Views: 553,095

Updated 9 months ago

Added 9 years ago


Demotivational Posters (a.k.a Demotivators) are typically designed to discourage one's moral strength and diminish one's self-esteem. It usually consists of a picture, centered and bordered in black, with an all-cap title written in white, and in some cases, a tagline written in smaller font.


Despair Inc. is widely credited as the origin of Demotivational Posters and they began making spoofs of motivational posters (often found in corporate offices) since 1998. You can click here to check out the original collection of Demotivators made by Despair Inc. Over the years, they spread consistently across online discussion boards like 4chan as well as the blogosphere. Today, they're notable for the insanely large volume in circulation and their off-track varieties/derivatives.

Evolution of Demotivational Posters

In its infancy, Demotivators mirrored popular themes often addressed within motivational posters, by juxtaposing:

1. banal optimism (ex: PERSISTENCE)
2. atmospheric picture (ex: man & woman jogging in a single row)
3. comical pessimism (ex: It's Over Man. Let Her Go)

But as they became increasingly popular across the web, the joke was no longer bound within corporate/educational themes and became a signature meme involving "crude but funny" comments. Today, the white-on-black format of demotivators is a staple in Internet memescape and it's fairly common to find demotivational posters sans cynicism.

The originals were typical Motivational Posters with sarcastic comments:

Although a whole genre of Demotivational Posters has been created by showing an instance of FAIL:

How to Make Your Own Demotivational Poster

There are many sites with programs to make Demotivational Posters, including:

Demotivational Posters in Use

A large number of sites feature Demotivational Posters. Some of them are:

Many blog sites contain specific types of Demotivational Posters, such as:


  • CNN (1/17/2004): "Despair sites feature Demotivational PostersInc. Somethe ofbrand themfor are:

External References

[1]Very Demotivational

Share Pin

Related Entries 16 total

Cash Me Ousside / Howbow Dah
Advice Animals
Descriptive Noise
WTF Is This Shit!?

Sub-entries 6 total

When You See it...
I'm sorry, I can't hear you o...
Epic Boobs Girl
Gay Test


Recent Images 1,998 total

Recent Videos 0 total

There are no recent videos.

Facebook Comments

Comments 49 total


Funnily enough, I don't recall this meme being used this way, but rather with actual sad, moody and even angsty phrases coupled with landscape images or wallpapers of a sad Danbo. Also, most of them were made using a website called ""



Ah, I miss when I would waste hours google searching this and just looking through all of them lmao.


The Glorious Lobster Emperor

The grand fucking daddy of modern internet memes.

Maybe. I dunno. These things are old.



This entry…so old, lost, and abandoned…it's like a mummy's tomb.


Germanic Warrior

And you just opened the tomb. Now the corpse within will crawl out into the trending bar and wreak havoc on us all.



Unlike many people (or at least unlike most of the various "contributors" to this meme) I think I experienced this meme the correct way.

I was familiar was motivational posters for years. Mostly from middle school, etc.
(years pass)
I saw Strong Bad create several random (but not demotivational) motivational posters, such as a picture of a whale's tail sticking out of the ocean with a reminder not to use those "four letter words".
(a couple years pass)
I start noticing the demotivational posters, like one of 4 mice killed by a single mouse trap while the cheese remains untouched labeled "Teamwork: Share victory, share defeat"
(a year or so passes)
I begin noticing more and more demotivational posters start appearing, eventually leading to them simply becoming "comments" and ultimately coming to the point where most of them were funnier without the captions.



Damn teens today misusing this meme on facebook. <_<



Am i the only one who thinks a lot of images uploaded here don't belong to this meme?

There's a difference between your regular image joke delivered in Motivational Poster format,
and a Demotivational Poster.
Those are supposed to picture something that suits the caption – usually a good virtue – with a description below that makes the virtue appear like shit.

So the image itself doesn't need to be funny.
A funny image that would do even without any text usually isn't a Demotivational Poster, guys.


Britton Yeatter

It's already confirmed, dumb fucking ass shit.



In 2003 SomethingAwful ran a Photoshop Friday that helped to spread the popularity of Demotivational Posters, which followed the true base format with a caption that related to the heading with demotivational results.


Cancerrific Bakery

@ blablablabla: I know that feel bro.