The Ermahgerd meme spawned from the depths of the Internet in 2012 when someone on Reddit posted a very unflattering photo of an unabashedly excited preteen holding three “Goosebumps” books covered in the text “ERMAHGERD GERSBERMS” and with the caption “Just a book owners smile [sic].” Since then, the infamous meme, also known as “Gersberms” and simply “Berks”—after the caption “GERSBERMS MAH FAVRIT BERKS”—has been used to react to anything where “Oh my God” just doesn’t feel quite nerdy enough.
Geeks across the world can identify with the Ermahgerd meme, almost like a long-lost friend. And just about everyone who’s been to middle school probably feels more than a hint of secondhand embarassment when they see it. So it’s no surprise that Maggie Goldenberger, the real Berks, has said of her sudden Internet fame: “I just can't believe this is my 15 minutes of fame—I was hoping it would come in another form. But I guess you have to take what you can get,” according to Vanity Fair’s article that takes a deep dive on the history of Ermahgerd.
Although Goldenberg was only 11 in the picture, the meme didn’t surface until she was 23, and by that time, the Ermahgerd had taken on a life of its own, rising to the ranks of Grumpy Cat memes, Bad Luck Brian memes, and Chuck Norris memes. Fortunately for Goldenberg, the meme didn’t cause any long term psychological damage, and she actually finds some Ermahgerd renditions pretty funny.
But that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan of the meme. R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps series, has been asked repeatedly about the meme. Annoyed by one Berks fan who wanted him to pose for a picture wearing an Ermahgerd T-shirt, Stine said, “Well I’m on Twitter and about five people a day say, ‘Have you seen this?’ I just don’t get it. I don’t get it,” according to Vanity Fair.
Whether you love it or hate it, the Ermahgerd meme is, without a doubt, here to stay. Check out the Funniest Ermahgerd Memes below for proof.