The Stonks meme is a meme that originated on the internet and refers to stock markets. This meme is often used to symbolize making impromptu financial decisions or acting like you know the stock market when you don't. This meme became popular in 2017 and has grown in popularity in 2018.
The origin of the meme is unknown, but it is believed to have been created by an internet user who decided to have fun with the financial jargon. The first known example of the meme appeared in October 2017 on the 4chan forum. In this post, a user posted an image of a man in a suit sitting in front of a computer with the text “Stonks”. The image was then taken up on other forums and enjoyed wide circulation on social networks.
The meme became particularly popular in 2018, when the stock market experienced high volatility. Indeed, many Internet users have had fun using the meme to comment on price fluctuations. The meme is often associated with a character named "Meme Man", which represents an amateur investor.
The meme became so popular that it was picked up by numerous media outlets, including financial news site Business Insider. In 2019, the meme was integrated into a video game, "CryptoKitties", which allows players to buy, sell and trade virtual kittens.
Today, the meme is still as popular as ever and continues to be used to symbolize financial mistakes or poor stock market decisions. Let's discover the meaning of, the origins and the use of this funny meme.
Origin of Stonks
Stonks is an internet meme that first appeared in 2017. This meme is usually represented by the character Meme, a bald head in gray, which is often used to make memes. The word “stonks” is a term used to describe the stock market, and the meme is typically used to comment on rising or falling stock prices. The meme saw a surge in popularity in 2018, and many variations of the meme were created.
Over the following months, the image saw some spread in online jokes. On July 3, 2017, the image was posted to /r/Ooer, where it gained over 400 points. On February 9, 2018, YouTuber HallucinatoryMenu posted a clip of the word read with a strong reverb, getting over 19 views (shown below, left).
On March 15, a montage appeared in an Imgur photo dump posted by 1860000000001 that gained over 131 views (shown below, right).
On December 5, 2018, redditor x37 posted an I'll Take Your Entire Stock meme to /r/memes featuring the character. On June 3, 2019, redditor Renji posted a fake text meme to /r/GoodFakeTexts, scoring over 4 points (shown below, right). The image also appeared in /r/me_irl, where it gained over 400 points. The eBaum's World website has published a list of 13 "Weird Stonks Memes On The Rise" memes.
Stonks: Meaning and Explanation
The Stonks meme is a symbol of businessman or investor with crossed arms in a suit near a stock chart. With the word Stonks highlighted. To fully understand you must know the GameStop and Robinhood (Robin Hood) affair, which caused a stir.
GameStop is a chain of video game stores whose share price went from 17 to 500 dollars in a few days, Robinhood is a young trading platform which has been brought to light thanks to this event.
The New York Stock Exchange suffered a wave of panic when thousands of amateur investors, who were discussing via a forum on the Reddit site, decided to invest together and en masse in several companies in poor financial health, including Gamestop. Their objective: to prove wrong to the large institutional investors, who had bet on the collapse of these companies on the stock market.
These small investors on Reddit managed to boost GameStop stock when big institutional investors thought the company was going to crash on the stock exchange, which was a setback for them. These investors and hedge funds have faced big financial losses, as the movement launched on Reddit, from the WallStreetBets forum has enriched thousands of individual individuals. The Robinhood platform had to suspend trading because of the high number of purchase flows: it was accused of excluding small investors in favor of institutional investors.
GameStop action was still worth ten times its initial price during 2021, and is still popular today. Like others, corporate actions have also benefited from the mobilization of individual investors, such as the AMC cinema chain or the health insurer Clover Health.
This setback is a bit like the image of David and Goliath: no one would have thought that individual investors could have such an impact on the stock markets. This is possible thanks to the democratization of trading, one of the actors of which is the Robinhood platform. The attraction of retail investors for the Stock Exchange has only increased since the start of the covid 19 pandemic.
The word stonks used since 2017 therefore refers to a particular investor, who does not take himself too seriously and sees trading as an opportunity to make money: he can succeed by doing it, even if he is aware that the value of shares varies according to the price of the stock market. He doesn't mind!
The stonks meme is often used to make jokes about situations where someone thinks they're making a smart profit, but either doesn't or can't. For example, a stonks meme might show someone buying stocks at a high price and then selling them when the price drops, which means they are losing money.
The stonks meme can also be used extensively to comment on all sorts of non-financial situations seen as self-gratifying or ironic in some way. For example, a stonks meme might show someone bragging about their expensive new phone, but using an old, broken phone.
The apparent attitude behind the stonks meme is the idea that the stock market and, more generally, finance and capitalism only benefit the rich and big business. This attitude is often criticized for ignoring the fact that many ordinary people also invest in the stock market and make profits.
Meme Stonks and Fortnite
The Meme Man character, famous for his “Stonks” meme, is now playable in Fortnite. The “Diamond Hanz” skin introduced in Chapter 6 Season 2 refers to “Diamond Hands”, a term used to refer to someone who does not give in to pressure and does not sell their shares or its crypto-currencies even when they drop very sharply. This skin is therefore perfectly suited to Meme Man, who himself is known for not giving in to pressure and for remaining stoic even in the most difficult situations.