Culture News

The Ermahgerd Girl Is Now a Nurse in Phoenix


This one might give you gersberms.

It's the story of a pigtailed girl in a vest who giddily fans out Goosebumps paperbacks in the famed "ermagherd" meme. Her name? Maggie Goldenberger. She's all grown up and the subject of a new Vanity Fair article that delves into how that unflattering Polaroid became a viral sensation. In an R.L. Stine-esque twist, she's also a — gasp — nurse who works in Phoenix. (A little digging suggests that she studied nursing at Brookline College in Phoenix and hails from Washington.)

Stine might've titled the story: It Came from Reddit!

As it turns out, the meme-fame that comes with being the Ermahgerd Girl is not all photo opps and good berks. Goldenberger tells Vanity Fair that, while her friends love to reveal her ermahgerdness to pretty much everyone they meet, she is not always stoked to laugh at a bunch of iterations of a picture that was taken when she was about 11 years old. “I just can't believe this is my 15 minutes of fame—I was hoping it would come in another form," she says in the interview. "But I guess you have to take what you can get."


Further breaking the Internet's collective heart, Goldenberger says, "I was not an avid Goosebumps reader. I wish I could say I was a die-hard fan?”

Meaning we probably won't bump into her at any screenings of the new Jack Black Goosebumps movie. Erh well.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski