Lord Farquaad close up

DreamWorks Pictures

A short history of Lord Farquaad memes

Lord Farquaad's popularity in memes can be attributed to his distinct appearance and the layered humor inherent in his character.


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Dec 23, 2023   Updated on Dec 15, 2023, 4:19 pm CST

Lord Farquaad, the antagonist of the 2001 animated film “Shrek,” has transcended his role as a cartoon villain to become a popular figure in meme culture. Let’s dig into the history of Lord Farquaad memes.

Origins of the Lord Farquaad

Lord Farquaad, voiced by John Lithgow, is the short, ruthless ruler from the movie “Shrek” who yearns for a world rid of all magical things. Although the creators of the movie have denied the rumors, Farquaad is said to have been inspired by then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who Jeffrey Katzenberg of Dreamworks had a falling out with.

Not only does Farquaad’s appearance bear a resemblance to Eisner, his short stature is supposedly a nod to Eisner allegedly referring to Katzenberg as a “little midget.” To top things off, the character’s name is also a subtle nod to an expletive (say it slowly and you might sound it out yourself).

The rise of Lord Farquaad memes

Farquaad’s popularity began on platforms like Tumblr and Facebook, where his image was often used in various puns and jokes. The character also gained significant attention after a “Did You Know?” video by Matthew Patrick of Film Theory detailed Farquaad’s backstory. This video added a new layer of interest and irony to the character, propelling his meme status.

‘Some of you may die

This quote from Farquaad in “Shrek” is widely used to humorously discuss reckless or inappropriate decisions. The quote’s dark humor resonates with the absurdity often found in memes.

‘The ogre has fallen in love with the princess

The meme of this memorable line from the film often has altered subtitles, and is used to express embarrassment about romantic feelings.

Lord Marquaad E

A deep-fried image of YouTube personality Markiplier‘s face photoshopped onto Lord Farquaad’s head exemplifies the absurdity of modern memes. The Lord Marquaad E meme often appears in various templates and has been notably combined with images of Mark Zuckerberg.

Appearances in recent pop culture

The Lord Farquaad meme has seen a resurgence in recent years. Hollywood star Zac Efron was recently compared to Lord Farquaad after the actor revealed a new look for his role in the movie “The Iron Claw.” Google employees also shared memes comparing their CEO, Sundar Pichai, to the “Shrek” villain in May 2023, in response to his massive salary during a wave of layoffs and cutbacks.

Enduring appeal

Lord Farquaad’s popularity in memes can be attributed to his distinct appearance and the layered humor inherent in his character. His short stature, combined with his ambitious and villainous nature makes him an ideal subject for memes that play on themes of overcompensation, irony, and dark humor.

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Lord Farquaad memes represent a unique blend of humor, irony, and pop culture references. As online communities continue to evolve, Lord Farquaad’s presence in the meme world is a testament to humor’s enduring power in the digital age.

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*First Published: Dec 23, 2023, 6:00 am CST