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Smiling Dog, also known as Evil Dog in Backseat, is a reaction GIF of a dog sitting in the backseat of a car, initially looking back through the rear window and then turning to look at the camera with an evil and smug smile. The clip became the subject of GIF captions in memes, particularly on Reddit, around May 2021.
The original clip of the golden retriever used in the meme comes from a post on November 13th, 2019, via the Instagram account winston_moose. In the video, which depicts a dog named Winston, the retriever is seen facing out the back window of a car when he slowly turns towards the front seat and camera with a slightly smug or evil smile on his face (seen below). The post received over 223,000 views in roughly two and a half years.
The first known instance of the clip being used in a meme appeared on April 28th, 2021, in the subreddit /r/TopMemesUsers posted by Redditor SonOf4Biscuit. The meme (seen below) received over 400 upvotes in three weeks.
The meme started to gain a wider spread in mid-May 2021 when several instances of it were uploaded to the subreddit /r/HistoryMemes. The two examples below, posted on May 17th, gained around 50,000 and 30,000 upvotes respectively in less than 24 hours.