The Dancing Banana Meme
The backstory of the famous GIF.
Hello and thank you for stopping by! My name is Trym Stene, and I had the pleasure of creating the charming Dancing Banana GIF-meme back in 1999. It's hard to believe how much time has passed! I remember working on different GIF-animations on my AMD K6-2 350MHz computer, which was cutting-edge technology at the time. Well, maybe not cutting edge, but it was my first computer and it opened a whole world for me when i was young.
Creating lighthearted and amusing content has always been a passion of mine, and I enjoyed making quirky GIFs to share with the world. I had a small, dedicated following that I connected with on IRC, where I received valuable feedback and encouragement.
Growing up in a rural part of Norway, I didn't have many peers who shared my interests, but that only motivated me to create even more imaginative content. I was inspired by other artists who were pushing the limits of what was possible on the internet.
I used a simple animation tool called Animation Shop, which came bundled with Paint Shop Pro, to bring my GIF-ideas to life. It was through this software that the Dancing Banana was born.
Why a banana? I frequently used internet forums and enjoyed creating emojis to express my emotions as I interacted with others online. The Dancing Banana was an extension of this—a festive emoji to celebrate whenever I created something new and exciting.
I also created other GIFs, like an angry toaster and a melting ice-cream cone with big, sad eyes. However, none of them gained popularity like the banana, which gradually captured the hearts of internet users.
Before Flash animations became popular, I found an opportunity through IRC to create GIF ad-banners for a business owner, and I happily seized it. I eventually sold my creations to others, including a chalkboard ad that I sold for 250 Norwegian Krone (around 25 USD). It might not seem like much now, but back then, it felt like a significant accomplishment.
When Flash animations gained popularity, The Buckwheat Boyz created a Flash version of the Dancing Banana with the now-iconic song, "Peanut Butter Jelly Time." From then on, the Dancing Banana made various appearances, including a cameo on an episode of Family Guy. It's astonishing to think that my small creation has become such a cultural phenomenon, with good help from the wholesome internet-culture.
So there you have it—a brief backstory of the Dancing Banana GIF-meme. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it!
If you want to follow me on Twitter, be sure to do so! @trymstene
And now - Im selling the Dancing Banana GIF-meme.
Check the Q&A at the bottom for answers
Q and A
When did you create the Dancing Banana GIF?
It was in the year 2000. I made shitloads of GIFs those years, but this one did shine the brightest. (I made alot of garbage GIFs.)
Are you truly the creator of the Dancing Banana GIF?
Yes! But, i cant prove it, as i dont have the original Animation Shop-file from 20 years ago anymore. I never expected it to become what it has become today. But here are some external sources that could add tiny bits of credibility to it: USAToday, Fandom, AllTheTropes, JessWhosBack, Dan Spira, MemesFeel
Whats the price?
I would argue its an almost priceless piece of internet history. Adopted and cared for by the internet after its creation. There have been so many adaptations, remixes, memes based on this GIF. But the market decides, so send me an offer. :)
Ok, i might be interested, how do i move forward?
First of all, cool! You might be the owner of something truly unique! Send me a message, and we'll talk.
Where and how do I get in touch?
Use the contact form at the bottom of this page, or e-mail me at trym[at]trymstene.com.