Staring Animals

Staring Animals

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Updated Oct 12, 2021 at 12:52PM EDT by Philipp.

Added Jan 15, 2020 at 03:57PM EST by Matt.

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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.

Nelson the Bull Terrier (Walter)

The earliest known example of staring animals is Nelson the Bull Terrier, also known as Walter.

The original image of Nelson was posted to the dog's Twitter page, @PupperNelson, on September 30th, 2018.[1] The tweet, captioned "when u open the front-facing camera on accident," gained over 26,000 likes and 6,400 retweets in less than two years (shown below).

NELSON @PupperNelson when u open the front-facing camera on accident 8:54 AM · Sep 30, 2018 · Twitter for iPhone

After the tweet was posted, it began spreading on primarily Reddit's /r/okbuddyretard. On November 28th, 2018 Redditor[2] donkeyfromshrek5 posted a version that received more than 3,800 points (99% upvoted) in less than two years (shown below, left). On November 30th, Redditor[3] flabbagitch posted a variation that received more 12,000 points (shown below, right).

dog breeds ll Images Videos News Maps More Settings Tools Dog Breeds Bulldog German Shepherd Labrador Retriever Beagle Poodle

Staring Hamster

Staring Hamster is a reaction image macro of a hamster looking directly at the camera.

The earliest known use of the hamster reaction was used on January 13th, 2019 by TikTok user @beanboy22.[1] In the video, the user lipsyncs a scene from the web series The Real Bros of Simi Valley.[2] The post received more than 124,000 reactions and 13,000 shares in one week.

Staring Cat / Swag Cat / Gusic

Staring Cat, also known as Gusic and Swag Cat, refers to a ginger cat known for his photographs in which it stares directly at the camera. Starting in early 2018, the photographs have been used in memes on Instagram, iFunny and Reddit, often paired together with Walter, Staring Hamster and other Staring Animals.

Staring Fish

Staring Fish, also known by the original caption Do You Fart, refers to an image of a lagoon triggerfish looking directly at the camera, usually paired with ironic, surreal or offensive captions. The format gained significant spread on Instagram, iFunny and certain subreddits in early 2020.

On December 15th, 2019, marine biologist Jacinta Shackleton posted a video of a lagoon triggerfish, also known as Picasso triggerfish, repeatedly attacking the camera to her Instagram account (shown below).[4] The video received over 34,300 views and 5,100 likes in three weeks.

Following the post, shortly after the post, on December 31st, others shared images of the fish with various captions asking "Do You Fart?" The meme grew in popularity online, particularly on Instagram, iFunny (examples below).


Staring Lizard / Leonard the Lizard

On October 18th, 2019, Redditor[5] ElectricSheep7 posted "I just got this legendary picture of Walter, my Peter’s Banded Skink," and they included a photograph of a lizard staring directly at the camera. The post received more than 1,000 points (99% upvoted) and 60 comments in less than one year (shown below).

Months later on January 4th, Redditor[6] Good-boi-gang shared the image in the /r/okbuddyretard subreddit. The post received more than 8,600 points (99% upvoted) and 295 comments in less than one month.

The following day, Redditor[10] SwedzCubed shared an image of the lizard with the caption "Hi my name is leonard." The post received more than 270 points (98% upvoted) in less than four months (shown below).

HI my name is leonard

On January 6th, Redditor[7] P-Emoji shared the image with the caption "Hi my name is Leonard. Hi Leonard, nice to meet you." The post received more than 2,600 points (99% upvoted) and 60 comments in less than two weeks (shown below, left).

That day, Redditor[8] fizzyboli shared an image of four staring animals, including Leonard, with the caption "guys Leonard has joined the council. I'm honestly very proud of him." The post received more than 9,200 points (99% upvoted) and 115 comments in less than two weeks (shown below, center).

The following week, Redditor[9] shared an image of Leonard stating that the character had been "killed in a drive by shooting by a rival cartel." The post received more than 14,000 points (99% upvoted) and 165 comments In less than 24 hours (shown below, right).

НI my name is leonard HI LEONARD nice to meet you guys Leonard has joined the council I'm honestly very proud of him RIP LEONARD (2001-2020) Killed in a drive by shooting by a rival cartel

Tyler, the Creator Mugshot

Tyler, the Creator Mugshot is a mugshot photograph of rapper Tyler, the Creator released by the Austin Police Department on March 15th, 2014 after the rapper was arrested for allegedly inciting a riot at the SXSW festival. The mugshot has since gained significant popularity in hip-hop and ironic meme communities as an exploitable.

V Which celebrit Badges &Embeds | Product Hu Which celebrity do you look like X X P iehl nvon ich celebrity do you look like?! ou look like... BRUH BRUH BRUH MOMENTMOMENTY OMEN You look like Ariana Grande!! Ariana Grande You are the star in your life! Your wonderful personality and extravagant


Yotube is a nickname of a Facebook user who on May 2nd, 2015, set their profile picture to a photograph of a boy sitting on a couch and looking directly at the camera. Following the discovery of the profile by the online community, this and another photograph of the boy proceeded to get used in memes. Online, the boy is also known as Staring Kid, Irony Kid and "Got Your Nose" Kid.

Mike Wazowski-Sulley Face Swap

Mike Wazowski-Sulley Face Swap refers to an image of Monsters Inc. character Mike Wazowski with the face of character Sulley photoshopped over his own. Online, the image gained popularity as a reaction and has also been used in ironic memes.


Linus Selfie

Linus Selfie refers to a close-up selfie photograph uploaded by tech blogger Linus Sebastian on May 23rd, 2019. After gaining initial popularity as an exploitable on Twitter, the image later spread to ironic communities on iFunny, Reddit and Instagram.


Sad Linus

Sad Linus is a still image of tech YouTuber Linus Sebastian taken from his January 2020 video "I've been thinking of retiring." The image, which features Linus staring solemnly at the camera which his headset on, has been used as a reaction image and in ironic memes on Reddit and iFunny.

change da world my final message. Goodb ye Me after seeing memes about linus' sad retirement video less than 10 hours of it being uploaded We finally hit 10m subscribers I'm thinking of retiring

Pol Pot

Pol Pot (born Saloth Sâr) was a Cambodian revolutionary and politician who ruled Cambodia as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea between 1975 and 1979. A Khmer nationalist, Pol Pot was the leading member of Cambodia's communist movement, the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot is internationally regarded as a totalitarian dictator and is considered one of the perpetrators of the Cambodian genocide.

In memes, Pol Pot has appeared in the context of communism and in ironic shitposting, while a black-and-white photograph of Pol Pot in which he looks directly at the camera has been used in image macros and as an exploitable.

Kanye's Blank Stare

Kanye's Blank Stare or Staring Kanye refers to a viral video of rapper Kanye West holding still for a camera mistakenly thinking that a photo is being taken. Starting in early 2019, the clip gained popularity in GIF Captions on iFunny, later being used in memes on Reddit and Instagram.

A highly trained solider looking at the cardboard box in front of him that was across the room a min ago Horny pyro retards staring at the boobs I sprayed on the wall right before I backstab them MOST PLEASANT DID ENJOY

Bruh Redditor

Bruh Redditor refers to a grainy close-up image of a man looking at his phone. While the identity of the subject is unknown, some of have said that he resembles YouTuber Ice Poseidon's, describing him as a Redditor collecting upvotes.

Staring Default Fortnite Guy

Staring Default Fortnite Guy refers to a viral image of Fortnite character Commando Spitfire, better known as on the default Fortnite skins, staring at the camera. Starting in late December 2018, the image has seen active use as an exploitable, particularly in ironic memes.

you accidentally left me on read haha

Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo / Staring Gi-Hun

Seong Gi-hun's ID Photo or Staring Gi-Hun 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.

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

Various Examples

has joined the council guys I'm honestly very proud of LOOK AT THIS F------ SNAKE I f------ hate this stupid f------ snake f--- you go to hell stop staring at me you f------ retard made with mematic DUDE CHILL IT’S JUST LEONARD That's just how he vibes bro chill out made with mematic my friends in the groupchat when i send them an okbr meemee
HI my name is leonard HI LEONARD nice to meet you DO YOU WANT TO BE My friend? has joined the council guys I'm honestly very proud of she was fearless and crazier than him. she was his queen, and god help anybody that dared to disrespect his queen

Search Interest

Not available.

External References

[1] Twitter – PupperNelson

[2] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[3] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[4] Instagram – jacintashackleton

[5] Reddit – /r/reptiles

[6] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[7] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[8] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[9] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

[10] Reddit – /r/okbuddyretard

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