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Hamster Death Stories, also known as Hamster Dying Stories or How Hamsters Die, refers to a cliché and axiom in memes about the strange, weird and unnatural ways that pet hamsters seem to always die. The concept's been referenced across social media on platforms like Twitter, Reddit and TikTok where creators share their childhood stories of dying hamsters. The trend became notable in early 2021 on TikTok.
On May 13th, 2021, TikToker obviously.not.madi posted a video that asked her followers to share their funny stories on how their hamsters had died, claiming that hamsters die in the most "traumatic" ways. Over the course of one year, the video received roughly 3.3 million plays and 375,800 likes (shown below).
Many TikTokers in the comment section of obviously.not.madi's video started sharing their own traumatic hamster death stories. For instance, TikToker non_existent_person970 commented on May 25th, 2021, "I was doing math homework and it was on my bed. it looked at my computer and died. I'm convinced it's brain exploded from confusion," earning over 660 likes in two years (shown below).
Going into May 2021, many TikTokers posted "stitches" with obviously.not.madi's video, relaying their hamster death stories. For instance, on May 18th, 2022, TikToker ray8chel posted a stitch that earned roughly 34,000 plays and 1,300 likes in one year (shown below, left). On June 4th, 2021, FaZe Clan member FaZe Rug posted a TikTok stitch about his hamster dying that earned roughly 1.4 million plays and 251,000 likes in one year (shown below, right).
On May 24th, 2021, Twitter user jaxajueny posted a tweet that read, "Never in my life heard a story about a hamster dying peacefully. It’s always some crazy shit," earning roughly 135,400 likes in one year (shown below).
Jaxajueny's tweet was reposted to multiple platforms like Instagram going into the remainder of May 2021. Additionally, many Twitter users posted replies to jaxajueny's tweet that provided their hamster death stories. For instance, on May 24th, 2021, Twitter user BellHubie replied, "my sister ate mine," earning roughly 3,400 likes in one year (shown below, left). BellHubie's reply was reposted to Reddit's /r/cursedcomments on May 28th, 2021 by Redditor Not-A-Myth, earning roughly 26,600 upvotes in one year (shown below, right).
The repost on /r/cursedcomments led to a subsequent thread of Redditors sharing their hamster death stories. A full-length discourse on the topic was reposted to Instagram by the page bombuzzi on May 30th, 2021, earning roughly 46,400 likes in one year.
Going into 2022, multiple hamster death stories were shared across platforms as the cliché started to solidify itself in memes. For instance, on June 20th, 2022, Redditor Rulingbridge9 posted a meme about unnatural hamster deaths to /r/Memes  using the Train Hitting School Bus template, earning roughly 10,100 upvotes in two days (shown below).