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.