Adorable Down-and-Outers: Why the World is Obsessed with Grumpy Pets


A photo posted by Grumpy Cat (@realgrumpycat) on

Since 2012, audiences around the globe have chuckled over the notoriously cantankerous cat named Tardar Sauce, who has been affectionately rename “Grumpy Cat.” The feline’s characteristic raccoon-eyes and perpetually frozen-frown-mouth have inspired numerous ad campaigns, memes, cartoons, appearances on TV shows and talk shows, posters, as well as Grumpy’s very own book about the merits of being cranky. Grumpy Cat has become an entertaining and successful brand (much to his chagrin!), but it would appear that the playing field is about to expand. A new humbug has recently been identified in the world of domestic pets, but this newcomer hails from the canine realm!

Grumpy Puppy

Move over Grumpy, it is time to meet Earl the dog! The new grouch is a Pug & Beagle mix whose face naturally forms an overemphasized frown, and highly arched brows. The dynamic looks of this smug pug mix make him appear as disinterested, unimpressed and unenthused as that of Grumpy Cat, thus earning him the title “Grumpy Puppy.” The under bite makes Grumpy Puppy look as if he is not only frowning, but pouting and thoroughly displeased. Grumpy Puppy’s parents Derek and Christie live in Iowa, and are amused daily by this sweet-tempered pup’s natural facial expressions. Recently, when more and more people on their daily dog walks began to notice and comment on the dog’s face, calling Earl “Grumpy Puppy,” the two created accounts on Reddit and Instagram to see what kind of a response the disgruntled-looking dog would generate. Earl’s popularity quickly went viral, causing many people to predict he would be the most serious rival that Grumpy Cat has ever had.

Why Are These Grumpy Pets So Popular?

We live in a social media-driven society where people are looking to add entertainment to their busy lives anywhere they can. Cats and dogs have long provided the sought-after cuteness that brings positivity and endearment to the day. However, while adorable pictures of pets might bring a smile, or laughter at funny pet postures and stances, it is the grumpy faces that now draw the masses. Much of modern day communication is sarcastic and satirical, so comedic sour-puss expressions of cats like Tardar Sauce and pups like Earl leave limitless opportunities for jokes to be created and shared with an individual’s online networks. Additionally, when life gets hard, one human inclination is to make light of the difficult situations. People now have the option to express their annoyances vicariously through these grouchy characters, such as the funny memes with Grumpy Cat’s face on them. These sour-puss pets seem to be always griping, and those who can’t relate to them, do at least find them amusing. Also, let’s face it, people find great humor in pets that are so ugly they’re cute; grouchy animals have similar charisma.

Who knows if Earl’s success will actually trump that of Grumpy Cat’s (supposed to have grossed nearly $100 million for his owner!), but news groups like CNN, USA Today, Yahoo, etc. are guessing that Earl will give certainly the feisty feline a run for his money!


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