Every day our Instagram feeds are flooded with memes galore — and lately, nostalgia is everything. The latest ones follow a similar formula: Enter the “Little Miss” trend. From Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong to Little Miss Needs Attention, these child-like memes are popping up everywhere. But where did it come from?
In 1971, the first edition of a long-lived book series called Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves was published. Each book title included the character’s name and their most important personality trait, which would come full circle in the story. After the author’s death in 1988, his son Adam continued writing the series and created his first new characters in 2003 (Little Miss Scary and Little Miss Bad, among others).
[Photo courtesy of @juulpuppy]
Now just a year after the first book’s 50th anniversary, content creators and social media users have started posting their own versions of Little Miss book covers to represent their own toxic traits. From Little Miss Cries To Taylor Swift When Happy to Little Miss Sleeps With Makeup On, everyone is revealing their relatable personalities with yellow pigtails to match. And with over 40 established characters in the book series, the possibilities are truly endless.
The meme can be credited to Instagram user @juulpuppy, an anonymous influencer who started the trend in April. In an interview with HypeBae, the creator revealed that they usually get inspiration from childhood stories. “Sometimes, when I am having a hard time coming up with ideas, I will try to remember children’s books I’ve enjoyed or comics that I could turn into meme formats.” When this particular meme was shared by someone else on TikTok, the Little Miss trend skyrocketed, with over 84 million views across the platform.
Of course, it wasn’t long until other creators jumped on the Little Miss bandwagon. Influencer Nicole Gagliardi, who runs a meme account where she posts original Little Miss phrases and has gained over 2 million followers to date, found success when she started posting in July.
“I had seen a couple memes on Twitter, and the creator of the meme format posted a couple times on Instagram, but there really was no one place on Instagram to look for them or share them to stories, so it started as a collection of memes,” she says.“It’s just been a really fun way of expressing ourselves but also poking fun at little quirks we have.”
With over 150 unique Little Miss posts, Nicole didn’t expect millions of supporters to come from this novelty account.
“This account has done amazing things for me already; not only do I now have a little community in my corner of the internet, but it’s been crazy to see celebrities and brands sharing my stuff. I think it’s bringing a desired tone of humor and self-awareness to Instagram that people appreciate,” she explains. Her most recent posts, including her original Little Miss Hot Showers, receive hundreds of thousands of likes.
Content creators like Nicole aren’t the only ones getting creative with the Little Miss trend. According to the New York Post, companies are getting in on the action too.
Popular phone-case company Casetify released a limited-edition collection Little Miss cases. The collection is full of bright and colorful cases that appear like stickers, with relatable phrases such as Little Miss Princess and Little Miss Hug.
There’s also been a handful of companies creating their own Little Miss memes. Starbucks posted Little Miss Shows Up Late With Iced Coffee, and Linkedln shared a Llittle Miss Gives Up On A Job Application If It Requires A Cover Letter post.
Despite the internet craze happening in 2022, the children’s book series has been a pop culture hit for a long time. The Mr. Men and Little Miss franchise became the source of several successful TV shows, broadcasted by networks from BBC to Cartoon Network. In fact, it was reported that Fox Animation bought ownership of the franchise characters in 2015 and is planning to release an upcoming film. The book series alone has been one of the most popular kids’ franchises to date, with over 100 million sold copies.
So for now, the Little Miss trend is here to stay… until something else goes viral. With the wave of nostalgic memes like the American Girl doll and Little Miss, we have to admit that we are Little Miss On Board.