The Brief: These memes roast people's ridiculous and unrealistic expectations for profiting off certain situations.
The image is captioned with “Stonks” rather than “Stocks” to emphasize false expectations for profits in certain situations. This is an example of a cause and effect/result meme, where someone has mistakenly assumed that the cause will lead to a result of more money. Ironically, the meme is often used to show how someone has actually lost money despite thinking that their decision/action would do the opposite.
Some examples of the meme:
There seems to be some confusion amongst meme-makers when it comes to the Stonks Up meme, as there are several iterations that convey an actual gain of some kind. For example, this Keanu Reeves meme:
Pocket change FTW: