Did this year feel extremely long for anyone else? I know there’s only 12 months in a year, but when we’re constantly living in unprecedented times, it feels like a decade can pass in the span of a single year. Soaring gas prices, Will Smith’s slap heard ‘round the world, student loan forgiveness (or... not?!), Jen and Ben finally tied the knot, Roe v. Wade was overturned, Don’t Worry Darling definitely worried us, and Queen Elizabeth died. Phew!
If recounting the year makes you a bit blue about everything that happened, listen to Dr. Seuss’s wise words: “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” and look back on the year through memes. So, to commemorate this rollercoaster of a year, we’re counting down all the most memorable memes that followed just about every absurd cultural moment. Did it even happen if a meme wasn't made about it? Time may pass and make fools of us all, but as the Internet has proven, memes live forever.
End of Twitter
Have we possibly reached the end of memes as we know it? After Elon Musk finally bought Twitter and consequently fired half of the employees, Twitter users speculated that the blue bird app may have finally reached its end. Turns out, there were plenty of memes to be made about that, too.
There were no shortage of amazing horror films this past year. Nope, Barbarian, Pearl, Scream... just to name a few. But when the trailer for the new horror film, M3GAN, dropped, showing that a new scary doll was on the scene, social media exploded about her, um, unique way of moving.
Adam Levine Sexts
Nothing brings the internet together like making fun of a celebrity who publicly embarrassed themself. We got that moment in its full glory, when a woman revealed that Adam Levine had been sending her inappropriate messages for a long time—going as far as claiming he'd name his wife's new child after her. The DMs she shared had people scrambling to social media to share memes of his cringey texts.
If you just learned what this phrase meant this past year, don't worry, you're not alone. However, once this drink of choice shared by Emma D'Arcy during a House of the Dragon interview hit the Internet, it became a mantra that we could not get out of our heads.
Don't Worry Darling
The Olivia Wilde-directed thriller generated more memes than it did fans. There was so much damn drama behind the scenes of the film that it quickly overtook the actual movie. Wilde allegedly having a secret affair with Harry Styles during shooting? Florence Pugh (once again, allegedly!) was feuding with Olivia Wilde and somehow Shia Labeouf was involved? Did Harry Styles really spit on Chris Pine?! These questions will linger with you longer than the film will. At least we have some hilarious memes to ease our worries.
Pete Davidson Spotted
Pete Davidson has become the Internet's boyfriend. His self-deprecating jokes and awkward, yet approachable demeanor seems to be working for him, because he's constantly rumored to be dating some of the most beautiful women in showbiz. In fact, people on social media have had a ball guessing who he'll be seen with next.
Kim Kardashian's Advice
While shooting a promotional video for The Kardashians, Kim had some interesting words of advice for women in business: "get your f**king ass up and work,” and “it seems like nobody wants to work these days.” These words certainly did stir people up and encourage them... to mock her for being out of touch with the plight of the working class.
Soaring Gas Prices
Gas prices hit an all-time high this June. Every car owner groaned collectively this year when they had to pull into a gas station. I mean, gas prices per gallon costing more than a Subway footlong in most states was something people had to laugh about, or else they'd cry. People took to social media to share some hilarious alternatives to paying for gas.
Will Smith Slap
Spring signifies fresh flowers, longer days, and Oscars season. After years of (let's face it) pretty boring Oscar ceremonies and dwindling viewership, this year's awards show had a moment that was watched and rewatched around the world. That's right, we're talking about that almost unbelievable moment when Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith—and Will Smith went on stage and slapped him. We all thought it was a rehearsed gag, but the emotional fallout proved that it was far from fake. But that didn't matter to Twitter users, who immediately flexed their talents to memorialize The Slap via memes.
There have already been so many. Cassie in the bathtub. "Bitch, you better be joking." Rue asking "How long have you been fucking Nate Jacobs?" The list goes on, and so does the season. Maybe it's because Euphoria is a show centered on the youths. Maybe it's good writing. Either way, we have been blessed with content.
The term "meme" is a bit subjective, isn't it? In some ways, a meme has simply become an internet moment, and you'd be hard pressed to find an internet moment with as much oomph as Wordle, the simultaneously calming and unnerving game where you must guess a five-letter word in no more than six tries.
The CDC Says...
This one came in just under the wire. With the CDC moving back Covid quarantine time from 10 days to five, people started questioning the center's judgment. What better way to mock the new, somewhat bizarre medical advice? Making up your own.
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Y'all can't say Omicron correctly, so you badgered prolific R&B artist, Omarion, to the point where he had to make a video announcing that he was not the Omicron. How dare you.
The Walmart metaverse is unsettling, but it's also from 2017. When the clip resurfaced online in January, people gobbled it up, fell in love with the personal shopper, and realized that even memes can't keep up with the way time is blowing by.
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