Ermahgerddon: The Untold Story of the Ermahgerd Girl

Excerpt from this article (remember this meme? I can still remember the sleuths on Reddit trying to identify her…):

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…

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


…Three years after first becoming an unwitting meme star, Goldenberger, who works as a nurse in Phoenix, still occasionally experiences the surreal, stupefying jolt of being ambushed by her own face online.

…Ordinary people blessed by the meme gods react in different ways to their overnight Internet stardom. Some sense an opportunity and try to monetize their celebrity. Others hire lawyers and send letters pleading or demanding (usually fruitlessly) that the offending images be removed.

For her part, Goldenberger never felt unduly embarrassed about her sudden and unexpected celebrity. If the photo had been an authentic depiction of an authentic moment—an actual artifact from her awkward tween years—she may have felt different. To her, though, it was clearly fiction: just a picture of a kooky made-up character.