The big sad is a popular slang expression for depression, especially prevalent in memes online.
It can also be a humorous reference to The Great Depression.
The exact origin of the meme is unknown, however “the big sad” started emerging on meme-related subreddits in 2018.
Several memes would feature the expression, which was especially prevalent on Drake Hotline Bling format, as well as the Expanding Brain format.
“The big sad” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2018.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, people started featuring the phrase in memes related to quarantine depression.
On November 15th, 2020, authors Taylor Ross and Lyndell Clark published a children’s book about anxiety and depression with the title “The Big Sad”, presenting children with the story of Bentley Bunny, who is struggling with his emotions.
- Reddit – r/depression_memes