Come on, let's have some fun!

alt text


alt text

Do I need to say more ?

Apparently I do!

If a user has a custom avatar, such as me, then nothing will change.

If a user doesn't have a custom avatar then an unique one will be displayed based on the md5 of the user's email. But, there are several styles you can choose from. The one we use is called identicon; it's the most professional of all the ones available. But there are more themes, such as monsterid (see example above).

They as well are for all intent and purposes unique, different for each email. Let's play around with the hash and get more examples:

alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text

  • 2
    Are you saying you don't know how to change your email address on Meta?
    – random
    Jan 28, 2010 at 4:32
  • 2
    I'm talking about the default avatars. Sure, I can change mine and fake the default one posted above, but then everyone's else will still be ugly. EDIT: Oh, maybe you don't know, it's a parameter in the URL gravatar. If the user doesn't have one set, you can choose between several default "themes". The one currently used by us is "identicon", the one I proposed is "monsterid", there are more. See blog.gravatar.com/2008/04/22/… Jan 28, 2010 at 4:35
  • No, he wants to change the mechanism that is used to generate images for people without Gravatars from identicon to monsterid: splitbrain.org/projects/monsterid Jan 28, 2010 at 4:36
  • 2
    You didn't mention about changing everyone else's. Looks like you needed to say more.
    – random
    Jan 28, 2010 at 4:39
  • 3
    Mysteriously changing everyone's avatar would be fun for April 1. Just think of the mayhem if this was done on SO as well as meta...
    – Ether
    Jan 28, 2010 at 5:28
  • 52
    But then someone needs to write a MonsterId that creates Unicorns instead. Jan 28, 2010 at 5:29
  • 6
    @Michael Stum: so YOU'RE responsible for that horrible idea... Feb 21, 2010 at 3:58
  • 1
    @quack: For the record, I do credit him in the very first centence of the announcement of the project you're referring to.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Feb 21, 2010 at 17:37
  • 1
    @balpha: true dat. i didn't notice before, but i give you credit for crediting your sources. Feb 22, 2010 at 11:39

8 Answers 8


That's a Greasemonkey script even I can "write":

// ==UserScript==
// @name           monstify
// @namespace      stackoverflow
// @description    Use monsterid instead of identicon
// @include        http://stackoverflow.com/*
// @include        http://serverfault.com/*
// @include        http://superuser.com/*
// @include        http://meta.stackoverflow.com/*
// @author         Benjamin Dumke
// ==/UserScript==

/* most of this code is stolen^H^H^H^H^H^Hadapted from Kip
   Robinson's accept rate details script at
   http://userscripts.org/scripts/review/62156 */

(function() {

  //boilerplate greasemonkey to wait until jQuery is defined...
  function GM_wait()
    if(typeof unsafeWindow.jQuery == 'undefined')
      unsafeWindow.jQuery(function() { letsJQuery(unsafeWindow.jQuery); });

  function letsJQuery($)
     $(this).attr("src", $(this).attr("src").replace(/d=identicon/, "d=monsterid"));

This does the replacing on all the Trilogy Sites, but you know how to change it to your needs.

Possible improvements:

  • only replace gravatar images that are really user images
  • do it without jquery so you can do it earlier (so the original images don't appear briefly)
  • make the monsters prettier -- the Dood isn't totally wrong

Feel free to refine.

  • ITYM stolen^H^H^H^H^H^Hadapted. Jan 28, 2010 at 11:49
  • 1
    @Sinan: I guess you're right.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jan 28, 2010 at 11:58
  • Ugh. Replace the "GM_wait" function with an "addEventListener" call.
    – Hello71
    Jul 13, 2010 at 21:41

MonsterIds are really, really ugly.

  • 49
    what :( -1, you're ugly! Jan 28, 2010 at 6:59
  • 2
    monsterids are ugly, but wavatars have a similar whimsical style while being much more attractive: shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1462 Jan 28, 2010 at 8:47
  • Personally, I find the monsterid's much prettier than the identicons, but then again, des goûts et des couleurs on ne discute pas, n'est-ce pas?
    – fretje
    Jan 29, 2010 at 13:09
  • 10
    not only that, they are totally inappropriate for a serious/professional website as SO is. Feb 1, 2010 at 7:14
  • 2
    @Stefano: maybe you missed the "meta only" part Feb 9, 2010 at 16:02
  • @Jeff - i know!! how cool is that! Feb 21, 2010 at 3:55

Unicorns are waaaay better than monsters!


Go for Unicorns. Definitely.

  • 10
    You're aware that this very post is what started the whole unicornify story, right? :)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Sep 12, 2010 at 19:32
  • @balpha: It did? I never knew that. Sep 13, 2010 at 7:07
  • 1
    @George Note the highest-voted comment under the question
    – balpha StaffMod
    Sep 13, 2010 at 7:15
  • @Balpha: No, I didn't. Huh!
    – Eric
    Sep 13, 2010 at 7:30

I know this is not an answer, but it completes a circle:

unicornified original post

(I hate those monsterids, anyway)


They look much better in this page: http://scott.sherrillmix.com/blog/blogger/wp_monsterid/


Identicons, ATTACK!

Oups... wrong movie... sorry.


I make fix?

// ==UserScript==
// @name           Monstrify
// @namespace      http://stackexchange.com
// @description    Use monsterid instead of identicon
// @include        http://stackoverflow.com/*
// @include        http://serverfault.com/*
// @include        http://superuser.com/*
// @include        http://meta.stackoverflow.com/*
// @author         Hello71
// @changelog      Doesn't require jQuery, only replaces user avatars, fixed namespace, changed author, better name.
// ==/UserScript==
(function () {
    var replace = function (imgs) {
        for (var i = 0; i < imgs.length; i++) {
            var img = imgs[i];
            img.href = img.href.replace("d=identicon", "d=monsterid");
    replace(document.querySelector("#user-avatar > img");
    replace(document.querySelectorAll("#user-gravatar32 > a > img");

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