Meet Balltze The Original Cheems Dog And Star Of Your Favourite Memes
If you’ve spent any time at all on social media, you will no doubt have encountered a certain Shiba dog with a mischievous look on his face.
Cheems is a highly popular ‘Ironic Doge’ character, and his distinctive grin has appeared in some of the world’s most beloved memes.
Known for liking cheeseburgers – pronounced ‘Cheemsburger’ – classic Cheems memes generally see the golden furred boy including extra M letters in his spelling, to humorous effect.
According to Know Your Meme, Cheems’ origins can be traced back to September 4, 2017, when a picture of a beautiful, quirky Shiba Inu was uploaded to Instagram.
The dog’s now famous face would later be used in various ‘Cheems’ memes, and within three years, the original post had clocked up over 9,000 likes, making people chuckle from all across the world.
One of the most popular meme strands must surely be ‘Swole Doge vs. Cheems’, which compares members of the same group from two different eras, making humorous comparisons about the disparity between generations.
For example, ‘My dad at 17 vs. me at 17’, whereby the dad figure is large, ‘swole’ and imposing and the son little, unassuming and puppy-like.
A favourite at UNILAD HQ is the meme which shows Cheems ‘bonk’-ing himself on the head with a baseball bat before sending himself to horny jail.
Of course, there is a real dog behind this meme, and he has the most delightfully expressive face and cuddliest appearance you could wish for.
Behind the scenes, Cheems is really called Balltze, and is a nine-year-old self-described ‘fluffy boi’ from Hong Kong.
Now, in surely what must be one of my favourite interviews to date, I managed to catch up with the good boi himself, who told UNILAD a little bit about what it’s like to be one of the most famous doggos on the internet:
Yes I still find it surreal, overall I’m just a dog never thought I could bring so much joys and laughs to the Internet.
I couldn’t walk away from a conversation with the real Cheems without finding out exactly which Cheems memes he liked best.
Although he admitted it wasn’t a meme in the truest sense of the word – although I’d certainly count it – a career highlight for Balltze was when a fan made a video of him travelling to the moon.
In a short animated adventure, we see Balltze lovingly re-imagined as an astronaut bound on a brave and rather emotional journey.
You can watch the video for yourself here:
Balltze also admitted that he recently enjoyed a tweet which went viral last month, which was captioned:
The unedited cheems picture is somehow funnier than any cheems meme ive seen
The unedited pic shows Balltze sitting on the floor of what I assume is his Hong Kong home. The humour radiates from his furry face, and I started wondering why exactly Balltze like this post in particular. Is this, perhaps, a glimpse of his true pre-celeb self?
I asked Balltze, who was adopted at the age of one, about whether he feels fame has changed him at all, to which he replied:
I start getting busy since the boom of Cheems fame, the upside from the fame is that friends around the world started to paint me and I already collected many beautiful portraits of myself.
There are also memes that are constantly being created. I never thought that I could play so many roles and make so many people happy. I never thought that me as a dog could do so much.
Balltze’s Instagram page shows just how he has inspired many of his fans to create some truly lovely works of art. One recent piece of embroidery for example perfectly captures the essence of Cheems, and he appears to be rather happy with it.
Addressing a common public misconception about his favourite foods, Balltze revealed:
People starts calling me Cheems since 2019, because i looks like cheese but my real name is Balltze oh! and I never try cheemsburger before.
They say never meet your heroes, but it was a joy to speak with Balltze, who has made me laugh on many an occasion. A true good boi for our times.
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