original un-tumblrized meme of tank penny 4chan


This attempt to ‘Un-tumblrize’ game characters totally backfired

This attempt to make game characters 'hotter' ended up getting roasted.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Posted on Jan 31, 2018   Updated on May 22, 2021, 2:36 am CDT

When a 4chan poster shared his redesign of a female character from the game Fortnite, he may have known he was starting a new meme. He probably didn’t realize it was going to be a joke at his expense, though.

His reimagining of the character Tank Penny is supposed to be “Untumblrized” or “un-tumblrized”—free from the liberal, inclusive politics that some gamers claim are “ruining” video games. Apparently, that means making women thinner and whiter. And don’t forget removing their colored hair highlights and issuing them cross necklaces, for some reason.

The now-infamous Tank Penny edit was originally posted to an “Anti marxist video game thread” on 4chan back in 2017. It didn’t get much mainstream attention until a popular tweet this year called out how absurd it was.

The post implies, without evidence, that the character design has been somehow corrupted by a Tumblr-driven demand for more realistic female bodies in video games. That’s an uncontroversial opinion within the gamer-friendly confines of 4chan, but once the “untumblrized” image escaped to the wider world, it got roasted.

tweets about untumblrized meme

As you might expect, some of the best jokes have come from Tumblr users:

dunking on untumblrized meme

Now there are many more mocking parodies of the “untumblrization” movement than genuine examples. In fact, dunking on the concept has become a meme:

squidward untumblrized
Know Your Meme
jesus ecce homo untumblrized
Know Your Meme

And, in the process of making a point, a lot of meme creators have managed some funny callbacks to early memes. Here’s a good Ben Swolo shoutout:

ben swolo kylo ren tumblrized
Know Your Meme

And here’s a Virgin vs. Chad version, which is especially funny because it turns one of 4chan’s own favorite memes against itself:

virgin vs chad untumblrized

It’s clear from all these examples that Untumblrization, as its creator intended it, is not a thing. It even backfired as a tactic for trolling Tumblr users, because they ended up having tons of fun with it. Untumblrization as a satire of 4chan’s key demographic—young, conservative, Pepe-loving “shitlords” who use “Social Justice Warrior” as a slur—is now real, and it’s extremely enjoyable.

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*First Published: Jan 31, 2018, 1:53 pm CST