John Pork, a virtual influencer who is also an anthropomorphic pig, first graced social media platforms in 2018. With a pig’s head and a human body, John Pork’s unique appearance resulted in numerous memes across platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon.
Early social media presence
John Pork’s digital life started on Instagram, with a selfie standing outside Scotland’s Down Castle that they posted to the social media platform on September 24th, 2018. Their early content quickly garnered thousands of likes and established a strong online presence.
In 2019, after a few months of no posts, John Pork marked their return to social media with a dance video on Instagram and TikTok. These drew even more viewers, with the Instagram post alone amassing over 97,000 views.
John Pork’s following kept growing with subsequent social media updates. A notable post from Dec. 24, 2022, wishing followers happy holidays, received over 21,000 likes, while their Instagram following climbed to 316,000 users by the end of that same year.
As John Pork continued to maintain an active presence on both Instagram and TikTok, they started to become the subject of memes on platforms like Reddit. Their unique appearance led to them being a hugely popular subject for online content, especially from 2019 onwards.
Some playfully suggested John Pork’s selfies revealed the real face of Technoblade, a YouTuber who uses a pig as an avatar. But most played off the influencer’s uncanny look.
On the Instagram it was talking about the virtual humans project, so I'm guessing it's a social experiment. I think they focused on that one in particular because of the "John Pork will be real" meme pic.twitter.com/JC1YKdVDry— gremic ⚜️ (@ImGremic) November 27, 2022
The ‘John Pork Is Calling’ meme
In March 2023, user @rover.joe posted a TikTok that featured an edited selfie of John Pork overlaid with an incoming call graphic and sound effect. The post went viral, garnering over 2.7 million views, and the “John Pork is calling” meme was born.
Users were soon inspired to create similar content that featured incoming calls from other anthropomorphic characters, and memes that portrayed the “John Pork is calling” meme as a creepypasta.
The meme’s popularity surged, and soon a John Pork death hoax emerged, with videos claiming to report on their demise gathering millions of views.
@viewlytics John Pork finally got that big win 🥲 #fyp #gamblingtiktok #gamblingtok #johnpork #viral #news ♬ scott street – favsoundds
Despite there being no confirmation of their death from the character’s original creator, TikTok memes created a narrative about John Pork’s demise based on the fact that no one ever answered his calls in the “John Pork is calling” memes. This development added a new layer of surrealism and humor to the character’s story.
John Pork’s viral success
John Pork’s continued status as a viral sensation is evident from the staggering number of views on the #JohnPork hashtag on TikTok. His content has captivated audiences and inspired waves of fan accounts and imitators. But despite the competition, the original John Pork maintains a consistent presence across social media platforms.
This bizarre yet captivating virtual character, epitomizes the unpredictable nature of internet fame and meme culture. With its blend of humor and surrealism, the “John Pork is calling” meme demonstrates the endless possibilities for creativity in the digital age.