Eyebombing, the Internet pastime of sticking googly eyes on inanimate objects to add a bit of anthropomorphic charm, has been popular for awhile, but in 2013 Googlyify created the "web 2.0" of googly eyed apps. Automatically adding eyes to gifs, it's fun, ridiculous, and everything Tumblrites ever wanted in a web service.
The Minions by Miguel A. Montecastro; courtesy Eyebombing.com
But before there were gif generators, googly eyes were decidedly low tech. Eyebombing started off with a few innocent stick-on eyes and a fun game to play with that powerful facial recognition software evolution hardwired into your head. With cameras and photo sharing, ubiquitous eyebombing has become a way to liven up those social network posts. The eyes add a self aware joke to our otherwise mundane pictures, poking fun at our habit of posting images of every dessert we eat or cute dog we pass. But, as is the Internet's way, over time the joke just got bigger and more self aware. I see your aghast hand sanitizer dispenser and raise you a fridge full of staring produce.
The big simplified eyes, much like the dewy eyes of anime characters, can make anything cute and, as the meme got more popular, several craft and hobby companies started making bigger googly eyes, freeing people to cute up everything from christmas trees to construction equipment.
But eyebombers didn't just stop with making faces where there were none before, googly eyes started popping up over faces in ads, movie clips, and on book covers. It was here that the meme took a turn from a focus on cute to become a form of visual satire. Eyes on inanimate objects make adorable faces, but stick those black and white dobs where real eyes should be and you get a concoction of creepy, funny, weird, and cross-eyed people.
Step 37 in the progression of googly eyes? The physical eyes went digital. This is where Googlyify and their fantastic website -- a mix of doge captions and poorly translated Japanese -- really brings the meme to the next level. Because the not-so-secret magic of googly eyes is that they can intensify anything. Want to amp up the high quality doofus of that mercat gif? Just use Googlyify to automatically add a set of animated eyes and you are in ridiculous business. Or maybe you have a gif of a woman seductively inviting her lover to bed? Stick some eyes on there and you got yourself a creepy, even threatening glare.
If you want to make your own googly gifs visit Googlyify (Warning: The gifs on this site are not filtered and so the front page may be NSFW). Or if you'd rather gorge yourself on the endless well of others' googly creations there are blogs dedicated to your every googly eye need.