One of the most common pastimes available on the Internet. Take a fairly representative image of some kind, slap a redundant caption on it in a bold stark font, and upload it somewhere to share with people. It's as simple as that!
Most image macros are photographs of cats, called LOLCats, but they don't even have to be photographs. Captions are typically word replacements (called snowclones) of Internet memes, such as "Im in ur X, Ying ur Z", "I has a X", "X has a flavor", "redundant statement is redundant", and "invisible X". Despite still being popular in some circles, the once iconic "advice animal" format is, in general, considered a long-past fad of the late-2000s/early-2010s.
The term comes from the Something Awful fora where certain keywords were replaced with funny pictures, or "images", by an automatic script, or "macro". The vast majority of lol* are not actually used that way anymore, but it's the term that most people know.
Image macros as page images are discouraged on TV Tropes, since most of them aren't really useful or funny. In fact, there's a tag on Image Pickin' called NSFW/Image Macro. TLP Bump, Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!, and this page are the only exceptions to this rule.
- I Can Has Cheezburger primarily has LOLCats, and also has many other lol____s.
- The Complete Walrus Bucket Saga — the lolrus is a crowd favorite.
- Memegenerator is dedicated entirely to the Image Macro sub-concept of the more general Memetic Mutation kind of Internet phenomena. The usual layout of such an image, at least on said site, is usually one single image, with some text on its top followed by another one at its bottom. The below-described Courage Wolf and the like are some of the best known memes on that site.
- LolBuffy has an extensive set of links to lolfriends.
- This thread contains lolerfs based on the webcomic Erfworld, as well as some faux motivators and other remix comics.
- Another famous theme is "Demotivators", parodies of the old motivational phrase posters of corporate lore. It's gotten to the point there are motivator generators for convenient creation.
- this XKCD comic takes a shot at the phenomenon.
- LolSecrets, in the vein of PostSecret. The meme just keeps growing...
- ihasatardis, for the Doctor Who stuff. This includes stuff in foreign languages, including the entire "O RLY" meme in Russian.
- ihazastopwatch, the Livejournal for Torchwood macros.
- Halolz for video game stuff.
- The Face Palm is an image of a person or character holding their hand on their face as if embarrassed or disappointed. It typically goes without text because it alone symbolizes just how bad someone failed.
- OM NOM NOM NOM
- DO NOT WANT originated from a mistranslation of Star Wars Episode III.
- Pundit Kitchen for political lulz.
- Ban-hammers: many moderators and GMs wield them.
- ihasafreezeray, or Dr. Horrible's Evil Macro Community of Evil, is the go-to place for Dr. Horrible macros. Take for example these two. Affiliate with the example below.
- I have no idea what you're talking about ... so here's a bunny with a pancake on its head.
- YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. Seen on 4chan, especially the Nicolas Cage one.
- Some Heroes macros.
- Lolthulhu : Cthulhu and the rest of the Lovecraftian mythos
- DRGBLZ : Airships◊
- Over at the Ficcing_Seeds lj comm: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds macros here, here and here.
- Happy Snake is happy to learn of this!◊
- YES! THIS TROPE PLEASES GAGA!◊
- Advice Dog. It would be a good idea not to follow his advice.
- Courage Wolf. HE'LL INSPIRE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU!!!
- Insanity Wolf. Scariest, most fucking insane advice you'll hear.
- Socially Awkward Penguin. Hits closer to home than you'd like.
- Actual Advice Mallard. Might actually be useful.
- And countless others. Expect various fandoms to have some with characters from the show.
- In fact, advice dog variants have become so common that the term "meme" has almost replaced "image macro" because of it.
- High Expectations Asian Father. YOU SLEPT FOR 5 HOURS. WHY YOU SO LAZY?
- HOLA QUERIDA. THIS MORNING I MAKE FOR YOU THE WAFFLES.