Who is Moto Moto? Big Chungus Has New Meme Contender

Memes on the internet evolve fast. It feels like just yesterday, kids were spamming "that's how Mafia works" and making clucking noises to Ugandan Knuckles. The latest contender for ridiculous internet cultural icon is Moto Moto, a hippo that first appeared in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

moto moto meme youtube tiktok big chungus
"I like em' big, I like em' chunky" Dreamworks

Similar to the surreal, ridiculous nature of Big Chungus (a fat version of Bugs Bunny) and God Shaggy (an all-powerful take on Scooby Doo's companion), Moto Moto memes really aren't about being a sexy hippo. The original scene from the second Madagascar movie has the main hippo Gloria chilling on a rock, when Moto Moto comes up to say hello while the lyrics "I like em' big, I like em' chunky" play in the background.

According to Know Your Meme, the "Moto Moto Likes You" scene has been on the internet since the movie launched in 2008, but didn't take off until 2019 on the dank memes subreddit. From there, users on Instagram started to post videos replacing Moto Moto in the scene with whatever ridiculous idea they could think of, like a sad hamster or a buff Shaggy. Moto Moto didn't really take off until PewDiePie mentioned him in a video in early February. From there, the meme's popularity skyrocketed and started to spread online.

TikTok became inundated with Moto Moto memes, most following a specific template. TikTok has specific effects users can add to their videos, with one being a pool of water that reflects whatever's in the first half of the image. Users started using that effect to mimic Moto Moto walking out of the pool of water, heading straight for Gloria. Sometimes they have signs taped to their chests of other memes or celebrities, you just have to watch to comprehend. Compilations of these memes on YouTube have already gathered millions of views in just a few short weeks.

Moto Moto has also broken through into the odd world of low-poly YouTube fight scenes. The male hippo has squared off against Shaggy, Shrek, Thanos and even Big Chungus himself. Surreal Entertainment, a YouTube channel that makes seemingly low effort videos based on popular memes had the rabbit and the hippo in a fight scene on a deserted island so mediocre it's almost brilliant.

Like all ridiculous memes, it's unclear how long Moto Moto will last in the public consciousness. Next week an even thicker animal could start to gain viral traction, making Big Chungus and Moto Moto old news.