Wholesome Memes

Wholesome Memes

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Updated Aug 31, 2020 at 08:16AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Oct 27, 2016 at 03:04PM EDT by Adam.

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Wholesome Memes are a subgenre of image macros in which creators subvert audience expectation by taking established meme templates and using them expressing supportive, caring sentiments rather than making the jokes usually associated with each template.


The first meme to subvert the expectation of comedy with actual advice was Actual Advice Mallard, a popular Advice Animal dedicated to sharing healthy-living tips that was popular in the winter of 2013. These stood in contrast to other advice animal memes which usually offer bad or outlandish advice for humor.

actual advice mallard meme about tin foil hats


While it's difficult to judge which post started the "wholesome meme" trend, one of the earliest was posted to Feminist Reddit offshoot Fempire on August 8th, 2015.[1] It featured a photoshopped picture of Pepe the Frog smiling and wearing a construction hat. The caption reads "When bae says we need to work on our relationship." The post did not gain much traction, receiving only 21 upvotes in a year.

pepe the frog in construction hat ready to work on a relationship


Wholesome memes began spreading on Tumblr in the Winter of 2016. One of the most popularly cited "wholesome memes" was posted on January 30th by user shako-makko.[2] The post, shown below, features a picture of Pepe the Frog smiling with the caption, "when your crush posts a new picture." As of October 27th, 2016, the post has 144,433 notes.

wide eyed pepe the frog after crush posted a selfie

In the coming months, more wholesome memes appeared with variations about being in love with one's girlfriend. On April 6th, 2016, dateagirlwhosuggestion[3] posted a list of girlfriend-related image macros they'd found on Tumblr. The post gained over 75,000 notes.


Two weeks later, on April 19th, a Tumblr devoted to reposting wholesome memes called wholesomememes-archive[4] launched. On May 10th, a Facebook page[5] called "Wholesome Memes" followed, and gained over 44,000 likes. In the beginning of August, a Twitter account, @WholesomeMeme,[6] launched and gained over 35,000 followers.

Around the same time, the Wholesome Meme trend began attracting media attention. On August 10th, both New York Magazine[7] and Smosh[8] published articles compiling and detailing wholesome memes, with both taking many examples from wholesomememes-archive.tumblr.com. Buzzfeed[9] published a similar listicle the next day. A subreddit devoted to wholesome memes, /r/wholesomememes[10] started in September and gained over 16,000 subscribers in one month.

Various Examples

REALLU WISH yOU WERE HERE SO I COULD LOVE VOU ERLU When we break a bone: When we get a bad cut- n my cast Check it out 12 Stitches When we get efl: When we struggle with Jibby MeJibbers Mental heath issues Today at 5:32 A μ . I just threw up all over everything I oun. I need an and need some positivity: WholesomeMemes old priest and a yaung priet 2) Likes Like |ゲComment-> Share hot new -risinq control 个-lili i work hard and thls mld Unconditional love Price and support FREE C. I like her socks This music is cool, even though it isn't really my thihg Gbod time to order pizzas 18:35 GF will be ba ck from the animal shelter soont TFW room is at exactly24C/75 °F Feeling pretty chill lad I decided to hang out with my buddies tonight YOUSAID-.VOU ARENOT BEAUTIFUL maury THE LIE DETECTOR DETERMINED THAT WAS ALE IF YOUR A RADING THIS I LOVA MY GF PARENTAL ADVISORY PLICIT CONTEN

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 14 total

Recent Images 67,643 total

Top Comments


Pepe could definitely benefit from these memes.

He needs it. His creator would probably approve of it.

With that said, a lot of these, more than half, are about girlfriends or crushes, and some are… a little on the stalker-ish side of things. If we change that and give it a more general positive meaning, this one can work.

I would normally not even care about these, but really, with this joke of a year we have had so far, I actually hope these become a thing to stay. Ironic memes can only get us so far, and I sure hope it is not too late to enjoy memes at face value like we used to not many years ago, instead of ALWAYS finding some indirect, snarky and often forced meaning on every meme coming out.


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