The internet has given rise to a unique and pervasive form of communication: the meme. An integral component of many memes is the meme face, which becomes synonymous with a particular emotion or reaction. This article chronicles a small handful of the most iconic meme faces in a potential meme hall of fame.
Hasbulla Magomedov, known as “Mini Khabib,” is a young Russian blogger who rose to fame due to his resemblance to MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. Despite the unknown genetic disorder that has halted his physical growth, Hasbulla’s comedic content on Instagram and viral clips on TikTok have endeared him to over 460,000 followers as of July 2021. His popularity soared with his impersonations of Nurmagomedov, earning him an honored position in meme culture.
@youdrippin Like let me eat in peace!!! #fyp #foru #fup #hasbulla #hasbullaisking #faces #funny #memes ♬ original sound – The cool kids😎🥸
The trollge meme face
Trollge is a dark reinterpretation of the classic Trollface, recognized by its unsmiling visage partially shrouded in shadow. Trollge surfaced around July 2020 and became popular through a series of creepypasta-style countdown videos warning of its arrival. The meme’s origin can be traced back to a GIF from 2012.
@gor3._.tv troll face meme crop #trollface #meme #crop ♬ 原聲 – aui wen – 你
The Rock’s eyebrow raise
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s signature move, the eyebrow raise, affectionately known as “The People’s Eyebrow,” has found its way into memedom. This facial expression has become synonymous with suspicion and disbelief, and it gained popularity in 2021, when edits of The Rock’s eyebrow raise set to the “Vine Thud” became widespread.
The rock face meme♬ sonido original – GaelTheMonkey
The shocked black guy meme face
Comedian Jslutty’s shocked expression, characterized by bulging eyes and a wide-open mouth, became a meme known as “Shocked Black Guy” or “Surprised Black Guy.” After FunnyMike uploaded a video on YouTube in 2020, this image became the go-to reaction image to express shock and surprise across social media platforms starting in June 2022.
The blinking white guy meme face
Drew Scanlon, a video editor and podcaster, became the “Blinking White Guy” meme after his bewildered blinking reaction in a GiantBomb video caught the attention of the internet. The GIF is typically used to express disbelief or confusion, and it became part of a popular meme format called “First Guy To” in August 2019.
Patrick Bateman’s o-face
Patrick Bateman’s o-face from the movie “American Psycho,” starring Christian Bale, represents a state of euphoria. Initially released in 2000, this image gained meme status as it became a common response to ecstatic situations. The “Sigma Face” trend on TikTok also derived from this expression, showcasing the enduring impact of Bale’s cinematic moment.
Jim Halpert smiling through blinds
From “The Office,” Jim Halpert’s smiling face peeking through blinds has become a meme to humorously deflect blame. This particular image captures John Krasinski’s character in a mischievous moment from a 2009 episode, but it wasn’t until 2014 that it was first used as a reaction image on 4chan.
Jim Halpert smiling through blinds (The Office) pic.twitter.com/J4DK3fmYdI— Reaction Videos (@ReactionVideos_) December 15, 2019
The faces that front memes often start as simple snapshots or screen captures, but can evolve into symbols understood worldwide. Each meme face above has contributed to the rich tapestry of internet culture, showcasing how these expressions can transcend barriers to encapsulate moments of universal human emotion.