bretty Clough published a video of the gif. As of May 2018, the video (shown below, right) received more than 13,000 views.

On September 15th, 2015, LiveJournal [3] user blankstare published a version of the gif with the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants licking Elmo (shown below).

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