The Year In Memes

2016 wasn’t all turmoil and bleak outlooks, where the real world failed memes came and lightened the mood. For every Trump sized failure in the universe there was a Biden and Obama meme to sooth your soul. The inter-web and the fine pursuers of it’s humour will recall all of these, guaranteed a laugh or two. What better way to map this bunch of 365 days than a year in memes? 


The gorilla who symbolised a century worth of animal rights discussions, who became a sensation posthumously. A caricature of immortal proportion, Harambe offered plenty a one liner and an opportunity to put out something (in this case dicks). Beyond the discussion of his untimely death, Harambe still rules the internet.

Damn Daniel

From viral video to colloquialism. Damn Daniel back at it again with those white vans became a compliment, a point of reference. Maybe it was the shrill voice or the compilation style that won us over, it’s difficult to pin point. But at least for these last few weeks of 2016 we can scream it with nostalgic force.

Pokemon Go

Ah yes, the augmented reality game that drove people to the streets hunting little creatures. But for every Pokestop there was a meme, making light of the reminiscent rush to a game of the 90’s. Gamifying the real world proved interesting but ultimately short lived. The memes are all we have left and it’s enough to hold dear.

Spongebob Caveman

You may have seen this one pop up without a clue what it meant. Spongebob covered only by a loin cloth making his way into unlikely scenes. Caveman sponegbob let us see the most primitive of reactions in any situation. Lost the remote, forgets keys, insert caveman spongebob here.

Michael Phelps

The Olympics is a grand source of memery, with the athletes most committed to their craft pulling unhuman faces on their quest for gold. During London it was the ever popular diving memes which saw photoshop bring the tumbling divers into many a hilarious scene. In 2016 it was Phelps’ epic preparation face and demonic like possession when a competitor tried to psych him out. What an absolute champ.

Donald Trump

The orange little dorito dusted man had a stellar 2016, but the president elect was destined to become a meme since that first Home Alone appearance. It may be his look or his awful demeanour, but the combination of the two made for superb mockery. And while we can’t change the outcome of the election, making fun of him every step along the way eased our heartache just a little.


Perhaps not the Queen’s corgis but otherwise no caramel dog was safe. A meme that allowed the most simplest of thoughts to be expressed, where prime interet speak was the language of choice. Doge helped us break down our complex inner monologue and make light of any interaction. If you don’t speak to your own doge in this voice, you’re missing out.


Colonial memes and Farage fantasies. It may seem oxymoronic for the empire to strike at the heart of the internet, a place where many monarchists have never been. But Brexit allowed us to channel our inner anarchist in a humorous fashion. Oh and make fun of the monkey man that is Nigel Farage.

Angry Arthur

Enlivening another 90’s cartoon classic, sweater vested Arthur feeling the clench of his palms has itself become a reaction. That tight hand a signal of immense frustration. The spinoffs are just as glorious.

You vs the guy she tells you not to worry about

A particularly charming meme that makes light of the Mr Nice Guy persona 4chan readers like to draw on so regularly. A place where incomparable comparisons are made. You’ll see the McLovin next to the Rock, Stiffler next to Ryan Gosling and whole host of easy answers. A cheeky take on relationship banter.

Confused Mr Krabs

When one Spongebob meme wasn’t enough, enter Mr Krabs. In a flurry of confusion Mr Krabs has become a marker of utter bewilderment. Making the Mr Krabs face on the daily is the reality of adulthood.

Thomas Reactions

Bringing the comically shrewd expressions of everyone’s favourite track work drama to the meme forum. The Fat Controller, Thomas’s contorted face or Percy making an unimaginable expression.

Evil Kermit

A recent favourite letting your evil subconscious come to light. A hooded Kermit offers you your darkest desires, against your best interest. If next year held more Sesame St memes we wouldn’t mind at all.


We saved the best til last. A stellar example of comradery soothing our broken hearts. Where Clinton failed JoeBama mended bridges. Cheeky aviator wearing Vice President running amok around the White House while nice guy Obama reigns him in. Pure hilarity. We didn’t even mind the sheer proliferation of memes post election, it’s just what we needed. Not a regular president, a woke president.

Image source: Videos.Revision, Business Insider, Hip Hop DX, Imgur, Glamour, Know Your Meme, Tech Republic, The Daily Dot, Vindicated, GTA Forums, Joebama Tumblr, Meme on The Hill.

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