Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo
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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. 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 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 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).
The image saw limited use in memes on Twitter and Facebook until September 28th, 2021, when Twitter 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).
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 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 user @yaboychrist_ posted a meme that accumulated over 13,500 retweets and 77,800 likes in the same period (shown below, right).
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 user @inotivei posted an intentionally artistically lacking Seong Gi-Hun fan art which used a fan drawing of Markiplier by Twitter user EmilyAnvEvans2 as reference. The post received over 23,200 retweets and 231,100 likes in ten days (tweet and drawing shown below, left and right).
In October, the drawing was widely used as source material for various memes. For example, on October 11th, 2021, Instagram 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 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 in four days (shown below, right).
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.
 Wikipedia – Squid Game
 Twitter – @purplemintx
 Twitter – @tinymochiiix
 Facebook – The Bulacan Memes
 Twitter – @1bronclair
 Twitter – @yaboychrist_
 Twitter – EmilyAnvEvans2
 Instagram – willrepost4food
 Reddit – Coincidence?? 😳
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