2011's New RagefacesRage 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 MemesDefinition 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".
EL FUAEven 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 GirlTwo 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.
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