Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo meme format depicting the character from the netflix show Squid Game.

Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo

Part of a series on Squid Game. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 02, 2023 at 11:43PM EDT by Jel.

Added Oct 11, 2021 at 12:46PM EDT by Philipp.

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Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo refers to images of Squid Game character Seong Gi-Hun, played by actor Lee Jung-jae, taking his player ID photo. Following the virality of the series online shortly after release in September 2021, the images, particularly where Seong Gi-Hun looks at the camera without any particular emotions and the other in which he puts on a wide smile, achieved notable presence on social media and were used as reaction images and source material for memes, particularly within the Staring Animals trend.


On September 17th, 2021, the South Korean survival drama series Squid Game premiered on Netflix.[1] In a scene from episode one, titled "Red Light, Green Light," of the series, the main character Seong Gi-hun, also known as Player 456, portrayed by Lee Jung-jae, takes a photo for his player ID, looking into the camera and putting on a wide smile. The scene also partially appears in the official trailer for the series (shown below).

On September 19th, 2021, Twitter[2] user @tinymochiiix made the earliest known use of an image of Seong Gi-hun from the scene, with the post gaining over 70 retweets and 520 likes in three weeks (shown below, left). On September 23rd, Twitter[3] user @purplemintx posted the earliest notable meme that used the image, with the post gaining over 840 retweets and 3,800 likes in one month (shown below, right).

vee? @tinymochiiix Gi hun from squid game reminds me of lee kwang soo hahahhaha esp when he smiles 11:34 AM · Sep 19, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone eunhax @purplemintx me starting squid game vs me after squid game #SquidGame 6:31 PM · Sep 23, 2021 · Twitter for Android


The image saw limited use in memes on Twitter and Facebook[4] until September 28th, 2021, when Twitter[5] user @1bronclair posted a "How They Be Looking at You" meme using another frame from the scene, with the post gaining over 15,900 retweets and 188,400 likes in roughly two weeks (shown below).

bron @1bronclair how roaches look at you when you hit em with that dollar store bug spray 5:58 PM · Sep 28, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

Starting in late September 2021, frames of Seong Gi-hun from the scene gained viral spread in memes online, being used as reactions, in comparison memes and for jokes referencing the show. For example, on September 30th, Twitter[6] user @Dyg_This posted a meme about Seong Gi-hun that gained over 18,300 retweets and 128,900 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). On the same day, Twitter[7] user @yaboychrist_ posted a meme that accumulated over 13,500 retweets and 77,800 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

Pharaoh @Dyg_This Wants to do everything but be a good father 9:23 AM · Sep 30, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone Christian Y @yaboychrist_ FAFSA: “So how broke are you?" Me: 11:34 PM · Sep 30, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

In October 2021, the image also appeared in various ironic memes in the vein of Staring Animals memes.

Bad Seong Gi-Hun's Drawing

On October 8th, 2021, Twitter[8] user @inotivei posted an intentionally artistically lacking Seong Gi-Hun fan art which used a fan drawing of Markiplier by Twitter user EmilyAnvEvans2[9] as reference. The post received over 23,200 retweets and 231,100 likes in ten days (tweet and drawing shown below, left and right).

notive ... @inotivei SQuid Game Fan art (NO CRITICISM ALLOWED.) 10:51 AM - Oct 8, 2021 · Twitter Web App noti

In October, the drawing was widely used as source material for various memes. For example, on October 11th, 2021, Instagram[10] user willrepost4food posted a cropped version of the drawing captioned "feel free," with the post gaining over 4,100 likes in one week (shown below, left). On October 13th, Redditor HeadLiceDude posted a meme that received over 3,800 upvotes in the /r/okbuddyretard[11] subreddit (shown below, center). On October 15th, street artist Lushsux shared a photograph of a wall painting based on the drawing, with the post gaining over 54,400 likes on Instagram[12] in four days (shown below, right).


Staring Animals

Staring Animals, also known as The Council, refers to a series of reaction image macros of animals and people facing the camera taking a photograph of them. The perceived effect of these images is that the subjects are staring directly at the person viewing the meme as if they are purposely breaking the fourth wall. These characters such as Nelson the Bull Terrier (Walter), Staring Hamster, Staring Cat, Staring Fish and Leonard the Lizard, Yotube, Staring Kanye, Linus Sebastian and others have grown in popularity on various platforms, particularly /r/okbuddyretard subreddit, iFunny and Instagram from 2018 through 2020.

Various Examples

ghost blake @blakeps ... me warming up for a solo cash cup vs me after the solo cash cup 1:16 PM - Oct 5, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone king miguel @itshemiii how people with no car pose for their license photo 11:00 AM - Oct 1, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone I would go to school if This was the teacher This was the uniform This was the bus This was the book
Damn. That Was Mad Funny. Feel free noi


Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Squid Game

[2] Twitter – @purplemintx

[3] Twitter – @tinymochiiix

[4] Facebook – The Bulacan Memes

[5] Twitter – @1bronclair

[6] Twitter – @Dyg_This

[7] Twitter – @yaboychrist_

[8] Twitter – @inotivei

[9] Twitter – EmilyAnvEvans2

[10] Instagram – willrepost4food

[11] Reddit – Coincidence?? 😳

[12] Instagram – lushsux

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