Elf on the Shelf under Christmas tree

Photo via Michel Curi/Flickr (CC-BY)

If you loved ‘Elf on the Shelf,’ you’ll love this new meme

The meme is back.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 18, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 5:08 pm CDT

Remember the Elf on the Shelf? It’s a character from a children’s book about elves who sit in people’s homes and spy for Santa. The concept was intended to be cute, but many people found it creepy. The elf became a meme several years ago, and people imagined the character stealing, doing yoga, and befriending other toys while humans slept.

And now, a couple of months before the holiday season begins, the meme is back. But the elf is out. Instead, people are coming up with a new character and object that rhyme. Many of the characters in widely-shared versions of this meme are from video games and animated shows.

Instead of Elf on the Shelf, how about Sailor Moon on a Spoon?

Scooby on a Doobie.


Ash in the Trash, or Link in the Sink?


Sans in your Hands.

Shrek on a Deck.

top memes - elf on a shelf and shrek on a deck

RuPaul on a U-Haul.


If you didn’t know what Elf on the Shelf was until now, or you hate this new meme, don’t worry. Another meme will probably replace it soon.

It’s the circle of meme life.

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*First Published: Sep 18, 2017, 9:45 am CDT