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“Internet Memes” start off as content shared vastly, and as they go viral they gain a life of their own. They make people laugh as they go around. And, ever so often someone tweaks them a bit, thus refreshing the aspect of amusement contained therein. While retelling a story and sharing an interesting tale is an age-old custom, social media has found new channels and reached new heights. Never before has content been shared so fast nor so ubiquitously. That is why it’d not be an exaggeration to conclude without the internet in the picture we’d not have witnessed the “meme culture” become a real phenomenon unique to this era.   

Amazing carriers of notions, behaviors, symbols, and styles, memes can be based on life’s mundane events as well as reflect profound ideas—cultural, philosophical, artistic, and more. The message they bring forth can be simple and subtle—yet at times these discrete units depict two-fold or even three-fold insinuations. What’s more, memes can capture abstract concepts like mood in a way no other literary or creative expression is able to—making them a force to reckon with.

In a nutshell, this is one language you can’t afford to be fluent in nowadays! So, here are the best internet memes to help you catch up.

Harambe

The Harambe meme was birthed on the fateful day of May 28, 2016, when at the Cincinnati Zoo a toddler landed into a gorilla’s enclosure and was grabbed by the “agitated and disoriented” 17-year old Harambe. Fearing for the child’s safety the zoo employees shot Harambe and killed it with a single rifle shot. Of course, people did not take it well. And, while once the story would’ve died down after rather limited coverage in a local newspaper, the footage that was shot by an anonymous bystander went viral on the internet and sparked quite a controversy. Harambe thus went to live on in ways nobody could have imagined. And, continues to do so even today!

Kermit the Frog Sipping Tea

With the tagline ‘But that’s none of my business’ this Muppet has gained great praise in the meme culture. Reeling you in with its perceived innocence, the adorable imagery allows you to pass judgment on others without incurring their wrath. After all, Kermit is cute and funny, and helps the insult find a way to just slide under all that—making you laugh rather than get angry.

Grumpy Cat

Cats reign supreme over the internet and none more so than Tardar Sauce aka the Grumpy Cat. Ailing from feline dwarfism, this beloved house pet with a unique facial expression became the poster child for cynicism and false negativity. With so many iterations of the meme sprawling the net, this kitty has made it to the annals of history. Tardar passed away in 2019, but she lives on in the hearts of millions around the globe.   

Condescending Willy Wonka

The iconic 1971 Willy Wonka, played by Gene Wilder, has managed to stay more relevant than the latest Charlie and the Chocolate Factory production—all thanks to this one incredible pose Wilder strikes while introducing his most secret machine. Easy to apply on practically anything, this cynical and patronizing pose has fueled many a meme, taking over online forums around the world.

Facts about the Indestructible Chuck Norris

Had it not been for Conan O'Brien, Chuck Norris may not have been the meme king he is today. With his Walker, Texas Ranger lever bit in 2004, O’Brien catapulted Norris to fame—O’Brien’s Chuck Norris jokes on the Late Night show went on to inspire innumerable alternative factoids which exaggerated Norris’ strength and virility. If you’re looking for a good laugh make sure to look them up. With WOW! Internet they’ll load in no time and keep you entertained for hours to come.  

"Thanks, Obama"

What started as a sarcastic, right-wing retort to ObamaCare became the tip-of-the-tongue catchphrase often used in the face of any perceived problem—irrespective of whether or not the former US president was at fault. What’s more, the meme has far exceeded the constitutionally mandated term and is making rounds even after Biden has taken office.

Duck Face

This is one you’re sure to have tried out. Duckface is a pose that has transcended the meme culture and found another life in the selfie world. Used daily on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and more, it is the staple social media tool we use. Many may not even know its origins, but that makes it all the more iconic.

Success Kid

Who doesn’t love cute kids? Highlighting how smart or dumb life can be, the Success Kid is one of the most used memes out there. With funny quips designed to make you laugh, and lighten the seriousness of it all, it is still just as relevant today. 

Philosoraptor

Extinct dinosaurs have long fueled our imagination so their presence in memes is not really that surprising. The Philosoraptor, a quizzical dinosaur with an inquisitive expression, started off as a Lonely Planet T-shirt, but the design’s potential for laughter made it one of the best memes in history. And, we’re sure this one is not going extinct anytime soon.

Shirtless Putin

Just like the global political stage, Vladimir Putin dominates the world of memes as well. The shirtless Putin has been making rounds, and if you think that is funny you must check out the Russian take on the President. Protesting the Russian government’s (and the Orthodox Church’s) stance on LGBTQ rights, they’ve used the power of editing to create an image of him as a gay clown.

“Shit X People Say"/Starter Packs

Casual stereotyping is a tool often used to drive a point across, but its unnecessary or malicious use can be a problem. The Starter Packs meme however is a great way to call out this habit in a humorous way. If you haven’t indulged in it already, you must soon enough!  

First World Problems

While you shouldn’t undermine anyone’s struggles, some problems are just too dumb to be crying a river for. Sure, your MacBook Pro restarting on its own is annoying, but screaming you can’t live like this is a bit too much. This meme however puts First World frustrations in perspective and makes for a good laugh.

Ancient Aliens

Conspiracy theories abound, but none is as popular as the Ancient Aliens. The fact this documentary has featured on The History Channel makes it all the more problematic. However, the meme guns have been blazing—calling out the dude who claims to be an ‘expert’ for the entertaining act that he is. Hopefully, it’d be a win for science.

Dabbing

Dabbing created a frenzy like no other. Everyone got in on the action and dabbed. You could find it at football matches, at proms, the mall—really everywhere. It has faded out to a degree now, but you’ll still find people dabbing occasionally from time to time.

The Dress

The color anomaly that had the world divided is still discussed. It started from the blue and black (or maybe white and gold) dress which everyone is sure to have seen. But it didn’t end there. Just recently Billie Eilish picked it up by flaunting a pair of shoes that looked green and pink at the same time. We’re sure The Dress phenomenon will make its presence known yet again. Colors truly are a complicated bunch.

Distracted Boyfriend

This stock photo has reached the pinnacle of greatness. Shot by Antonio Guillem, depicts a perfidious young man walking hand in hand with his girlfriend. Guillem captures him on the camera as he turns back to appreciate the seductive beauty of passing by a girl going the other way. Used as a metaphor for just about anything that distracts people in everyday life, this is one meme that will never ever die!

Keep Calm and Carry On

This meme dates back all the way to 1939. The British War Ministry might not have known it at the time, but their poster’s simple design was destined for greatness. Soon after the originals being unearthed in 2000, they spread like wildfire, making it fast to the meme hall of fame. Frankly speaking though, it’s probably become a bit saturated. But, then again, it’s so relatable, how can one ever get over it!

The Most Interesting Man in the World

It was in 2006 when Jonathan Goldsmith modeled for the Dos Equis beer ad wherein his catchphrase was, “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equis”. And thus, the meme was born. The dialogue was picked up on social media, and with his image, it was used to talk about anything and everything.

Facepalm

The classic facepalm is a well-known expression used to show dismay over someone’s foolish activities. Patrick Stewart—Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek—striking the pose, however, is the image that has become associated with facepalm the most.

“I Will Find You and I Will Kill You”

Liam Neeson’s 2008 “Taken” is a great movie on its own, but it’s this dialogue however that caught the attention of people the most. Whether you liked the film or hated it, you’re sure to have used this meme to display annoyance and frustration.

Final Words

These are some of the most meme-orable memes in history that are sure to have made you laugh at one time or another. If there’s any you’ve missed you can easily catch up with. With a fast and consistent connection like you get with Spectrum Internet, you’ll be able to download and scroll through the imagery without downtime while loading them. What’s more, you can create your own memes while you’re at it and post for people to enjoy!