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A U.S. district judge ruled yesterday that President Donald Trump legally cannot block certain users on Twitter based on their political views as it violates the First Amendment rights of his constituents.
This is as dorky as it is delightful.
The Oscar-nominated actor has been accused by as many as eight women of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment. Freeman has apologized for his actions.
You merely adopted the office. I was born in it.
Ace Attorney works with yet another meme.
Sex GIFs, he tweeted.
Let's be real. If you are browsing memes about stressing over final grades, you know it's too late. Well, if you can't escape the doom, you might as well embrace it. Amirite?
A weirdly specific trope of strong, action-type Asian characters with dyed hair has generated discussion online.
The Tesla founder wants a crowdsourced grade systems to rate journalists' credibility, ignoring that fact that everyday people would not be able to verify their reporting.
New censorships laws have shut down one of China's most popular source of Rage Comics.
Despite months of dire news, the fight over net neutrality isn’t over yet.
it was only a matter of time before the most Trumpian scandal of the modern age got into the sex cult business.
Performance artist Poppy of the ThatPoppy YouTube channel has broken her silence on the lawsuit lodged by fellow YouTuber Mars Argo, real name Brittany Sheets, yesterday.
With endless funds and, apparently, free time, Musk continues to pitch “fun” new projects, despite the public reaching its breaking point.
Apparently, the Chinese video app Douyin has had enough of the Internet's strange relationship with Peppa Pig.
The problem with Apu might be 30 years old, but one producer thinks he has the cure.
In what can only be described as the fight of the century, Whoa Vicky serves up a quarter pounder of beef in “Action,” her new diss track about Cash Me Ousside’s Daniel Bregoli
Fortnite players rejoice, your hours spent playing has not been in vein.
Many NBA athletes have been recognized for their artistry on the court, but Houston Rockets superstar James Harden became a piece of Renaissance masterpiece over the weekend.
The object-labeled variations of the classic "Is This a Pigeon?" meme, which features a screencap from an episode of the 1991 Japanese anime series The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird, have seen an enormous resurgence in popularity nearly seven years after the first image macros began circulating online.
Here are some of the staff's favorite edits based on the original template (shown above):
Mario's Identity Crisis
Christopher Columbus Makes a Discovery
It's Just Like Dark Souls
(Source: Know Your Meme)
Predictable Anime Fans
Brock's Jelly Donuts
Retro Video Games
Feeling underwhelmed? Not impressed? Post your own favorite picks, or even better, upload and share your original creations in the comments section below!
s pervasive normification threatens the very existence of our planet's dankest memes, Know Your Meme took a bold step to send a satellite collection of digital cultural artifacts into lunar orbit to serve as a remote backup of our internet heritage. In order to safeguard against a future meme crisis on Earth, project MemeX would commence an emergency safety protocol to ensure our precious memes could be recovered by future generations. We would not let our memes become dreams.
The Meme Vault
Over a 24-hour period, specimemes were submitted by Know Your Meme users to the MemeX collection vault, where a total of 561 images and 245 videos were submitted. All submissions that reached a score of six or higher were selected to be stored in the vault, which included a total of 140 images and five videos.
Out of the all the memes submitted to be included in the meme vault, three specimemes stood out above the rest. In third place, KYM media moderator Stoffe submitted a Don-themed edit of a page from the infamous hentai manga Emergence, gaining a score of 123 (shown below, left). KYM pundit Beatie came in second with a It Was Me, Dio image cleverly marked with an NSFW flag, receiving a score of 127 (shown below, right).
While the historic MemeX launch was scheduled to commence the evening of April 1st, a pipe rupture was discovered feeding spaghetti sauce into the main thruster, forcing Know Your Meme to delay the event for 24 hours.
On April 2nd, 2018, Know Your Meme launched its KYMLOR-1 (Know Your Meme Lunar Orbital Receiver) satellite from the Dogeberg Air Force Base at an undisclosed location in the Eastern United States.
Due to unforeseen technical problems, the satellite was forced to make an emergency landing on the moon's surface. After several nail-biting minutes, the vessel touched down unharmed, providing a safe location to store the precious meme vault for many years to come.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s annual review series looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined internet culture in 2017 as we know it.
nline technology continues to reach new heights as our connection to the internet becomes deeper with each passing year. Mobile technology in particular has grown by leaps and bounds, as nearly everyone and their grandmother has a smart phone now-a-days.
While no one was able to surpass the virality of 2013's Flappy Bird, a number of notable mobile games took off this year. Nintendo jumped back on the scene with the release of their social simulation game Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and an Android version of their side-scrolling, auto-run game Super Mario Run. Meanwhile, the Pokémon Company hooked fans with the highly addicting gacha game Magikarp Jump, allowing players to raise a fleet of virtual fish to endlessly collect coins.
However, not all social media platforms and internet companies fared too well this year, with the internet bidding farewell to Vine as it officially shut its doors in January, though co-creator Dom Hofmann hinted a new project is in the works, while Uber, the world's largest taxi company and one of the most successful startups in history, struggled to shake off seemingly endless bouts of scandals involving its executives' conducts and massive data breaches. In digital publishing, many independent production companies like Super Deluxe continued to rack up millions after millions of views with their hilariously bizarre content, while major news publishers like DNAinfo and Gothamist suffered a shocking closure when Joe Ricketts, the publisher of silent made the stunning move to shut both operations down after the company's writers and employees voted to unionize, leading to an enormous backlash online.
Above all else, 2017 proved to be an enormously successful year for cryptocurrency platforms, as the price of Bitcoin soared from less than $1000 per token at the beginning of the year to upwards of $16,000 per token at the time of writing, yielding a whopping 1,500% jump in valuation.
In no particular order, here are some of the top sites and apps to make waves throughout the tech world this last year.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the online meme aggregator sign Me.me popped on to the scene this year in a big way. Initially launched as Onsizzle.com in 2015, the site does an impressive job of gathering memes from across the web, and even cites the source from which it was taken. This year, they teamed up with data scientist and former NASA researcher Evan Freitag to released Me.me Trends, a tool that graphs meme popularity in a similar fashion to how Google Trends tracks search volume for keywords. Most recently, the site appears to be working on some sort of meme exchange database, featuring presale form to trade 1 ETH for 3,000,000 MEME.
In online cringe content, one application stood out this year as an impressive incubator for some of the most annoying videos on the web. After kicking off the career of teen pop star Jacob Sartorious, this social networking video app started attracting young cosplayers with some very high IQs. In September, Musical.ly clips featuring teens acting out various skits while dressed as characters from Rick and Morty came along just as fans of the animated television show were gaining an online reputation for being exceedingly irritating and obnoxious.
The /r/MemeEconomy entire subreddit is a place on Reddit for internet culture enthusiasts to speculate about the viral success of various internet memes. Launching in late 2016, the community exploded in popularity this year by crossing the 300,000 subscriber milestone in September, cementing its place in Reddit's top 300 subreddits. If you're wondering which memes to "buy" or "sell," this is the place to find out. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our "Meme Exchange Stock Market Report" summarizing our meme economy-inspired April Fool's Day event!
There certainly was no shortage of bizarre photo-editing software this year, and the mobile application FaceApp may have taken home the crown for the weirdest of all. While it was initially released with a fairly innocuous set of filters allowing users to make themselves look old, young or paste a creepy smile on their face, an update to the app released in August allowed people to use filters that change a person's race to Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian. Needless to say, the new feature didn't go over very well, and the race filters were removed just hours later.
This mobile application allowing users to play a live trivia game show gained a lot of buzz this year, leading the Daily Beast to write a profile on the app's popular host Scott Rogowsky. After finding out that Rogowsky had been contacted for the article, HQ Trivia CEO Rus Yusupov went off the rails demanding it not be published, even threatening to fire Rogowsky if the profile ever saw the light of day.
This online crowdfunding platform became the go-to place to raise money for a wide variety of causes, including health care costs and charity projects. Following October's tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for victim's family collected upwards of $3.2 million in just two days.
Back in the 90s, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) was the top dog when it came to real-time group communications, but has seen a steady decline in popularity since 2003. This year, the application Discord exploded on to the scene with their multi-platform chat client, allowing users to create their own custom servers for both text and voice communications. Initially marketing itself as a video game-oriented service, Discord has since been adopted for a variety of different interests, including politics, music, hobbies and even memes.
After numerous high-profile conservatives saw themselves banned from the social networking giant Twitter, including the controversial British writer Milo Yiannopoulos, entrepreneur Andrew Torba launched Gab as an alternative social media platform dedicated to the principle of free speech. Since then, the site has been widely reported as a haven for racism and white supremacists, including a Vice News episode on HBO which referred to Gab as "Twitter for Racists."
Remember Bitstrips? Well, it's dead, and Bitmoji has risen in its place. After being acquired by Snapchat in July of last year, Bitstrips shut its doors completely to focus on the emoji-style stickers. Since then, Bitmoji surged in demand, becoming Apple's most popular application of the entire year.
As divisions widened in the wake of last year's United States presidential election, the 8values quiz site capitalized on the politically conscious zeitgeist with an impressive survey application. Asking users a variety of detailed questions, the site generates graphs outlining where someone falls on four basic political spectrums.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s annual review series looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined internet culture in 2017 as we know it.
ike 2012 was the year of advice animals image macros, 2017 was the year of webcomic edits.
Two standout series that were heavily represented in the realm of exploitables were Deathbulge and Owl Turd, which each spawning numerous photoshopped parody variations of their work on sites like Tumblr, Reddit and 4chan. Near the end of the year, Shenanigansen, the creator of Owl Turd, even became a bit of a meme himself following the spread of his infamous "Bike Cuck" comic.
On the relatable content side, Problems, Stress, Pain was used to share comforting sanctuaries from life's turmoil. The comics Das Good Shit and I Sure Wish I Had Some Bread revealed memers deepest desires, while Coffee You're My Only Friend watered down many of life's brutal truths.
But if there was one type of exploitable that just wouldn't die, it was the dreaded "Things I Don't Like" memes. These low effort, unoriginal edits have shown no signs of abatement, and are typically used to make superficial criticisms of opposing political or philosophical beliefs. Over the course of the year, the meme economy was flooded with an avalanche of these webcomics, including Stress Powered Lightbulb, Self Aware Robot, Get Better Material, As a Father, To Survive in the Wild, All Life Is Precious and Your Mother and I Will Always Love You.
In order of appearance, let's examine the top 10 comics to make a splash online this year.
The year started off strong once the internet got their hands on a page from a hilariously bizarre pornographic comic based on the children's animated TV series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. In the comic, the character Billy slaps Mandy on the rear end while saying "Buenos dias, Mandy," leading her to swiftly punch him to the ground where a car runs over his outstretched arms.
The absurd premise mixed with its amateurish illustration style created a perfect storm for memes, spawning countless photoshopped variations combining the comic with other popular exploitables, including The Trolley Problem, How to Talk to Short People and, of course, Loss. By the end of the year, over 110 submissions had been added to the gallery on Know Your Meme.
In February, artist Tate Parker published a comic in which a tenacious explorer discovers a magical "Scroll of Truth," which proceeds to inform him that no one reads his "rants" on social media.
Oddly enough, a comic with a nearly identical premise had been tweeted by artist Nathan Pyle in 2016, in which the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones hunts down a crystal that "utters only truth. Unlike the Pyle comic, the "Scroll of Truth" inspired the creation of numerous creative edits, with new additions popping up throughout the entire year.
British artist Dan Martin, the creator of the webcomic series Deathbulge, jumped on the internet meme scene in February with the release of his comic "First Class," which features a smooth-talking young student who aces his class on "flirting."
As the opposite of a "Things I Don't Like" meme, the Deathbulge comic was a breath of fresh air to many online, with numerous edits reaching the frontpage of various subreddits and even 4chan's infamous /pol/ board. However, it didn't take long for variations changing the teacher's "A+" stamp into an "F" to predictacly take hold.
What started as a simple illustration created to scold those who patronizingly crouch when talking to short people reemerged this year to spawn some of the most bizarre comic photoshop series the internet has ever seen. Titled "How to Talk to Short People," the original 2014 drawing gave clear instructions on proper etiquette for socializing with the vertically challenged.
After being discovered this year, the comic took a turn for the absurd with some of the year's more creative, and even disturbing, fifth world-style variations, including an "unholy abomination" from some horrific other-worldly dimension. "God save us," indeed.
In an attempt to destigmatize the cuckolding kink, commonly associated with the emasculating pejorative "cuck", artists Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan created a comic titled "What the Fuck's a Cuck?" explaining the sexual preference through the character Joe, Kate and Craig.
While it may have intended to be a serious exapliner about the alternative sexual lifestyle, the comic was just begging to be parodied. The most memeable panel of the bunch showed a hilarious scene in which Craig orders Joe to "shut up and get the fuck out" so he can have sex with his wife. Photoshops superimposing all sorts of popular characters from television shows, anime and video games into the panel took over Tumblr and Twitter, fillling up our image gallery with nearly 60 different examples.
A newcomer to the internet meme scene, artist Florkofcows popped up in late April with an anime-themed comic featuring a pair of socks who aren't fans of the anime Sword Art Online.
The comic exploded in popularity due to its simple setup and easily customized artwork, culminating in an impressive animation created by Imgur user Reckreations.
A common complaint regarding characters in today's video games criticizes the stark differences in how men and women are portrayed. In early July, Twitter user @glitchedpuppet published a comic urging game developers to avoid using designs relying on sexual dimorphism, using a pair of anthropomorphic rodents to illustrate the point.
The comic was immediately met with a slew of parody variations, predictably combining the premise with other exploitables like Loss and Buenos Dias, Mandy. However, Know Your Meme user WhyMe began creating original illustrations of the rodent characters as companions in a role-playing game, inspiring Know Your Meme user JamJelly to create an amazing pixel art animation.
Longing for a different kind of webcomic to meme, a 2014 illustration by artist Grant Snider titled "Conflict in Literature" was repurposed this year as the perfect template for a variety of internet fandoms.
Initially popping up on Tumblr in October, the series quickly spread to Tumblr and Reddit, grabbing the attention of the experts over at /r/MemeEconomy.
There seems to be something about Owl Turd Comix that are ripe for parody, but none of Shen's works have been quite as popular as his infamous comic about a boy, a thief and a bike. In mid-November, a comic in which Shen recounts how he was able to make peace with having his bike stolen by thinking about how the thief's happiness caused "the total happiness in the world" to increase exploded online, with many mocking the outlook on theft as absurd.
After a cuckolding-themed parody began circulating on Twitter, people began referring to Shen as "Bike Cuck." In the end, Shen managed to reclaim the meme by creating his own parody variation on the subject of net neutrality, in which a future version of himself goes back in time to warn him about the dangers of his outlook on life.
Just before the end of the year, a new challenger appeared in the form of a Zootopia fan comic bizarrely focused on the issue of abortion. In the comic, the anthropmorphic animal characters Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps have a blowout break up while discussing the termination of Hopps' pregnancy, leading to a melodramatic ending of epic proportions.
Due to the intense dialogue and heavy handed delivery, many interpreteded the comic as some sort of anti-abortion screed, leading to rapid mockery in the form of photoshopped edits. When confronted on DeviantArt about the purpose of the comic, creator Borba bluntly denied being pro-life or writing the comic to push an anti-abortion agenda. Just one day after being submitted to Know Your Meme, the entry accumulated more than 210 image submissions.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s annual review series looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined internet culture in 2017 as we know it.
t should come as no surprise that electing a reality TV gameshow host president would have a massive impact on the culture at large. And the Presidency of Donald J. Trump has made life on this chaotic blue marble all the more turbulent. Things haven't been much different online since the great uniter came to power. People hang on his every word, and, boy, do those words create a lot of memes. No figure in our culture has been at the center of more memes than United States President Donald Trump, and with good reason, the guy does a lot of weird stuff that lends itself to easy parody. So, because of his impact on the site, we decided it best to give him his own special list, which I'm sure he would demand if he had ever heard of our site. Here they are: the 10 Trump memes of 2016 in chronological order.
Any dreams you had of having a normal four years pretty much flew out the window on January 10th, 2017, when BuzzFeed published a secret dossier that had everyone and their mother saying "Pee Tape." BuzzFeed's controversial publication of the Steele Dossier remains hotly contested, but the immediate reaction remains one of the most surreal moments of they year. Suddenly, the job of reporting on the president shifted from discussions of trade disputes and foreign policy to whether Trump had a pair of prostitutes urinate on the bed the Obamas slept in at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow. Throughout the year, elements of the dossier would be confirmed drip by drip, as the words "the piss tape is real" continued to surface pop up on timelines across social media. We may never get to see the tape (if it exists at all), but hey, there's still time for a Christmas miracle.
Thanks to Pissgate, the year started with a bizarre baseline. How on Earth was this guy going to top that, we thought. Has there ever been a stranger press conference for a president elect than one where they have to explain a piss tape? Up until then, we hadn't really seen a full-on presser with President Trump, and he really turned up the heat. Sending one of his most famous catchphrases in the zeitgeist, Trump took the world by storm with "You are fake news." This was among Trump's first attacks on the free press, and it's one that he's been willing to recycle over and over again. "Fake News" had been circling the culture since the 2016 election hack, but suddenly the most powerful man in the world was pointing at the news media and calling it false. It was a huge deal, to say the least. Since then, Trump's been proud to use the phrase at the drop of a hat--even claiming to have coined the word "fake" later that year. In the Trump era, "fake news" is real news.
Every action has an equal but opposite reaction, so the election of Donald Trump was certain to beget even more craziness. Things seemed to be on an unstoppable collision course to Crazytown in January, which seemed to peak at the Inauguration of Donald Trump. Aside from his weird obsession with crowd size and Richard Spencer getting punched in the face, there was Shia LaBeouf doing his part in his artsy sort of way. The online performance art project was intended to run for the entirety of the Trump presidency as a 24/7 livestream event for people to vent their frustration. Of course, it didn't exactly go down like that, as a bunch of Nazis showed up to scream at LaBeouf and drink milk, as is their wont. The actor ended up being arrested, following an altercation with a Nazi and the project was shut down as of February 10th and now resides in France, where it's open to attack by Trump trolls of all sorts.
From the people that brought you "fake news," comes "Alternative Facts. Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's first press conference has become a thing of legend in only 10 months. Spicer, for his part, spent the better of his time screaming at journalists for claiming that the president's inauguration had lower attendance numbers than President Barack Obama's. Afterwards, people on Twitter called Spicer's easy-to-disprove points "SpicerFacts," which Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway topped the following day. She referred to them as "Alternative Facts," and we've been dealing with them ever since. The moment became a real key into the Trump administration, in which the world learned how they would deal with reality: They'd create their own. Still, Alternative Facts remains a vital and unfortunate part of our modern world, and it seems like they're not going away anytime soon.
Man, January was a busy month for the Internet, and finally, after week's of being gaslit into believing whatever Trump had to say, the Internet actually had a fun Trump meme to play with. Trump's first order of business became an instant classic on January 23rd, when he signed an executive order and held his bone-white paper to the camera. Never hold a blank page to the internet, and this is why. Suddenly, Trump's memorandum to leave the Trans-Pacific Partnership had become a vessel for Dick Butt, and it's been that way ever since. In the Trumplandia, there's not shortage of flash-in-the-pan memes, but Trump's First Order of Business seems like one we'll be using for years to come.
If Alternative Facts were going to be the name of the game, Kellyanne Conway was going to play it hard. With the administration only a few days old, Conway was already a mainstay on the morning chat shows, defending whatever policy Trump was pushing upon us. On February 2nd, she pushed it as far as it had gone at the time, referencing the "Bowling Green Massacre," a terrorist attack that never happened. The public ate it up, publishing pictures of fake memorials, commemorating those who died in the massacre. In the months that past, references to Bowling Green have dropped considerably, which is very disrespectful to everyone who died in the tragedy.
Any profile of Trump is bound to bring about one or two new details of bizarre curiosity. Take for example "Two Scoops," the dessert of the May 2017 new cycle. Apparently, during a special dinner, Trump, in what could only be described as a delicious power play, served his guests one scoop of ice cream while he had two. For those who always assumed that Trump was selfish man, their bias was confirmed. For everyone else, we just got a funny story in a world that could use more funny stories.
"Despite the negative press covfefe." Has there ever been a more iconic tweet?
Just after a midnight on May 31st, 2017, the President of the United States tweeted an incomprehensible piece of angry gibberish that remained up long enough for him to add to it with an even stranger tweet: "Who can figure out the true meaning of 'covfefe' ??? Enjoy!" Of course, the sudden explosion of "covfefe" led to an immediate backlash, calling out the easily distracted opposition to Trump. It has since become a word to describe the laziness of most Trump memes, but several magical hours in the late spring, the world came together to ask, "did the president have a stroke?"
If there's one word to describe the least flattering picture of the President in existence, it would be thicc. Trump's brief brush with the clay courts has left a lasting impression on the world, but for all the wrong reasons. In his white, see-through shorts and red cap, Trump's tennis photo is usually the first Twitter comedians reach for when trying to make fun of the president's appearance, and they do it a lot. So much so that months later, the pictures still makes appearances, either through tweets or photoshops. It's a popular picture that shows no signs of going anywhere.
Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame has been a prime location for protests and pranks since the moment he announced his candidacy. This year was no different. However, when a young woman decided that she would clean the swastikas and garbage off the president's star, she probably didn't realize that the world would adopt her tweet, "Nothing but respect for MY president," as their own. Since then, not a day goes by where someone doesn't post a picture of Beyonce with the caption. It's a testament to the meme that it has separated almost entirely from Trump and become something of its own, which very few Trump memes have done before. Get used to the catchphrase because it's probably going to be here for a while.
he year began with the issue of "fake news" taking center stage in online discourse, which only escalated the discord between social media and news media in the United States and elsewhere. But contrary to popular belief, rumormongering and hoaxing have been a long running craft in the world of internet trolling. And as the public awareness and counter-troll intelligence grow with each passing year, trolls come up with increasingly sophisticated methods to outwit the skeptics.
2017 was no exception. Many of these pranks have been done in good fun, including fake posts about eating "Piss Jello", conspiracy theories that Avril Lavigne is dead and absurd "quick rundowns" on Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff.
On Reddit, a conspiracy theory arose out of an investigation into the Kentucky Fried Chicken Twitter account, with some suspecting that a Redditor was behind a guerilla marketing campaign for the fast food company. Meanwhile, Redditor danorexia managed to trick the entire /r/me_irl subreddit into turning him into a meme by falsely claiming he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Meanwhile on Facebook, a campaign to convince the world that Australia is not real was widely successful, bearing many similarities to a similar conspiracy theory about Finland.
Without further adieu, strap on your tinfoil hat and take a cruise down memory lane as we go over all the rumors, bamboozles and other fake news that took the internet by storm in 2017.
An ongoing campaign in which internet trolls falsely identify comedian Sam Hyde as the perpetrator of shootings and terrorist attacks across the United States.
- Duration: 2015 – Current Day
- How It Started: As early as 2015, online pranksters circulated photographs of Hyde wielding an assault rifle along with claims that he was identified as a gunman in various mass shootings.
- How It Unraveled: Following a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez mistakenly said he was given the name Sam Hyde as the gunman responsible.
A fake gender identity term created for pedophiles who supposedly identify as young children.
- Duration: December 2016 – January 2017
- How It Started: In late December of last year, 4chan users began creating fake Twitter accounts to spread images promoting Clovergender as a gender identity, which were then amplified by celebrities like Lauren Southern and Martin Shkreli.
- How It Unraveled: In early January, Snopes published an article exposing the 4chan operation as a hoax titled "Cloverfailed".
A viral infographic which falsely claimed viewers could break a ligament attaching their thumb to their wrist.
- Duration: January 2017 – January 2017
- How It Started: In early January, Twitter user @RahSenpai posted screenshots of a text message conversation in which a friend appears to dislocate his thumb while attempting the instructions in the infographic.
- How It Unraveled: Following the spread of viral photographs showing what appeared to be thumbs injured and deformed by the challenge, various news sites published articles exposing the infographic as a fraud.
A digitally altered image claiming to show an alien creature outside the Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona turned into a full blown conspiracy theory after a temporary server outrage caused the image to be lost on 4chan.
- Duration: February 2017 – February 2017
- How It Started: What appeared to be a corrupted image file of a alien figure walking in front of a tree was submitted to 4chan with a description claiming it was taken 24 miles outside of the Luke Air Force Base. After 4chan's Cloudflare servers went down, the thread was lost, leading many users to speculate that a government conspiracy had taken the image offline.
- How It Unraveled: Internet sleuths discovered the original images used to create the fake picture, which included a photograph of an alien sculpture.
A fake meme created in an attempt to trick the meme explainer YouTube channel Behind the Meme.
- Duration: February 2017 – February 2017
- How It Started: In late February, a 4chan user launched a thread to brainstorm ideas to bring down the Behind the Meme YouTube channel. In the comments section, one user suggested spamming the word "zenzi" in the channel's comment section to trick him into making a poorly-researched video about the non-existent meme.
- How It Unraveled: The same day, Behind the Meme uploaded an explainer video on the meme, in which he exposed the 4chan threads and discouraged meme elitism on the web.
False claims that YouTuber TheReportOfTheWeek had gone missing in the aftermath of a tragic shooting or terrorist attack.
- Duration: May 2017 – Current Day
- How It Started: Following the tragic suicide terrorist attack outside the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, United Kingdom, a collage of missing people began circulating including a photograph of TheReportOfTheWeek.
- How It Unraveled: Photographs of TheReportOfTheWeek began circulating along with the false claims that he had gone missing in the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas Strip shooting, leading news outlets like the BBC to publish articles exposing the social media posts as a hoax.
A viral photograph featuring a masked man holding a sign bearing the logo of the North American Man/Boy Love Association in front of protesters.
- Duration: October 2017 – October 2017
- How It Started: A photograph of a man holding a sign appearing to defend pedophilia in protest of Mike Cernovich began circulating on Twitter in late October, with many on the right accusing Cernovich protesters of promoting pedophilia.
- How It Unraveled: While it hasn't been proven to be a hoax, several news sites published articles investigating the authenticity of the photo, with many speculating that it had been staged by a Cernovich supporter.
A fake Starbucks promotion in which discounts would supposedly be provided to undocumented immigrants at the coffee chain.
- Duration: August 2017 – August 2017
- How It Started: In early August, users on 4chan's /pol/ board launched a plot to spread fake images promoting a "Dreamer Day" at Starbucks, where undocumented immigrants would be granted discounts.
- How It Unraveled: After discovering the hoax operation, Starbucks announced that the rumors were completely false via their official Twitter feed.
A slogan created as a "proof of concept" to demonstrate that if signs printed with the phrase were placed in public then they would be accused of promoting racism and white supremacy.
- Duration: October 2017 – Month 2017
- How It Started: In late October, 4chan users began encouraging viewers to place printed signs with the slogan in various public areas in order to cause a "media shitstorm."
- How It Unraveled: Many news sites published articles about the intial 4chan threads, exposing how the operation was meant to be a media troll.
Viral photographs from an Iranian teenager's Instagram who several news sites falsely reported had undergone 50 plastic surgeries to look like Angelina Jolie.
- Duration: October 2017 – December 2017
- How It Started: In late November, various tabloid news publications began circulating the sensational rumor that Iranian teenager Sahar Tabar had received numerous plastic surgeries to resemble Angelina Jolie.
- How It Unraveled: In early December, Tabar spoke the Russian news site Sputnik, revealing she had only received three plastic surgeries and that she was not trying to look like Jolie. Additionally, she revealed that the looks seen in her photographs were obtained using makeup and Photoshop.
et’s get this out of the way: Nintendo absolutely killed the meme game in 2017. It seems like every move they made had fans making jokes (and you know, the games were pretty good too). Gaming in 2017 saw memes become reality, as fanservice wormed its way into some of the year’s biggest titles. Sonic Team pretty much said “screw it” and made a game tailored specifically to Sonic Fan Artists. Pokémon offered plenty of memorable characters and even sprinkled some sexual innuendo into their games--after all, the fans who’ve been playing it since 1996 are likely in their late 20s now. For the most part, gaming in 2017 provided a nice escape from a more tumultuous reality (except when Wolfenstein said “Nazis Are Bad” and everyone lost their minds), and was one of the most consistent resources of internet jollies.
Title: Pokémon Sun and Moon Memes
It’s been an incredible 2017 for the Pokémon franchise. By tweaking the classic Pokémon formula for the game’s seventh generation, Nintendo created two of the most memorable, if not arguably the strongest entries in the Pokémon series with Pokémon Sun and Moon. Gone is the classic eight-gym-elite-four progression path; in its stead, Nintendo introduced island trials wherein players complete puzzles on their way to fight a super-powered “totem” Pokémon for a Z-Crystal rather than the traditional badge. Gone is the overarching nefarious-villain-looks-to-resurrect-legendary-Pokémon-to-take-over-the-world plot that had been in place for generations III-VI. In its stead is a moving, intricate plot revolving around motherhood, family, and friendship which deftly weaves in the obligatory Legendary Pokémon.
On top of that, Sun and Moon were arguably the most meme’d entries in the series yet, with a whopping 14 subentries to their name. The game’s dynamic cast and frankly more adult themes lent itself well to memers, as players picked up on the game telling them Press A to Pound over a picture of the female grass trainer Mallow. New characters like Primarina and Wicke inspired sexy fan art as well. But the most mainstream memes, Get In the Bag, Nebby and Alola Exeggutor simply riffed on the game’s sillier elements, as fans responded to the charm the new games brought. Couple Sun and Moon with a thriving anime and Ultra Sun and Moon, reboots which built on the original games in excellent ways, and 2017 may have been the best year for Pokémon in 20 years.
Title: Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch could not escape memeification in 2017. Numerous memes spawned from the console’s games, but even the marketing of the Switch spawned memes, which should give you an idea of how enthusiastic fans were for the product. This included Karen, a woman who became a meme in the first Nintendo Switch commercial simply for bringing the console to a party, as well as a stream of Cartridge Tastings in which people tested (and learned) that Nintendo had covered the Switch cartridges in a horrible acid to prevent children from eating them. Still, the biggest meme of the Switch’s marketing was the Bowser Block.
Coming from a Nintendo ad for the Switch’s parental controls, the Bowser Block gives a wholesome twist on Bowser, turning him into a good dad who wants to keep the lewd away from Bowser Jr. Good Dad Bowser became a popular exploitable throughout the year, as he motion-blurred his way to save Jr. from anime, fake news, Sonic fan art, and more. May we all have as good a dad as Bowser. Except for, you know, the kidnapping thing.
Title: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo struck gold over and over again in 2017 by creating impeccably crafted games with memorable characters. As they did with Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nintendo approached the Zelda franchise with an open mind, mixing up the classic formula and coming out with arguably the best entry in the series to date in Breath of the Wild. Online, perhaps no character won the internet over as much as Prince Sidon, the hot Zora who put all other hot Zoras to shame.
Prince Sidon is the cheery, supportive boyfriend everyone in the world wishes they had. He appears periodically to offer Link support and just seems like an overall good guy you could take home to Zelda, who is never going to date you Link, just get over it and accept your true self at this point. God, you could cook an egg on those fins.
Gaming journalists didn’t have the, let’s say, best year. After journalist Dean Takahashi notoriously attempted and brutally failed to play the Cuphead tutorial, the fire between gamers and gaming journalists was once again stoked, as gamers took the video as evidence that journalists were unqualified to write about products they couldn’t use properly. While taking one video out of context may be unfair, the trend was also stoked by a cliché that began circulating among journalists in 2017: It’s Just Like Dark Souls.
Gaming journalists went to that well a few too many times to go unnoticed, and soon a meme spread mocking journalists who deemed anything even remotely challenging as “the next Dark Souls This came to a head when Games Radar used the phrase to describe Crash Bandicoot, a cheery platformer for children. After that, anything could be Dark Souls if it frustrated a journalist enough. Personally, I believe Doki Doki Literature Club is the next Dark Souls.
The "Classic Gaming Emotion" went criminally under the radar in 2017, because with its cheesy premise and easy access for variation, it had huge potential to be one of the best memes of the year. The meme comes from a 2010 TED Talk in which a woman shows a vaguely Ron Weasley-esque child displaying the “Classic Gaming Emotion” of an “Epic Win.”
It’s an exploitable on a plate, and the early wave of edits were terrific. You Hear About Video Games was tailor made for the exploitable, as was, naturally, salt. Perhaps the meme’s Tumblr and Funnyjunk origins stunted its growth, but perhaps I am showing the classic gaming emotion of being bitter not everyone liked the thing I liked.
2017 could sometimes feel like a year where you were constantly getting shot in the face, which made Sniper Elite Headshot a perfect exploitable for the year. Stemming from an absurd cinematic Sniper Elite 4, the Sniper Elite Headshot was a quick hit with Redditors, as the parts of the image could be very easily labeled to demonstrate all manner of violent to do’s.
While the exploitables never went to abstract places like, say, I Will Now Buy Your Game did, the Sniper Elite Headshot proved surprisingly durable, because if there’s one thing memers love, it’s a simple image they can make funny without having to put a lot of effort into.
A good way to ensure your webcomic into a meme is to present the vaguely political point you wish to make with an air of general haughtiness. Give it a shoddy art style to boot, and bam, you’re in exploitable town, baby. Twitter user @glitchedpuppet hit the sweet spot when they created a comic for game developers asking them to stop making female animal characters in their games big-breasted and humanlike and make them look like, you know, actual animals.
Now, I think that glitchedpuppet’s point is a beat we can all dance to, but the tone of the comic is all off. Its shoddy presentation and its clunky kicker, “I will now buy your game,” made it ripe for parody, and it turned into one of the most enduring exploitables of the year. In addition to a wave of exploitable parodies, the comic even inspired some fan art between the two characters, making the original pairing of Wolf-rat-thing/humanoid-girl-version look strangely wholesome. If there’s one thing the wave of parodies proved, it’s that people will buy any game as long as it looks interesting and fun.
We’ve talked about the impact Cuphead had on video game culture in our Fandom list, but for our purposes, its important to note just how Cuphead was tailor made for viral success. With its memorable cast of characters, huge internet fandom, and vaguely sexual undertones, the game was destined to birth some memes.
Both What’s The Matter, Little Fella? and Triple Gay tapped into the feeling that the game with its cutesy exterior was mocking the player for being unable to beat it, which in itself made Cuphead one of the most memorable games of the year. Additionally, the memes both exude on a certain emasculating quality which, again, is pretty much Cuphead.
Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey is a classic Mario game. Mario travels to the standard variety of worlds (grass world, fire world, sand world, water world, etc.), but it also mixes in some neat, eye-catching twists, particularly Cappy, who Mario’s hat which literally possesses the soul of anything it wears (don’t think too much about it). But who gives a shit about any of that, Mario has nipples now.
This useless but not unappreciated design choice by Nintendo set the internet ablaze as the Nips were arguably the most radical reveal of Mario’s body since his infamous tribal tattoo. I mean we all knew he had to have them, right? Still, it looks weird seeing them in real life. Anyway, memers immediately got to work, and sure enough, fan art of what Mario would look like if he were truly a fat italian plumber hit the web. And the results… well, let’s just say bing bing wahoo, folks.
Title: Sonic Forces
God bless the Sonic Team, who cannot for the life of them make a game anybody likes, and god bless Sonic fans, who keep going to kick the football every time Sega puts it down. In Sonic Forces, Sonic Team decided to go the ultimate route in fan service by allowing players to essentially make Sonic Original Characters. Sonic Forces revolves around the creation of a player-avatar who will fight alongside Sonic and his friends, making the player one of the new members of Sonic’s team along the way.
The resulting game is an embarrassing mess, thanks in part to the player’s ability to make their avatar look genuinely garish and terrifying. The game’s only reward is a constant stream of new outfits for the player-avatar to wear, which boosts the cheese factor. Sonic Team even included Sanic Hegehog, perhaps as a wink to fans who recognize how ridiculous the Sonic series has become. Frankly, the game’s attempt to appeal to fans who genuinely want to be a part of the Sonic universe is almost sweet--so long as you’re not playing.
he Internet feeds on reaction. A sounding board for just about everything, online discussion is what people turn to the internet for. It's a chance to see what a stranger thinks, smack your forehead and think, "What an idiot." Sure, most of the reactions are negative, but that doesn't mean that you have to respond, in depth, to every dumb thing people say on here. That's where the reaction image comes in. A language of its own, the reaction image is one of the most popular types of memes for a reason: Anyone can use and understand them. 2017 has been a banner year for the Reaction Image, launching a number of memes that seem destined to become all timers. So get your comments ready because here are the top reaction images of 2017 in chronological order.
It doesn't take a lot of critical thinking to figure out why "Roll Safe" tapped its temple all the way to the list. Kayode Ewumi's inviting grin and a host of image macros have made the picture the 2017 go to for poor decision making, followed by an even more illogical justification. Since popping in popularity in January, "Roll Safe" has made the internet a better place, eclipsing the popularity of almost every other image on this list without ever tiring. Endless applicabilty makes a good meme, and there are few places that "Roll Safe" isn't welcome. After all, you can't have a "Best Meme" list, if you don't have the Best Meme. Thankfully, we do.
Of all the great things Stranger Things has done, ushering in the Winona-sance, might be the most vital. Had they not cast her as Will Meyers paranoid mother, we may not have received the series of bonkers reaction faces she delivered at the 2017 SAG awards in January of this year. Ryder's reaction to her co-stars David Harbour's politically-charged acceptance speech became an instant meme, shared widely throughout the Internet and providing us with a wealth of reactions for any occasion, whether were happy, sad, confused or scared-- it's basically an entire emoji keyboard
Let's just go ahead and name the Drew Scanlon Reaction as the official face of 2017. The slow blink and head tilt of a man who cannot believe what he's hearing has been the go-to gif for just about everything said online this year, giving us the perfect face for a world gone temporarily insane. While the meme has been around for a years, it wasn't until 2017 that it really caught on and thankfully it did, becuase it has been one saving grace in a world frought with confusing and scary headlines. Keep blinking, Drew. We need you more than ever.
For all the negativity on the Internet, there's nothing like getting a little support from mom. Kris Jenner is nothing, if not America's mother. Well, maybe not, but she's certainly provided us all with a little helping hand. Taken from a bizarre moment from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, when Kris snapped pictures and cheered her daughter on during a nude Playboy photoshoot, "You're Doing Amazing Sweetie" has been used both in earnest and in jest for the the past year, peaking in popularity in 2017, as the catchphrase has been appropriated to other photos, sans Jenner. Still, it's her immortal words that keep us motivated.
In a venn diagram of wholesome and deep-fried memes, "Understandable, Have a Nice Day" would be in the cross-section. The meme, which started as Shaq responding to news that "food broke," has become a rallying call for an easy out of any bad conversation, terrible argument or all-around unwanted situation you might find yourself in. What's more, the meme has maintained popularity throughout 2017, meaning that people will likely continue to be so understanding for years to come.
Some of the best reaction images become so ubiquitous that it can be hard to imagine that they've only been a part of the internet for a few months. For example, did you realize that "Oh No Baby! What Is You Doin???" is only about nine months old. The composite of two of Nick Joseph's prank videos, "What Is You Doin???" became a popular catchphrase and image macro over the last year, becoming so popular on Instagram and Twitter that it can often feel as thoguh it's older than it is. That's probably due to how perfect the expression and face are together. Much like Drew Scanlon's reaction, "What is you doin???" is that wonderful kind of online reaction that sums exactly how it feels to see someone make a mistake.
Self deprication is the second language of the internet. If nothing else, social media has given us all an outlet to talk about how horrible we can be, and "Hey There Demons" is an acknowledgment of that. Typically used in response to one's own lack of self care, "Hey There Demons" offers a casual response to one's own mental health problems. The cheeky addition of "it's ya boy" certainly helps things. This type of off-the-cuff self deprecation found quick popularity online, where it has thrived since coming into being on an episode of BuzzFeed's Unsolved Supernatural, and it looks like it's going to have a long after life as well.
Skyrim's popularity was bound to unleash a ton of memes this year, but none had the same kind of impact as the "Skyrim Skill Tree." Similar to Fake XBOX 360 Achievements,, the Skill Tree sarcastically rewards proficiency using the language of the game. The seemingly endless ways the captions have kept these memes going since June, and they really show no signs of shopping. They're easy to create and are frequently satisfying, even if you've never played the game.
Eminem is the early 2000s dominant edgelord, so it's no surprise that a line of his would unlock a new series of edgy memes. "Now This Looks Like a Job For Me" comes from the video for Eminem's song "Without Me," and in 2017, it was impossible to look at Reddit without seeing job after job for him. In the early days of summer, it took on a life of its own, captioning edgy, dank memes that get more eye-rolls than laughs. Frankly, the more wholesome response to these memes are where "Now This Looks Like a Job for Me" really excelled, but it's probably it's the edgy examples that probably kept Redditors coming back for more, and keeping the meme in our sights throughout the year.
Making a late appearance to the list, "Jazz Music Stops" received a flurry of attention toward the end of the year, providing the perfect face and expression for when someone says something offensive, similar to a record scratch in a movie. But "Jazz Music Stops" has a number of things going for it, from the face of the musician to the on-going mystery of who painted it. Still, when the full drawing was released in November 2017, it only made the face better. "Jazz Music Stops" is a perfect reaction image, one that's as specific as it is applicable. The meme that has already seen dozens of variations and will likely to continue to grow in popularity over the next year.
his year, music memes followed the K.I.S.S. rule: “Keep it simple, stupid.” Whereas 2016’s crop of music memes were technologically absurd and deconstructive in nature, music memes of 2017 worked best on simple premises, like a song that fits well with videos of people falling, or an app which makes your music meme for you. Meanwhile, Normie-tier memes like “10 Bands I’ve Seen” Facebook statuses and screenshots of playful Spotify playlists also left their imprints on the social media, not to mention your standard fare of trashy pop songs gone viral, but the most exciting memes and remixes of the year in the internet music scene came from a select few creators, some new and some old, who took the craft of music memery to new heights. Here’s a look through a much tamer 2017:
The key to any good meme song is it needs to be fun to listen to, and "Shooting Stars" is a goddamn jam. With a driving disco beat and a pleasant synth motif that rises in intensity as the song charges towards its chorus, “Shooting Stars” is the indie-pop archetype of the late 2000s, a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place next to MGMT or Passion Pit in a Spotify playlist.
So how and why did this song become a meme? Well, sometimes these things just happen. The 2009 synthpop song by Australian duo Bag Raiders’ found new life this year when it suddenly became the soundtrack to hundreds of videos of people falling through space and time. It started with a simple premise: a fat guy jumps into a river and “Shooting Stars” plays. And then it was everywhere.
The unexpected breakout of “Shooting Stars” was a bit bewildering--by all accounts a minor song that barely made it out of Australia in the late 2000s would normally have no business becoming a major hit a decade later, but the internet’s perverse sense of democracy and humor made the track one of the biggest of 2017.
If you walked into a grocery store in 2017, you've undoubtedly heard Despacito. Luis Fonsi’s hit featuring Daddy Yankee (and a popular remixed version featuring a trying-his-best Justin Bieber) was an absolute juggernaut in this year, racking up over 4.4 billion views on YouTube and playing on pop radio stations what seemed like every half hour.
You know that scene in How I Met Your Mother when Ted and Marshall are driving and the only song they can play is “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers? That’s how it felt with “Despacito” this year. Waves would come where it was the worst song ever and then there would be another wave where it was the best pop song of the year. It’s certainly infectious enough and helped kickstart a craze where pop music was dominated by family friendly, light latin rhythms. Which gave us Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape Of You.” On that count, “Despacito” will never be forgiven.
Neil Cicierega rules, man. The elder statesman of all things internet took his wickedly stupid sense of humor and musical talent and made Mouth Moods, the third in his “Mouth” mixtape series, and perhaps the best one yet. Take for example opener “The Starting Line,” which builds an immense tableau over looping memetastic lines from late 90s and early 2000s pop. It just might be the most “zeitgeist-y” song of the year for the internet.
To listen to Mouth Moods is to simultaneously sit mouth agape while laughing your ass off and admiring the impeccable craft that went into this musical meme sugar-rush. By taking the modern memer’s musical lexicon and blending it together in such a way that rewards endless relistens, Cicierega’s wild journey through bad taste and repurposed pop cheese actually turns out to be one of the strongest albums of the year.
Spotify were the big winners of the streaming services in 2017, at least when it came to memes. That’s because one clever teen constructed a Spotify playlist whose songs, when read in order, turned into a rejection message, thus launching Spotify Playlist Messages.
Soon, people used Spotify Playlists to write messages crushes and lovers. With a little ingenuity, one can make a Spotify Playlist say pretty much anything you want, even certain things that should never be forgotten. Spotify Playlist Messages are fun, if only to explore the incredible collection of music Spotify has on its service. Shoutout to the song “and” by EDEN. You the real MVP.
Last spring, a man took to Facebook with a simple game for his followers: 10 bands I’ve seen live, but one is a lie. Guess which one?
The simple challenge spread like wildfire through Facebook, as people eagerly copied the format. It was inescapable. For at least a week, the entirety of Facebook was devoted to this game and parodies of the game. The trend (thankfully) didn’t last too long, but at least along the way we learned what bands that kid from high school you don’t talk to anymore had seen and how clever everyone who didn’t care for the trend was, right? See y’all at the next Facebook status trend.
Ditty saw a resurgence in 2017 thanks to teens utilizing the app to declare that Mr. Krabs is one thicc bih. Furthermore, after saying that Krabs is “one thicc bih,” they ask to “see that krussy.” Perhaps it’s easier to see than to explain:
The “One Thicc Bih” trend was a special kind of plague in the summer of 2017 as people took obscure characters and asked to see their various pussies. This included, but was not limited to, The Babadook (“Babussy”), Wario (“Waussy”) Squidward (“Squussy”), and many more. It was groan-inducing but also a lot of fun, particularly thanks to the song “Good Day” by 4Qent100. Can you imagine breaking into the music industry by making a song on which everyone makes “pussy” portmanteaus? The future is wild, y’all.
At some point, God looked upon humanity’s sins and created the physical embodiment of those sins and now we have Jake Paul. To his critics, Paul is a talentless, shallow jerk with a documented history of terrorizing his neighbors and friends while engaging in some of the most blatant clickbait on YouTube. To his supporters, I guess he’s funny or something?
Okay, so I’m not Jake Paul’s target demographic. Nevertheless I have enjoyed seeing Paul’s various missteps through the year, particularly his forays into music. Many were introduced to Jake Paul via a music video called “It’s Everyday Bro” which features him and his ragtag group of Team 10 lackeys jumping around boasting about how Paul was on the Disney Channel and he gets a lot of YouTube followers. It’s abysmal.
There are lots of reasons this song is awful, most obvious being that Paul has no sense of flow or how to write clever lyrics. Nevertheless, it has over 158 million views, and not everyone can be hate-watching it, right? Oh also, at some point guest rapper Nick Crompton says "England is my city" which suggests that he has grown up very confused as to the size of England, which is a full country. If there’s one thing Jake Paul offers, it’s endless questions.
You would not believe this list,
if Fireflies was not on it.
It was a meme in ‘17.
It involved a remix style
That lasted a little while
In which it played over bizarre scenes
I’d like to document a meme
That song that’s by Owl City
It’s hard to say why it came back
But sometimes that’s just how it works with memes…
"Man’s Not Hot" was something of a sleeper hit in the 2017 meme landscape. When it first dropped as “The Ting Goes,” few could have predicted that Michael Dapaah’s comedy rap as Roadman Shaq would grow into one of biggest music memes of the year.
At first, Dapaah’s various onomatopoeias were the meme, The Ting going SKRAT, KAT KAT KAT, PUM PUM, etc. But as the video spread, memers noticed other gems in Big Shaq’s rap, including the opening “quick maths” line and a bit where he talks about people saying he should take off his jacket, but “man’s not hot.” Dapaah’s character really sells the whole thing, as he spouts his rap with such confidence you almost forget it’s total nonsense. The man’s not hot, but the meme is.
Kirin J. Callinan’s absurd disco-pop-country musical-theatre spoof "Big Enough" is an absolutely bonkers track with an insane music video to match, but one moment in the song courtesy of Australian singer Jimmy Barnes transcended it all:
Barnes screaming across the sky like he’s in Gravity’s Rainbow is the kind of punch-you-in-the-face moment most musicians dream about, especially if you aren’t familiar with Barnes’ previous work. Who is this cowboy? Why is he screaming? Oh my god, he’s going higher? And sure enough, after the video began spreading, Barnes scream fell into the hands of remixers and meme makers who added it in all sorts of humorous situations. Barnes’ “Big Enough” performance is an ideal meme: simultaneously absurd and impressive, a screaming cowboy had millions nodding along and thinking “Same, space cowboy. Same.”
f people thought 2016 was a garbage fire, 2017 was some sort of Sharknado: Scary chaotic and seemingly unimaginable. Some might contend that it's so bad, it's good, but we have yet to see the good come to fruition. The people that made the internet what it was over the last 365 days, is a cross section of the things that Internet has always been and what it's transforming into. In a way, politicians have become our greatest content creators, rattling off memes at breakneck speed, as if they're trying to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle. Meanwhile, actual content creators eclipsed their previous popularity, turning brushes with viral fame into record deals, media appearances and trouble with the public. Through it all, these ten blurred the line between reality and the Internet. Here they are, the ten people that defined 2017.
It's been a strange year for Anthony Fantano, founder of the music vlog Needle Drop, as well as the less-known thatistheplan meme review channel. While the year started with his popularity soaring to a new height, it ended in a flurry of controversy, with the Fader accusing him of being an alt-right sympathizer. Fantano, for his part, responded as best he could, objecting to some of the claims made by the Fader, but his reputation was severely damaged, leading to a canceled tour. It does seem unlikely that 2017 will be the end of Fantano, though. As the Fader described him in their controversial piece, he's still "the most famous music critic on Earth." And with more than 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube, his reviews still receive thousands upon thousands of views.
BuzzFeed's Adam Ellis has been posting his work around the Internet since 2010, but as far as Know Your Meme is concerned, 2017 was his year. The most popular comics artist on the site, in terms of views, Ellis has his defenders and detractors alike, with some comparing him to Ctrl+Alt+Del. Does that mean Ellis will pen the successor to Loss? Hard to say, in the mean time, his comics will likely continue to inspire debate and conversation.
The more popular she gets, the stranger Poppy appears. The soft-spoken, blonde-haired vlogger produces some of the weirdest videos on the internet. Her various channels display a specific kind of satire that purges the internet's superficiality with serious bite, no matter how harmless she may appear. With her ASMR-inspired tone of voice and perplexing manner of speech, Poppy's popularity continued unabated in 2017, expanding her music career and getting her own web series on Comedy Central. But as the conspiracy theories about Poppy grew, so did her fanbase. There's something addicting about her fresh and subversive approach to vlogging, and it's what keeps people coming back fror more.
Just so we're clear, there was no other person more searched for on our site than Boonk Gang. The alter ego of John Robert Hill, Boonk Gang's stunts and crimes racked up hundreds of thousands views throughout 2017. Videos of him stealing buckets of chicken, snatching iPhones and simply being an all-around agent of chaos has his subscribers wondering what he'll do next, if the authorities don't catch him first. Boonk Gang's persona is something of an anti-hero on the internet, as we watch and wondering if he'll make a getaway from his latest, hopelessly spontaneous heist. Also, there was that time someone at a BBQ chased him with a machete. Wild.
One of the most beloved man in memes is also one of the few things the Internet can agree on. When Stefán Karl Stefánsson, the actor behind LazyTown Robbie Rotten, was diagnosed with cancer, Reddit rallied around the performer known for some of the internet's most famous memes. While it looked as though Stefán beat the disease, fans returned to his side when the the cancer returned. To date, a GoFund me for the performer has brought in more than $175,000, proving that the Internet can be a good place that takes care of its own.
In a year of #resistance, one woman became a symbol of persistence. Elizabeth Warren might not have been the most meme'd person of the year, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's criticism of her became a rallying cry for those on the left standing in defiance of the Trump administration. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted You couldn't make up a better slogan. While the end of the year found her being dragged back into controversy by the commander-in-chief over his use of the nickname "Pocahontas," Warren has remained one of the country's most popular politicians.
With all the things going on this year, it's easy to think about the cash me ousside girl, Danielle Bregoli, as an old-fashioned kind of internet celebrity. As the end of the year, she has brought forth controversy after controversy, and as politicians continue their descent into memeification, it's easy to forget about the teens mostly known for being rude to their parents and adopting a fake accent. But Bregoli actually fared better than most in terms of keeping herself relevant over the last 12 months. Her infamous Dr. Phil appearance might be from 2016, but she managed to pop-up every few weeks with a new story for the meme world to pour over. From music videos to fights on an airplane, Bregloi kept herself in the news cycle, maintaining the relevancy of cash me ousside. Howbow dah?
Jake Paul is hellbent on outdoing himself. With each and every bit of Jake Paul news comes something crazier and even more outlandish. Much like Boonk Gang, it seems as though people just want to see what he'll do next, but unlike Boonk Gang, Paul's considerable wealth and complete disregard for his neighbors have made him an internet oddity. Perhaps the most famous of the of the Internet pranksters on our list, Paul's willingness to make something out of nothing has fueled dozens of videos and attracted millions of followers. But it's his songs and controversies that seem to keep memers interested. What's Team 10 going to do next? Probably continue to thrive. What can you say? People really like this guy.
The latter part of 2017 has been completely dominated by sexual misconduct accusations, as once-powerful men saw their grasp on industries being ripped away. The accusers of Harvey Weinstein were the ones who broke the damn wide open. Not only was this a risky endeavor for their personal reputation and safety (the public is shockingly unsympathetic to victims of abuse), but also taking on the most powerful man in Hollywood could result in massive lawsuits. As they say, if you come at the king, you best not miss. And thanks to exposés in The New York Times and the New Yorker, Harvey Weinstein's accusers set off a cultural reckoning that's being felt in every part of American culture.
Was there any other group of people responsible for more memes than the Trump administration? Even removing the president and his incessant tweeting, gaffes and bizarre expressions, you'd still have former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway to contend with--not to mention, the day-players, like Anthony Scaramucci, who are gone in a flash. Those three along have been responsible for a huge chunk of this year's memes, the ones that everyone gets in on, from dank memers on Reddit to your dad cracking covfefe jokes at Thanksgiving. And with each day bringing more alternative facts, "fake news" and revelations about Russiagate, it's already looking like the Trump Administration will be appearing in next year's list as well, much to the dismay of our commenters who are decidedly tired of Trump memes. Unfortunately, unless aliens land on Earth, Trump will still manage to suck most of our bandwidth, and, honestly, even aliens landed on Earth, it would probably get buried in his news cycle.
I Can't Believe You've Done This refers to a viral video of an English teen starting a video, getting punched in the face, and replying "Ah fuck, I can't believe you've done this!" The video was celebrated for the understated way with which the teen says the line, which people saw as a very "British" response to getting punched.Read More
Lord Farquaad / Markiplier E refers to a deep fried image of the face YouTube Let’s Player Markiplier photoshopped onto the head of Lord Farquaad from Shrek with the letter “E” in impact font overlaying the image. Later edits posted the face over an image of Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional Hearings. The character was then edited in several templates referencing the absurdity of modern memes.Read More
Savage Patrick (sometimes referred to as Evil Patrick or Angry Patrick) refers to a still image of Patrick Star from Spongebob Squarepants looking as though he’s in the midst of a maniacally evil chuckle.Read More
American Chopper Argument refers to a scene from American reality-television show American Chopper in which Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. get in a shouting match about Jr.’s tardiness. Several years after the scene aired in 2009, it was turned into an exploitable comic where the subject of their argument is changed.Read More
Deadmau5 is a Canadian electronic music producer and known troll. His trademark mau5 is currently in a legal dispute with Disney. Learn more on KYM.Read More
Anime is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of “animation”, and Manga is a Japanese term used to refer to any comic. In English-speaking countries, anime refers to a style of animation originating in Japan, characterized by colorful graphics and often featuring themes intended for an adult audience, and manga it has been mainly associated to the comics made in Japan, and the style they often use. The intended meaning of the word ‘anime’ sometimes varies, depending on the context.Read More
Steven Crowder’s “Change My Mind” Campus Sign is a photograph of conservative podcaster Steven Crowder seated behind a sign that reads “Male Privilege is a myth / Change My Mind” outside of Texas Christian University. Since its upload via Crowder’s Twitter account in February 2018, the photograph has been turned into an exploitable template for online parodies.Read More
Channel Awesome Implosion refers to damaging stories spread about the business practices of Channel Awesome, a network of YouTube content creators whose most prominent member is The Nostalgia Critic. In March of 2018, previous contributors to the network began describing their experiences within the network, particularly with the management, namely Mike Michaud, Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic), and his brother, Rob Walker. Massive backlash to the channel ensued, as well as an apology from Channel Awesome that many dismissed as insufficient.Read More
Donald Trump’s Alleged Sexual Encounter with Stormy Daniels refers to the scandal surrounding the revelation that Donald Trump had sex with porn star Stormy Daniels in 2006, a year after he married Melania Trump, and his campaign during the 2016 United States Presidential Election paid Daniels $130,000 to not speak of it.Read More
Aaaaaaaa are a series of image macros and photoshops in which the first letter of the English (or Latin) alphabet “A” is nonsensically repeated many times. These images are often used as either a shock reaction or else in a "shitposting" manner to derail threads. The string of text is also often spammed in chat streams or in text-to-speech engines.Read More
Gru’s Plan is an exploitable four-pane comic series featuring the Despicable Me protagonist Gru using a presentation board. Edits of the comic typically feature an unexpected third presentation page, followed by a panel of Gru looking back at the board in confusion.Read More
Perry the Platypus is a fictional character on the animated television series Phineas and Ferb. He is the pet platypus of Phineas and Ferb and lives a secret life as a agent for the O.W.C.A. (Organization Without a Cool Acronym), an all-animal spy and espionage organization.Read More
Cornette Face refers to a photograph of American professional wrestling commentator Jim Cornette wearing a surprised-looking expression, which is often used as a reaction image or as an exploitable photoshop template in wrestling-related communities online.Read More
KC Green (b. February, 1987, Oklahoma) is a Massachusetts-based webcomic artist known for his unique brand of self-conscious humor. Strips and panels from many different comics Green has created have gone viral or been turned into memes.Read More
Patrick Star is a character from the Nickelodeon series Spongebob Squarepants. He is the title character’s best friend and is known for being overweight and dimwitted. Several moments featuring the character were later turned into popular internet memes.Read More
Metal Gear Survive is an upcoming co-op survival video game spin-off of the Metal Gear series developed by Konami for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC platforms. Taking place after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, players take on the role of the MSF soldiers who were sucked into a mysterious wormhole that sent them into an alternate dimension, where they must work together in order to survive and fight against hordes of zombies. The game gained notoriety online for being the first in the series since Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami.Read More
Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell is a German YouTube that produces short animated educational videos, explaining various scientific, political and philosophical topics.Read More
Bloxvox is the name of a device currently being promoted through a Kickstarter campaign that will smother your face in a soundproof muzzle so that one can have telephone conversations without disturbing others in a work environment. After CNET reported on the product, Twitter users reacted with jokes about the product's design, with many comparing it to the mask Bane wears in The Dark Knight Rises.Read More
Asian Hair Streak refers to a trend in western cinema and television to show asian characters, particularly in action roles, with a dyed section of color in their hair. The trope was first noticed on Tumblr in the fall of 2014 and discussion surrounding the trope was reignited in 2018 after a Twitter user called out the trope after seeing the character Yukio in Deadpool 2.Read More
Dean Norris is an American actor best known for his role as Hank Schrader on Breaking Bad and Big Jim Rennie in Under the Dome.Read More
Can't Escape From Crossing Fate refers to a catchphrase said before battles in the upcoming fighting video game BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. In May of 2018, the phrase became a remix meme on YouTube, as users put the catchphrase in various clips from television shows before two characters fight.Read More
Actually, Quantum Mechanics Forbids This is a series of image macros featuring a screen-capture from the PBS digital series Space Time, which features host Matthew O'Dowd standing next to the text "Actually, Quantum Mechanics Forbids This." The image refutes to the corresponding text featured above the photograph.Read More
Alinity is the handle of Twitch streamer Natalia Mogollon. She is known mostly for streaming World of Warcraft and has drawn attention for her looks. In 2018, she feuded with PewDiePie, drawing attention and controversy to her channel.Read More
Fake Fantas is a Twitter bot acting as a single-topic blog on that generates parody flavors for the soft-drink Fanta for humorous effect.Read More
Spygate is unverified conspiracy theory made by United States President Donald Trump, following a report that an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation spoke to members of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign while investigating communications between the campaign and Russia. Trump's Spygate theory should not be confused with the 2007 incident in the National Football League in which the NFL team the New England Patriots were reprimanded for videotaping a New York Jets practice.Read More
Robo Bitch refers to a Vine video in which a man says he can make great Transformers characters before cutting to several tricycles stacked on top of some tires, calling the creation "Robo Bitch." The video inspired numerous remixes after it was posted.Read More
Hbomberguy is the YouTube handle of video game and political critic Harry Brewis, best known for in-depth reviews of video games, internet culture, and reactions to right-wing political movements in the YouTube community.Read More