One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy meme example.

One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy

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Related Explainer: Why Is TikTok Obsessed With Sisyphus Pushing A Boulder? The Popular Greek Myth Explained

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One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy is the concluding sentence of Albert Camus' essay The Myth of Sisyphus. In July 2023, the quote became popularized on TikTok alongside a series of video memes where users overlay images of Sisyphus rolling the boulder over clips from video games, TV shows and other pieces of media that are comparable to the myth of Sisyphus, often in a comedic way. The memes are often set to the song "Me and the Birds" by Duster.


Sisyphus is a character in ancient Greek mythology who was punished by Hades to push a large boulder up a hill every day for eternity because it would roll down to the bottom every time he completed the task. Metaphorically, the myth of Sisyphus represents everyday struggle akin to route and laborious tasks, sometimes referred to as Sisyphean Tasks. In 1942, philosopher Albert Camus published an essay titled The Myth of Sisyphus,[1] which concludes, "The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy," hypothesizing that to accept the absurdity of our own lives we must imagine Sisyphus as happy, as Sisyphus finds happiness in accomplishing his task rather than in the meaning of the task. He knows he will never stop the boulder from rolling, but continues to do so to defy the punishment of the gods.

On December 16th, 2022, Instagram[10] user bupinup posted a video where a Roblox character pushes a boulder up a hill like Sisyphus, garnering over 1,200 likes in a year (shown below).

In early 2023, several TikTokers posted viral videos referring to The Myth of Sisyphus, specifically the quote, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." For example, on January 29th, 2023, TiKToker[2] @soupsucker posted a video that gained over a million views in six months. On February 21st, TikToker[3] @danthehistoryman posted a meme applying the quote to a baby crawling across a grocery store conveyor belt, garnering over 1.4 million views in five months (shown below).

@danthehistoryman #duet with @that1guy.97 I saw this baby and I only could imagine the quote. #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Berserk 🫡

On March 21st, Redditor u/_herios posted a meme to /r/Ultrakill[9] titled "one must imagine Sisyphus happy," referencing the character Sisyphus Prime from Ultrakill, garnering over 300 upvotes in six months (shown below).

Posted by u/_herios Lust layer citizen 6 months ago One must imagine Sisyphus happy Meme spoiler August will enjoy my eternal torment to the fullest This prison... To hold ME? July 2 What a good punishment

On June 30th, TikToker[4] @onkelyt posted a video of Roblox gameplay where a character rolls a boulder up a hill only for it to fall again, overlaying drawings of Sisyphus throughout, garnering over 2.1 million views in three weeks (shown below). The video description reads, "One must imagine sisyphus happy."

@onkelyt One must imagine sisyphus happy.. #sisyphus #sisyphusthemyth #roblox #robloxgames #fyp #fypシ゚viral #floptok😍😍😭😌🤞💅💅 ♬ Me and the Birds – Duster


Similar memes became increasingly popular on TikTok throughout July 2023. On July 3rd, 2023, TikTok[5] user @hoilpiselloduro posted the video of the baby on a conveyor belt, garnering over 1.8 million views and 337,000 likes in three weeks (shown below, left). On July 15th, 2023, TikToker[6] @bibinkakoi posted a version of the meme using footage of a mine cart in Minecraft rolling down a track, garnering over 700,000 views in five days (shown below, right).

On July 15th, TikToker[7] @jeanpierrepolunareff posted a version of the meme that gained over 636,000 views in the same span of time (shown below, left). On July 18th, TikToker[8] @jhonaqdcvrdbkpif posted a version of the meme that garnered over 900,000 views in two days (shown below, right).

Various Examples

@surfyvirus One must imagine Sisyphus happy #fyp #tsp #sisyphus #thestanleyparable ♬ original sound – virus

@impgirlevildoer one must imagine sisyphus happy #fyp #meme #memes #catsoftiktok #cat #cats #sisyphus #roblox ♬ original sound – august

@manguy232 one must imagine shovel zombie happy #sisyphus #pvz2 #pvz #plantsvszombies2 #plantsvszombies #meme #fyp #fypシ ♬ som original – copy link

@nickytheminer "One must imagine Sisyphus happy" #fyp #sisyphus #Minecraft #villagers ♬ original sound – NickyTheMiner

Search Interest

External References

[1] – Camus The Myth of Sisyphus

[2] TikTok – soupsucker

[3] TikTok – danthehistoryman

[4] TikTok – onkelyt

[5] TikTok – @hoilpiselloduro

[6] TikTok – bibinkakoi

[7] TikTok – jeanpierrepolunareff

[8] TikTok – jhonaqdcvrdbkpif

[9] Reddit – Ultrkill

[10] Instagram – bupinup

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