Halo 3 Rat refers to a rat NPC character in the 2007 video game Halo 3. In late August 2020, ironic shitposts referencing the Halo 3 Rat gained popularity online following a viral tweet, primarily on Reddit.
On September 25th, 2007, first-person shooter Halo 3, develped by Bungie, was released. On several maps in the game, player can encounter non-hostile rat NPCs. On May 2nd, 2010, Halo Alpha user Dragonclaws uploaded an image of the rat taken on the in-game level Crow’s Nest (shown below).
On August 13th, 2020, Twitter user @sprngclean tweeted the image, writing “halo 3 rat.” The tweet (shown below) received over 690 retweets and 1,800 likes.
In the following days, the screenshot of the tweet received moderate circulation online; for example, on August 24th, 2020, Twitter user @tj99er posted a screenshot of a Discord conversation in which a person posted the screenshot of the tweet. On August 23rd, 2020, Twitter user @Fiyaproofmatch tweeted “Thinkin about Halo 3 rat,” attaching the image, with the tweet gaining over 170 retweets and 470 likes (shown below).
On August 28th, Redditor Geigerbuzz posted a shitpost based on the image to /r/dankmemes, where it gained over 18,900 upvotes in three days.
Following the post, ironic shitposts based on the image and the phrase “Halo 3 Rat” gained significant popularity in mainstream Reddit meme communities.