For those of us just tuning into the world of the intertubes, a "meme" is an on-running internet joke that can start anywhere: a news story, a picture, a video, or even a celebrity's fashion choice. People put their own take on the ridiculous occurrence and the rest is history.
Examples of famous memes include "epic FAIL," the Star Wars Kid and, of course, "LOLCATS." Whole businesses have been built around memes... aren't you glad you live in this world?
Drunkest Guy EverVideo: YouTube
So a drunk guy goes into a liquor store wanting SO HARD to just buy beer. He just wanted one more beer. His epic journey to the refrigerator was something that caught the eye of the internet almost instantaneously - battling the elements, gravity, and his own body, this man is truly a drunk hero.
BUT, it turns out this video was a fake.
So inevitably, people edited the movie, then people edited the edits, and so on, as they did with the Star Wars kid. And much like the Star Wars kid, people started to add intense, dance-y, or heavy background music to the video... but the best work came when people started adding AfterEffects.
Balloon BoyVideo: YouTube
In October 2009, a six-year-old boy climbed into a helium balloon that was supposed to levitate only 20 feet off the ground… and it went further than that. For the next several hours, network news was all over the story showing videos of the balloon going over 8,000 feet into the air.
The internet was on this in such a quickness that it blew minds. Whereisballoonboy.net was released before the balloon even landed. Soon we were assaulted with ridiculous YouTube videos spotting the balloon, and of course macros of the balloon, and songs about the boy himself.
After all the "99 Red Balloons" parodies that came out of this, here is an original song with animations that really made you "FEEL" how ridiculous this event was. Plus points for the NeverEnding Story reference.
I'm 12 Years OldPhoto: Know Your Meme
Like many an internet meme, this one started out as a 4chan prank where users posted a ridiculous amount of explicit content on YouTube.
This got the attention of the BBC, who did a special on the prank. At one point in the story they showed a comment left on YouTube, "I’m 12 years old, what is this," and thus this meme was born. Like many of the great memes, it’s a macro designed for trolls, when newbs don’t realize they are being trolled so a photoshopped variant of this meme is posted.
PeekaruPhoto: Know Your Meme
In mid-2009, a picture circulated the internet of a woman with a Snuggie made for a mother and child. The Snuggie has a hole cut out for the baby.
Obviously, this is funny in and of itself. But it only got all the more hilarious when the mother’s head was edited out and some random head took her place every time you saw a new picture. This one in particular RULES.