The unicorn is also undergoing its own revival, and the two often blend together to form meme images that spread like wildfire online and in other forms of media. If the proliferation of these two images are causing you to wonder about the rainbows and unicorns meaning, learn about the evolution of the unique image of unicorns farting rainbows.
That same cheerful unicorn takes on a slightly different meaning when rainbows enter the mix. The phrase “rainbows and unicorns” or “rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns” is a sarcastic way of describing a situation that has turned sour. Of course, you can also use it earnestly when your new relationship makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
Speaking of clouds, some unicorn memes crack an easy joke by using the timeless humor of bodily fluids. From a proud unicorn stallion vomiting rainbows as he soars across the sky to toy unicorns pooping rainbows as colored jellybeans, modern culture puts its own twist on potty humor by making it light and fluffy. Don’t get stuck asking yourself why unicorns fart rainbows – it’s the juxtaposition of a magical creature and a disgusting everyday act that creates the joke. Sometimes the meaning of a meme really is on the surface.
Unicorns and rainbows were popular from the end of the 1970s onward separately, but they only began to blend heavily in our contemporary culture around the year 2000. Important points of development include:
- The original My Little Ponies series and toys: The toy line included a few side characters that had rainbow color patterns or unicorn horns.
- The new MLP series: The new show put both of those features in the forefront by adding the features to the main characters. Today’s fans of MLP include many adults, so it’s no wonder some of the Internet’s biggest memes include characters like Rainbow Dash.
- Characters like Adventure Time’s Lady Rainicorn: This side character for a popular kid’s show also blends the unicorn and rainbow seamlessly together.
Phrases connecting rainbows, butterfly wings, and unicorns have been bouncing around in literature and television since the 1980s as well, yet the direct phrase we use today only came into parlance around 2004 or so.
Don’t worry about buying a t-shirt featuring unicorns and rainbows due to possible deeper meanings. While many characters and memes do have secondary symbolism to their fans, basic imagery in general remains free from those associations. You are free to enjoy the many new products coming out as a result of unicorns and rainbows becoming such a trendy combination.