*THIS IS FOR COLLEGE PURPOSES ONLY*
This meme started with an October 2016 tweet, but it didn’t come into its own until 2017. When markyannna posted a painting of two pigs and captioned it with one asking the other “brother may i have some oats,” some found it extremely funny, but no one knew it would become a big deal on 4chan.
“Brother, May I Have Some Oats” is a copypasta expression associated with a painting of two pigs, which is commonly circulated on 4chan’s /s4s/ and /r9k/ boards where it is often referred to as “oatposting.”
Throughout January, posters on 4chan were engaged in “oatposting,” spamming boards with variations on “bröther may i have some öats” and Photoshopping the pigs into various images. Just as oatposting died down on 4chan, it made the leap to Reddit, and oats memes went mainstream.
What’s the meaning of the pigs and oats? There may not even be one, and that’s what makes it funny.
On October 10th, 2016, Twitter user @markyannna tweeted a painting of two large pigs with the caption “brother may I have some oats” (shown below). Over the next three months, the tweet gathered upwards of 18,000 likes and 12,400 retweets. According to the Compton Verney art gallery, the oil on canvas painting titled “A Pair of Pigs” was created in 1850 by an unknown artist.
On October 30th, 2016, Tumblr user nanalie posted a screenshot of the tweet, which gained over 68,000 notes in two months. On December 31st, 2016, an anonymous 4chan user posted the picture along with the message “Brother dear, would you please pas the oats?
On January 4th, 2017, YouTuber Joe Capo published a video titled “Brother May Have Any Oats” (shown below). That, the Difficulty II Facebook page reposted the video, which gained over 191,000 views, 3,700 reactions and 2,600 shares in less than 24 hours. On January 5th, Redditor quitethepersona submitted a screenshot of a 4chan thread featuring the pigs painting to /r/4chan.