“I Has Seen Image Macros!” Advice Animals Memes as Visual-Verbal Jokes

Marta Dynel


This essay considers the prevalent but underresearched phenomenon of humorous Internet memes by focusing on Advice Animal image macros, conceptualized as an internally diversified joke genre proliferating across social media. Specifically, Advice Animals are seen as cycles of visual–verbal jokes—widespread humorous units typical of participatory new media, which flourish via individual users’ creative contributions. Based on a selection of meme templates that have been very popular in the past few years, I advance several hypotheses about the pragma-cognitive mechanisms underpinning the humor that stems from the visual or verbal components, or combinations of them.


Advice Animals, incongruity–resolution model, Internet humor, joke, meme, verbal humor, visual humor

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