Hide the Pain Harold

Hide the Pain Harold

Hide The Pain Harold

Pain Harold Meme


Hide The Pain Harold, often known as "Harold", is a stock photo meme (real name Andras Arato). Harold, or at times referred to as Maurice, had a smile on his face, although gave an impression of deeper pain or troubles. His smile suggests some internal struggles that he does not want to reveal to the world.

This meme dates back to September 13th, 2011. On this date, the stock image was posted on the site Facepunch.

On October 23rd, 2011, a Facebook page for Hide the Pain Harold was started and another social media page for Maurice (his other name) popped up on January 1st, 2014. 

On May 5th 2014, somebody on 4chan wrote up a long story about Harold's background as an old man working as a stock photo model. 

On September 10th, 2014, a video was posted on YouTube narrating a story of Harold's life.

Many people questioned if this was a real person or the result of photoshop.

On March 3rd, 2016, a Hungry man named András Arató (born 1945) identified himself as Harold. His identity was announced on Reddit on March 5th. A YouTube video was later posted showing Harold on a Hungarian television game show.

Andras is an electrical engineer by background and was once Vice President of the Hungarian Lighting Society. He was "quite well known in these circles". Although, his electrical engineering fame never lived up to his meme fame. 

On March 23rd, 2018, somebody on Instagram posted a photo of himself with Arató with the caption:

"So my friend just met Harold tonight. Don't let your memes be dreams"

The post would go on to receive over 15,000 likes.

Later that same day, a mini-documentary was posted on YouTube showing Arató's trip to Manchester.

In 2020, Hide the Pain Harold was voted one of the top memes of the decade.

TEDx Talk

Arato gave a TedX talk in Ukraine in September 2018. In the talk, he discussed his background as an electrical engineer and what it was like to be a real-life meme.

The story begins with a vacation to Turkey in 2010. He uploaded some photos to different Hungarian communities he was a part of on Facebook.

From there, a professional photographer reached out to him to attend a modeling shoot. The photographer liked the photos with Arato and asked him to come back "again and again and again." They went on to produce a few hundred stock photos.

He eventually started seeing his face in more stock photos than what he originally agreed to, but decided not to pursue as he felt there wasn't much he could do.

Access his ted x talk here

Meme Meaning

The pain Harold meme, often known as "Harold", is a stock photo meme. Harold, or at times referred to as Maurice, had a smile on his face, although gave an impression of deeper pain or troubles. His smile suggests some internal struggles that he does not want to reveal to the world.  

In the news

Harold seems very comfortable with letting the meme influence his private life. He has done numerous interviews and has traveled all around the world thanks to his meme fame.

The Independent ran an article about Harold on July 11th, 2017. In the article he admits:

"It was shocking at first. I was very surprised. There were some really funny texts and I enjoyed them, but there were also some brutal ones that were not so funny."

He even admits to getting recognized while walking around his home town of Budapest, in particular by young people.

When asked about the supposed pain, Harold responded:

"I don't think there is a pain inside me," he says serenely. "I think I'm rather a happy guy than a sad one."

The Guardian ran an article about Harold on November 8th, 2019. In that article, he talks about how his memedom landed him roles in such things as television commercials for Hungarian car dealerships.

He also mentioned that in 2018 he took 20 flights to destinations all over the world (Europe, Russia, South America) for TV appearances. 

At one point, a football website flew him to England to make a video about Manchester City, where he got to tour the grounds and watch a Champions League Game. In another situation, the German company Otto flew him out to make a commercial for them.

And he confirms:

"I’m not actually a sad guy – I think I’m rather a happy one."

He was also quick to point out that the new photos were being used to support positive causes. Andras Arato is now the face of a campaign for a mental health service in Hungary, similar to the Samaritans in the UK.


The subreddit /r/youdontsurf was created and included Harold in March 2013.

His identity was announced on this same reddit page when it was discovered in 2016.

A seperate reddit page dedicated to all things Harold was created on October 15th, 2014 at /r/hidethepainharold with purpose of "A place to put all your harold things." It currently has over 650 members.

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