I Can Has Cheezburger?

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I Can Has Cheezburger?
Type of site
OwnerCheezburger, Inc.
Created byCo-founder Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami
LaunchedJanuary 2007
Current statusActive
Cheezburger, Inc. former CEO Ben Huh at ROFLCon II in 2010
An example of an image that was posted on ICHC

I Can Has Cheezburger? (abbreviated as ICHC) is a blog-format website featuring videos (usually involving animals) and image macros. It was created in 2007 by Eric Nakagawa (Cheezburger), from Hawaii, and his friend Kari Unebasami (Tofuburger).[1] The website was one of the most popular Internet sites of its kind receiving as many as 1,500,000 hits per day at its peak in May 2007.[2][3] ICHC was instrumental in bringing animal-based image macros and lolspeak into mainstream usage and making Internet memes profitable.[4]

ICHC was created on January 11, 2007, when Nakagawa posted an image from comedy website Something Awful of a smiling British Shorthair cat, known as Happycat, with a caption of the animal asking, "I can has cheezburger?". It is from this image that the site derives its name. After posting similar images, Nakagawa then converted the site to a monetized blog.[3]

A group of investors acquired the website in September 2007 for US$2 million.[5] The blog became the flagship site of the Cheezburger Network, led by Ben Huh. The network also includes FAIL Blog and Know Your Meme. In 2016 the network was acquired by Literally Media.[6][7]


ICHC's content is submitted by the site's readers, and the site hosts "the LOL Builder", an image macro creation tool. The number of submissions has risen dramatically with the growth of the site. In July 2007, ICHC received as many as 500 submissions per day.[8] By January 2008, the average was 8000.[4] Only about a dozen or so submissions per day are posted to the website,[9] while updates are timed to coincide with when readers are most likely to be visiting the site – morning, lunchtime and evenings.[3] As of 2008, ICHC gets about 2 million page views per day.[10]

The site attempts to maintain a community feel, encouraging interactivity with readers via a voting system where users can rate an image from one to five "cheezburgers", and through themes as one image will attract responses to form a continuous narrative. According to Nakagawa, "It's like you're creating a story supplied by people in the community, and then the people in the community supply the next part of the story."[3] Until 2013, ICHC also ran a wiki at SpeakLolSpeak.com designed to be a collection of important lolspeak phrases.[11]

Popular trends on the ICHC website for captioning have included "ceiling cat" (usually a white cat); "basement cat" (a black cat); the "itteh bitteh kitteh committeh"; invisible [something]; the Lolrus and his "bukkit"; fail (now moved to FAIL Blog); "om nom nom" (as in eating sounds); references to "cheezburgers"; "happy caturday"; "monorail kitteh"; "oh hai"; and "kthxbai" ("OK, thanks, goodbye"). ICHC has popularized snowclones such as "I'm in your (noun), (verb ending in ing) your (noun)"; " [some activity or emotion], ur doin it right/wrong"; and "I gave/brought you [something] but I eated it/uzed it all up".


The typeface Impact is used in almost every picture on all the I Can Has Cheezburger websites (though not as much on its subsidiary websites, such as Memebase), and has even gone as far as to be attempted to be replicated in an oil painting representation of the original "Happy cat" (the original lolcat to say "I Can Has Cheezburger?") on the ICHC website. This use of the font stems from it being the font of choice in Something Awful image macros for many[12] hence it is the default font in the site's Lolcat Builder. Many people creating lolcats in other software have used the same font to retain the classic I Can Has Cheezburger look. Other standard fonts are available on the builder.

Spin-off projects and publications[edit]

A network of related sister sites has developed alongside ICHC, called the Cheezburger Network. 25 of these are linked to each other via a navigation bar at the top of each site. LOLwork on Bravo chronicled employees lives at the ICHC office.[13]

ICHC produced a book, I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun, in 2008.[14] A second ICHC book, How To Take Over The Wurld: An LOLcat Guide 2 Winning, was published in 2009.[15] Also, FAIL Blog released its first book, Fail Nation: A Visual Romp Through the World of Epic Fails, on October 6, 2009.[16]

Cheezburger was the subject of the LOLwork reality television series on the Bravo television network. The series followed Ben Huh and his staff as they created new content for the site.[17]

#ICanHazPDF, derived from I Can Has Cheezburger?, is a hashtag used on Twitter by researchers seeking academic papers for free to get around academic journals' paywalls.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wortham, Jenna (April 25, 2008). "Behind the Memes: Kickin' It With the I Can Has Cheezburger? Kids | Underwire". Wired.com. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Huh, Ben (March 9, 2008). "SXSW 2008 Panel LOLWUT? Why Do I Keep Coming Back to This Website?". Rocketboom. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Tozzi, John (July 13, 2007). "Bloggers Bring in the Big Bucks". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Steel, Sharon (February 1, 2008). "The cuteness surge". The Phoenix. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  5. ^ Moses, Asher (July 18, 2008). "Huh? He's a weird burger and a net cult". Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ "Literally Media Buys Cheezburger To Reach Millennials". www.mediapost.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  7. ^ "Cheezburger's new owner is Israeli digital-media company". The Seattle Times. April 21, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Grossman, Lev (July 12, 2007). "Creating a Cute Cat Frenzy". Time. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  9. ^ Rutkoff, Aaron (August 25, 2007). "With 'LOLcats' Internet Fad, Anyone Can Get In on the Joke". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
  10. ^ Wortham, Jenna (April 25, 2008). "Behind the Memes: Kickin' It With the I Can Has Cheezburger? Kids". Wired. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  11. ^ "The Definitive Lolcats Glossary - Speak Lol Speak". speaklolspeak.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Whatport80.com, History and design of image macros Archived March 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Patterson, Troy (November 7, 2012). "Another Day at the LOLffice". Slate.
  14. ^ "I Can Has Cheezburger? A Lolcat Collekshun". Archived from the original on May 18, 2014.
  15. ^ Ryan, Nelson (August 24, 2019). "How to Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning". Strong Socials. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "FAIL NATION: Are we really this dumb?". Quad-City Times. November 28, 2009. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "It's "Bravo's Big Premiere Week," Featuring Five New and Returning Series Kicking Off November 4". The Futon Critic. October 23, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  18. ^ Gardner, Carolyn Caffrey; Gardner, Gabriel J. "Bypassing Interlibrary Loan Via Twitter: An Exploration of #icanhazpdf Requests" (PDF). ALA. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2024.

External links[edit]