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On September 4th, 2017, Instagram  user @balltze posted an image of a Shiba Inu. The image of the dog's head was later used in "Cheems" memes. Within three years, the post received more than 9,000 likes (shown below).
The earliest known usage of "Cheemsburbger" was published on the /r/dogelore subreddit on June 8th, 2019 by Redditor  Spicy_Meme_Boi. The four-panel meme, which features the smiling Doge with the caption "Cheemsburbger," received more than 1,600 points (99% upvoted) in less than one year (shown below).
On August 8th, 2019, Redditor Octatracking posed an edited picture to /r/dogelore declaring "A Cheems Is Born," imagining the creation of a doge that can only say "cheemsburbger." The post gained over 2,900 points (shown below).
Over the following months, the character and its lust for cheemsburbgers grew popular on /r/dogelore, as users expanded upon the character to make it violently protective of "cheemsburbgers." For example, on August 21st, 2019, a deleted user posted a threatening message about adding a loaf of Doge to its cheemsburbger recipe, gaining over 7,400 points (shown below, left). User federic0_S_2 posted a similarly violent image to /r/ImSorryKaren on October 30th, gaining over 270 points (shown below, right).
Other popular posts featuring Cheems include a post by nucleararmsdealer that gained over 1,000 points in /r/dogelore (shown below, left) and a post by KenNHK that gained over 1,800 points (shown below, right).
Interview with Know Your Meme
On August 6th, 2020, KYM interviewed Balltze's owner, Kathy, as part of their editorial series that follows up on people featured in prominent memes. In the interview, Kathy shared the backstory of how Balltze came into her life alongside detailed information of how the original photos of Balltze went on to become Cheems.
Swole Doge vs. Cheems
Swole Doge vs. Cheems refers to a comparison format in which representatives of the same group from two historical eras are presented as Swole Doge and Cheems and are compared to each other. Originating from a viral Reddit meme, the format gained popularity on Reddit and Facebook starting in mid-May 2020.