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She’s quite possibly the “star” of one of the most popular internet memes in history. She’s the “Ermahgerd Girl,” and she’s famous for her awkward pre-pubescent braces-filled smile, holding several brand new copies of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series.

You’ve more than likely seen the Ermahgerd Girl at some point. It’s the meme that keeps on memeing.

A few examples:







You get the point. The “mermes ur erndless.”

The Ermahgerd Girl’s actual name is Maggie Goldenberger, now 26, and she recently sat down to talk with Vanity Fair about her life since her childhood photo went viral in 2012.

In March 2012, 23-year-old Maggie Goldenberger was in the middle of a six-month trip to India and the Philippines with her then-girlfriend. They were travelling from India’s southern tip and heading north for Rajasthan, stopping in at Internet cafes around once a week, for 15 to 30 minutes at a time, just to check in with family and friends.

At one such Internet pit stop, in Hampi, Karnataka, Goldenberger received a message from a friend in the U.S., who wanted to draw her attention to an image she’d spotted on Facebook.

It was a picture of Goldenberger when she was much younger, around 11 years old, wearing unfortunate pigtails, an ugly vest, and a grotesque expression: eyes wide, eyebrows pitched sharply skyward, chin drawn inward, mouth agape, and retainer-clad teeth bared like a hissing harpy or cat. In her hands, she proudly displayed three books from the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, in their original 90s editions: Monster Blood III, It Came from Beneath the Sink!, and Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes.

The picture had been captioned, in characteristically thunderous Impact font:


“I had no idea at this point how widespread it was,” said Goldenberger, speaking recently with exactly the kind of composure and articulacy not associated with “Berks,” as the girl in the meme was popularly known.

Goldenberger is a great sport. She’s taken her unwitting fame in stride.

If you’ve ever enjoyed the Ermahgerd meme, then check out this article. Great insight into what happens when someone involuntarily goes viral.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. 你好!可以交个朋友吗?

    Liked by 1 person

    October 22, 2015
  2. I was a little disappointed by the full article, to be honest. It was kind of like, “ermahgerd, that’s not REALLY me!” – not really “owning” it, but excusing it (even though I’m sure her story is true, it reads too much like someone who wants the world to know she’s not nerdy at all).

    Although, not sure what I would do in the same position… and god knows, there are some seriously embarrassing photos of me floating around.


    October 22, 2015
  3. Susan #

    I feel a little better about the meme, knowing that she was intentionally trying to look dorky, rather than really being that awkward.


    October 26, 2015

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