The Brief: Memes featuring an aggressive and even violent Duolingo owl parody how the language-learning app is persistent in reminding users to practice a new language.

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DEEP DIVE

The language-learning app Duolingo has a mascot: a green owl named Duo. The app is known for sending frequent push notifications and reminders to practice a new language daily.  A popular meme depicts Duo the owl as an aggressive, even murderous character who will do whatever it takes to get people to complete their daily assignments.

In many variations of this meme, Duo threatens violence or has kidnapped someone’s family. These memes poke fun of how Duolingo’s reminders can feel overdramatic and intrusive.

This meme, which first appeared on Tumblr in 2017 has recently been popular on social media platforms including Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.

Please dont hurt me from r/memes

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Duolingo Push

For an April Fools marketing prank, Duolingo released an “official” video about a bogus new feature called Duolingo Push. The idea behind this hoax/joke is that a real-life version of the Duolingo owl mascot would be coming to remind people to practice their language skills. It seems that even Duolingo is leaning into memes about their extremely insistent mascot.