It all started with Scumbag Steve, as the first huge meme of the year in January of 2011. Easily the most widely spread singular meme of 2011(not including the advice animals), this meme has had so many variations on it that it feels like it's been around for years already.
Blake Boston, a white guy rapper (more on those later) had a picture of himself that his mom took of him poking through a door. He was helping his mom with an art project for a class she was taking. In the picture, he looks like he's about to ask for a favor, and once Reddit got a hold of it (well, mainly /r/Trees, Reddit's leading Marijuana section and /r/AdviceAnimals, a section that became HUGE this year) they just kinda went nuts with the picture -- because we've all known a douchebag exactly like this meme.
But who is Scumbag Steve?
Scumbag Steve (not Blake Boston, the guy from the original image, but Scumbag Steve) is that guy we all knew in High School (or unfortunately know in "real life") who was the biggest inconsiderate, ignorant, egotistical, idiotic, mooching, freeloading, all-talk-no-walk, would-ruin-at-least-one-thing-at-parties tough guy who looked exactly like Blake Boston.
So many of us know someone so unreliable, and downright horrible, though, that after the Scumbag Steve was huge, the hat he's wearing in the picture started being put onto foreign objects which, then, would become scumbags themselves.
Thus, dozens of spinoffs of the Scumbag Steve meme populated the internet in the form of The Scumbag Meme (click here for a great round-up of about 50 variations on the Scumbag Meme). Some notable great examples of the Scumbag Meme include Scumbag Brain and Scumbag Alcohol.
Here are some good examples from the Buzzfeed's huge round-up of the rest of the Scumbag meme
2011's New Advice Animals
The concept of an "advice animal" started on 4Chan back in 2006 with the introduction of Advice Dog. He was an adorable puppy, set against a color wheel background, that dispensed nonsensical, terrible or ridiculous advice.
Since '06, the Advice Animal format has exploded, encompassing now hundreds of different memes, each utilizing the same basic format of a photograph and a rotating series of humorous captions.
Here are the best new advice animal spin-offs we met in 2011:
The image of a cat (named Emilio!) in front of the traditional starburst backdrop. Business Cat jokes combine traditional corporate and managerial speak with the sort of things a typical house cat might say (were it able to talk, of course.)
Based on the character of Dwight Schrute from NBC's "The Office" (played by Rainn Wilson), "Schrute Facts" images take a trnaditional idiom or folksy saying, then add the word "false" and an obvious ref*tation of the original figurative claim.
Also known as "Science Cat," Chemistry Cat is based on a comical photo of a cat wearing glasses and a bow tie, posed to resemble a science teacher. (Know Your Meme suggests the original image may be a stock photo of Russian origin.) Captions take the form of corny chemistry jokes, particularly puns.
Ordinary Muslim Man
One of the most prevalent examples of a "bait-and-switch" or reversal-style Advice Animals entry, the Ordinary Muslim Man at first appears to be saying something pro-terrorist or anti-American. The lower half of the caption, of course, then reveals that he's in fact saying something innocuous and mainstream in nature. The photo itself is from iStockPhoto and features an unidentified middle-aged Pashtun Muslim.
Also called the "X is Coming" meme, this is a reference to the popular HBO fantasy series "Game of Thrones." The character of Eddard "Ned" Stark from "Thrones" (played by Sean Bean) is captioned with a warning to "Brace Yourself," because something is coming. The joke plays on the refrain "Winter is Coming" that is repeated ominously in the show (and the books on which the show is based.) The Imminent Ned meme is most often used for meta-humor, particularly on message boards and Reddit, predicting what types of posts are about to dominate the conversation.
Annoying Childhood Friend
The "Annoying Childhood Friend" image is actually a photo of a boy originally posted to Flickr in February of 2009, and titled "Quite an annoying kid..." The photo didn't inspire a meme until April of 2011, however, when the first captioned image appeared online. The captions function as sort of a younger version of Scumbag Steve, nostalgically recalling irritating or obnoxious behavior readers would have experienced with playmates back in their school days. (Manners and etiquette surrounding video game playing is a common theme.)
The Baby Godfather image features an upset-looking baby, dressed in a tuxedo, pointing down at the ground. Captions surrounding the image typically depict the baby as a Mafia kingpin, giving blunt orders to an unseen member of his crew. (Often, the jokes combine things a mob boss might say with concerns that a baby would have.) Alternate variations of the image have substituted the baby in for recognizable gangster figures like Don Corleone and Tony Soprano.
Harmless Scout Leader
A photo of an older man wearing a Boy Scouts of America uniform, making kind of a creepy half-smile, inspired the "Harmless Scout Leader" meme. (See Ranker's ultimate guide to the Harmless Scout Leader here.) Another bait-and-switch meme, this time the top caption makes it sound like the man is molesting the boys in his care. The lower caption then makes it clear that the statement is innocent, and something any scout leader might say.
A more traditional advice animal, Anti-Joke Chicken submissions feature a photo of the titular bird in front of a familiar starburst backdrop. The top caption is usually the set-up of a familiar or classic joke, but instead of the expected punchline, the lower caption instead applies logic to the humorous set-up, or otherwise ruins the joke by taking things too literally.
Also known as "Never Alone," the "Shadowlurker" or the "Uninvited Guest," the Horrifying Houseguest was born in June 2011 from a random pencil sketch of a creepy, hooded figure posted to 4Chan. The strange face is now captioned with "scary" narratives or imagery, reminiscent of campfire ghost stories or other "shock" stories that keep kids (and some anxious adults) up at night.
Dating Site Murderer
Also known as the "Good Intentions Axe Murderer," this is yet again a bait-and-switch meme, similar to Ordinary Muslim Man. It features a creepy, low-lit photo of Reddit user spawn02000. The captions initially make it seem like the man is plotting a murder, while the lower caption reveals he's actually trying to be romantic or sweet.
Internet Grandma Surprise
A photo of an elderly woman gawking in shock at a laptop screen is at the center of the "Internet Grandma Surprise" meme (or sometimes just the "Grandma Meme.") The captions indicate the Grandma's upset (and often naive) reaction to recognizable explicit or shocking Internet content. Many selections refer to specific, infamous Internet content, like the below entry, which includes an allusion to the notorious "2 Girls 1 Cup" video. (DON'T GOOGLE THAT!)
In February of 2011, a few days before Valentine's Day, the internet graced us with what was being sent around as one of the worst songs ever written. The song was from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl getting ready to go to school on a Friday.
The lyrics were so obvious, so horrendous, so inane, that they inspired hatred throughout the internet. People were sending it around furiously, stating that the person who wrote it should die and that nobody should ever have to hear anything like this.
And then the dust settled. About a week later, people started making fun of it. Everyone from Steven Colbert, to Conan O'Brien had a parody of the song within a few days. The song reached 10 million views within a month, and it even surpassed Justin Bieber's "Baby" in total number of user downvotes (which means 4Chan was paying attention too).
It was huge. Like, really huge.
Conan O'Brien made a parody
The singer? 13 year-old Rebecca Black, who had paid Ark Music Factory to make her own music video, a gift from her parents no doubt. After the video hit the mainstream media, she started getting everything from interview offers to death threats (ah, fame).
She even took over the comedian-owned Funny Or Die website for April Fool's Day in 2011, much like Justin Bieber had done in a pervious year. She actually outperformed people like Lindsay Lohan and January Jones's runs on SNL with some of these skits like: Friday: Behind the Music, A PSA on Seat Choosing and of course, a look back on Rebecca Black's Greatest Hits.
She even got to song on Leno, for all the old people who actually watch that show to experience the horror of the song just as the internet did for the first time, a week later.
She also starred, later in the year, in a Katy Perry video:
Basically, she was huge. For making the worst song ever, which ended up endearing her in the hearts of most people, because she had inadvertently released a song that stood out as a perfect parody for the current state of pop music. It's not any worse in lyrics than a Black Eyed Peas song and is actually kind of catchy.
Rebecca Black is now famous and the rest will be history. Personally, I'm kind of sad that in 2012, she won't be that famous anymore. She'll be a little more remembered than Antoine Dodson is right now.
BONUS: A video FAQ with the awkward dancing white girl in pink during the limo scene in Friday.
Nyan Cat (or Pop Tart Cat, for the plebeians) is one of the biggest memes of 2011, reaching huge heights despite its simplicity and just how unbelievably annoying it is. Click above for the original Nyan Cat video. I've gone ahead and embedded the 10-hour long YouTube version, just because.
On a daily comics site called LOL-COMICS, artist Chris Torres (prguitarman) did an original drawing based on his very own cat (a Russian Blue cat) named Marty. During a drawing event for the Red Cross, he got two different suggestions for a cat and a pop tart, so he combined the two.
Thus, the image for Nyan Cat was born. After the animation started irculating the web, the GIF was spread around in early April of 2011. Then on April 5th, a YouTube user calling themselves saraj00n posted a video with the title "Nyan Cat" (after the Japanese name for the sound a cat makes, which we here in America identify as "meow").
The song is from a really well known video series of repetitive anime characters swaying side to side and is called, not-surprisingly, Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!
>Here it is
The song itself was so popular, that it has Karaoke versions of it where people would actually try to sing the song for some reason: here's a weird version.
So after Nyan Cat itself became popular, it got over a million views int he first two weeks alone. The original video has over 51 million views now, and the 10 and even 100 hour version (which yes, include Nyan Cat on loop for that long) each have over 1 million views.
You can see how long you can last by going to Nyan.cat. I lasted 2011 seconds.
You can try and play damn-near-impossible game at Nyan-Cat.com (hold down X, don't try to fire individual shots like a fool).
You can check out Nyan Cat keychains, plushies, sweaters, knit hats, blankets ,pins, headphone covers, jewelry and pretty much everything else you could possibly think of over at Etsy, where you can really see the far reach of theme.
And, of course, the remixes:
- Smooth Jazz Nyan Cat
- Death Metal Nyan Cat
- And for the Slipknot video version of Nyan cat, check out Ranker's very own Best of the Nyan Cat Meme page.
Charlie Sheen and #WINNINGv
February 24, 2011, a day that will live in lulz, thanks to actor Charlie Sheen taking his time to go on The Alex Jones Show radio program to discuss his views on a myriad of topics, including drugs, alcoholics anonymous and the f*ture of Two and a Half Men, the show in which he starred that was put on hiatus after his hospitalization in January. On the talk show, Sheen said more than a few biting remarks about Chuck Lorre, the show's creator and producer, which led to Warner Bros and CBS canceling the rest of the season.
In response, Sheen did a series of interviews over the next few months with various stations and networks. On those shows, he talked about his kicked drug habit, railed against rehabilitation centers and informed we the people that he is a "bitchin' rockstar from Mars" with "tiger blood" and "Adonis DNA" flowing through his veins, who is continuously "duh, winning!" The crazed, sometimes brilliant, Sheen instantly became an internet sensation. Parodies and remixes of his interviews began to spread like wildfire; various images with his quotes began to sprout like daisies. Soon, even Sheen began to participate in the fun and started a contest looking for a social media intern via Twitter and Internships.com. The only requirement? He or she had to be filled with #TigerBlood.
Eventually Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men, roasted on Comedy Central, and lost custody to his children. If that's not winning, I don't know what is. I salute you, Mr. Sheen. You truly are THE Vatican Assassin Warlock, and I will happily aid you in your fight against the media trolls.
Sheen, as himself:
2011's New Ragefaces
Rage comics - in which authors combine crude drawings with anecdotes, offbeat observations or complaints about pet peeves - have been popular for years. Originally, these comics just featured simple doodles representing "types," like "angry guy" or "doofus." Like this guy:
But lately, new ragefaces have been appearing, many of them based on iconic photographs of notable people or celebrities. These ragefaces often become "mini-memes" within the ragecomic meme itself, and often, a new rageface can stand alone as its own punchline.
Here are some of 2011's best new ragefaces:
Are You Serious?
Also known as "Seriously?," this drawing is based on David Silverman of the group American Atheists, and was inspired by Silverman's on-air discussion with Bill O'Reilly that also became the basis for the Bill O'Reilly "You Can't Explain That" meme also on this list.
The face is used to express incredulity, as a response to someone saying something ridiculous. It has become so iconic, several variations have appeared, including a corresponding incredulous face for women:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a noted astrophysicist and television personality who will be hosting the forthcoming reboot of the Carl Sagan TV series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." In June of 2011, Tyson was interviewed for the online project "Big Think" about the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton. As you can see, towards the end of the video, while expressing his shock at Newton being able to achieve so much (such as the invention of calculus) at such a young age, Tyson makes a funny face:
A line drawing of Tyson making the face started appearing online in August. Initially, the character was used when characters were faced with questions they'd prefer not to answer, or were attempting to deflect in some way.
But soon enough, the image was complimented with the caption "Watch out guys, we're dealing with a badass over here." Since then, it has become a popular sarcastic reaction to boastful statements that aren't really that impressive, particularly those made on Facebook.
The Freddie Mercury rageface character is drawn from a photo taken of Mercury raising his fist at a Queen concert in London's Wembley Stadium in 1986.
On July 19, 2011, Reddit user CyberPope used the Mercury photo as the punchline of a comic about slipping a cute hostess his phone number:
It didn't take long for another Reddit user - keepyourfork - to turn the Mercury photo into an illustrated rageface image.
Since then, the image has been used frequently to represent over-the-top or effusive feelings of victory or accomplishment.
A variation of the image, with Mercury's hand lowered and the caption "So Close..." is also sometimes used in situations where a comic character is on the verge of a great achievement, only to be denied at the last moment.
The "I Lied!" rageface relies on the same mechanism as "Sike!" and "NOT!" jokes, setting up a premise and then revealing in the final panel that the character was, in fact, lying the entire time. In its original form, the face appeared in an animated .gif at the end of a comic by Redditor Coveiro.
Sometimes, the joke plays upon the fact that the main character is being overly dramatic about telling a little white lie, blowing it up into an act of super-villainy in their own mind.
Obama "Not Bad"
On May 24, 2011, the President and First Lady were visiting the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace when this photo was taken:
A scant 2 days later, Redditor joeyjoeyjoe99 posted a comic featuring a drawing of the Obama expression as a rageface, including the now-iconic caption "NOT BAD" underneath:
The image has stuck, and is used in comics to represent giving someone unexpected or begrudging respect.
Michelle's equally silly facial expression has also inspired rage comic renditions, though it has not become as consistently popular.
The Hipster Memes
Definition of Hipster, according to Urban Dictionary: "Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter." This was obviously written by a hipster.
They're also known as douchebags who dress like a 3-year-old's drawing right after they got a brand new box of neon crayons, claim to know about everything before it even happened and tend to be really pretentious. And 2011 was the year hipsters got made fun of the most on the internet.
And that is awesome.
Starting with the Hipster Ariel Meme, which put hipster glasses on the main character from the popular Disney movie The Little Mermaid and made her act like a hipster:
This even led to the "Hipster Ariel" costume being one of the most popular among young women for the 2011 Halloween season. And some dudes gave it a whirl as well...
And on this collection of the Best Hipster Disney Memes, you can see that the meme spread to more than just Ariel.
And then the Hipster Cop meme was born:
Then, much like the scumbag meme, the hipster meme put an article of clothing on something, in this case thick rimmed, black, wayfarer style glasses, thus making it "hipster".
Even if you're a seasoned Redditor, "/b/tard" or you search Tumblr for memes on a regular basis, this is one of the lesser known memes of this year, but also one of the biggest. Why might you have missed it? Because it's in Spanish. The Latino web has blown up with various remixes, manipulations and parodies of El Fua, and it all started with one drunk guy rambling on and on in Spanish about a mystical force that he invented during a news interview. This force is called your "FUA" or your "Fuerza Universal Aplicada" which translates to your universal applied strength.
The man in the original video (seen above) drunkenly explains, at length, through his psychic powers, after being woken up during the news broadcast, the concept of this energy that can be released in order get through anything in life. Kind of like The Force from Star Wars, Chi from some Eastern religions or just plain will.
After a while the man really starts to yell "FUAAAAA!!!" enough times to become hilarious even if you don't speak Spanish.
The video was uploaded in June of 2011 and even became a Global trending topic on Twitter, after the video hit over 1 million views by the end of the first week.
Who is the Fua Guy?
His name is Julio Segura. His name is Julio Segura. His name is Julio Segura.
He was a waiter who had to quit his job and leave family because of his alcoholism and has turned to living on the streets.
How big did the meme get?
Pretty damn big. El Fua, the original video itself, has over 2.4 million views and the variations of it add up to well over 10 million views on YouTube alone.
The Most popular Variation:
The Game, where using his FUA, the guy fights zombies, because of course he does.
First World Problems
"First World Problems," as a concept, refers to complaints and frustrations that are minor and insignificant compared to those issues facing people in the Third World. It has become a common response online - particularly in social media - whenever an individual writes a post that's sad or irritated by an silly or easy-to-remedy problem. (These posts can also sometimes be referred to as "white whines.")
Though the term "First World Problems" has been around for some time, and first entered the Urban Dictionary in 2005, it exploded in popularity in a variety of forms and across many networks and online communities in 2011.
Macros dedicated to poking fun at first world problems have utilized a variety of stock images. For example:
Pointing out First World Problems has become popular enough to have an ongoing Twitter hashtag (#FirstWorldProblems), several blogs and a popular sub-Reddit dedicated to the concept. It also inspired a derivative meme, Third World Success, in which a photo of a celebrating African child is combined with captions describing small victories achieved in impoverished countries.
Honey Badger/Bonjour Girlv
Two of the greatest viral videos of this year had one thing in common: hilarity. Another one is the fact that they happened to both have effeminate men doing the voice overs for otherwise unremarkable scenes from movies or nature specials. The most popular of which is, of course, The Honey Badger.
The Honey Badger is a video (which you can see above) featuring a guy named Randall narrating a wildlife special on the wild animal called the honey badger. Some references from it include "honey badget don't give a sh*t" and "honey badger doesn't care".
After it got picked up by HuffPo, Buzzfeed, Funny or Die and TMZ, it got up to 25+ million views and continues to climb today, even getting a mention on Glee.
This, of course, led to people making their own honey badger banners, pictures, videos and even t-shirts.
Honey Badger was referenced in a national ad for Pistachios, and has become the overall symbol of creatures that simply do not give a sh*t.
And in the second half of the year we got "Hey Girl". A similar concept that seemed to endear the viewer to the situation, narrating like a friend would next to you instead of the storyteller. Sure, this isn't too much of a "meme" as much as it is a viral video, but it's so good that I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it.
Paula Deen Riding Things
It all began on February 28, 2011, when a group of friends decided that The Lady of Savannah Country Cooking should at long last be paired with and able to ride her one true love: Butter.
And so a new meme was created, with its home at the aptly named pauladeenridingthings.com! They even make it easy for you with three template images of Ms. Deen in riding positions available on the site. The meme mostly consists of Deen riding butter in various backgrounds, but at the insistence of its creators, it has since spread (no pun intended) to her riding other things as well.
Some excellent examples here:
It also spawned this amazing costume:
Nope, Chuck Testa
As part of an episode of their IFC television show "Commercial Kings," YouTubers Rhett and Link made a low-budget commercial for an Ojai Valley taxidermy service, run by a fellow named Chuck Testa.
The hilarious ad, in which people are fooled into believing stuffed animals are still alive by the crafty Mr. Testa, was posted to YouTube in August and went massively viral about a month later.
On September 15th, the first Photoshop parody of Testa popped up on Reddit, and introduced the now-familiar formula: A photo in which someone or something appeared to be alive, but was then revealed to be manipulated by Chuck Testa.
At this point, the Testa joke has become so infamous and over-used (remember, only a few short months after the video was first posted), just introducing a concept and saying "NOPE!" is enough to elicit groans in most chat rooms and comment threads. Which is why I'll be using it at least 12 more times over the course of this list.
Testa has also interacted with just about every other meme out there:
Testa also received the highest honor of any unsuspecting YouTube sensation… he was Songified by the Gregory Brothers:
The Nigel Thornberry Memev
This was a meme that came from YouTube out of seemingly absolutely NOWHERE (watch the video above for the full story), but almost seriously overnight there were dozens of iterations of this meme. Nigel Thornberry is the eccentric father from the 90s Nickeloden cartoon show The Wild Thornberrys. He is voiced by Tim Curry, or as you probably known him Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror Picture Show, the evil concierge in Home Alone 2, The Devil from Legend and various cartoon/video game voices.
This meme started with various iterations of popular songs mixed in with this incoherent rambling of the character Nigel Thornberry in this scene. It's amazing:
The first, and very popular one, featured him singing over Katy Perry's song "Firework"
And then people started to cross the memes.
Nigel Thornberry Nyan Cat:
Then we have Paula Dean riding Nigel Thornberry.
And some really weird stuff like this:
Here's the best round-up of this meme on the internet, via Buzzfeed.
It's the most random, weird and absurd meme of the year, but there's just something about it that makes it not only one of the most memorable, but among the funniest.
Reactions to Osama bin Laden's Death
It was one of the biggest events of the year, and easily the one that caused the biggest outpour of memes, videos, remixes, news stories and coverage: the death of Osama bin Laden.
It made news headlines around the world, and it got people making jokes unlike any other meme in 2011. Osama bin Laden, the #1 person America needed to find in retaliation for the September 11th attacks in 2011 was finally caught by Barack Obama and crew.
This meme mainly consisted of people making comics, gifs, manipulations an anything else you can think of surrounding the subject of the death, Obama catching him, Obama never showing his body and the fact that it happened right after Obama was being hounded for proof of his birth certificate.
For a breakdown of
The Rapture That Wasn't
Christian radio host Harold Camping had made several predictions involving the End Times in the past that had been largely ignored. But following a well-funded widespread advertising campaign and media blitz, he and his group managed to get a lot of attention in the weeks leading up to May 21, 2011, the date he had set for the End Times to begin.
Even before the sacred date arrived, the jokes started. "Operation Rapture" plotted to leave clothing strewn about, to make it appear that Christians had been plucked out of them and delivered on the Express Train to God's Kingdom. (The practice became known as "Rapture Bombing.")
Other entrepreneurial sorts were offering post-rapture insurance for people who went to Heaven but left family members behind, or pet care for the beloved animals of the saved.
When, much to the shock of pretty much no one, the world didn't end on May 21st, atheists, Christians and pretty much the entire rest of the Internet set aside a few days to ruthlessly mock and satirize these hapless believers.
Click here for the greatest Rapture billboard of them all"
The Rapture customer feedback card (click here for it).
Steve Buscemeyes and Michele Bachmann Eyes
It started with the Buscemeyes meme, consisting of someone on the SomethingAwful forums posting a challenge: photoshop noted, celebrated and talented character actor Steve Buscemi's eyes onto various celebrities. It started with Justin Bieber as an example, and really moved on from there.
Some idiot got a tattoo:
then is this link example on Buzzfeed, one of their contributors made a template so you could print, then wear Steve Buscemeyes anywhere! The meme had reached its peak.
And then possibly the most sexually distressing dress in the history of dresses was made.
Then Michele Bachmann, 2012 presidential GOP hopeful, got on the cover of Newsweek with a picture that startled, then terrified America:
The Daily Show made fun of it.
What happened with Buscemeyes, then, happened with Bachmann. (Click here for a Hot Chicks with Michele Bachmann Eyes Round-Up.)
Finally, the meme came full circle:Steve Buscemi with Michele Bachmann Eyes and Michele Bachmann with Steve Buscemi Eyes.
The Bill O'Reilly Meme
When Bill O'Reilly recently spoke with David Silverman, the man who calls himself the President of American Atheists, he made one of the biggest gaffes he's ever spoken, and it caused so much ridicule that an entire meme came out of it.
O'Reilly: "I'll tell you why [religion is] not a scam, in my opinion," he told Silverman. "Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can't explain that. You can't explain why the tide goes in."
Putting thousands or years of work from astronomers, oceanographers, and scientists to shame, O'Reilly throws his insight into the mix, claiming the existence of God to be proven through the inexplicable nature of the tides of the ocean.
During an interview with Dave Silverman, head of the American Atheist group, O'Reilly managed to simplify the existence of God by surmising, "tide goes in, tide goes out, never a miscommunication" in a calm, Zen-master like fashion; strengthening the credibility of his argument by shedding light on Silverman's inability to explain this remarkable phenomenon that everyone learned in grade school along with the concept of "gravity."
The meme sometimes still comes around and becomes relevant when something really simple causes confusion.
One clear March day in St. Marys North, New South Wales, Australia, a young boy who had been picked on all his life finally took matters in his own hands and defended himself. Of course, it was all captured on film and later posted on YouTube and subsequently removed as it depicted content of minors participating in violence. Nevertheless, the boy, Casey "the Punisher" Heynes aka the Zangief Kid became an instant internet sensation and hero to the downtrodden everywhere. That said, he was suspended from school (which led to attacks by the internet group Anonymous on the school and the other child in the video, Ritchard Gale).
The video begins with Ritchard punching and taunting Casey until Casey finally retaliates by grabbing the bully and power slamming him into the ground. The move closely resemblesthe "Spinning Piledriver" from the arcade game Street Fighter, hence the earning him the label "Zangief Kid."
The video has led to many Street Fighter related responses, either with Casey playing the role of Zangief, or Zangief playing the part of a proud parent.
Other great examples here, here and here
He Will Never Have a Girlfriend
This great meme is a dual panel strip starring Cereal Guy (a stick figure eating cereal, go figure). The first panel shows a picture of a celebrity, usually before or at the beginning of their career, with Cereal Guy pointing at him (or her) and stating, "S/he will never have a boy/girlfriend." The second panel is then a picture of the celeb as he is now, in full on stardom, with Cereal Guy performing a surprise spit take.
Really, it just goes to show you what a little air brushing and face paint can do!
Kid Rock, Bruce Willis, Zac Efron
As the meme has become so popular, there have since been subverted comics in which Cereal Guy says "Told you" when the celebrity did not, in fact, turn out to be all that attractive in his adult years.
Ted Williams, The Golden Voice
Ted Williams is the man with The Golden Voice who was a YouTube sensation after Columbus Dispatch reporter Kevin Joy found him panhandling on the side of the street and took some footage of him, requesting to hear his "God Given Gift of Voice" that the sign he held claimed to have. The video was posted on January 3rd. By the 5th, it was announced in USA Today that the Cleveland Cavaliers had offered him a sports announcer position and housing. He was later interviewed by CBS and NBC and was able to reunite with his mother after 20 years.
His unlikely success story made him beloved of the internet (even with his murky, felonous past) and images of him began to circulate throughout and on the 11th of January, Something Awful posted their Photoshop contest.
As for the meme itself, there does not seem to be any requirements for it. Most images are of other celebrities and personalities with Ted Williams's face pasted on. Some make reference to his voice and the cardboard sign he carried, but it is not a necessary element.
More examples here and here