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If you’re ever feeling down and looking for a quick way to brighten your day, there’s probably no better remedy out there than animal memes. Combining lightheartedness with hilarity and cuteness, animal memes are hard to beat when it comes to helping someone feel better. 

Animal memes are also often inoffensive, making it a great go-to when meme sharing. You can send one to your friend or your mom and, in both cases, you’ll get a great response. No wonder they are so popular.

The collection we’re presenting to you today is from animals.hilarious, an Instagram with a whopping 2.1 million followers. Scroll down to see our favorite ones.

While animal memes are often feelgood and fun, that is not always necessarily the case. The prime and probably one of the saddest examples of it is one of the most popular memes in the recent decade, Harambe.

It all started from a very unfortunate accident which caused the premature passing of a beloved gorilla in Cincinnati Zoo. Then, it all grew into an unexpectedly loud public outcry about the matter, with people going to protests and vigils to mourn the animal. 

Soon enough, it all spiraled out of control as the tragedy got memefied and politicized left and right. There was a lot of parent shaming going on, white nationalist groups got involved, and someone spent nearly $100,000 for a Cheeto that resembles Harambe. All while the zoo itself condemned the trend and urged people to put it all behind them.

"We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe," Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director expressed his disapproval to the press. "Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us. We are honoring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us."

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sisceal
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They all be like 'what's so interesting over there? Can I see?' 🤔

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David A Paterson
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There was a lion that did that in one of the books I read. I think it was a Gerald Durrell. The lion had learned ventriloquism to terrify the keepers.

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The case of Harambe was weird and disturbing from the start, but there are animal memes that seem completely innocent, yet the stories behind them are quite dark. One of them is certainly “woman yelling at a cat.”

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Sergy Yeltsen
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The look of utter shock on the cat's face, and the look of love on the dog's face in the second photo just makes my day.

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First things first, the woman is, of course, not yelling at the cat. These two pictures are actually completely unrelated. The cat is called Smudge. According to the story about the origins of the picture used in the meme, Smudge was always insistent on having a seat at the dinner table. 

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One time, in 2018, his family had people over and once one of the guests stood up, Smudge promptly took over his seat. His disgruntled expression is what made his owner snap a picture and post it on Tumblr, where it got over 50,000 notes and reposts over a year. So far, the story is quite innocent.

Things get a little darker when talking about the woman in the meme. She is Taylor Armstrong, one of the stars of the reality show 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'. The picture used in the meme is a screenshot from one of the episodes of the show that aired in 2011. 

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In the episode, Armstrong got into a verbal altercation with another woman on the show, Camille Grammer. The reason behind the fight was Grammer’s actions. You see, Armstrong had privately discussed the abuse she was experiencing at the hands of her husband. At that time, it was something she did not want to be aired publicly. 

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Sheila Stamey
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'll help you get mad baby. I know that struggle is real.biting ankles is always a good option.

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However, Grammer spilled it all in front of the cameras. Once Armstrong found out, she lost her temper and confronted Grammer in a now-infamous fight. This already ugly situation was made worse once Armstrong’s then-husband ended his own life a month after she filed for divorce. In other words, the situation was nothing to laugh about. 

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Pernille.
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It not the cake that's embarrassing him, it's the people singing Happy Birthday.

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Susie Elle
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm pretty sure that's how squirrels scratch themselves with their hind paw

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Once the meme went viral, fans asked for Armstrong’s thoughts about the trend on X. She responded with kindness, saying “that is my past and I have moved on and am in a really healthy, happy marriage. It doesn’t seem like my life any longer. I work [with] domestic violence shelters and support victims. It’s okay to laugh at the images that have been created.”

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All of that to say that not all memes are as lighthearted and funny as it may seem. But the ones on this list are quite joyous! ... That’s, of course, until we all find out about the underbelly of these ones, too.

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Multa Nocte
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know we are not allowed to want to have wildlife as pets. I know it. I know it. I know it. I want this puma as my pet.

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Sheila Stamey
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've got him guys. He's not going anywhere. I hope you guys appreciate me tripping him for you. - Citizen Cat

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Multa Nocte
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love this photo and yet I am so anxious to look it it at the same time.

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David
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They used to do this too me when I fed them regularly when I lived downtown. Then I stopped and it took them several weeks to not flock to me every time I stepped out of my apartment even though I didn't have any food with me.

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Shark Lady
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4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Kitties start the drama, then sit back and watch the chaos they are responsible for.

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Note: this post originally had 75 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.