The way that certain memes surge into the internet mainstream is always an impressive phenomenon. Last Thursday, I was minding my business, saying a prayer for those who decided to take Splendour in The Grass head on, and on Friday, my feed was filled with Roger Hargreaves' illustrations, formatted with alternate captions like "Little Miss irritable bowel syndrome" and "Little Miss fearful avoidant". People were gobbling this new meme format, originally created by @juulpuppy, up, and before we knew it, it had gone viral on TikTok and Instagram, appearing on every second story slide for the entire weekend.
these “little miss” memes… some of the most unfunny work ever produced by the internet
— zach fruit (@zacharyfruit) July 22, 2022
“little miss _____” pic.twitter.com/54JlY8PSIF
— jonny (@suitejonny) July 21, 2022
The problem with meme culture is that, unfortunately, memes that have been birthed from funny people end up in the hands of unfunny people, and in the blink of an eye, "Little Miss perfectly fine meme" becomes "Little Miss most unfunny thing I've ever seen". This is especially the case when a meme isn't massively funny in the first place, the "Little Miss" memes being a case in point. What started as a subtle, mildly amusing joke to point out relatable toxic traits, physical shortcomings, and unfortunate circumstances, was swiftly adopted by the least funny people on the internet: celebrities and brands. And thus, the beginning of the end began for "Little Miss" meme, which has become nothing more than a nuisance and a tragedy.
i hate this little miss trend pic.twitter.com/vHaigl33ez
— гг ~ (@tize4PF) July 24, 2022
you’re not little miss anything you’re 27 you have credit card debt
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) July 24, 2022
I can acknowledge the humour in taking a nostalgic illustration and re-captioning it with facts about the ways late-stage capitalism and the demise of our society, community, and planet has wreaked havoc on our mental health. This is basically the point of internet culture. The disparity between the joy we felt reading picture books as children compared to the shambles we are in as adults living in a society that just seems to continually get worse and worse is an apt comparison to make, especially in the form of humour. But the way people have run with the trend to point out basic traits or simply just things they like? I regret to inform you that "Little Miss brown sugar milk tea with boba" is nothing more than – and I cannot stress this enough – a let down. "Little Miss lash lover" is potentially worse and I'm disappointed in the internet community for missing the point so severely. My god. I'm "Little Miss logging off until this trend has been killed", followed by "Little Miss I'm being sarcastic".
enough of the little miss ____ memes. they were corny from the start and they never got a giggle out of me once pic.twitter.com/a3RlnJRN9N
— rhys ⭑ ivy week (@merdecals) July 25, 2022
How about a Little Miss knows when a meme has run its course
— Talia (@talialichtstein) July 22, 2022
How did "Little Miss" even start?
The "Little Miss" illustrations are, as many of us know, the work of Roger Hargreaves, an author and illustrator responsible for the "Little Miss" and "Mr. Men" picture books, which went on to have BBC TV shows. The series initially was used to portray a day in the life of each character, showing how their lives were affected by their personalities.
The viral 2022 "Little Miss" meme was reportedly created by @juulpuppy, a NYC based meme account who posts meme content about mental health. Respectfully, @juulpuppy, you brought this into the world, could you please take it back out?
The little miss memes are starting 2 piss me off. pic.twitter.com/e1DCEqr8aQ
— Head Cheerleader (@Curtis__J) July 25, 2022