The Brief: A meme of a cartoon mouse that resembles Pepe the Frog paired with the caption "uhm, cheesed to meet you?" rose in popularity in late August 2020.
Memes featuring a mouse with Pepe-like features saying “uhm, cheesed to meet you?” spread from 4chan to Tumblr to Instagram, Reddit, and beyond. This cartoon mouse first showed up on 4chan in 2019, and became popular on Tumblr after user themysteriousmurasamecastle posted a screenshot on August 17, 2020 with the caption “obsessed obsessed obsessed obsessed to death with this image.” This post received over 22,000 notes on Tumblr and from there the meme spread in various iterations on the platform.
As this mouse is simultaneously cute, creepy, sleazy, scruffy, and relatable, variations of these memes present the character in an array of situations. The pun “uhm, cheesed to meet you?” adds to the adorable awkwardness of the meme. The green mouse, who’s smiling and wearing a yellow t-shirt, can be seen ordering at McDonald’s, on Oprah, and in classic meme formats.
Although Pepe the Frog has been reclaimed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis as a symbol of hate, this mouse thus far hasn’t been used as a hate symbol but appears as a friendly figure. There are no specific criteria that “uhm, cheesed to meet you” memes follow. Instead, the mouse is shown in unexpected and ordinary places, smiling and saying his punny greeting.
"Cheesed to meet you."
"Oh, its my cheddar!'
"You too! Have a gouda day!"
"There was something offputting about the rats. Their smile and general demeanor, the constant puns. There was no way they were actually talking. Something was seriously aswiss. I was running out of time." pic.twitter.com/40zqKORs4V
— Blaisewell (@Xx_Bl4s3weII_xX) September 1, 2020
Uhm, cheesed to meet you? pic.twitter.com/CEwRaxXxYd
— Cyyru (@Cyyru1) September 4, 2020