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"Oh, oh, and you know what else I found on the web? It's these pictures of cats and they write these -- Oh, look at this one. "Invisible cheeseburger!" No, huh? Well, it's not for everyone. I just think they're funny."
—Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Phineas and Ferb
Lolcats are are an internet meme which is best described as the lovechild of Cute Kittens and Memetic Mutation. Lolcats are Image Macros that combine photos of cats with humorous captions, usually in a form of broken english known as "kitty pidgin" or "lolspeak." It should be noted that using bad spelling as humour is hardly a new phenomenon. And the practice of combining cats with funny captions, goes back even further. However, the modern-day phenomenon of Lolcats originates from the Image Board 4chan, where every Saturday users posted funny pictures of kitties, a practice called "Caturday". This didn't become a sensation until the launching of the website I Can Has Cheezburger?, which takes its name from this popular image.
However, the Lolcat phenomenon extends further than just Image Macros. It also spawned "Kitty Pidgin" (a.k.a "Lolspeak"), which is widely regarded as being "the first language born of teh intertubes", along with a programming language and even a kitty theology, complete with its own Bible translation and blasphemers. Just don't do it in real life. There's been an article on them in Time magazine.
Tropes associated with Lolcats:
- Ascended Meme: Adult Swim created a game on their website called "Meowcenaries", which uses LOLcats. It was so popular it gained a sequel.
- Being Watched: Ceiling Cat is watching you trope.
- Big Eater: NOM NOM NOM.
- Bio Augmentation: Mah Genetic Code Is Bein Re Writ!
- Cat Scare: You Make Kitty Scared
- Cats Hate Water On occasion.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: Ceiling Cat is watching you masturbate.
- Companion Cube: The Lolrus' Bukkit.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Happy Cat.
- Cute Kitten
- Defictionalization: The San Francisco artist who painted a Three-story tall LOLcat mural on the side of his building.
- Evil Counterpart: Tacgnol, to Longcat
- God: Ceiling Cat / Longcat
- Fauxtivational Poster
- Flanderization: The pidgin English wasn't always obligatory. Ceiling Cat is probably the most well-known remnant of the proper-English days.
- Funetik Aksent
- Invisibility: Invisible Bicycle.
- I Taste Delicious: I Has A Flavor.
- Memetic Mutation: This is the whole point.
- Older Than Television: As seen here.
- Overly Long Gag: I HAS A BUKKIT! HAS U SEEN MAH BUKKIT? BEETINS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL LOLCASHUN OF BUKKIT IS REVEELED. MAH ASSOCIATES HAS INFORMED MEH YOU ARE IN POSSESSION OF MAH BUKKIT!
- Precision F-Strike: FUCK YOU, I'M AN ANTEATER!
- Retraux: Captions of older photos sometimes go for this. Also, the "Laugh Out Loud Cats", an entire comic devoted to the premise.
- Rouge Angles of Satin
- Satan: Basement Cat / Tacgnol.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Tacgnol. This makes sense, as it's "Longcat" in Theban, a made-up language consisting entirely of backwards English used by Satanists.
- Serious Business: "I are serious cat. This is serious thread."
- Shaped Like Itself: Longcat is looooong.
- Stop Helping Me!: The implied Human response to a statement ending in "no need to thank me".
- Surprise Buttsecks
- The End of the World as We Know It: Catnarok
- Trademark Favorite Food: cheezburgers (yes, with a "z")
- Worst News Judgment Ever: You can now make your own "Breaking news."
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: "Canst thine hath milk curd and minced beef sandwich?"
- You No Take Candle: You No Can Haz Candle.