Gay Little Monkey Boy At Apple Store refers to an image of a child in a tight monkey costume using a display iPhone at an Apple Store, standing with one leg straight and one bent at the knee, foot on top of the other, in what's considered a "gay" stance. The image was first uploaded to the web in 2010 and became popularized over the course of the decade in image macros and photoshops as an exploitable.
The exact origins are unknown, but the earliest archived upload of the image of the monkey boy was posted to ZanyPickle on June 18th, 2010, in a meme dump "grab bag" collection post. It is unclear and unlikely that this is the original upload (shown below). Tabloid Prodigy reposted it on June 24th as their "picture of the day" and Krapps posted it on June 29th in its own post titled "Monkey Boy – The Legend Continues," playing up the idea of the mystery of the monkey boy.
The image spread online over the course of the 2010s. For example, on June 20th, 2012, it was posted to /r/pics titled "Monkey Boy at Apple Store."
What The F--k Gay Little Monkey
Around September 2019, MySpace user windows93 posted an image macro of the monkey boy captioned "what the f--k gay little monkey" (shown below, left). The image macro was reposted to Twitter by @reactjpg on September 17th, censoring "f--k" with "cool" and badly cropping the meme (shown below, right).
The image macro inspired numerous photoshops using variations of the phrase, often replacing the monkey boy with another character or putting him in a new setting. For example, on September 23rd, Redditor weedIizard posted a photoshop to /r/traves replacing the monkey boy with a Minecraft character in a monkey skin (shown below).
On October 20th, YouTuber chickenbootsauce posted a video of an original song loosely about the gay little monkey boy image using the little monkey image (shown below). The song was originally posted to SoundCloud by Moe Lester and features Keeyoki and Nate, but was removed according to the upload's description.
Gay little monkey
He lookin’ kinda fresh
he lookin’ kinda funky
On January 13th, 2020, Instagram user jacks_spam_n_such posted a version replacing the boy with Kanbaru from the anime Bakemonogatari, gaining over 800 likes in just under two years (shown below, left). On April 9th, Redditor Chaz4220 posted a photoshop to /r/jschlatt putting the boy in a Gamestop, gaining over 190 upvotes in just under two years (shown below, right).
The meme persisted into 2021, continuing to inspire new variants. On March 3rd, Instagram page @hykeq posted a version of the image macro with Minecraft music over it, gaining over 54,000 views in eight months (shown below).
On November 21st, 2021, Instagram page boomer.jim posted an image macro using the monkey boy to mock people who used to watch Ben Shapiro anti-SJW videos as a teenager during Thanksgiving dinner, gaining over 38,900 likes in a day (shown below).
Gay Little Monkey AI-Generated Images
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 on November 20th, 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.
The slideshow, set to Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You," gathered over 5.2 million plays and 800,000 likes in a week.
Images from another TikTok by @microplasticangel were reposted to X by user @yassambassador asking "is this real" on November 19th, gathering over 19,000 likes in a week (seen below, left). On November 20th, X user @airbagged posted a meme using the image, gathering over 41,000 likes in a day (seen below, right).
On November 24th, 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 (seen below).