17 Signs That The Harambe Meme Has Gone Too Far

If you have been on the internet at least one time over the past few months, you will have noticed that there is one meme among many–“haven’t heard that name in years“; “you vs. the guy she tells you not to worry about” ; “roses are red” –that has managed to define itself, for whatever reason, as the meme of the summer. It’s Harambe.

Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Harambe? (Jealous!!!) If so, here is the backstory: On May 28th, 2016, a seventeen-year-old silverback gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, named Harambe, was shot and killed after a toddler fell into its enclosure. People on the internet, as one might expect, were not pleased–silverback gorillas are an endangered species and there was some disagreement as to whether or not the gorilla was dragging the child or trying to help him–but one that seemed the type to blow over after a few days.

Then it became a meme. The gist of Harambe, like all successful memes, was bizarre and somewhat tasteless–it piggybacked on the idea that the gorilla was killed senselessly and gained traction from a number of “tributes” to it–but funny enough when deployed under the right circumstances. But then, something happened–the meme refused to die.

Memes are best when they are ephemeral, generally, and have a few weeks or days for people to play with it before some major corporation or politician uses it and renders the meme kaput. Instead, Harambe was absorbed by the alt-right (the movement that presents an alternative conservative ideology and is propelled by memes and other byproducts of internet culture) and use it to express explicitly racist beliefs, most notably to harass Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones (pictures of the gorilla were included among the nude photographs that were posted on her website when it was hacked).

In short, this meme, which was really not ever in good fun at all, has reached a point where it is so definitively not fun that it just needs to stop. How, exactly, remains to be seen (Hillary Clinton posting a “dicks out for Harambe” tribute would do it, probably), but, in the meantime, check out these Harambe posts that prove that the meme has absolutely gone too far:

1. I mean, sure. Sometimes it’s funny:


2. Very funny:


3. But do we really want to be living in a world in which you and Martin Shkreli have the same taste in anything, let alone humor?


4. And Milo Yiannopoulos stans rep Harambe in their Twitter names?


5. And white boys are singing their dumb li’l ukulele jams about Harambe?


6. And their…raps?


7. And this Buzzfeed quiz has the very nerve to exist?




9. This one isn’t, either:


10. See?


11. This joke, too:


12. Also, let you forgot, it has become very racist:


13. I mean:

14. Literally never get you a man who can do both:




16. It’s true:


17. Let him go:

What do you think of the Harambe meme? Has it gone too far or are you still in favor of it? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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  • Red Pandza

    Stupid and unfunny is what the meme is, but it’s so bizarre nobody wants to use it. No big brand name is going to propagate this shit, so it’s stuck here.

  • creativecubez

    Harambe would’ve loved those memes.

  • Shogun1x

    Sadly, Harambe isn’t alive to tell us how tired he is of these memes. R.I.P.