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Related Explainer: What Does 'Шайлушай' Mean? The Russian 'Smurf Cat' Meme Taking Over TikTok Explained

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Smurf Cat, Blue Mushroom Cat or We Live We Love We Lie, originally called Шайлушай or Shailushai in English, is a meme that began on the Russian speaking internet which gained popularity on TikTok in August 2023 in photo slideshows. The meme centers around an image of a blue, elf-like creature with a mushroom head and a cat's face, designed similarly to a Smurf. The creatures are called "Шайлушай" in the Impact font captions, which is basically a gibberish word in Russian but is similar to the word "шалопай" which translates to "the scamp" meaning "little scoundrel" in Russian. They're depicted walking through a forest with a snail hanging from a stick (similar to a bindle). The predominant TikTok sound was the song "The Spectre" by Alan Walker, specifically the lyrics "We live. We love. We lie." The original image of the creature was created by artist Nate Hallinan in 2011, titled "Smurf Sighting." In September 2023, the Arabic Strawberry Elephant meme began going viral on TikTok in videos pitting it against the Smurf cat in powerscaling edits, spawning usage of other food-animal hybrids like the Pineapple Owl and Blueberry Cat.


On September 8th, 2011, artist Nate Hallinan posted to X/Twitter[27] three images of progress on a new piece called "Smurf Sighting." On September 9th, 2014, artist Nate Hallinan published the concept art piece called "Smurf Sighting" to his website.[1] The image showed a 3D realistic version of a Smurf, carrying a snail on a stick, imagined to be returning from a hunt (shown below).

Years later, on August 26th, 2023, TikToker[2] @ghojam1 posted a photo slideshow with eight photos, set to the song "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" by Dr. Dre. The photos were a square-cropped version of Nate Hallinan's art, photoshopped to be different colors. Over the course of five days, the photos gained roughly 907,200 plays and 155,500 likes (shown below).

On the next day, August 27th, TikToker[3] @ghojam1 posted another photo slideshow that used a different sound.[4] The sound was a currently unknown remix of the song "The Spectre" by Alan Walker,[11] specifically centering on the lyrics "We live. We love. We lie." In the three photos, @ghojam1 called the creature "шайлушай," inserting it into meme templates like Babe Please Stop and ¿Quieres? The photos gained roughly 2.1 million plays and 306,500 likes in four days (shown below).

милый пожалуйста выслушай меня шайлушай


Soon after @ghojam1's August 27th, 2023, slideshow, many on the app started to replicate the memes in videos. For instance, On August 27th, TikToker[5] @fghqweasd made a video with the Шайлушай image, gaining roughly 25,100 plays and 950 likes in four days (shown below, left). On August 28th, TikToker[6] @klubnichka_gd made a video in reference to the meme, receiving roughly 745,100 plays and 146,100 likes in three days (shown below, right).

@fghqweasd шайлушай #шайлушай ♬ sonido original – velacu

@klubnichka_gd #animation #robloxfases #Шайлушай ♬ оригинальный звук – Клубничка🍓

During the same timeframe, image macros with Шайлушай continued to surface in slideshows on the app, becoming a viable exploitable. For instance, on August 29th, TikToker[7] @dayerteq posted Шайлушай photos similar to Yabujin's art style, gaining roughly 211,500 plays and 47,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). Also on August 29th, TikToker[8] @t8m8f8y posted Шайлушай photos with a Haunted Mound art style, gaining roughly 196,800 plays and 43,100 likes in two days (shown below, right).


The hashtag "#шайлушай"[9] quickly gained views on TikTok, amassing over 8 million views by August 31st, 2023. Discourse about the meme also surfaced on Reddit[10] in late August 2023.

Smurf Cat vs. Strawberry Elephant

In September 2023, the strawberry elephant became the subject of memes on TikTok, including memes where it is pitted against or shown alongside the viral Smurf cat image. It is unclear who began the meme, but it was popularized by TikTokers including @diego_ftg, @gilbertfrommm and @…george0. For example, on September 9th, 2023 the TikToker[12][13] posted two video edits featuring the elephant, the latter also featuring the Smurf cat, garnering over 541,000 and 834,000 views respectively in three days (shown below, left and right). The videos are often set to the song "On & On" by Cartoon.

@diego_ftg mañanadefresa #шайлушай #mañanadefresa ♬ sonido original – mañanadefresa

@diego_ftg mañanadefresa #mañanadefresa #welivewelovewelie #шайлушай ♬ sonido original – mañanadefresa

Some of the most popular examples of the meme are slideshows. For example, on September 9th, TikTokers[17][18] @gilbertfrommm and @…george0 posted slideshows featuring the elephant that gained over 1.9 million and 1.4 million views respectively in three days (shown below).

On September 10th, TikToker[14] @conquestor__ posted a stylized edit of the strawberry elephant image that gained over 1.6 million views in two days (shown below, left). On September 11th, TikToker[15] @sergwurts posted an animation where the elephant squashes the Smurf cat, garnering over 25,000 views in a day and being reposted by TikToker[16] @diego_ftg that day, garnering over 330,000 views in the same span of time.

@conquestor__ Haven’t edited yet but if it’s that strawberry elephant ima lose it #strawberryelephant #bluesmurf #meme #funny #xyzbca #fyp ♬ original sound – Conquestor


smurf cat vs strawberry elephant

♬ sonido original – sergio

Pineapple Owl

Pineapple Owl, also known as Pineappowl or Pineowl, refers to a Photoshop of a pineapple made to look like an owl. Originally created in 2013 by Redbubble[19] artist Felfriast, the image gained virality years later on TikTok when it was compared to the Smurf Cat and Strawberry Elephant, among other food-animal hybrids, in powerscaling edits. It became associated with the song "Unity" by TheFatRat[20] when it was used in edits by two TikTokers,[21][22] @conquestor__ and @wuhazu, on September 11th, 2023.

Homeless Hamster

Homeless Hamster refers to an AI-generated image of a hamster in traveler's clothing with a walking stick which has been used alongside Smurf Cat, Strawberry Animal and other similar characters in September 2023. The image was originally created by AI prompter Oziiiai in January 2023,[25] and first used in memes by TikToker[26] @conquestor__ on September 14th, 2023. The TikTok introducing the character (shown below) received over 2.3 million views and 426,000 likes in five days.

Indo Ali

As the meme continued to spread online, the Smurf Cat meme became popularly known by Brazilian internet users as Indo Ali, which can be translated as "going there" in English. For instance, on September 7th, 2023, TikToker[23] @behedits posted Шайлушай image paired with an overlay text "indo ali aomossar," which is a reference for the Al mossar meme. The post (shown below, left) garnered over 1.3 million plays and 232,000 likes in a week.

On September 11th, TikToker[24] @kenzao.oficial posted a video doing a Шайлушай cosplay (shown below, right), which amassed more than 3.3 million plays and 636,000 likes in three days.

@behedits indo ali 👍🏿 #smurfs #indoali #fyp #japodealmossar #viral ♬ оригинальный звук – billyherigton7

@kenzao.oficial indo ali 🫡 #indoali #meme #indoali😉🍀 ♬ som original – Kenzão

The Image Isn’t Loading but I Swear to God if It’s That Realistic Cat Smurf Again

The Image Isn’t Loading but I Swear to God if It’s That Realistic Cat Smurf Again, also known as The Video Isn't Loading but I Swear to God if It's That Smurf Cat Again, refers to a spam comment and phrasal template based on a TikTok comment left on a Smurf Cat photo slideshow in late August 2023. A screenshot of the comment went viral, including a response reading, "Youre not gonna believe this." Thereafter, users on TikTok and elsewhere started to use variations of the phrase in comment sections, inserting different meme references.

MI USAPYON 717 comments Supercooldude Youre not gonna believe this 2h Reply + 41.8K hailey anne the image isn't loading but i swear to god if it's that realistic cat smurf again 2h Reply 1782 408 ×
2,148 comments 1w ТОЕ Х it hasn't loaded yet but I swear if it's a strawberry elephant I'm gunna lose it Reply View 71 replies + 100.4K X 4059 T

We Live. We Love. We Lie. (Smurf Cat Song)

On October 6th, 2023, the Rockit Music YouTube channel released a Smurf Cat-themed music video for the song "We Live. We Love. We Lie." (shown below). In the video, a 3D-animated Smurf Cat is shown walking through a forest environment. Within three months, the video gained over 470,000 views.

Various Examples

freepik А ВЫ ТОЖЕ В ДЕТСТВЕ ДУМАЛИ шайлушай ЧТО ОНИ БРАТЬЯ???? freepik
@kirieshka_imba да #шайлушай #fypシ #fyp ♬ оригинальный звук – 🧌

@mish_shish_414_ #мишшиш414 #прибалтика #шайлушай #озвучка #смурфик ♬ оригинальный звук – БАБРИКОСК 414

Search Interest

External References

[1] Nate Hallinan – Smurf Sighting

[2] TikTok – @ghojam1

[3] TikTok – @ghojam1

[4] TikTok – Why are people using this – shhh 🤫

[5] TikTok – @fghqweasd

[6] TikTok – @klubnichka_gd

[7] TikTok – @dayerteq

[8] TikTok – @t8m8f8y

[9] TikTok – #шайлушай

[10] /r/russian

[11] YouTube – Alan Walker – The Spectre

[12] TikTok – diego_ftg

[13] TikTok – diego_ftg

[14] TikTok – conquestor__\

[15] TikTok – sergwurts

[16] TikTok – diego_ftg

[17] TikTok – gilbertfrommm

[18] TikTok – george0

[19] Redbubble – The Pineappowl

[20] YouTube – TheFatRat – Unity

[21] TikTok – @conquestor__

[22] TikTok – @wuhazu

[23] TikTok – behedits

[24] TikTok – @kenzao.oficial

[25] Instagram – @oziiiai

[26] TikTok – @conquestor__

[27] X – @NateHallinan

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We Live. We Love. We Lie.
Indo Ali
The Image Isn’t Loading but I...
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