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Gorl is a misspelling of the word "girl" meant to be read in the accent of the character Gru from the Illumination Entertainment film Despicable Me. After a tweet in mid-April 2018 pointed out the phonetic spelling of the way Gru says "girl," many Twitter users made puns by photoshopping Gru's face onto people, imagining them saying "gorl," particularly in well-known pop songs that prominently featured lyrics about a girl.
In Despicable Me, the main character Gru speaks with a thick Eastern European accent, making the way he says "girls" sound like "gorls." On April 14th, 2018, Twitter user @OffTopicMica tweeted a rendering of Gru with the caption "when you type 'gorls' instead of 'girls.'" The tweet gained over 118,000 retweets and 413,000 likes in roughly two weeks (shown below).
About two weeks after that tweet was posted, Twitter users began joking about the word "gorls" by inserting it into famous phrases or lyrics that feature the word "girls," often accompanied by an image photoshopped to feature Gru. One of the highest engagement early tweets was posted on April 26th, 2018, by @RobertLaing_ and featured Katy Perry, gaining over 61,000 retweets and 179,000 likes in one week (shown below, left). On April 29th, Twitter user @Hatunozkul tweeted the joke using Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend," gaining over 65,000 retweets and 208,000 likes in three days (shown below, right).
Many more examples were posted on April 30th, 2018, which led to media coverage from Buzzfeed and Twitter Moments. For example, user @Branfllakes tweeted the joke using the lyrics to Avril Lavigne's "Sk8r Boi," gaining over 1,300 retweets and 3,900 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left). Twitter user @loismckean made the joke using lyrics from "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, gaining over 590 retweets and 1,300 likes in 24 hours (shown below, right).
 Twitter – @OffTopicMica
 Buzzfeed – Here's What You Need To Know About The 'Gorl' 'Despicable Me' Meme
 Twitter Moments – The Despicable Me 'gorl' meme is transforming pop stars
 Twitter – RobertLaing_
 Twitter – @hatunozkul
 Twitter – @branfllakes
 Twitter – @loismckean
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May 01, 2018 at 01:24PM EDT
May 01, 2018 at 12:14PM EDT
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