Sometimes I marvel at the cultural phenomena that spring up each year. Given that I am not always the most up-to-date with the latest trends, I feel as though I am in a constant state of surprise when I see the ferocity with which large groups latch onto things. From Kony to Bronies to #YOLO, every other day I'm checking my Facebook newsfeed and mumbling to myself, "What the fuck are these crazy bitches talking about?"
Then came memes. I kind of get them, but I'm not particularly good at explaining them. All I need is to see one, and I understand immediately - that must be the whole appeal. Although the word "meme" encompasses way more than this, the most common incarnation seems to be pictures with captions which follow certain formulas. Memes often tackle and explore huge socio-political and cultural issues in less than a soundbite - for this reason, I find them highly underrated. People post them to Facebook all the time, and while I often have a good chuckle, I rarely post them.
Well, that was the case - until yesterday. I went on memegenerator to kill time (hey, it's my last week at work - no judgy). After reading through some of the popular categories and moving on to other things, I suddenly thought of one.
Then I thought of another. And another. It turns out that composing these can be as addicting as reading them, if not more. Trouble is, thousands of these get generated every day - and if you're not cool enough to get upvotes, they get buried in the stack faster than you can say, "LOLZ."
So, for my amusement (and perhaps my vanity), I will be taking the uninitiated on a tour of my favorite categories. I guess there is no way to prove without a doubt that I made these. Does intellectual property law even apply to memegenerator.net? Probably not. Anyone who claims ownership that fiercely is probably a douche. I probably unwittingly copied a few existing ideas myself.
Dripping with sarcasm, he is always calling someone out on his/her pretentious bullshit.
Sometimes, life isn't fair... :
...or people just get a little too proud of the things they buy:
Memes can be recognizable in other ways, too, even if the pictures aren't of people you've seen before. A whole crop of characters has appeared out of this trend. They are relatable, because nearly all of us knows a version of them.
Annoying Facebook Girl
She overposts, overshares, and has an inflated sense of self-importance. If you have a Facebook account, you have a "friend" like this - and you can't delete her because she's your neighbor's niece or a friend of a friend you run into all the time.
Once is enough for us to get the point:
He's a nerd, but not the lovable kind. Instead, he's resentful, pompous, and dirty.
Irony is usually lost on him unless it involves him being right:
When he does get a girlfriend, he assumes SHE'S the lucky one:
Lazy College Senior
I think we all got a little like this at the end of college.
This one is vaguely autobiographical:
You know this guy, too. He borrows your things without returning them, hits on your girlfriend, and treats his friends and family like his personal ATM. However, like Annoying Facebook Girl, there is probably some reason you have to put up with him.
Nothing is sacred:
Irony is lost on this one, too:
Self-serving acts such as banging college girls will always be twisted into a good deed:
Good Guy Greg
For every Scumbag Steve in your life, there is hopefully also a Good Guy Greg.
He always owns up to his actions... :
...and respects women:
He indulges Annoying Facebook Girl... :
...as well as Scumbag Steve:
Then there are the characters based illustrations that probably started in some comic somewhere.
You know you've said this before, while making this face, at times when life just got too frustrating. Or, at least, you smiled through it while your insides burned.
That moment you realize you've screwed yourself over on a road trip:
Those precious minutes of life you waste for what turns out to be no reason:
If you've read the comments section on anything, you've run into a troll.
Not only does (s)he say something nasty, but the comment often has little or nothing to do with the content:
Trolls strike any time, anywhere - even outside of the internet:
Y u no
Using the formula, "Y u no [verb]," this guy points out others' maddening actions and lack thereof. This is the pinnacle of illustrations ironically drawn poorly; while the face is highly detailed, the head is way out of proportion and the body stick-figure-like.
I made this with a few co-workers in mind:
I hadn't a clue who this was until this meme started. Captions usually juxtapose rap lyrics and/or slang expressions with old-style language (you can see why I particularly enjoy this one).
50 Cent's "Candy Shop":
Ludacris's "Act a Fool":
Ludacris's "Area Codes":
Drake/Lil' Wayne's "She Will":
PTSD Family Photos
You have probably seen these pictures if you look at Awkward Family Photos. Aside from displaying the horrible fashions of the 80s, these editing tactics suggest that these people have been through something far more sinister than an uncomfortable photoshoot.
Karate Kyle just won't let it go:
PTSD Clarinet Boy haunts us all:
Vengeance Dad protects traditional family values:
Finally, some memes refer not to specific characters, but states of mind.
First World Problems
For 21st century Western society-dwellers above the poverty line who have the ability to poke fun at themselves.
I genuinely got upset about this the other day:
When being healthy doesn't pay:
More to come in a future fever of boredom-inducing downtime.