Bad Luck Brian

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Bad Luck Brian
Bad Luck Brian.jpg
Craven in the "Bad Luck Brian" photo he is known for
Kyle Craven

(1989-08-10) August 10, 1989 (age 33)
EducationArchbishop Hoban High School
Known forBad Luck Brian meme

Kyle Craven (born August 10, 1989), commonly known by his Internet nickname "Bad Luck Brian", is an American Internet celebrity known for his ubiquitous photo posted on Reddit in 2012, which quickly became a popular Internet meme. Bad Luck Brian is an image macro style of meme. His captions describe a variety of unlucky, embarrassing and tragic events.


On January 23, 2012, at 2:15 UTC,[1] Ian Davies uploaded a photo to Reddit of his friend Kyle Craven.[2] Craven and Davies both attended Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio.[3] The photo which became Bad Luck Brian was originally taken for the high school's 2005-06 yearbook. Craven stated that he rubbed his face with a sweater to redden it and donned a goofy smile. The high school principal at the time had him retake the photo, but Craven and Davies had already scanned and saved the original picture.[4] The photo quickly became popular on the image board 4chan, and social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, depicting "a guy who can't catch a break [...] a symbol for a stroke of hilarious bad luck".[2]

Notable depictions[edit]

In 2013, Bad Luck Brian (depicted by Craven himself) featured in a YouTube video sketch alongside fellow meme Overly Attached Girlfriend, where the two characters go on a date. This collaboration prompted Craven to create his own Bad Luck Brian Youtube channel and accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.[2]

Bad Luck Brian was turned into T-shirts, stuffed animals and novelty items sold by Walmart and Hot Topic.[2] He starred in ad campaigns for companies like Volkswagen. In October 2018, Craven did a series of advertisements for McDonald's featuring the Bad Luck Brian character, which were featured on YouTube, Reddit, and Spotify.[5][6] Including licensing deals and merchandise, Craven estimates he made $20,000 within three years since 2015.[7]

In March 2021, Craven sold a Bad Luck Brian non-fungible token (NFT) for around $36,000.[8]

Kyle Craven[edit]

A Redditor claiming to be Bad Luck Brian attempted to do an AMA thread in the "Ask Me Anything" subreddit on April 11, 2012, but the thread was removed. Craven returned to a different Advice Animals subreddit on May 8, 2012 with an AMA thread.[9]

Craven is the chief operating officer at his father's church construction company.[10]


  1. ^ "Bad Luck Brian". Reddit. Reddit. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Contrera, Jessica (January 5, 2015). "Being Bad Luck Brian: When the meme that made you famous starts to fade away". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "Washington Post profiles Cuyahoga Falls native behind 'Bad Luck Brian' meme". January 6, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "Anatomy of a meme: The real story of Bad Luck Brian, his viral class portrait and the fleeting nature of online fame". National Post. January 6, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  5. ^ McDonald's (October 5, 2018), Trick. Treat. Win!: Bad Luck Brian | McDonald's, retrieved October 9, 2018
  6. ^ Fernandez, Jacqueline (October 11, 2018). "McDonald's Takes Another Stab At Meme Marketing With 'Bad Luck Brian' Ad". AListdaily. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  7. ^ Kinney, Mary (January 7, 2015). "'Bad Luck Brian' meme brings in a big paycheck". AOL.
  8. ^ Rosenblatt, Kalhan (April 29, 2021). "A meme gold rush? Classic viral images are selling as NFTs for thousands of dollars". NBC News. Archived from the original on April 29, 2021. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  9. ^ "10 good facts about Bad Luck Brian, the unluckiest meme". The Daily Dot. January 27, 2021. Retrieved May 2, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Gidan, Jenn (January 6, 2015). "An Internet Meme's Real Life: Building Churches". Newser. Retrieved January 6, 2015.

External links[edit]