Best Of 2011 The 47 Greatest Internet Memes of 2011  

William Roberts
2.1M views 47 items

The funniest memes of 2011 are more than pictures on an internet page; they're funny memes that have become pervasive in pop culture. A lot happened on the internet in 2011. Memes ruled the internet more than ever, and even started to crossover into the mainstream media. Rebecca Black became a superstar, advice animals dominated the world, Occupy Wall Street, Charlie Sheen, planking and scumbags invaded our eyes and ears. But what did you miss? Here are the fifty most popular, hilarious and memorable memes of the biggest meme year in internet history so far: 2011. Get ready for videos, pictures and links galore.

These are the most popular, best, most memorable and funniest internet memes of 2011. To catch up on the goings on of 2012, head over to the best memes of 2012. Check out Ranker's other popular meme lists like The Best of the Anti-Joke Chicken, the Sexiest Youtube Stars and 20 Pics That Prove You Have a Dirty Mind.
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Charlie Sheen and #WINNING

Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

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 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:

Sheen remixed:


2011's New Ragefaces

2011's New Ragefaces is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 47 Greatest Internet Memes of 2011
Photo: via Tumblr

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.

Freddie Mercury

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.

I Lied!

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

The Hipster Memes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 47 Greatest Internet Memes of 2011
Photo: via Tumblr

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".


EL FUA is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 47 Greatest Internet Memes of 2011
Photo: via Tumblr

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.

English Version:

The Most popular Variation:

The Game, where using his FUA, the guy fights zombies, because of course he does.