Explain Like I’m 35: Who Is The Banana Cat? (April 23, 2023)

Most of us are no stranger to the philosophy that cats rule the internet. They’re cute, they’re funny, and you can do some hilarious things to them in Photoshop; by extension, this means that they have always been meme heavyweights as well. LOLcats introduced millions of people to the idea of funny internet pictures, which to this day is probably what anybody’s older and kinda online relatives consider a non-Minion related meme to be.

Dog people and dog memes have certainly had their many moments in the sun since the Cheezburger first made its way onto the scene. Lately though, the spotlight has been right back on their feline rivals. The reason (a suddenly inescapable TikTok trend) is predictable, the contents slightly less so. Remember when the likes of the Crying Cat were the overemotional cutting edge of feline internet humor? Well, they’ve had an animated makeover.

Banana Cat is essentially this meme in a banana suit with some animation attached, and its main character trait/superpower is that it will burst into floods of tears at any given moment. It goes on various adventures with other kitty friends, including other fruit-based felines. However, the most notable of these is the Happy Cat. The Yin to Banana Cat’s Yang, it is forever followed around by the ‘My Happy’ song that TikTok users have previously used to soundtrack the eccentricities of their real life pets. 

Not dissimilar to the AI Presidents phenomenon, the cats inhabit an alternate universe crafted by an ongoing webseries type of situation, that anyone with the appropriate knowhow can contribute to. They even play Minecraft now and then. Unlike Biden and the rest, though, the predicaments they find themselves in are often more high stakes. Dangling off cliffs and accidental poisonings abound, but worry not — Banana Cat and friends always find a way to bounce back to that Happy theme tune. 

The cat memes of 2007 shared relatable feelings through LOLspeak, and gave a gentle introduction to meme lore with the likes of Ceiling Cat and the cookie that got eated. In 2023, that’s turned into complete absurdist escapism. Many of these videos have at least one person sarcastically commenting underneath them ‘is this real’? If anything, it’s just as dumb as reality, just way more entertaining.

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