1. says

    hehe…i just finished some dissertation work and have a real cat on my lap, purring and playing with my hoodie drawstring. Much better than an LOLCat.

  2. astromcnaught says

    LOLcats, bah.
    Only problem is I tend to crack up at ’em.
    CyberKitty reminding us not to Drink and Drive… Haha.

  3. says

    We put the cat and some props in a box with a device that randomly generates grammatically challenged captions. At any moment there is an exactly 50:50 chance that the result is funny. But, until we open the box and check, the cat and props exist in a spooky half funny / half non-funny eigenstate.

    I iz in ur box collapsin ur wavefunction.

  4. Will E. says

    oh hai–PZ, I have no one to blame but you for my weird fascination with LOLcats. I was not aware of this phenomenon until you posted a link ages ago to LOLCthulhu or LOLcraft. Then I discovered the originals. Normally I wouldn’t stand for animal cuteness humor, but the absurdity and imagination shown in many of the pictures appeals to me in some unholy way.

  5. Ceiling Cat says

    TO: PZ,
    Frum: Da catz

    Wii catz R very ofended bai ur dezir 2 harmz owr frendz, da hoomanz. pleez to be niser, ore we musts taak akchun.

    frum da catz!


  6. C.W. says

    we need to do something involving knives and laserbeams


  7. DK says

    That message from Ceiling Cat – oh, boy, you’re on the big magilla’s list now, you’d better watch your back.

    On a miserable day when all else fails, a LOLcat will make me smile every time.

  8. DnorrisM says

    The univerze cameto a junzton
    when John McKae collapzed hiz wavefunshun
    he lifted da liden
    and found tht it hiden
    a kitte in need of last onction

    -Apologies to the poem’s originator

  9. stogoe says

    My favorite LOLsplats are LOLsecretz and LOLtheist. LOLpresident would be up there, too, if it hadn’t stopped updating last year.

  10. Denis Loubet says

    I’m with you Will E. I have no idea why I am so facinated and amused by the damn things. Even my speech is getting peppered with lolcat. Ugh.

    But sometime the picture is so amazing, and the caption so perfect, that I can’t deny the brilliance that goes into some of them.

    I’m lost.

  11. Carlie says

    I have to admit I luvz the lolcats. There’s also a loltardis livejournal for the Whovian geeks out there, but the lolspinoffs still can’t match the original. An added bonus is that my elder child will laugh so hard at lolcats that whatever he’s drinking comes out his nose, and who wouldn’t laugh at that?

  12. says

    Lolcats are really hit and miss with me. Some of them are clever but a lot of them rely on their ‘leet speak, English-as-a-17th-language crap that doesn’t impress me in the least.

    Stupidity, at least to me, is never entertaining.

  13. Interrobang says

    Funnily enough, the ones that use the mangled language actually do seem to use a reliably mangled language. Anil Dash of LiveJournal notoriety wrote an article a while back called “The Grammar of Cat Macros,” and, while he’s seriously misusing the word “macro”, he’s pretty much on the money otherwise. (I have gotten so good at reading it, I can spot “ungrammatical” LOLcats.) Which is kind of where the humour comes from. I’m not surprised that a certain segment of people don’t get it.

  14. C.W. says

    Stupidity, at least to me, is never entertaining.

    But it’s always invigorating. That’s why I watch Fox News during breakfast. The most effective way to wake up.

  15. says

    That’s a different kind of stupidity. I guess when you’ve been around as long as I have, long enough to have seen the advent of ‘leet speak and have known people like B1FF back in the olden days, it stops being very entertaining. Your mileage may vary.

  16. kmarissa says

    Hm. LOLcat speak is English, dumbed-down? I’m afraid those of you complaining have it backwards. We’re actually speaking a stupid version of Cat.

  17. says

    C’mon, PZ. Does anybody hold a laser to you and make you read them? Leave them alone if you don’t like them. Jeeze.

    What’s with the desire to damage (even if only figuratively) people who laugh at different things than you do? It’s a big old web-wide world after all.

  18. says

    All humor is hit-and miss. Consider Gary Larson’s “The Far Side.” Most of us loved some, liked some, and found some missed us – but the cartoons in each group differed.

    I like the Laser LOLcats such as “Psst! Rudy!” or “Charging,” but that’s just me.

    I think it’s an image macro, as in “Take image and superimpose text in these places,” not a LOLcat macro.

  19. Buffybot says

    Does any of this explain why my brain occasionally gets stuck, so that I find myself thinking in LOLcats?

    Please tell me I’m not the only one experiencing this.

  20. Eric Paulsen says

    LOLpresident would be up there, too, if it hadn’t stopped updating last year. – posted by: stogoe

    Shouldn’t that be LOLitics or something like that?

    “I is in ur Whitehouse shreddin’ ur Constitution!”

  21. Ali says

    Does any of this explain why my brain occasionally gets stuck, so that I find myself thinking in LOLcats?

    Please tell me I’m not the only one experiencing this.

    Posted by: Buffybot

    I have too, I’ve caught myself thinking “DO NOT WANT!”

    I’ve also said “my pokemons, let me show you them.”

    Lolcats are a guilty pleasure, I loves em. No knives or laser beams please, PJ.

  22. says

    While others are taking their cues from LOLCats, my favorite new phrase is taken from a Kelly video: Fuck you with something hard and sandpapery. I was chatting with a couple students before class after thanksgiving and my granmother’s funeral and just the hassles of flying from sioux falls to boston, and i used that phrase. My student just started to giggle and said, “it’s so cool to have a professor that knows that.” I feel out of touch so often (like when I had to describe the Muppet Show) but it’s nice to know I’m not completely lost.

  23. Buffybot says

    Ali, I’m relieved to hear it. It’s like some weird linguistic version of having a song stuck in my head, and for a while everything I think is in LOLcats.

  24. DiscoveredJoys says

    I suspect that for a sizeable number of people the big round eyes in a round face are triggering the ‘recognise cute baby’ patterns in the brain. I also suspect that the LOLcatz language also reminds certain people of childrens’ speech and grammar. And then you ‘realise’ it is a cat, not a baby, and the contradiction in expectations makes the situation funny. Any researchers reading this blog are welcome to scientifically invetigate these suspicions…

    “I looks like baby, luv me”

  25. maxi says


    What the frick are LOlcats????

    I’m not getting the joke here (although that wouldn’t be the first time)!

  26. Julia says

    I’d be lost without my daily fix of ICHC. Indeed, I must confess to creating quite a few images. But I can’t understand the analogy between LOLCATS and babies – I find human babies repulsive and my captions aren’t based on babytalk.

  27. CortxVortx says

    Re: #28

    I left a note for a co-worker: “Your cuvettes. I have them.” She got it.

    — CV

  28. Carlie says

    maxi – Go here. Then prepare to say either “Eh, I don’t get it”, or spend the next three hours laughing through the archives. There are several “memes” that show up over and over again, so the in-jokes take awhile to get. (For example, the newest one at the moment refers to bukkits, which, well, ok, there are buckets. Walruses have them, humans take them away. Um, it’s funnier than it sounds.)

  29. Klaus says

    Yeah, I think the explanation behind the link given is lacking in explanatory power. I especially dislike the choice of pictures, because two kittehs were partially hidden and the third one was out of scale. So much for unbiasedness.
    Anyways, I find it funny because just two days ago I browsed the archive of Icanhascheezburger after reading an article on Spiegel Online (a german magazine). There I found kittehs I knew from other sources, like meh favs Invisble Bike, Monorail cat and Drillcat. Real fun!

  30. DiscoveredJoys says

    Julia, #36,

    You may well be right about babies being repulsive, other people’s babies often are. However if you are ever in a crowded shop or mall and you hear a baby (or young child) give out a ‘distress’ cry you will see several other parents heads whip round as they try to locate the distressed baby. I think it must be built into our genes to respond to such a cry whether we like them or not.

    Now a temper tantrum cry… gets right on your nerves. People would like to queue up to drop kick the little swine into the frozen food section.

    There may well be a better explanation for the LoLcatz phenomenon, nom, nom, nom, but like much of the best humour it is half pointed and half pointless.

  31. Linguigeek says

    Buffybot, Ali,

    Lolcat is its own web language, evolving from leet, another example of a “guild jargon.”

    “In some cases it is used to distinguish those belonging to a group from those who are not. This is sometimes called “guild” or “insider” jargon. Those unfamiliar with a subject can often be tagged by their incorrect use of jargon. The use of jargon by outsiders is considered by insiders to be audacious, since it constitutes a claim to membership of the insider group. Conversely, since outsiders may not see the reference made via jargon, they are all the more sensitive to its more visible elitist social framing. Jargon often comes across as pedantic, nerdy, and divorced from meaning to outsiders”
    –From “Jargon” on Wikipedia
    I find this visible, documented, ongoing example of little-“e” evolution fascinating. There might could be a few dissertations founded on it.

    Leet (AKA 1337):
    Partial dictionary:
    Don’t abuse it:

    I, too, am a victim of the lolcats though (hours and hours), and since the development of language has a lot to do with metaphor and reference (look-up the etymology of “dunce.”), I think we can expect “No Want” and “Nom Nom Nom” have a good chance of lexification someday. I know that TO ME they more perfectly and concisely express their meanings than alternatives.

    Tagged (NOT “tabbed”) browsing is, I think, a revolutionary idea: anybody can add their tags (Wisdom of the Masses, like wikipedia):

    Since linques seem to be working, look at this:

    THAT tise this discussion bak to PZ and miht be uzful for sum of us who don’t speak that particular language as out naytv lingua.

    Why the word “Spandrel”?

    Uh-oh, Ceiling Cat is watching me loaf….

  32. says

    LOLcat reminds me of macaronic (2-language) punning, but it’s really just spelling sort of phonetically and trusting the reader to translate back into sounds and thence into normal English. It is not done easily if English is your second language.

    The “Where’s mah bukkit?” walrus was one of the first LOL animals. Another was the impassive cat with the Heisenberg’s box caption: “I’m in ur box – maybe”?

    Years ago, there were funny posters on paper. I recall one of a kitten hanging on to a branch with the caption, “Hang in there, baby!” Now, it would be done as a LOLcat online.

    Off topic: I visited a wildlife refuge on the edge of the Everglades today – what a delight!

  33. Carlie says

    It’s phonetic spelling, but it has evolved its own grammar of sorts. There have been a few articles online regarding the rules of cat lolspeak, and once you’ve looked at a few dozen you notice if suddenly one’s done ‘wrong’.

  34. Joe mac says

    What the hell is wrong with everyone? I never heard, or saw or thought about a LOLcat until I ran across it on this blog. I hope to never see one again. This blog is off limits until this thread scrolls away.