sad spongebob valentine


People search for sad GIFs on Valentine’s Day more than any other day of the year

Time to load up that depressing Spongebob GIF!

Internet Culture

Published Feb 14, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 1:00 am CDT


With Valentine’s Day upon us, some people are brimming with excitement and others will be feeling nervous as hell. And if you’re feeling sad on Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone. Tenor, a GIF search engine, went through its huge database — and more than 10 billion monthly searches performed on their site — and found that according to searches, Valentine’s Day was the saddest day of all the year. It was the top day for people to search the word “alone”, which showed a 455 percent jump in popularity on Valentine’s Day in 2017. Ouch.

But why are GIFs so popular around Valentine’s Day? Well, they might not be sophisticated, but they allow us to express exactly how we’re feeling. “GIFs provide a light-hearted way to express even the most awkward emotions,” David McIntosh, CEO of Tenor, tells Bustle. “Because the human mind is wired to see patterns, GIFs help people communicate exactly what’s on their mind through metaphor or analogy. Unlike text alone which runs the risk of misinterpretation based on tone, GIFs make tone clear and offer more specific insight into how someone truly feels.”

So what can we expect from GIFs on Valentine’s Day in 2018? “We are expecting to see a spike in searches for GIFs tied to loneliness, sad and crying, but also a lot of sarcasm,” McIntosh says. “Each year we see Americans commiserate with each other via smart and sassy GIFs tied to this holiday. We will be curious to see which emotions surge this year on Tenor.”

If you need some ideas for which GIFs to share this Valentine’s Day, here are the top alone GIFs from last year to get the inspiration flowing.

The Top 5 “Alone” GIFs, According to Tenor:

1) Sad Spongegbob

Sad Spongebob is the most alone of all of the alone GIFs. Also how is his coffee still hot under the sea?

2) Lonely Milhouse

OK, maybe this is worse. There’s nothing sadder than watching someone play frisbee on their own, especially if that someone is Milhouse.

3) Home Alone

home alone gif
Full disclosure: I’m not on board with this one. It’s only popular because “alone” is in the movie title. You can be more creative, people. You have all the GIFs in the universe!

4) All By Myself

all by myself gif

YES! We’re back in the game with this one.

5) Powerpuff Girls

powerpuff girls gif
Anything that comes from Powerpuff Girls is OK by me.


Whether you love it or hate it, it’s easy to express yourself this Valentine’s Day. Somewhere, there’s a GIF that can get the job done. And when in doubt, Sad Spongebob always does the job.


This story originally appeared on Bustle and has been republished with permission.

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*First Published: Feb 14, 2018, 5:00 am CST