Manbabies are simple image macros/photoshoops -- one swaps the head of the man and the baby, like so:
On September 6 2004, Something Awful user Ryan "OMGWTFBBQ" Adams created a thread entitled Swap grandparents and babies heads! in the Comedy Goldmine sub-section of the website, following an idea by Something Awful's founder Lowtax exposed as the following :
Lowtax came up with the genius idea that switching the head of babies and the grandparents that were holding them would be funny as all get out. And he was right. No further introduction is needed for this weeks Comedy Goldmine, "Swap grandparents and babies heads!"
Thanks to Lowtax for um, everything I think.
The thread, being basically a photoshop contest, garnered 14 pages of modified photographs displaying swappings between grandparents' and grandchildren's heads.
Manbabies.com is a single-topic site dedicated to this particular flavor of photoshoopery, and was launched in April 2008 (based on WHOIS data). The site received press coverage from an Australian newspaper in May 2008. The Kansas Star wrote a similar piece in August '08.
From the Age interview:
Launched late last month by the two 22-year-olds from St Louis in the US state of Missouri, Man Babies does nothing more than host photos of man and child with their heads switched.
"Chase found this [head swap] photo on the net and after laughing for 15 minutes straight we started making our own," said Truitt in a telephone interview, recalling the night he and his friend hatched their idea.
The pair showed their handiwork to family and friends and before they knew it, they were pulling together a website.
The first press mentions related to "manbabies" can all be found throughout 2008 (Google News timeline search). While the concept appears to predate manbabies.com, the site can probably be given credit for popularizing the meme.
The manbaby meme seems to have never reached much farther than blogs. It has its largest presence on Flickr, and little to none on SomethingAwful, Fark, Worth1000, 4chan or other image-heavy Internet culture hubs. [[more evidence needed]]
Search Trending (via Google)
Manbabies.com website traffic (via Quantcast)
1. Find photo of a man w/ a baby
2. Shoop the babyhead onto the man
3. Shoop the manhead onto the baby
4. THERE IS NO STEP 4
"Manbabies" skit by Kirk Johnson and Will Elliott, link
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