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The sign bunny meme, explained

The bunny questions his identity
The bunny questions his identity

Twitter looked like a protest march earlier this week, a march filled with bunnies holding signs. The bunnies were strange, silly, and prone to jokes, but they're also part of a greater collective group of internet memes that grew out of something called ASCII design. Who knows? The bunny could be the next ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Here's everything you need to know about sign bunny:

Sign bunny is that little guy up there. He is an internet meme that is used to draw attention to something that is being said. When sign bunny is placed into a tweet, the tweet takes up more space on a timeline, pulling the eye to whatever you are tweeting.

Like many internet sensations, the birth of sign bunny is shrouded in mystery. No creator of sign bunny has stepped forward to claim the creation yet, but by tracking the little guy back through Topsy, we found his earliest iterations.

The first version of sign bunny we found was tweeted in April 2013. In this tweet, the sign bunny is some kind of pig creature, and his sign is written in Korean. By August of 2013, the early iteration has evolved into a pig creature holding a Portuguese sign reading "Wanted" with the bunny's head on it. Soon, another user posted a tweet of the bunny holding a Portuguese sign reading "Where is the pig?"

Shortly after, the bunny took over the job of holding the sign, tweeting song lyricscommands, or just the word "bacon". Was the sign bunny Pikachu? Maybe. August 22, 2013, brought the first wave of sign bunnies to Twitter, with most written in Portuguese. Some have guessed that @Subtweetcat was the creator of the meme, but @Subtweetcat told The Daily Dot that this was not the case.

The second wave of sign bunnies arrived this week.

The bunny, carrying a picket sign, does look like a protester. He might very well be. The first wave of sign bunnies in 2013 was filled with Portuguese bunnies shouting EU PROTESTO! (It should be noted that the bunnies are always shouting.) The bunny, however, is mostly just a bunny and probably doesn't get incredibly worked up about important social issues. Try not to take it too seriously.

The second wave of the bunny started on September 16, 2014, when sign bunny filled Twitter timelines.

analytics for sign bunny

The sign bunny hit peak popularity on Tuesday, with more than 150,000 people tweeting with his image. The Daily Dot reported that this spread began when Amber Gordon replied to a Daily Dot reporter with the sign bunny saying "GURL PLEASE."

Well, the bunny is most definitely a meme. It's spread organically throughout the internet, from person to person (or tweeter to tweeter), and gone hugely viral.

Whether the bunny is art is a more complicated question. To answer this question, we have to define what art is, which has been historically debated for centuries. Novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote in his book What Is Art? that art is defined by the feelings it produces. Sign bunny does create some feelings in his viewers, so maybe he is art.

Tolstoy also dismisses the works of Shakespeare and Dante in his book, so it's pretty unlikely that Tolstoy would consider sign bunny art. Sorry, sign bunny.

But maybe sign bunny can find other artistic champions. Painter Paul Gauguin said that art "is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary," and the bunny is definitely both of those things, as he is constantly copied and holding a picket sign.

American artist Georgia O'Keeffe said that art is "Filling a space in a beautiful way," and the bunny does that too! The bunny is also created out of something called "ASCII Design," which definitely sounds like art. Maybe the bunny is art after all!

ASCII Design is any image or artwork made out of the letters, symbols, or numbers contained in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), which is basically every symbol you can make using your keyboard. The bunny sign, for example, is an ASCII design because it is made only with keyboard symbols.

People have been creating ASCII since the end of the 19th century. Flora F. Stacy, a British artist, submitted art created on her typewriter to the 1893 Chicago World Fair. Here is an example of her work as displayed in The Phonetic Journal in 1898.

flora stacy

Typewriter art by Flora Stacy (

The trend spread to other artists quickly, and by 1948, Popular Mechanics published a guide to creating at-home typewriter art. ASCII Art evolved as technology did to become more and more complex, and today's ASCII art can look as realistic as a line drawing. For more ASCII art, check out the subreddit r/ASCII.

There are several incredibly popular ASCII memes circulating on Twitter. Here is sign bunny holding some:


table flip:


Sign bunny can also show you the "got dat" meme, the cool shades memewhatever this meme is, and the sneaky pig meme.

To make your own sign bunny, copy and paste an existing sign bunny and change the words. You can do it.

People are creatures with individual tastes and preferences. Some love the bunny, and some don't. But c'mon. He's a bunny holding a protest sign. What's not to love?

If you love the bunny, you can follow our explainer sign bunny on Twitter for jokes.

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