Ending up as the main subject of a meme can be overwhelming. You have no control over your image or the captions that are typed over it.
Even if you happen to be the face of something positive, like Good Guy Greg, you have to deal with the possibility of unwanted fame. Luckily, the following people found a way to turn their viral celebrity status into something positive for themselves and others.
1. Overly Attached Girlfriend
Laina Morris was trying to win a Justin Bieber concert ticket giveaway when she recorded a video of her acting obsessive. She didn't win the contest, but she did become one of the internet's favorite memes.
Her possessive, creepy stare made her perfect to play the part of a clingy partner. Her meme now revolves around the idea that she's a stalking, obsessive girlfriend.
Morris has embraced the fame that has come with being the face of a meme. She started by making several videos to raise money for charities.
Once she realized she could make a living with her internet stardom, she created a YouTube Channel. She reportedly brought in a six-figure salary from her various social media ventures.
2. Success Kid
Laney Griner took this hilarious photo of her son, Sammy, on the beach and posted it to the internet. In 2008, it started circulating with the caption, "I hate sandcastles."
Several years later, Sammy's photo took on a new life as Success Kid. Redditors would post the photo of Sammy with the description of a situation that went better than expected.
The Griners allowed the photo to be used freely, and that generous spirit came back around to them. Sammy's dad, Justin, learned that he needed a kidney transplant in 2015. His mother (Sammy's grandmother) had died from the kidney disease that Justin learned he had.
Harnessing his internet fame, the real life Success Kid lent his image to a GoFundMe campaign for his dad. The campaign quickly reached the $75,000 goal and ended up raising over $100,000 for the family's medical expenses. The transplant was a success, meaning Success Kid has one more credit to his name.
3. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
Zeddie Little shot to fame when this photo him running a marathon was published. people couldn't believe how handsome and collected he looked in the midst of running a grueling race.
Little's fame slowly petered out, but not before he could do some good with it. He helped the Jon Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health promote their charity during the New York City Marathon.
4. Grumpy Cat
When the owner of Tardar Sauce posted photos of the cat's unamused facial expression, the internet collectively lost its mind. The feline was dubbed Grumpy Cat and would become the most recognizable real-life cat in history.
Memes of Grumpy Cat usually involve him unhappily recounting some fact or misfortune about cat life. His droll face has led comparisons of him with Ron Swanson of Parks and Rec or Dwight Schrute of The Office.
Grumpy Cat's owner has reaped big dividend's from her kitty's popularity. The cat landed an endorsement deal with Friskies, has a comic written about him, and is featured on an official t-shirt. His Twitter page has over 800,000 followers.