by Julia Coelho
An internet meme, according to Urban Dictionary, is a popular quote, image, or person, which is copied, imitated, and spread all over the internet. Ever since 2013, this global phenomenon has blown up, and undoubtedly has hit the height of its popularity this year. From images of Ryan Gosling to Pope Francis to dancing babies, you can almost guarantee that there’s a meme for it. Listed below are arguably the top 5 most relevant, humorous, and overall best memes of the year 2016.
5) Bernie vs. Hillary- Since 2016 was an election year, political memes have been VERY popular this year. When Bernie Sanders was still in the running for the democratic nomination, this meme was created to express “real issues” that “really matter.” The theme of this meme represents Sanders as a laid-back and charming character while Clinton is portrayed as annoying and out of touch. This meme is representative of Hillary’s use of campaign strategies to appeal to America’s youth, yet Bernie became the favored candidate just by being himself. Not only is this meme, in my opinion, an accurate representation of the two candidates and their campaigns, but also the “issues” presented are relatable and quirky, and the written in “responses” are always a guaranteed laugh.
4) Following the political trend, another popular meme that blew up after the October 10th presidential debate between Clinton and Trump is the icon that is Ken Bone. From the red cardigan- white tie combination to the dark rimmed glasses and mustache, it’s no secret Ken Bone has the perfect “meme look.” In regards to internet memes, shortly after the conclusion of the debate, Ken Bone’s image was quickly spread all over Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. From his face being photoshopped into album and movie covers to just a witty caption underneath his picture, Ken Bone memes hold a very well deserved spot on my top 5 list.
3) Claiming the spot for the third best meme of 2016 is the popular Arthur’s fist image. According to knowyourmeme.com, this image was first introduced to the public during an episode of the popular children’s TV series, Arthur. During season 4 episode 1, in the episode “Arthur’s Big Hit,” right before he is about to punch his sister D.W. for breaking his model airplane, the camera zooms in on his clenched fist. This image of the fist was completely disregarded until this past July, when a Twitter account reintroduced it, claiming “it’s just so relatable,” (twitter.com). Ever since then, this image symbolized an anger or hatred for something in one’s day to day life.
Senior Bryan Baldwin shared his opinion on this meme: “I think that the Arthur Fist meme is very creative and hilarious.”
I’d have to agree with Baldwin’s statement, and depending on the comment matched with the image, it can be the perfect combination of funny.
2) In second place for the Top 5 Best Memes include a very popular and hilarious meme, also known as the Evil Kermit the Frog meme. As pictured below, there are two types of Kermit the Frogs: one represents a person’s good conscience and and the reasonable side of a person, while the other (darker) side represents one’s, in the words of Alexandra Daluisio of teen.com, “little voice in your head that always seems to take over.” This meme takes specific scenarios (usually that apply to a current teenager’s life whether it has something to do with money, food, relationships, etc) and expresses two points of view, based on your good and bad conscience.
Senior Emily Blanchard said, “I’ve seen a lot of funny versions of this meme, especially the one where Kermit’s two faces are replaced by a mom’s face.”
I ranked so highly on my list because of the use of Kermit’s image in this meme is so witty, and the scenarios and answers presented are never a let down.
1) As everyone could have guessed, the #1 spot on my Best Memes of 2016 list is reserved to that gorilla we all know and love, Harambe. This past May, Harambe was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo for allegedly “attacking” a child. A popular video of the assault was released, which then sparked the popular meme. Hashtags such as #JusticeforHarambe or #RIPHarambe quickly started trending on Twitter and Facebook, according to knowyourmeme.com. Along with these popular hashtags, people started quoting song lyrics and associating it with Harambe.
“I thought that it was funny when they replaced the lyrics for the song ‘Closer’ with the lyrics ‘So baby pull me closer like the kid in your enclosure.’ It’s clever,” junior Billy Drummond said. “Soon enough, all anyone could see on their feeds were pictures of the late gorilla, followed by humorous captions.”
Although some of the jokes regarding the gorilla’s death may have been taken a bit too far, it is an iconic meme, and a perfect candidate to represent the best meme of the year 2016.