Meme Mania: A Recap of 2016’s Best Memes


Photo by Bianca Wilson.

Like many millennials, the internet has played a big and somewhat inevitable role in shaping who I am today: what I care about, what I know about, what I like, and especially my sense of humor, through none other than memes. According to Google, the millennial's dictionary and right hand man, an internet meme is "a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users." Internet memes are a fairly new medium/genre of humor but one of the fasting growing, as the very essence of a meme is its virality. Some of the funniest and most popular memes of this year were images, phrases, and animals. Whether you’re a tried and true meme fan or still calling them “meee-meees”, there’s no denying they’ve lifted a weight from the heaviness of the world in 2016.

1. Let's kick it off with a classic, the Arthur fist. This meme depicts Arthur the aardvark's clenched fist by his side as he attempts to suppress whatever rage he was currently suppressing. (maybe D.W. is annoying him?) Young adults and teens know this feeling all too well, so Arthur’s fist inevitably became a meme.

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2. You knew it was coming: Harambe, which is hands down one of the most popular memes of 2016. The gorilla was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo to protect a child that mistakenly ended up in Harambe’s exhibit. The story was covered by several major media news outlets,  which eventually translated to his martyrdom as a meme on the Internet.

3. The blurry Mr. Krabs meme depicts Mr. Krabs of the Spongebob TV series in a crowd of people, (rather, fish) who are distorted by a spiral blur. Krabs is in apparent distress and the meme is most commonly used to depict any stressful or anxiety-ridden situation in a lighthearted way.


4. “Bone app the teeth”, a personal favorite of mine. Though its origins are unclear,  I'd like to think that an innocent soul was enjoying an especially delicious meal and wanted to express their content with the classic French expression “bon appétit”. This individual who most likely was not French nor inclined to find the proper spelling of the phrase then took their unfortunate spelling skills to the Internet and hence the phrase was born. The spelling error, however, was warmly embraced by Twitter and hundreds of way to say “bon appétit” were rapidly established. Some notable cousins of "bone app the teeth" include “bone apple tea” and “blond amputees.” 

5. The evil Kermit meme. This isn't Kermit's first rodeo when it comes to memes, seeing as he is well known for his 2015 Lipton tea "but that's none of my business" image. In his latest and greatest meme, we quite literally see a new side of Kermit: his evil side. The meme displays the creature in a black sweatshirt hood representing his inner dark sides, facing the ordinary Kermit and giving him not so great advice in a devil versus angel juxtaposition. It's a fun way for people to give a face to the conflicting thoughts in their heads.


6. Last but not least, the confused math woman stole 2016. This meme is actually a series of screenshots from a Brazilian telenovela. The woman depicted looks extremely confused as she analyzes an overlay of math problems, all of which appear intimidating at a glance due to the combination of letters and numbers. This meme is typically used to represent a person in a situation of confusion.


By Amanda Gordon

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