Memes

Here Are the 50 Best Memes of 2017

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As a connoisseur of memes, I think 2017 might have been the best year for memes since 2011. Even without Vine, there were so many great memes and trends this year, I had real trouble narrowing down the best ones. It’s almost inspiring how these shared comedic ideas bring us joy in the face of a world that feels like it’s slowly coming apart. Here, in rough order, are my 50 favorites.

The Floor Is

A post shared by Tank.Sinatra (@tank.sinatra) on

The summer started off with thousands of people expressing their most positive (and negative) personality traits and desires with variations on the classic children’s game “The Floor is Lava.

Salt Bae

A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et) on

Arguably the first meme of the year, Turkish chef and butcher Nusret Gökçe became a meme and an icon for the #extra way he sprinkled salt.

Elf on the Shelf

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Elf on the Shelf has been around for years, but in September it inspired a meme that had nothing to do with Santa’s creepy minions, and everything to do with dumb puns and rhymes.

Expanding Brain

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When the dumbest ideas just blow your mind.

Meryl Streep Singing

I don’t know why Meryl Streep yelling out lyrics is satisfying, it just is.

Fidget Spinners

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I almost didn’t include this since it was more of a toy trend, but fidget spinners were so ubiquitous they crossed over into meme territory.

Picture This

A lot of Millennials and Generation Z kids feel unsure about their future, so nostalgia for the recent past (and a glimmer of hope for a far-off future) really caught on.

Shooting Stars



It feels like YouTube, which was such a big part of the social media landscape for so long, has really dropped off in 2017. Shooting Stars was a fun meme, but what other big moments did YouTube give us this year? Jake Paul rapping?

Taylor Can’t Come to the Phone Right Now

Taylor Swift came back into the spotlight in 2017, and the dumbest part of Look at What You Made Me Do inspired people to wrestle with Taylor not being able to answer the phone because she was dead.

Emoji Sheriff

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Comedian Brandon Wardell, known for gifting the world with the “Dicks out for Harambe” meme, again blessed the world with the emoji sheriff meme.

Porgs

Star Wars fans had strong reactions to The Last Jedi, but everyone seemed to love Porgs and Porg memes.

Nothing but Respect for My President

One girl showing “respect” for President Trump by cleaning off his Hollywood Walk of Fame star inspired hundreds of others to show respect for their presidents.

What is an Extreme Sport?

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A seemingly simple question inspired the best minds of Twitter to come up with the extreme challenges we face every day.

Fireflies

It was a surprise when Owl City’s Fireflies became a number one hit in 2009, and an ever bigger surprise when it became a meme in 2017.

Me Talking About Myself

People are very excited to talk about their fandoms.

What Would Pennywise Have to Say to Get You to Go Down There With Him?

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A lot of clever ideas, and a lot of people on Twitter who just are ready to die.

Ways to Talk to Short People

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Although the original comic came out in 2014, it took until 2017 for this easily exploitable image to take off.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Name

It’s all dumb puns, and I approve.

Living in 3017

Our distant future is nothing but stupid lifehacks.

Animoji Karaoke

The modern world has given us technology beyond comprehension. We use it to make cartoon animals sing pop songs.

“I’m a Man/Woman Looking For” Multiple Choice Meme

A parody of dating site questionnaires that people took all the way to meme town.

Spotify Playlists for My Crush

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In April Twitter user Hanwoodley went viral with a Spotify playlist she made for her crush. Within days, the rest of Twitter turned this heartfelt gesture into a meme.

What in Tarnation?

I feel like this one is almost forgotten, but for a moment in February, people couldn’t stop putting cowboy hats on things.

Fellas, Is It Gay…

Turns out, everything is gay.

Why is the FBI Here?

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Turns out, everything is a crime.

Sex is Cool

Everyone’s done with sex. We’re all about naps now.

Covfefe

That brief moment in May when the President’s overwhelming incompetence was still funny.

How Italians Do Things

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A big one on Imgur and Reddit, this meme was very spicy.

House Hunters

Who knew HGTV’s House Hunters was so popular?

Not You

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A post shared by Little dick (@osamaswegladen) on


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The Not You meme is a great way to single out one person and shame them.

The Babadook is Gay

From horrifying depression monster to gay icon, the Babadook’s journey inspired us all in 2017.

Couple Costume Ideas

At first it was costume ideas based on old Vines, but it quickly branched out into other funny pairings. I hope people were brave enough to follow through on their ideas.

Ariana’s Album Cover

Ex-Viner Jesse McLaren made his online presence felt this year with lots of funny political jokes and videos, but his most famous endeavor was trying to sit on a stool like Ariana Grande on her My Everything cover.

Trump’s First Order of Business

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I like the Photoshop version of the president better.

The Future Liberals Want

The now-suspended /pol/ News Network Twitter account tweeted out a pic of a woman wearing a niqab sitting next to a man in drag with the caption “This is the future that liberals want”, and Twitter had plenty of their own ideas of what a liberal future would look like.

Man’s Not Hot/The Ting Goes

It only took 13 seconds of a verse for “Big Shaq” (actually British Comedian Michael Dapaah) to go viral. This meme was so powerful, Man’s Not Hot became a legit hit song in the U.K.

Cracking Open a Cold One with the Boys

This is an old meme (and an even older phrase) but it really popped off in 2017. There’s just something universally appealing about the idea of cracking open a cold beverage with your male companions.

Mocking Spongebob

Someone: This meme was overdone

Me: tHis mEmE WAs oVerDonE

First of All

Just really good explanations for everything.

If You Play This Song on New Year’s Eve

This is one meme I really liked despite how much math was involved.

Name a Badder Bitch than Taylor Swift

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A viral meme that drags Taylor Swift and is a lesson

on powerful women in history? Yes please.

The Student Athlete Meme

We’ve all had it with people who are excited about achievement and emojis.

Oh No Baby, What is You Doing?

Oh No Baby, What is You Doing is one of those feelings that is so relatable, it’s shocking we didn’t have a good version of this before 2017.

“Genius” Rick and Morty Fans

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To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty.

Is Short For

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This was just a lot of wordplay and wholesome fun> and I’m here for it.

Zootopia Abortion Comic

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This is one meme I feel will be forgotten, but I found the Zootopia Abortion Comic and all the associated memes freakin’ hilarious.

Snapchat Hotdog

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Snapchat seems to be less and less of a thing, but for a shining moment this summer, we couldn’t get enough of that silly dancing hotdog.

Roll Safe

Rapper Roll Safe (actually British actor Kayode Ewumi) had the perfect facial expression for “smart” ideas.

White Guy Blinking

When Giant Bomb’s Drew Scanlon made a surprised face in 2013, there’s no way he could have predicted it would become one of the biggest memes of 2017. There’s just something universal about Drew’s look of shock. This is a timeless meme we’ll see pop up again and again.

Distracted Boyfriend

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Distracted Boyfriend is a meme that captures our dual natures, our capacity for self-sabotage, and the constant struggle between what we know is best for us, and what we foolishly desire. It’s not only the best meme of the year, it’s one of the greatest memes of all time.

Which was your favorite meme of 2017? Did I miss any good ones? Let me know on Twitter at @carpetislava.

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