The true story behind the scared hamster meme is actually kinda sad
The hamster was genuinely scared
It seems every animal you could possibly think of has got the meme treatment – Cheems the doge is in constant use, just as the cat at the dinner table had a good run (and let’s not even talk Chanel the parrot) – but an animal meme that has consistently stood the test of time has got to be the scared hamster meme. You know the one, the hamster that looks as if it is recoiling in fear, leaning back into the corner of its little cage with a terrified expression on its face. Yeah, that one.
Well, while the TikTok hamster cult took hamster memes to a new crescendo in popularity, few people know where the scared hamster meme actually came from. So, here’s everything we know about the scared hamster behind the popular meme.
Where did the scared hamster meme come from?
The screenshot comes from a video of a Petsmart employee feeding one of their hamsters. Uploaded to Twitter in 2016, @m0vingdae explained that the hamster screamed at them because it was having its food changed, and it’s actually kinda sad to see the animal clearly so stressed out.
This is a video of a hamster screaming at me because I'm trying to change his food pic.twitter.com/l8FzV9oNWp
— dae moved ! (@m0vingdae) June 9, 2016
Then, two years later, the same user on their second account @dattebanyan posted a photo taken alongside the video and the meme that we all know and love was officially born:
Back when I worked at petsmart I took this picture of this hamster who literally screamed every time I tried to feed him and omfg I’m crying pic.twitter.com/pGCYd0b9pf
— 0X1LOVESONG❄️💙 (@dattebanyan) December 15, 2018
In the replies, the uploader said that the hamster’s frightful behaviour was down to how “dramatic” they can be: “I’m laughing at all of the comments that are like WHAT DID YOU DO TO IT,” she wrote.
“Y’all all I did was literally pull out the tub to feed it and it would pop out of the bedding and scream at me until I pushed the tub back. Hamsters are dramatic as fuck.”
From there, the meme blew up and became one of the most popular animal memes on the internet. Variations started to crop up, such as an edit of the hamster with a cross in its hand as seen above.
And that’s about all there is to it – a genuinely scared hamster was behind the scared hamster meme. Who’d have thought?