The Moment That Maketh The Meme

It’s a question that’s been asked since the dawn of time – or at least since Britney circa 2007. How can one (totes freaky) image spark a billion reactions?

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins told us that nuggets of cultural information – aka memes – can spread with a life of their own, evolving and mutating as they pass from one host to the next. In biological terms, it’s a bit like the “selfish” gene. Or glandular fever during freshers’ week.

The latest online sensation is no exception – and this time it’s not just an Instagram behemoth, but a literal one. Yes, in much the same fashion that the little critters munch their way through your finest Uniqlo cashmere, a moth invasion has descended on the internet with speed, force and a passion for lamps.

But before we all scramble to get our hands on a set of digital mothballs, we at MotherZine thought it was worth doing a little bit of dissection* on the origins of Mothy and his predecessors. After all, much like our winged friends, it only takes one to start the infestation. And their lifespan is usually pretty short.


The Moth: September 2018

Was it a lightbulb moment that sparked the moth craze?** No. Like pretty much everything else on the internet, it was Reddit. Specifically the realisation by one Redditor that, much like MotherZine first thing in the morning, moths look really freaky close up.

Since then, our moth friend has seen car backseats, European landmarks and the mid 2000s pop punk scene, all united by one passion – his love of light.


Distracted Boyfriend: June 2018

Everyone in ad land knows that good stock images can provide the antidote to a tricky no-time-for-a-reshoot spot. Likewise, everyone on the internet knows that bad stock images can provide the antidote to a lack of Twitter lols.

Enter “Distracted Boyfriend” – discovered by one tweeter whilst scrolling Shutterstock. Originally tagged as “infidelity”, the troubled trio have become the personification of pretty much every hot (and cold) topic ever.


Salt Bae: January 2017

There are some memes that your little sister has to explain to you at Christmas dinner whilst you consider collecting your old age pension. And there are some memes that even your dad knows. Salt Bae is the latter.

A nickname given to Turkish chef Nusret Gökç after he posted a video in which he flamboyantly seasoned a steak, Salt Bae has since become a symbol for all round #finesse.


Arthur Fist: June 2016 

If there’s one things millennials love more than spending their potential home deposits on avocado toast, it’s ‘90s nostalgia. Enter Arthur, and his fist of fury.

Discovered by an eagle eyed Twitterer whilst watching cartoon reruns, the clenched hand** has come to represent a relatable brand of repressed rage.



*Not in a high school biology class sense.

** Sorry/not sorry.

*** Or paw? Answers on a postcard, please.


Happening At Mother


One of our trusty creative minds got inspired to the max on a recent trip to Japan – and the result was a visual love letter to that great nation and its culture. The handy prints make a perfect addition to many-a-home, perhaps even yours. Available to buy and then adore. It’s either the most ruthlessly commercial or heartfelt thing in history. We can’t decide.