Cracking Open the Charm of Gudetama: A Delightfully Lazy Character

by Nana Young

When Gudetama first burst onto the scene, very few people believed it would achieve as much fame as the other Sanrio characters, particularly because of its shocking take on cuteness. It was unlike any of the others. But the lazy egg proved them all wrong and is widely popular among people who understand that it’s okay to slow down, take a break, and just exist.

Read on to discover the facts about Gudetama meaning, personality, appeal, and commercial value. 

Introduction to Gudetama: Sanrio's Lovable Lazy Egg

Close up of a large lazy egg figurine inside a Gudetama themedCafe at Osaka City

Gudetama is a cartoon character created by Japanese entertainment company Sanrio in 2013. The Japanese word “Gudetama” (ぐ で たま) is a blend word that translates to “lazy egg” in English, and honestly, there’s no better way to describe the Sanrio character. 

Gudetama’s Appearance and Characteristics

Gudetama is literally a raw egg yolk, often depicted laying on a bed of egg white all day long. It’s a yellow egg yolk with shiny buttocks. It has a round head with no neck as well as arms and legs with no fingers or toes.

Gudetama’s eyes are oval-shaped and black, causing them to appear lazy. It doesn’t have a nose, but it does have a mouth. However, there are no obvious teeth or tongues.

In case you’re wondering about Gudetama’s gender, you should know that it's non-binary because it’s an unfertilized egg. According to Sanrio lore, everyday is Gudetama’s birthday.

The lazy egg is always tired and often displays an apathetic attitude toward everything and everyone around him.

Nothing seems to faze it, and the only semblance of emotion it shows is a love for soy sauce and seclusion.

Gudetama’s Global Fan Base

After its release, Gudetama gained a global fan base of millennials, who were teenagers and young adults at the time. Those who crave a break from the hustle of modern society are drawn to the character and its lethargic nature.

There have been several animated shows, video games, and comics based on the character. Sanrio has also produced countless branded merchandise and launched many restaurants with the lazy egg character as the centerpiece. In 2023, Gudetama was voted the 13th most popular character according to the annual Sanrio Character Ranking.

The Meaning Behind Gudetama: Understanding the Symbolism

Tired asian lady stressed and feeling tired by a lot of work

When Sanrio designed Gudetama, the intention was to appeal to millennials, especially young workers, who were tired of the stressful nature of their lives.

It was aimed at providing a realistic contrast to Japan’s work culture, which places great value on productivity. Hence, most of the symbolism behind Gudetama is related to the corporate environment.

For one, raw eggs with white rice (tamago kake gohan) is a common breakfast among Japanese workers in the 21st century. Hence, Gudetama’s portrayal as a lazy egg symbolizes its relation to millennial workers. But the symbolism doesn’t stop there.

Gudetama is not a complete egg but is only a yolk. This symbolizes the selective nature of modern capitalism, in which big companies use the best parts of people and discard the rest unfertilized.

In the end, the worker is left no different from when they started and lacks the energy to carry on.

Gudetama's Origins: Hatching the Idea for a Lazy Egg

Raw Egg over Rice, Japanese favorite food for breakfast

A Sanrio designer by the name of Emi Nagashima created Gudetama in 2013. Friends and fans often call her AMY. One day, she returned home from a long day at work and began to cook a dinner of tamago kake gohan.

She noted that the droopy appearance of the egg looked cute and a lot like the weary young people of our generation.

Nagashima created the egg character right away, drawing inspiration from the idea. She used simple line drawing in her art style to allow Sanrio to easily use the character in kid’s anime and mass-produced merchandise.

That year, Sanrio entered Gudetama into its Food Character Election, an event used to test out new character designs.

Although the design for Kirimichan won the competition, Gudetama came in second after the cheerful salmon fillet. Hence, Sanrio went ahead to market both characters.

Eventually, Gudetama’s personality and lazy lifestyle would cause it to become more popular than the cute salmon character that won the competition.

Personality of Gudetama: Embracing the Lazy Lifestyle

Gudetama themed cafe, appearing lazy

No one knows how to spend all day doing nothing but existing like Gudetama. Let’s dissect its lazy lifestyle by exploring each of its personality traits.


To say that Gudetama is lazy is an understatement. The character is in a constant state of tiredness, unable to perform even the most basic actions, like stand or walk.

However, Gudetama can talk, albeit in short sentences. It can also wiggle, show pain, and breathe. There’s nothing he likes more than doing nothing. 


Gudetama simply does not care. It is the worst person to bring your problems to, as it lacks the interest and willpower to do anything about it. The only emotion Gudetama shows is that of pain and sadness.


Gudetama is clearly depressed, causing it to complain constantly. It complains about how hard life is, the temperature in the room, being disturbed, and not getting enough rest. All of these protestations hint at Gudetama’s struggles with despair and depression.

Gudetama Characters: Exploring the Egg-Centric World

Below, we’ll introduce other characters in the Gudetama universe, including friends and companions that accompany the lazy egg on its adventures.

Nisetama-san: Gudetama’s Sidekick

Nisetama is a human, and he’s a friend and sidekick to Gudetama. In English, his name translates to “fake egg.” This is probably because he dresses in a yellow suit, which makes him resemble the lazy egg.

Nisetama-san spends a lot of time with Gudetama but he has a much brighter personality. At the end of each episode in the series, he dances to the Gudetama theme song.

Shakipiyo: Gudetama’s Best Friend

Shakipiyo is a yellow-feathered chick often depicted wearing a piece of eggshell as pants. His hyperactive nature caused Gudetama to dislike him at first, but after some time, they became very close.

Shakipiyo is determined to motivate Gudetama and get him to become more active. In certain animated releases, Shakipiyo is depicted as Gudetama’s sibling.

Satoru: Gudetama’s Lazy Human Friend

Satoru is a university student and one of the human characters in the Gudetama universe. He is a friend of Gudetama. Satoru is an extremely lazy individual, and he is more similar to Gudetama than he cares to admit.

He has a human friend called Yuto, who can’t see Gudetama and ends up blaming Satoru for the egg’s misdeeds.

Yuri: Gudetama’s Female Friend

Yuri is Satoru’s younger sister and Gudetama’s friend. She has a massive crush on Yuto and spends a big part of her day cooking to impress him.

Is Gudetama Sanrio? Unravelling the Connection


Gudetama's inclusion in Sanrio’s lineup of beloved characters has proved to be one of the company’s most lucrative decisions. In 2019, Gudetama became the third most profitable Sanrio character. Only Hello Kitty and My Melody made more money. The company has released merchandise, TV series, and video games under the Gudetama umbrella.

The Appeal of Gudetama: Why Fans Love the Lazy Egg

Gudetama's immense popularity is primarily a result of its relatable personality. Like most millennials, Gudetama believes that life is hard and it would rather not move than face daily struggles. It’s safe to say that many people share the same opinion.

Gudetama is also an embodiment of kimo-kawaii, a subgenre of Japanese cute culture that loosely translates to “gross-cute” or “creepy-cute.” Although unconventionally so, Gudetama is still cute, and its adorable design only adds to its popularity.

Gudetama in Japanese Culture: Reflecting Societal Trends

Summer travel vacation concept

In a way, Gudetama is a symbol of rebellion against conventional Japanese culture. In Japan, all workers are expected to be hardworking and productive. But Gudetama tells us that we deserve to take some time off for leisure and relaxation.

This reflects recent societal trends of people rebelling against capitalism and the struggles of the corporate world.

Gudetama Anime: Bringing the Lazy Egg to Life

Netflix homepage on a Mac laptop screen and lettering logo on the smartphone screen.

Gudetama brings its lazy antics to audiences worldwide via a number of animated series and short films. From 2014 to 2020, there was a Gudetama TV series on the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) that released over 1,200 episodes of animated shorts.

In December 2022, Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure was released on Netflix as a 10-episode series.

Gudetama Japanese: Translating the Character's Name

A variety of cute character goods displayed inside the lazy egg Gudetama store, Tokyo Character Street

The name “Gudetama” is a combination of two Japanese words: gudegude, implying "lazy,” and tamago, which means “egg.” Hence, Gudetama means “lazy egg” in English. This way, you can tell just from its name what Gudetama is all about.

Exploring the Sanrio Egg Character Universe: Gudetama and Beyond

Autumn foliage with alone character apathetic egg

Feel free to explore the whimsical world of Gudetama and other Sanrio characters by watching their anime and using their merchandise.

To get started, visit our Bokksu x Sanrio collaboration website. Hello Kitty and Friends are waiting to spread joy and happiness with their adorable presence. You can also find more Sanrio items on our Bokksu Boutique page, don't miss the chance!


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