14 Regular People Now Living as Internet Memes


#9. Success Kid

Sammy Griner had no idea – he hadn’t even been alive for a whole year yet – that when his photographer mother Laney snapped a photo of him with a handful of sand he would become internet famous. She titled the pose “Why I oughta…” on Flickr, and by January 2008 the picture was making the rounds on MySpace. The pic bounced around for a while before being reborn as “Success Kid” on reddit forum Advice Animals in January 2011.

Virgin Media has even grabbed the rights to use Sammy’s photo on billboards in the UK, and he even appeared in a commercial for Vitamin Water.

For his part, Sammy is now 5:

Photo Credit: Did You Know

#8. Too Damn High

When Jimmy McMillan was running for governor of New York in 2010, he talked a lot about how rent was “too damn high.” After that year’s Gubernatorial Debate was uploaded to YouTube, the internet created “Too Damn High” guy.

Since becoming Reddit famous and after a failed presidential run, McMillan has parlayed his “stardom” into singing with Occupy protesters, hanging out on college campuses, and being parodied on Saturday Night Live. He ran for governor again in New York’s 2014 election, but did not succeed.

#7. Hipster Barista

Photo Credit: Funky Junk

Dustin Mattson is really good at his job as a barista – he’s even placed in both regional and national barista competitions, which I had no idea was a thing before writing this article.

He’s also the face of Hipster Barista, the too-cool-for-you expert on java and things that you’re going to realize are awesome about six months too late. Because he takes his job as a barista very seriously, Mattson isn’t as amused as everyone else by his minor internet celebrity. He told a reporter for “If anyone were to see me and my coworkers’ work in the café, they’d see that it doesn’t quite match up to most of the jokes made against the ‘Hipster Barista.’”

#6. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Photo Credit: The Hoya

There’s no debate that Zeddie Watkins Little is a good-looking guy. Even so, Little says that this photograph, taken by Will King during the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run, was a “total fluke.” He’s admitted that he doesn’t hate his status as an officially good-looking guy, and even chatted with readers about it after Reddit blew up his meme.

“I have to say, I really enjoy being part of such a good joke.” He also showed up on Good Morning America with photographer Will King to tell the story.

#5. Skateboarding Professor

Photo Credit:

“Walking sucks, so I get there on my wheels.” At least, that’s why Dr. Thomas Winter, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, prefers skateboarding to walking around campus. He doesn’t see what the fuss is about, but the Internet loves it – after Redditor tr0llzor posted a picture of the 68-year-old rolling to class, a meme was born.

Winter admits to not really getting the “contemporary slang” of the image captions, and is further confused by the idea of memes in general. He retired from his position in spring 2013.