Memes of 2016: Looking Back

Memes of 2016: Looking Back

2016 could be described with a haiku by Mew2King, “My life is a meme – My life is one big meme – Meme meme meme meme meme.” Oh memes, where would we be without you? Probably very far ahead. Maybe a cure for cancer would have been found, space travel would have happened, and our economy would be booming. Those times wouldn’t have been enjoyed though, not without our memes. 2016 was both good for memes, and kind of destructive for them. Memes had a short time to live, but they lived full lives and had overwhelming popularity. Memes were picked up by the media, talk show hosts and plebs alike. Memes defined 2016. Memes were spread everywhere, from Facebook, to Twitter, and everywhere in between. Memes were anywhere and everywhere.

2016 started off fairly strong in the meme department. We started off with the dab that we all know and love (or hate) along with the “If a dog wore pants would he wear them like this? Or this?”. The dab lived for a while and blew up this year (due to a guy in a Squidward costume dabbing) before becoming completely despised by everyone (for being overused harder than camping in Call Of Duty) and being killed off harder than a Game of Thrones character. The dog wearing pants was less popular than the dab, however it died quickly and quietly. The memes were just right after that with the good ol “When x is just right” Pacha meme. It was spread very quickly after its debut by fandoms and trolls alike. It had an extremely short life span however due to its overuse.

Spring was when the the World learned the answer to a mystery that before was unsolved. Internet sleuths discovered that Ted Cruz is indeed the Zodiac Killer. Despite him and his wife denying such claims, the internet is not so easily deceived. As it became popular so too did a benevolent blast of a movie. That’s right, the Bee Movie. Bee Movie was an… ok movie (54% on Metacritic). Despite people’s opinions on it the entire script became a meme due to people having it printed on a shirt. Along with that the opening lines “According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly“ become a copypasta. Barry B. Benson’s face got put everywhere as well. To round out the spring we were blessed with the blurry Mr. Krabs meme. The meme described the everyday person’s reaction to being put in an extremely awkward and/or stressful situation. It blew up everywhere and remained dominant in April.

Summer was when the true cancerous memes were born. Here comes Dat Boi! It was an absolute garbage meme. 100% certified trash. It was so glorious though. One of the best memes this year hands down, however, people either loved it with all their hearts or hated it with every ounce of hatred in their bodies. Those that loved Dat Boi spammed him and posted him everywhere. Those that hated him got upset due to his popularity. After his death, immediately spawned Caveman Spongebob. This meme was for those tense situations in life when we just want to get out of there. Caveman Spongebob blew up all along the internet. Some of it’s popularity fell out as soon as the 28th of May happened… the day we lost a beautiful creature, Harambe. Upon hearing of his untimely death, the world was in tears. A couple weeks later trolls made memes. He then became a mainstream meme. Harambe died but dank memes were born in his place.

Fall was also the fall of memes of this year. Memes were a lot more general instead of “a meme of the month”. There were a few memes of the month like the whole “I’m Rick Harrison and this is my pawn shop” along with the Arthur fist meme. After that whole charade; election season was in full bloom, and thus dank memes of presidential proportions were in full bloom as well. These memes came at a great cost they caused Pepe to be classified as hate speech due to politics and such. Regardless election salt and memes carried us through November before being rounded out by December’s meme; evil Kermit. Evil Kermit was created for those situations where we know what to do, but our impulses (that we act on) say otherwise. The meme is going on strong throughout December and will likely stay that way till the start of next year.

Let me tell you, this year had all the best memes, and I’ve seen some amazing memes, absolutely amazing memes. We got lots of memes as well as lots of people enjoying memes. The memes introduced this year were dank, but not without a cost. Almost every meme introduced this year died the same year. There are a few still going on (Harambe, Evil Kermit, Arthur Fist to name a few) but for the most part this year killed off just as many, if not more, memes than were created. The most important thing we can learn this year is to treat your memes gently. If you meme too hard, the memes will no longer be loved. Overuse makes even the dankest memes turn into filth. Meme responsibly my friends.