An animation meme is a type of short animation set to music that follows a specific template.
They are generally done by amateur artists hoping to better their animation skills, show off their Original Characters, or just have a little fun. A type of animation meme will generally all look the same. Some artists might make more original looking animations, however overall the memes involve the characters doing specific things to the music.
Most animation memes use animal characters, varying from either being Funny Animal, Partially Civilized Animal, or Civilized Animal ones. Due to the skill set of many of the artists, it could be because Furries Are Easier to Draw or it could be because they find the characters cute. Many of these people don't identify as being in the Furry Fandom despite using animals. It's also not uncommon to see Undertale inspired characters, OCs, or Sans himself in animation memes. Other popular fandoms like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Steven Universe also pop up in memes.
Despite being called an "animation meme", a large number of the animations actually contain Limited Animation. Most are low on frames and feature limited movements from the characters. They're also usually under 2 minutes long each.
The style of animation memes tend to be simplistic and they focus on a single format: the character is center-stage in front of a plain or otherwise minimalistic background. They bob their heads to the beat of the song playing. At certain points in the song they will either pose differently or something very violent and dark will occur to them. Body Horror and gorn are not uncommon in animation memes.
Examples of Popular Memes:
- There's a meme for "Body" by Mother Mother. It generally features crying and Body Horror set to the song. The original was by a Youtuber named Justice-J. Surprisingly for a meme so famous for its gorn, the original featured absolutely no gore.
- "Burnt Rice" is a one of the most popular animation memes. It's set to "BURNT RICE" by Shawn Wasabi. The main form has two characters together. One is sitting on the floor and the other is standing across from the other. Usually the one on the floor is on their smartphone when the other character starts dancing provocatively. The character on the floor gets distracted, starts filming, and otherwise has various reactions to the others dancing. The original was by a Youtuber named Scotch.
- The Caramelldansen Vid predates the popularization of the term "animation meme" but fits nevertheless. It's a loop of characters swishing to the song "Caramelldansen" by Caramell. The original video featured a gif from Popotan.
- "Convenience Store" predates the term but counts nevertheless. It is a Japanese animation meme that was popular in the late 2000s. It's about a bored person who goes to a local convenience store in the middle of the night. It uses the song "Konbini" from the Japanese comedy duo Brief & Trunks.
- "CRAWLING IN MY CRAWL" is a Stylistic Suck themed meme. It's set to this remix of "Crawling" by Linkin Park. The original animation was by a Youtuber called "Scotch". It was supposed to be a joke poking fun at furries who wanted Scotch to do their memes, but eventually people began animating it themselves
- "Dollhouse" is a meme set to the Jai Wolf remix of "Dollhouse" by Melanie Martinez where characters dance to the song. The original was by a Youtuber named yeagar.
- "Emotional" is an animation meme associated with Body Horror. It's set to the song "Emotional" by Flux Pavilion and Matthew Koma. It starts out with white silhouettes of the characters' poses repeating in sequence before it switches to slower, coloure in versions of them (typically including one having them holding their face happily, another having them crying, another having them bloody, and the last having them shying away). A character sings the lyrics "Baby, I lose my cool...". Afterwards the characters faces the screen and their eyes glow. The poses repeat but with images of the character inbetween every few lines. How it ends depends on the artist however a common way is to depict the character in a monstrous form with multiple eyes. The original was by a Youtuber called zotiel.
- "Hot Milk" is an animation meme associated with gorn. It's set to "Hot Milk" by Snail's House. The character smiles at the screen and when the beat drops they change poses (usually to something gorey or dark). The original was by a Youtuber named weeniefang.
- "Hypnotic" is an animation scene set to "Ramalama (Bang Bang)" by Roisin Murphy. It's a Nightmare Fuel-themed meme where an usually ominous looking character sways their head to a Deliberately Monochrome swirling background. The original was by a Youtuber named Smokes.
- "I Ship It" is an animation meme set to the parody song "I Ship It" by Not Literally Productions. In it, the animator essentially just vents out their favorite shippings. The original was by a Youtuber named DeadlyFang.
- "Jenny" is an animation meme set to "Jenny" by Studio Killers. Despite the song being about two women, most animations are about a man and a woman. The animations feature a lot of head-bobbing and expression changes. The original was by a Youtuber named Lousytransparent.
- "Just a Bit Crazy" is an animation by the late Edd Gould of his Eddsworld characters doing weird things to the tune of a perky chiptune beat—Edd himself stretches his neck really long, Tord starts waving his arms around and Tom spins his head like an owl until Matt jumps in and yells at them. While it predates the term, it became quite possibly one of the earliest animation memes on Youtube, with hundreds of fanmade remakes following its inception.
- The "Leek Spin" predates this trope however fits the attributes. It features a character twirling a leek set to "Ievan Polka" by Loituma. The meme originated from a scene in the second episode of Bleach where Orihime twirls a leek around, though the meme has become more associated with the Hatsune Miku parody (which is arguably her Signature Song). Also available with More Dakka and Reckless Gun Usage courtesy of Homura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
- "Legs" is an animation meme set to the song "Legs" by Naomi Small and Lucian Piane. The animations center around a character's attractive legs. It was started by a Youtuber called weedcat.
- "Let's Face It [x]'s Cute" (also known as "Let's Face It I'm Cute") is set to "Let's Face It I'm Cute" song by 11 Acorn Lane. A character dances and poses to the song. There then is a close-up of their face where they face the side and blink. The same thing repeats with a second character however they then face 'each other' this time. The animation repeats but with both posing at the same time now. The original was by a Youtuber called MtfoxX3.
- "Papito" is a meme set to the song "Papito Chocolata" by SEEYA. It's a more sexual animation meme than most, though the original was safe-for-work. It has characters posing than swaying seductively. The original was by a Youtuber named kittydog.
- "Pop Culture" is an animation meme set to "Pop Culture" by Madeon where characters pose to the song. The original was by a Youtuber named Frontier Hero.
- "Pork Soda" is a meme set to the "Pineapples are in my head..." portion of "Pork Soda" by Glass Animals. The meme generally consists of one character on both sides of the screen. They bob their heads to the music and occasionally change expressions. The screen pans in on their expressions several times. About 30 seconds into the animation the video frames in on the character looking at the screen, usually with hypnotic eyes as the character disappears leaving only the eyes left. The animation is meant to be Deliberately Monochrome with minimal color use, though some animators fully color it. The original was by a Youtuber called "Eddoodles".
- "Posin'" is one of the simplest animation memes. It's set to "Posin'" by Peggy Suave. As the name implies, it's actually still images of characters posing rather than an actual animation. The original was by Nebulilac. There are two variations on the meme. The original version has two characters posing side-by-side. The second version has two characters posing then dancing together.
- "The Rolling Series" is a series of animations re-enacting a hand-drawn animation from Nico Nico Douga set to the Vocaloid song "Rolling Girl" by wowaka. The template has a character at the top of a hill, who then suddenly falls as the song starts and starts clumsily tumbling down, until they regain control of themselves and starts performing acrobatic stunts like jumping and spinning around, and eventually ending the song perfectly landing on their feet.
- "Senpai" is an animation meme set to MajorLeagueWobs remix of "Senpai" by Shiki. It's a NSFW meme about a scantily clad guy being fawned over by an equally scantily clad character. The original was by a Youtuber called Alkatoster.
- "Something Has To Happen" is an animation meme set to the song of the same name by Mister Scoops. Unlike most animation memes, what happens in the video is never set in stone beyond it almost always being horror related (if it isn't, expect it to turn out to be a parody). The original was made by a Youtuber named Purple Unknown.
- "What it feels like to get a GTX 1080", a short video on how it feels to get the said high-end device. Basically, it opens with a stick figure getting pissed off by the specs of his video card, and promptly buys the top-of-the-line Nvidia GTX 1080, where he feels the windsweeping awesomeness of it. Naturally, a meme wave emerged with other people buying high-end devices after being dissatisfied with the current ones.