LOLcats 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. (scroll down a little bit)
However, the LOLcats 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. Just don't do it in real life. There's been an article on them in Time magazine.
Tropes associated with LOLcats:
- Ascended Meme:
- Buffoonish Tomcat: The key idea of having goofy, humorous cats in these memetic images, yet not having much relating to slapstick however.
- Flanderization: The pidgin English wasn't always obligatory. Ceiling Cat is probably the most well-known remnant of the proper-English days.
- Retraux: Captions of older photos sometimes go for this. Also, the "Laugh Out Loud Cats", an entire comic devoted to the premise.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Tacgnol. This makes sense, as it's "Longcat" in Theban, a made-up language consisting entirely of backwards English used by satanists.
- Shaped Like Itself: Longcat is looooong.
- Unwanted Assistance: "Stop Helping Me" is the implied Human response to a statement ending in "no need to thank me".
- Warm-Hearted Walrus: Zig-zagged with Lolrus, whose personality and appearance vary Depending on the Writer. In the original picture, he was portrayed as a lovable elephant seal obsessed with his favorite bucket (or as he calls it, "bukkit.") Whether or not a Lolrus picture is of an actual walrus, the character is still usually portrayed as a benevolent creature looking for bukkits.
- Wily Walrus: Lolrus, despite usually leaning more towards Warm-Hearted Walrus, is sometimes presented as violent and demanding.