This is by far the most recognizable, memorable and epic internet meme of 2010.
By now, most people know the original story. Strangely enough, the most popular internet meme, where originally people poked fun at an actual hero on the news who just happened to be very colorful in the way he speaks, came from a story that is usually no laughing matter: rape. The story goes that Antoine Dodson's sister was almost raped in their apartment by a man who climbed in the window, took his shirt off (WTF???), then climbed into bed with her. When Antoine heard the intruder he ran into her room and chased him away. ( Click here ) for the original news report.
This news report spawned many a meme, including t-shirts, parody videos, and of course, an auto-tune remix (most notably, the one embedded here and the one that everyone has heard, which was written by Auto Tune the News.) The auto-tuned song was so catchy and so popular it was brought onto iTunes. And the proceeds from iTunes were, according to this CBS interview , enough to get Antoine Dodson out of the ghetto and into a better neighborhood where he'd never have to worry about his sister almost getting raped again.
( Source )
The World Cup: one of the most watched sporting events in all of human history. Known for bringing together nation upon nation for a "glorious celebration of the world" month.
The 2010 World Cup was also full of firsts. The first time the World Cup was held in Africa. The first time Spain won the World Cup title. The first time Lionel Messi disappointed the World. And the first time the World Cup made the entire world hate part of the culture of the home country; in this case: the Vuvuzela.
The Vuvuzela, in case you didn't watch the World Cup and were under a rock (in which case, I saw 127 hours and you're a very brave person and a hero to all of us), is the buzzing sound that makes it feel like the soccer players were about to get attacked by a swarm of bees throughout every game. No, it wasn't a Beepocalypse, it was hundreds (thousands?) of people blowing into plastic instruments native to South Africa that are customarily blown during soccer matches. Sure, they were a rich part of a culture, but they were annoying as all hell and not only did the world know it, the internet took hold of it, and made fun of it immediately, hilariously and relentlessly.
Just watch this Fellowship of the Ring parody to understand the kind of jokes that came out of this whole ordeal.
Even major news publications immediately picked up on this soul-crushing phenomenon, including the BBC , Time magazine , and The New York Times even wrote stories about the damned things.
There was no escape. So the meme became that people would really embrace the Vuvuzelas, like in this great video game idea below, or like in the embedded video, where Vuvuzelas would just interrupt something really, really important, and after a while, just anything at all.
Great videos and pictures made by perpetuators of this meme:
Play Vuvuzela hero!
Hitler struggles to be heard.
Classic SNL skit remake.
The paparazzi photographed Keanu Reeves sitting on a bench, eating a sandwich. And looking depressed. The internet, and most notably the /r/pics community over at Reddit.com, who often used to crap all over Keanu, felt horrible for him instantaneously.
This spawned a whole Photoshop campaign of Sad Keanu in different places, being as alone as possible, looking sad.
Kim-Jong il just told Keanu he's going to attack South Korea.
Bummed out in this iconic picture.
Keanu is sad that FourLoko has been banned.
Keanu sad, alone, in the oval office.
The picture you see on this item is the photoshop of Keanu so sad that he sequesters himself on Mars to contemplate his existence/humanity, much like Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen (which is where the picture is from.)
This meme even inspired Halloween costumes in 2010 ( click here ), as well as a parody shirt of one of the biggest memes of last year's 3 Wolf Moon.
In case you haven't seen it before, here 's the 4 Keanu Moon.
At 1:16, a voice asks "what does this mean?"
That's what we are all asking ourselves about this video to this day. Showcasing a "double rainbow" in this guy's backyard, we subsequently see the guy's voice go from awe and shock to tearful or orgasmic glee.
Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel tweeting this video, the meme spread like wildfire, entertaining and puzzling the rest of the country. Kimmel even invited Double Rainbow guy to his show . We still don't know if the guy was on drugs or not, since he denies it and says "the Spirit of the Universe" took over him instead, which is understandable since the guy seems like enough of a hippie to believe in the healing power of crystals.
We even got a song out of it from the Internet Meme masters Auto-Tune the News: click here for Double Rainbow autotuned. This song will be stuck in your head forever.
Needless to say, the references drowned message boards and continue to be made to this very day. How popular was this meme? Well, much like the biggest ones here, it got its own Halloween costume.
Click here for the Double Rainbow Halloween costume, posted by Nerve.com .
At first, this was an item about just Strutting Leo. Thanks to the people over at Gorillamask, we were reminded that the Inception Mash-Ups meme not only belongs on this list, that it's one of the greatest of the year. This meme had multiple applications, not just Strutting Leo (see the section for that below.)
With a film as serious, as unique and as revolutionary as Christopher Nolan's Inception (Summer, 2010), you really can't help but make jokes about it. Whenever anything takes itself so seriously, it also kind of deserves to be made fun of. It was easily one of the best films of 2010, and the internet attention it got was deserved.
The theme to Inception became iconic so quickly because of its blaring, repetitive, gut-wrenching horns near the end of the trailer. The song is so intense and the horns so brilliantly timed, that people started making mash-ups of the trailer's audio with other things. The embedded video is an amazing example of how it was done with various animals.
There was also Inception Cat (a cat who peeks out from behind a door so slowly that it matches up perfectly to the swelling Inception theme.) See it here .
On top of this, people made an image macro out of the scene in Inception where Leo deceives Cillian Murphy's character.
What do you get when you wake up in limbo after dying from trying to fight off the target's subconscious projections in a dream within a dream?
Why, you see Leo strutting with Jesus, of course. There's no better Heaven than that.
This meme came from a set picture of Leonardo Di Caprio while he was filming Christopher Nolan's Inception.
Basically, Leo looked so unbelievably happy doing whatever he was doing (strutting, apparently) that the internet saw it and, almost opposite of Sad Keanu, took to it and used it everywhere. His picture is used sarcastically more often than not, having Leo casually strutting away from explosions or horrible moments in human history.
A spin-off of the "Rage Guy" comics made popular by 4Chan, Forever Alone is an image macro that follows, often, a comic strip format. Essentially, the punchline to every "Forever Alone" comic is that the guy at the end (the Forever Alone guy you see to your left, which a huge face) is going to die alone. The comics are usually meant to describe the social inadequacy of people who spend too much time on the internet. The Forever Alone guy himself doesn't make an appearance until the last panel of each comic and he is always trying his hardest to keep a smile going while crying, deeply, on the inside (and eventually, the outside.)
It's one of the darkest popular memes out there, but is popular enough to not only be on this list, but to be one of the biggest memes on it.
The Forever Alone meme started to frequent all the usual meme sites of Tumblr, 4chan and FunnyJunk, becoming the self-pitying calling card of all those teenagers who post pathetic comments on the Internet, pouring their hearts out to strangers that want to do nothing but ridicule them.
Here is the best depiction of the "Forever Alone" guy (as the Mona Lisa.)
A classic Forever Alone comic story.
The meme also works on popular characters like, for example, Velma from Scooby Doo .
The original title of this song was meant to be I Am Glad, Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home. However, all the lyrics ended up being censored by the Cold War-era Soviet government (hence explaining the video 1970's vibe).
The original song featured lyrics like this:
I'm riding the prairie on my stallion, a mustang as such, and my sweetheart Mary now knits a stocking for me, a thousand miles away from here.
However, this was deemed so unsoviet like, the world instead was treated to the vocal improvisations known as trolololo. The fact that LOL is repeated a number of times in the title is a coincidence. A beautiful coincidence. And the fact that it starts with "Trol" just made it internet gold.
The first meme of 2010, this video became 2010's "Rick Roll", which is a bait-and-switch video. The beauty of this versus the regular Rick Astley song Never Gonna Give You Up? This is creepy as hell, inexplicably WTF and actually features someone saying the world troll (which means that the person who is watching the video is being messed with) followed by many "lol"s (which means that the person who linked you to the video is laughing at you.)
It was perfect.
Jimmy Kimmel, ever aware of the internet, actually had Academy Award winner Chistopher Waltz do a parody of this video titled Der Humpick .
Interviews were conducted with the man himself, explaining the oppressive dubbing of the lyrics, but ultimately all anyone cared about was his offputting smile, how hilarious the video is in of itself and showing it to everyone they know in order to "Troll" them.
(Click the embedded video to see the original)
Stoned Birthday Dog
Just take a look to your left. It doesn't matter if anybody says anything otherwise: this dog is blitzed out of its mind.
This picture brilliantly pulls off the balance between adorableness and pure awesomeness. It brings new meaning to the term "man's best friend." Is there nothing this dog can't do? No, there isn't. And the Internet will prove it.
Let's hope this picture one day becomes a reality, and Obama embraces stoned dogs across America .
Remember the fire girl meme?
Here's a picture that reminds you not to eff with this dog .
Unfortunately, one of the other memes on this list is seen at Birthday Dog's birthday... and isn't happy.
Click here for the top 10 greatest Stoned Birthday Dog photoshops.
Jesus Is A Dick
This meme originated way back in 1987 when Florida artist Larry Van Pelt composed a series of drawings called "Jesus: With You Always" as his offering to the Lord. Of course, back then, the pictures were from a chic tract that advocated how awesome Jesus is and all that jazz.
For the most part, the drawings presented people in everyday jobs and Jesus watching over them, always being there with them, and sometimes sharing a connection with them. This meme, released this year, illustrates (no pun intended) how Jesus, in these old, wholesome drawings, actually really gets borderline creepy, like here and here.
To see all of Van Pelt's drawings, click here.
Using Van Pelt's original works, the internet artists added their own small touches. Namely captions. Captions that portray Jesus as an overbearing a*****e who gives people the worst advice possible... making these drawings absolutely hilarious.
Jesus taunting the horn player.
Jesus counting change.
Jesus as a running buddy.
Deal With It
A largely self-referential meme which almost always includes sunglasses (either on or falling into place) and a smug expression telling someone, somewhere to just... well... "deal with it."
It's basically a passive, blase way to tell people that you don't care, it's not your problem. You're too cool and guess what? People are just going to have to, you guessed it, "deal with it."
Here are some great uses of this hilarious meme:
Jerry Seinfeld "dealin' with it".
Antoine Dodson dealing with it.
Don't like Prancing Cera (a meme you'll see later on in this list)? Well, deal with it.
Pictured here is the original Deal With It dog.
Pants On The Groundv
When it comes to absurdity and straight out hilarity, the first round of auditions on American Idol never disappoints.
The latest in a string 15 minute fame acts, General (that's right, "General") Larry Platt performed his soon to be viral hit on American Idol, wowing and entertaining all the judges. Even Simon Cowell was impressed with Platt's age and his ability to pull off dancing theatrics (with his pants on the ground, naturally).
Basically, this old soul song looking man looked like he would sing something serious when he asked if he could sing one of his own songs, and what we got was, well "Pants on the Ground."
Simon also predicted the song would be a hit. Well, it was and it even got enough attention to be released as a single and chart on the Billboard 100, thus giving it the distinction of having its own Wikipedia page , and being more successful than the people who got 4th place and worse on the actual American Idol show.
Embedded is the original Pants on the Ground video, and below are some of the remixes and alterations the internet had to offer.
Here are the worst dog owners ever.
And, of course, an auto-tune remix
And, because YouTube is an endless sea of guys trying to get laid, here's a guy playing it on an acoustic guitar a-la Jack Johnson.
A Personal Appeal
The Internet is good for two things: Wikipedia and memes (well, three if you've ever seen Avenue Q, or enjoy porn). Wikipedia rules the world. There's no denying it. So it's no surprise that this meme became popular so quickly, because everyone has been subjected to it.
Every time you get the random urge to check out the Wikipedia page about Canada or True Blood or anything at all, you're greeted with the now-famous banner that delivers the message "Please Read: A Personal Appeal From Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales," along with Jimmy Wales giving you a blank, hysterically creepy and soul-burning stare.
You have to scroll past it to read what you want, but now you're trapped thinking how you're using this information for free. Damn. What will make you feel better? Why, a meme of course.
And this particular appeal has all the ingredients, including the extremely creepy look Jimmy delivers in the banner, the "personal appeal" that really isn't so personal, and the fact that it's really just everywhere.
Here's a picture of the meme spreading to Wikipedia , proving to be "incredibly meta."
And click here to see the 4Chan parody.
Some of the meme photoshops include Jimmy's face on a bunch of creepy stuff that are watching you in some way, shape or form, most notably, things that watch you sleep. Have fun thinking of this and trying to close your eyes tonight.
The funniest part of this is the honest/good intentions of the original picture and what the internet did with it.
The Most Interesting Man In The World
The Most Interesting Man in the World commercials are radio commercials for Dos Equis featuring hyperbolic descriptions of a man who does the impossible, the improbable, and the incredibly interesting. Every commercial ends with "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis."
The meme started with him doing grizzly things, and then it became such a popular Meme Generator macro that people started making it about everything. The funniest ones, sadly, are about him becoming a complete monster when he drinks (see picture to the left.)
This sounds about right.
Showing the church how it's done.
Fucking Magnets, How Do They Work?v
When the Insane Clown Posse released their song called "Miracles", they also released one of the most hotly debated questions of 2010.
The lyric can be seen in the video to the left. Basically, the lyric is, as you might've guessed, a non-sequitur that makes the Insane Clown Posse not only look like complete idiots, but that forced the stigma of every fan of theirs (or, Juggalos) to become that of an idiot (even more so.)
Out of all the everyday things the ICP listed in their song, the mention of how magnets work got the biggest amount of attention because of the amount of Juggalos on 4Chan willing to make fun of ICP and the amount of people who love to crap on ICP in general.
Even over their appreciation for "f**king rainbows". Why? Because it was the perfect gate-way for everybody to praise ICP's love for "motherf**king magic."
Just look at all of what the Internet spawned from this ridiculous question in their lyrics:
Old-timer questioning magnets.
Jesus and ICP.
The meme works best as a random, non-sequitur reference in comments or message boards, when the context would make it funny. For example, when someone is completely and utterly confused, or when someone is asking the general public to ask them anything. This is the internet's go-to question for when any given situation is so dumb, it's inexcusable.
While promoting Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Michael Cera visited Norway and hopped around on some boxes. At least according to this picture taken of him. Naturally, the awkward timing of the picture and Cera's body language all contributed to Prancing Cera flooding the Internet.
Paul's dead. He's always been dead. It really was prancing Cera on the cover of Abbey Road.
Kurt Cobain's spacey stare at prancing Cera.
Here is the tumblr featuring all the Prancing Cera photoshops.
Old Spice Guyv
Everyone by now recognizes the man your man could smell like ad starring the now world-famous Isaiah Mustafa. The ad is so influential "hello, ladies" is for sure destined to enter the lexicon of overused pickup lines for at least another year.
What's impressive is the level of viral marketing Old Spice reached with these series of ads. Employing the same actor, Old Spice filmed special video responses addressing tweets made about their product. And with that, they obliterated every single Chuck Norris joke ever made.
Who knew there were things manlier than Chuck Norris?
Here are some examples:
The bacon factory.
Starting something big.
President Obama's State of the Union: Hello, ladies.
Demi Moore's Special Video Response.
This has been in no way a cross-promotion.
Isaiah Mustafa talks to famous internet activists "Anonymous"
Epic Beard Manv
A confrontation between two men was filmed on an Oakland bus and things got bloody. How bloody? Bloody enough for the bearded man in this video to become known as Epic Beard Man (his name was figured out later, but why spoil it?).
A young African American man and an elderly gentleman get into a fight. Who will win? Well, the hilarity in the video ensues when the old man not only knows how to fight, but knocks the hell out of the young African American man who got in his way.
This video then inspired some great after-effects work, as seen in the embedded video here, where the video is made to look like a Mortal Kombat (a popular fighting video game) match.
The Epic Beard Man was known for having a past history of belligerence, and once the other guy started getting on his nerves, needless to say, he got it handed to him. So much so that when he called for an ambulance, it sounded like he was saying amber lambs.
Here's a demotivational poster featuring what "Amber Lambs" looked like after.
Epic Beard Man as an electrician.
And finally, everything you need to know about Epic Beard Man.
Someone lifted this screen shot from Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and the Handsome Face meme was born. The original source is to your left and it reveals a creepy side to the meme. That is what Superman's face looks like when he says "She's my cousin."
The meme, then, takes this template and makes the "Handsome Face" into any character from pop culture and on image boards like 4chan, people would post the Handsome Face photoshops along with the words "___, I" to make it look like the character was about to say "I love you" to whatever was put in the blank.
For example, if you made a Handsome Face meme to look like Charlie Sheen, you would write "Cocaine, I...", or if you put President Obama's image on Handsome Face, you could do "Extended Tax Cuts for the RIch, I..." and for the popular character from South Park Butters, you would write "Fellas, I...".
It's a fun meme that allows people to reference what characters say/love and to make every character look like a handsome, chiseled-jaw Superman character.
Mary Jane, I
Football Head, I
The Rent Is Too Damn Highv
A staple of the mid-term election craziness that happened in late 2010, Jimmy McMillan's stint as a gubernatorial candidate would have gotten him elected if votes were based on internet popularity. To your left, you see the evidence. In case you haven't seen this, welcome, I hope the coma was relaxing. This is not a joke and was a real candidate.
McMillan is that rare combination of entertainment. He can piss off your landlord, make you really think about brekafastlunchanddinner, and make both you and the f*ture governor of New York laugh their pants off at the exact same time.
The inevitable Auto Tune remix.
The custom made T-shirts.
If you watch this video, then, you'll know why a popular response to any question soon became "Because the rentistoodamnhigh!"
Jessi Slaughter started a bunch of attention-seeking Internet activity by giving her YouTube audience attitude, by inappropriately being sexual on camera, and by acting really, really tough. She soon met wave upon wave of trolling. Her response? The video to the left. Did that help? Well, knowing 4Chan and the internet, of course not.
As a matter of fact it made it worse. The trolling continued. Rumors such as her father giving his daughter PCP went high on the Google search engine thanks to some 4Chan Google raids (when the powerful people on the popular image board 4Chan, mostly from /b/, sorry for breaking the first two rules, decide to Google something so frequently that it becomes a Google Trend) and plenty of meme propaganda became available. Stuff like:
This CSI parody.
A person kind of like Jessi Slaughter: Chris Crocker.
How the story went all the way to national television.
The funniest part of this whole ordeal was not that they made a poor young girl cry, though. Oh no, it was her understandably pissed off father who decided to threaten probably the most tech-savvy audience in the world with empty actions. If you watch the video, you'll see why it's so funny, yet somehow also kind of sad, as he's just trying to protect his daughter.
He said things like:
"You've all been backtraced"
"Consequences will never be the same"
"I've reported you to the state police and the cyber police..."
"You dun goofed"
This obviously slightly ignorant, yet probably hardworking man then prompted a huge storm of ridicule that was well-warranted, mean, but absolutely hilarious.