The 50 Greatest Internet Memes of 2012 Anything
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The 50 Greatest Internet Memes of 2012

These are the best Internet memes of 2012. Funny memes happen once in a blue moon, but new memes happen about 10 times per day at this point. Narrowing them down is ridiculous work, so we asked our own JF Sargent for help on this one. Here's what he had to say about his half of the list:

I think I'm just gonna be frank here: I am, right now, insane. I shouldn't be. I should be the picture of mental health, like I was yesterday. But that was before I agreed to catalogue the best memes of 2012 for Ranker. Before I agreed to comb through an entire year's worth of Internet, find the stuff it found interesting and then (this is the part that made me insane) explain why that stuff is interesting to you.

And that's the problem. Memes can't be explained, or catalogued, or understood. They can't be reasoned with. They can't be bargained with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

So that's what he had to say. So from "Gangnam Style" (this year's "Friday"), to a spoiled girl named McKayla Maroney, to the Overly Attached Girlfriend that ended up capturing everyone's heart, to memes that actually seem like they've been around longer but hit their peak this year, to the most recent Ikea Monkey, to the always adorable and amazing Grumpy Cat, here are the 50 most funny memes of 2012. Because you deserve it.

So let's check 'em out. Here are the funniest memes of 2012. Enjoy!

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  1. 1

    Gangnam Style "Gangnam Style" is kind of a big deal. Like, approaching a billion views on YouTube big. The lead single from Korean pop singer PSY's sixth album, PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1, "Gangnam Style" immediately started

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    Election 2012 There were so many awful/awesome things that happened on the road to the 2012 Presidential election this year that they get their own sub-heading.Binders Full of WomenThe American public likes to pick and choose what it remembers

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    Grumpy Cat

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    Gotye Dude. Let's paint some people, film it, and play a song over it. I bet we can totally get more views than those jerks pouring milk all over themselves.350 million views on YouTube. People watched Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) and

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    Sh!t __ Say Like many of the best things in life, it all started with cross-dressing. And Juliette Lewis.Done in the vein of Sh*t My Dad Says and Sh*t That Siri Says, the series of episodes was a spin-off of the @Sh*tGirlsSay Twitter account

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    Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

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    What People Think I Do/ What I Really Do First spotted on Facebook, the What People Think I Do/ What I Really Do is a look at what different people think a person of a certain profession or occupation actually does. Because clearly, people were super confused about what

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    Botched Ecce Homo Who would have ever thought completely destroying a classic piece of art would lead to one of the best costumes of the year, Halloween or otherwise?Let's start from the beginning (not of time, just the painting). A church in

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  10. 10

    KONY/HORNY 2012 In March of 2012, the non-profit group Invisible Children released a video titled "Kony 2012" that went into depth explaining the issues surrounding the use of Child Soldiers in Uganda. When the video went viral,

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  11. 11

    Socially Awesome/Awkward Penguin Apparently 2012 was the year we all voted penguin as the perfect avatar of our social ability. Or maybe it's not penguins in particular, but just this particular penguin right here:  Regardless, the internet (a bastion

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  12. 12

    The Ikea Monkey In America, people dress up their small animals and bring them into stores with them all the time; if you don't slip on dog piss at Nordstrom's, you have clearly not had a complete day of shopping. So it must have been no big deal

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    Bane In July of this year a little indy film called The Dark Knight Rises opened in a couple obscure theaters in America. Despite having a meager budget and no-names actors, it actually managed to do pretty well due to it's strong

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  14. 14

    Texts From Hillary

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  15. 15

    McKayla is Not Impressed Gymnasts are, as a group, athletically awesome freaks of nature who will spend hours swinging around a PVC pipe, vaulting straight up into the air with no net, and doing backflips on and off a beam that's about three inches wide.

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    Ermahgerd (Berks) If you think lisping is funny, have we got a meme for you.Ermahgerd! is "Oh My God!", written phonetically for added lisp effect. Let's start with the original Reddit submitted entry.Did you figure it out? She's

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    The Queen is Not Amused This is a perfect example of an image that doesn't fall into the trap that the cows did. During the 2012 Olympics in London, a picture of the Queen was captured that shows her looking disinterested and vaguely frustrated with the

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    Overly Attached Girlfriend First came the video that made you thankful that you only had a moderately attached girlfriend.Then came the memes...   

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    Bad Luck Brian You thought you had bad luck? Wait until you meet Brian.   If this wasn't enough Bad Luck Brian for you, check out The Very Best of the Bad Luck Brian Meme. 

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    Skeptical Third-World Kid From the pages of Quickmeme came Skeptical Third-World kid, a youngster in what would appear to be a poor area of Africa that can't- nay, won't- believe that people in the first world engage in activities of excess, generally to

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    NASA Mohawk Guy Rocket scientists (and nerds in general) are getting a fashionable makeover thanks largely in part to the cast of The Big Bang Theory who have paved the way for science being sexy.Admit it, ladies, you'd take a ride in Leonard's

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    Angelina Jolie's Legs At the 84th Academy Awards' Red Carpet ceremony, actress and internationally recognized "hot girl" Angelina Jolie wore a dress that screamed "don't I have fantastic legs?"  Everyone, on or off the

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    Bus Monitor Bullying Video This video, which depicts a 68-year-old woman named Karen Klein being bullied to the point of tears by a bunch of kids, is pretty damn hard to watch. If you can make it past the point where the kids start making fun of her

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    Chandler Dances on Things In a super topical development, 2012 was the year that Friends cast member Matthew Perry (Chandler) started dancing on things. Any things. Like cliffs.Hologram pads.Paula Deen.There's nothing that crazy, post-cocaine Chandler

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    Milking After planking became a thing, it's hard to conceive of anyone engaging in a weird new exhibition-style meme that would just leave you scratching your head in true WTF fashion.Then came Milking.Not a cow, not a goat, just a man

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    Ain't Nobody Got Time for That I dunno. I guess some people are still fascinated by the inner city accent.  Haha, look! That person was frightened! No, but really: do you not know anyone who talks like that? Thank God the real news doesn't get caught

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    Overly Manly Man This guy, the Overly Manly Man, is the ultimate testosterone one-upper. He's very much like The Most Interesting Man in the World if he didn't have the most impressive penis in the world. Clearly Overly Manly Man is making up for

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    Priority Peter Boy, we sure love alliteration. Priority Peter is a guy who's using a calculator despite -- despite -- being surrounded by women.  This situation gives the cunning comedy writer a lot of potential directions to go. Maybe. I

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    Tupac Hologram Tupac Shakur: Not dead. Not in April, anyway, when he showed up on stage at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA to perform "Hail Mary" with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Did all the hipsters in the crowd lose

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    Go Home, You're Drunk Who hasn't told their drunk friend, at some point, that they're doing something idiotic and should go home? Somebody told me that just a minute ago when I laughing like a bastard at Grumpy Cat videos. The "Go home, you're

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  31. 31

    Video Game Logic I could not believe that this was new this year. Most people aren't just now realizing that video game logic differs from real world logic, right? Yahtzee Croshaw was making fun of how old this joke is years ago. And yet... some

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    Immature High Schoolers Not all high schoolers are immature, but these guys definitely are...   If this wasn't enough Immature High Schoolers for you, check out The Best of the Immature High Schoolers Meme.

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    Dogshaming Okay, time to cut the crap. This is actually a pretty good idea for a thing, though I dunno if it technically counts as a meme since it's primarily just a tumblr (albeit one based on user submissions) and a blog.  The

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    Evil Cows This is another picture that's ruined by being turned into a meme. Check out these awesome pictures of cows.  The photograph first showed up on Fark back in 2002, but this year exploded into the "evil cows" meme,

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    2/10: Would Not Bang The internet is full of assh*les. If you disagree, that's because you're one of the assh*les, and we all wish you weren't here anymore. Sorry to be the one to tell you. If you need proof, check out the Would Not Bang Meme, which

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  36. 36

    Bad Joke Eel  

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    Almost Politically Correct Redneck According to KnowYourMeme.com, this meme dates all the way back to 2005, when the image was first uploaded to Fark. It wasn't seen again until May of 2012, when a Redditor by the name of lanL27 submitted the very first ever

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    Annoyed Picard     If you want to check out more Captain Picard memes check out: The Best Captain Picard Memes.

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    Hunger Games In Your Favor Not surprisingly, college boards exploded with every imaginable Hunger Games themed meme after the release of the first movie. The more pervasive of which had to do with District 12 chaperon Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth

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    Overlord Manatee Why isn't it "Manatee Overlord"? Have you noticed that all memes have to have that "adjective noun" structure? Like if we're worried that if we change up the syntax people won't realize that they're supposed to

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    Lawyer Dog  

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  42. 42

    Suburban Hard-Ass "Wigger" is a term idiots use to describe other (usually white) idiots who adopt gangster clothing, style and behavior despite not having any actual claim to it. It’s been parodied in such high class films as

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    Matrix Morpheus  

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  44. 44

    Pepperidge Farm Remembers Wait, is this.... Holy hell. No. No. This is absolute bullsh*t. I wasn't aware of this meme until I started researching this article, and the more I came to understand it, the less I understood the world. The less I understood why

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    Inappropriate Timing Bill Clinton Bill Clinton is really giving JFK a run for his money as the skeeziest president of all time. Aiding Clinton's bid to go down in history as the biggest Presidential Poon-Hound is the Inappropriate Timing Bill Clinton

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    Stahp Before you ask what the hell a stahp is, you should know it's just a goofy way of writing stop. But where would the fun be in making a meme out of something spelled the right way? So we get Stahp, born of Tumblr and spread

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  47. 47

    Drunk Baby

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  48. 48

    Stingray Photobomb On September 25th this photo was uploaded on the Advice Animals subreddit.  It was quickly followed by this photo, proving that two people had thought of the same joke at different times, independently.  Now

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  49. 49

    And It's Gone! This year's South Park meme du année (That's like the soup du jour for memes. Année means "year" in French. Learning. You're welcome) came from the 2009 episode "Margaritaville" where Stan is

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    Olive Garden's Glowing Review Alright, let's end on a good note. This is an old-style meme, the kind of meme that predates the masturbatory "I'm going to describe the joke that the picture already made!" nonsense that negates any kind of insight or

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