First introduced in 1955, Kermit the Frog served as a mascot for The Jim Henson Company before starring on the long-running Sesame Street and wacky ’70s variety show The Muppet Show, followed by a string of movies. He’s still entertaining the masses today, in part, because of the nearly 70 years of content to make for a bunch of funny Kermit memes.
Here’s everything you need to know about them.
How many Kermit memes are there?
As Fandom’s Muppet Wiki reveals, there are a lot of Kermit memes in the world, both in still image and GIF form.
The most popular of these is arguably the ‘But that’s none of my business’ meme. This one features Kermit the Frog sipping tea, often accompanied by a sarcastic remark. The origins of the meme can be traced back to 2014, according to Know Your Meme.
Another popular Kermit the Frog meme is Evil Kermit. This is the perfect devil-on-the-shoulder meme, when tempted to succumb to the worst version of yourself.
Me: I have so much work to do— Kermit 🐸 (@InnerEvilKermit) November 21, 2016
Inner me: Nap pic.twitter.com/uvdNNlnhua
Me: He’s a good guy that’s genuinely interested in you. Give him a chance— Kermit 🐸 (@InnerEvilKermit) January 11, 2019
Inner me: Stop replying pic.twitter.com/PLbIlYcyRU
Me: I need to go to bed— Kermit 🐸 (@InnerEvilKermit) March 10, 2017
Inner me: Stay up thinking about sad things and suffer pic.twitter.com/BIG9XBwmK4
This meme is a screenshot from the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted, in which Kermit the Frog meets his evil twin, Constantine. According to Reddit, X user @aaannnnyyyyaaaa first shared a screenshot in November 2016 about the temptation to steal a cute dog. That original post got over 22,500 shares (and, of course, spawned a viral meme.)
There are other, popular Kermit meme iterations, too, as a Medium article pointed out. There’s the GIF of him typing, a sad Kermit the Frog looking out of a window, and one of him clutching a phone, just to name a few.
Why are Kermit memes just now becoming popular?
In November 2016, Shoshana Weissmann, a semiotics expert, and Don Caldwell, a curator for Know Your Meme, told BBC News that Kermit the Frog’s success as a meme is due to his familiarity.
“Memes like that [Kermit], Willy Wonka and Arthur just resonate widely. Everyone knows what they are and why they’re funny,” Weissmann said. “Because these all are either widely known or need no context, they can fit into many scenarios and have long lives.”
Are Kermit and ‘Tea Lizard’ the same person?
Tea Lizard is not a real thing. But, in 2016, the X account for Good Morning America shared a post in which they called the ‘But that’s none of my business’ meme ‘Tea Lizard.’
There’s a lot wrong with the post. Not only was the taxonomy of Kermit the Frog wrong, but most people know the meme by a different name.
The post—and resulting fallout—also revealed another issue: cultural appropriation. Many critics of the tweet pointed out that Black Twitter contributed to the meme’s virality, but rarely bore the fruits of their comedy labor. Instead, many said that jokes made popular by Black content creators were getting whitewashed and reappropriated by people with no idea what they mean.
To Good Morning America’s credit, though, they did apologize—in the form of another Kermit meme.
Are all of the Kermit memes pretty … happy?
Not exactly. In 2018, a ‘Kermit suicide’ meme became popular online (using the word ‘Kermit’ as a pun on the word ‘commit.’) The meme shows a person playing as Kermit chased onto the roof of a building before he jumps off screaming, “I am going to Kermit suicide.”
Of course, suicide is no laughing matter. Yet, despite the fun and humor that memes can bring, they can also be used to deflect from stressful situations. This might be especially true for kids who have difficulty communicating tough emotions. (Several sites, including bark.us, instructed parents how to locate dark memes and when to get help.)
For good or bad, there’s seemingly a never-ending treasure trove of Kermit memes out there. Internet users can even make their own memes using generators, such as this one.
And if you want to create the next viral Kermit meme, Caldwell, from Know Your Meme, offered some advice: “Caption his image with a new clever joke or some other type of relatable commentary and it can keep going indefinitely.”