50 Internet Memes that Have Won Our Hearts

Viral Humor, Bizarre Curiousities, and Infectious Storytelling

Memes are cultural symbols and social ideas that spread virally, primarily with the intent to either make people laugh or to make fun of others.

The meme content itself is usually something of minor everyday consequence: jokes, urban legends, TV and movie references, human and animal oddities.  In rare cases, memes can be profound art and music curiosities, and even philosophical ideas.  

The noteworthy aspect of a meme is its infectious nature:  it invites people to spread it through social media, email, and photo-sharing.

Here are the most popular modern internet memes today.

Be Like Bill

Be Like Bill: a passive-aggressive meme that comments on people's life choices
Be Like Bill: a passive-aggressive meme that comments on people's life choices.

This 2015-2016 meme is a raging virus:  it has propagated faster than any other internet meme.

Bill is a stick person illustration, with white space left for captioning.  The version pictured here is the Bill with the hat/toque headdress.  You will also see versions of stick person Bill sitting at a computer.

The irresistible appeal of Bill is that it is a powerful passive-aggressive way to make public judgments of other people's life choices.  If you want to comment against something you disagree with, the innocuous Bill stick figure is an excellent vehicle to transmit your message. 

In the same way that Kermit and his teacup have become a tool for highlighting and criticizing others, Bill is a wildfire hit with anyone who wants to feel morally superior to others.

You can create your own Bill meme narrative herehere and here.

'But That's None of My Business'

Kermit and tea = 'you're being judged as an idiot'.

While the imagery seems innocent enough, this recent meme is used to openly pass sarcastic judgement on someone, much like Be Like Bill.  When you think someone is an idiot for some life decision he or she has made, you can post a photo of Kermit drinking tea, along with the phrase 'but that's none of my business'.  The memorable muppet image will help the message gnaw on the person's brain for a while, and remind them that they've been judged. 

Create your own Kermit teacup meme here.

Kylo Ren's Tri-Lightsaber

Kylo Ren and his tri-lightsaber
Kylo Ren and his tri-lightsaber.

 When the trailer of the new Star Wars Episode 7 movie was released, fans went into a frenzy over the tri-lightsaber of the character Kylo Ren.  Apparently, the functionality of such a mythical weapon was debatable.  This spurred a viral form of playful vandalism, where readers around the world would photoshop different implements onto Ren's lightsaber, like this example of a swiss army knife in this photo.

Grumpy Cat

Tardar Sauce of Arizona
Grumpy Cat: "Tardar Sauce" of Arizona.

Grumpy Cat is  a housepet from Arizona.  Her real name is 'Tardar Sauce', and she has a disorder called 'feline dwarfism'. With a distinctive underbite that gives her a pouting facial expression, this little beast has become the poster child of sarcasm and faux negativity.  Thousands of captioned meme photos have been based on Tardar's seemingly-sad face.  In actuality, Tardar is a very happy and friendly cat, which makes the sarcasm memes even richer!

Ylvis: What Does the Fox Say?

Bard Ylvisaker and Vegard Ylvisaker of Ylvis perform on NBC's TODAY Show.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Norwegian comedy and music duo, Ylvis, asks the question "what sound do foxes make?" Sure enough, they not only provide the answer, but they present it via a preposterous dance video that has gone viral in recent weeks. Let's see if this new musical meme could be the new 'Gangnam Style' music video! The video is at 12 million viewings as of this writing...

See The Fox music video here... More »

The New Old Spice Guy

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube
These preposterous commercials are exactly that: preposterous. Yet these commercials have a real charm that makes women grin and men guffaw. Take a look at the number of hits that these Old Spice commercials get on YouTube... that should give you a sense of how viral these commercials are. More »

Rickroll Someone

Rickrolling. Getty Images

This prankster meme refuses to die! 'Rickrolling' is when people pretend to send critical business email links in emails, but they actually send links to Rick Astley music videos from the 1980's. More »

More Cowbell

Christopher Walken immortalized the expression 'more cowbell' on Saturday Night Live. Today, 'more cowbell' is a daily expression of humor. This particular meme won't reach you by email forwards, but you can certainly expect the expression 'more cowbell' to occur in daily conversation with the modern generation. More »

U Mad Bro

u mad bro
u mad bro.
'U mad bro' is arguably a trifecta meme, because it is simultaneously a meme, a conversational expression, and a form of trolling/flaming all at once. This meme expression allegedly started in 2003 when hiphop musician Cam'Ron engaged in a heated discussion with talk show host Bill O'Reilly over how his music affected children. Over the last decade, 'u mad bro' has grown into a daily conversation term for the millennial generation, and spawned several versions of itself as 'he mad', 'she mad', 'why you mad tho', and more. More »

Randall, the Honey Badger Animal Narrator

Randall is an effeminate narrator who creates voice-overs for animal videos. He is renowned for coining the expression 'honey badger don't care', which is quickly becoming a conversational phrase of courage.

Randall's narrating is flamboyant, irreverent, profane, sassy and preposterous all at once. His internet fame started with his narration of a badger video, where the little beast would hunt and eat its prey on screen. Oddly, Randall's narration is quite engaging, so don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting more Randall videos after honey badger.

See the honey badger video here More »

Doge! Much Wow, Such Fun...


Since 2005, 'doge' has been a subculture meme thanks to the Homestar Runner puppet show.  In this episode, the Homestar character nicknames his cohort, Strong Bad, as "d-o-g-e".  

Today, doge is a photograph meme commonly attached to photos of Shiba Inu dogs, combined with comic sans font and the use of bad grammar with comedic monologue text.  Doge has also become the name for a new type of digital currency called 'Dogecoins'.

'Doge' has two common pronunciations: as a rhyme with 'rogue', or pronounced as 'dohj'.

Gas Pump Karaoke Prank

This smile-inducing prank has become a viral hit. The prankster is a faux newscaster on a gas pump TV. He starts a conversation with Will and Monifa Sims, two California customers filling up their minivan. The conversation turns into an impromptu singing performance, with Will and Monifa performing songs from the 1980's. This is a terrific example of human talent and infectious spirit, and if you're like most viewers, you will cheer and clap during this delightful video.

See the gas pump karaoke prank here... More »

Leekspin: the Loituma Girl

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

This Finnish folk song has been mesmerizing online users for years. The animation is taken from the Japanese anime "Bleach", and the music is the "leval Polkka", performed by a quartet called Loituma. Yes, the girl is twirling a vegetable. Yes, it's dumb, but also oddly catchy. Here is the hypnotizing Leekspin.com website. If you like the music, here are the Loituma folk singers performing the original. More »

"Where the Hell Is Matt Harding?": Dancing Around the World

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

Matt Harding is another example of why I love the Internet. You see, Matt is a deadbeat and a slacker who has been blessed with the chance of a lifetime. In exchange for doing some amateur dancing on-camera, Matt was hired to travel the world and visit 39 countries on 7 continents. Matt's travel adventures have surpassed what you and I could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime. Here is his first video, and here is his second video. More »

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

'All Your Base' is an 'Engrish' humor meme... it comes from the flawed translation of Japanese into English subtitles. Instead of 'all your bases belong to us', this mistaken translation caught fire in 2001. The original video footage is from Zero Wing, a 1989 video game by Toaplan. Today, All Your Base is a joke phrase used in pop culture. More »

Good Guy Greg

Good Guy Greg 'GGG': a viral meme
Good Guy Greg 'GGG': a viral meme.

'Good Guy Greg' (also known as GGG) is the endearing photo of a marijuana-smoking fellow with a likeable grin. His viral photo has been repeatedly captioned to be an example of acts of kindness and respectful public behaviour. Good Guy Greg is quite a pleasant meme, actually, as it promotes the opposite of trolling and negativity on the Web.

Make your own Good Guy Greg meme here... More »


A strange creature mascot for Japan's NHK television station, Domo-Kun is the humorous icon that is pasted into many disaster scenes. Don't be surprised if you see this pop-culture icon on websites. More »

The Spinning Ballerina Illusion

This mesmerizing optical illusion was created by graphic designer Nobuyuki Kayahara. It has fascinated readers across the globe since 2007. Is this dancer standing on her left foot and spinning clockwise? Or is she standing on her right foot and spinning the other way? Take a look for yourself, and watch how the ballerina can change direction before your very eyes.

Tip: focus on the standing foot, and you can almost will the direction change to happen. More »

Gangnam Style, by Rapper Psy

Rapper Psy: Gangnam Style
Rapper Psy: Gangnam Style. YouTube screenshot

The most-liked video in YouTube history, this pop song was released by South Korean rapper, Psy, in July of 2012. In this video, Psy inspires a funny dance style involving an invisible horse and clumsy dance moves. The 'Gangnam Style' itself is a parody of people's perceptions of the upscale Gangnam District in the city of Seoul, where the residents are known to be wealthy and trendy. See the video for yourself, and see why it has won the MTV Video of the Year.

FYI: here are the English lyrics to the Gangnam Style song. More »


Lolcats: I can haz cheeseburger. icanhazcheeseburger.com

The absurd gallery of people attaching human behaviors and captions to photos of housecats. If you like Gary Larson's 'Far Side' cartoons, you are bound to like LOLcats/Cheezburger... More »


What Is 'Ermahgerd'?
What Is 'Ermahgerd'?.
'Ermahgerd' is 'oh my god' as pronounced by someone with a speech impediment. It means 'shock' and 'stupidity' at the same time, often as a caption for unflattering photos. You can caption 'ermahgerd' on your own photos to describe that you did something stupid today, or you can use it to insult someone else by replying 'ermagherd' to their online posts.

Ermahgerd is also becoming popular as a caption for animal photos, much like lolcats. For the most part, ermagherd is a derogatory term like 'doh' or 'durp'. More »

The Double Rainbow

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube
You'd swear the cameraman was on some kind of acid trip when he shot this video. But Paul Vasquez claims that he was having a spiritual experience at the sight of this Yosemite Park rainbow. People have since flocked to his YouTube page to leave comments. Take a look for yourself, and decide if this home video is all just an act, or a sincere life experience. More »

Epic Fail!

This photo and video blog is mesmerizing! Here are pictoral essays on the tragic mistakes of people around the world. Bad drivers, stunts gone bad, public faux pas embarassments... this website is absolutely hypnotic in the way it depicts human folly. The idea of "schadenfreude" (delighting in other people's misfortune) has never been so humorously done. Be warned: once you visit this site, you will be addicted to checking it every week for new additions... More »

Bad Romance, by Lady Gaga

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

This catchy song by artist Lady Gaga is paired with some surreal costumes, and some mesmerizing dance moves.  Whether you like Lady Gaga's music or not, you'll want to watch this video and decide for yourself what you think.  This is the #1 most watched YouTube video of all time, with over 455 million views to date. More »

Mr. Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind

Mr. Rogers, remixed
Mr. Rogers, remixed.

Fred Rogers was an educational influence for millions of youth before he passed away in 2003. His PBS show inspired scientific curiosity, multiculturalism, a compassion for fellow human beings and animals, and a real hope for the future. The Public Broadcasting System recently remixed a montage of Mr. Rogers' work in this hypnotizing video. Unlike other memes, this video is thoughtful and non-flashy, but if you followed Mr. Rogers as a youth, you are bound to find this new video to be resonant and moving.

See the Mr. Rogers remix video here More »


NONONO Cat. screen capture of YouTube

NONONO Cat is a special long-haired cat from Russia.  In this video, he cowers in fear at seeing a young child for the first time.  This feline begins to speak in seeming English, repeating the word "no" for several minutes.  This is a much-loved meme video, especially amongst animal lovers. More »

OK, Go! The White Knuckles Music Video

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube
"OK Go" is an internet music group who specializes in sharing their music through oddball choreography. These artists made the famous "Treadmill" video meme (see later in this list), as well as this adorable music video of dogs and plastic furniture. Animal lovers should really enjoy this meme! More »

Numa Numa Dance

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

This chubby lip-syncher, Gary Brolsma, has won the hearts of viewers everywhere. He lip-synchs an amateur webcam video to the song 'Dragostea" by the Romanian group, 'Ozone'. More »

Rebecca Black - 'Friday' Music Video

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube
Millions of people claim that this is the 'worst music video' and 'worst song' ever made. Yet Rebecca Black's video has become a viral sensation across the world. This music video was shot with a budget of only $4000, and was taken offline because of the massive polarized attention it received. Rebecca eventually re-uploaded it, and you can decide for yourself if she should have. More »

Star Wars Kid

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

The doctored video of a youngster twirling a golf ball retriever staff. This young Canadian lad eventually earned money online as people donated funds to him. Fans of Star Wars should get a good kick out of this meme. More »

People of Wal-Mart

This photo blog is so controversial. Started in 2009, this site is about showing repulsive photos of real life shoppers at Wal-mart stores around the world. Some people will be offended by this meme, but thousands of viewers everywhere visit this site everyday in horrified fascination. More »

David After the Dentist

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

David is a young 7 year old who just had his tooth removed. As he recovered from the general anesthetic, his father videotaped him with the new family Flip camera. During his wooziness, David proceeded to monologe in an endearing Hamlet-ish kind of way, questioning life and his medicated condition. In 2009, David's video was the second most-watched video at YouTube. See the woozy young lad here. Even more funny, see the Chad Vader parody video side-by-side with David. More »

Achmed the Dead Terrorist

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has achieved international fame with this comedy skit.  Along with his skeletal friend, Achmed, Jeff parodies terrorism and manages to win the hearts of audiences everywhere.  Meme factor = 5/5 More »

Chuck Norris

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

The preposterous exaggerations of Chuck Norris as a modern superman, often randomly inserted into email conversations for humor effect. Don't be surprised if you find Chuck Norris references in your emailbox, or on a webpage... his powers are legendary! More »

Angry German Kid

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

The shocking video of a young online gamer having an outlandish temper tantrum while playing Unreal Tournament. By all accounts,this is not a staged video... this is really a youngster suffering from very serious anger management problems. More »

The Famous Dancing Baby

This little animation started in late 1995, and is still a favorite today. It was originally intended to demonstrate 3D drawing software in the animation world, but instead caught fire as a curiousity meme once it was featured on the Ally McBeal television show. Years later, this animation is still making people chuckle. More »

Dogs Go to Heaven

Hoax or not, this photo essay of two competing churches is a modern favorite. Commonly, this meme is forwarded as a large email containing all the photos of the two churches in question. More »

Charlie Bit Me!

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

This adorable little prankster not only sports a Forrest Gump accent, but his prankster baby brother, Charlie, makes a fiendish little smile after biting the finger.  One of the top 5 most viewed YouTube videos of all time. More »

Ask a Ninja

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

The street-humor website of Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Los Angeles. This cheeky type of comedy is blended with modern street jargon and inane videos of ninja actors; definitely a good laugh for people that enjoy this kind of humor. More »

Engrish Funny

'Engrish' is a sister site to Lolcats and Epic Fail Blog. Engrish captures photos of mistaken translations on signs and labels...all of which add up to some very bawdy and shocking humor. Most everyone who visits this site quickly forwards the link to their friends. Guaranteed laughs can certainly be found at this meme website! More »

Here It Goes Again: the Treadmill Dance Video

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

Alternative rock band, OK Go, has won the hearts of viewers with this challenging choreography meme.  Four artists plus music plus six treadmills = instant meme!  The choreography here boggles the mind, nearly everyone who watches this video immediately forwards it by email. More »

Nuts the Squirrel

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

'Nuts' is a Canadian critter who stole a front spot in a family photo. There is even a "Squirrelize" website to modify your own photos to have Nuts in the foreground. Note: the Squirrelizer site has been overloaded as of late, and the webmaster has to take the site down periodically to keep his bandwidth fees minimized. More »

One Red Paperclip

A fellow in Saskatchewan had this outlandish idea to repeatedly trade objects online, until he was traded a house. It actually worked. Today, he now resides in that same house. See the photo gallery of his trading history at his site. More »

David Elsewhere Breakdance

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

In 2001, a dance festival video launched David "Elsewhere" Bernal into Internet fame. His rubberman moves became so legendary, David was asked to front advertising for Heineken and Pepsi. See his amazing breakdance moves here. More »

Bert is Evil

A conspiracy-theory take on Bert from Sesame Street. Like many bits of Internet humor, the idea is absurd and preposterous... and quite a hit with many Sesame Street fans of old. More »

Jizz In My Pants

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

(Warning: adult content) From Saturday Night Live and The Lonely Island music group: a dance song about male sexual angst. The lyrics are renowned amongst males everywhere. More »

Demotivational Posters

Despair.com is one of a few memorable sites that have turned visual sarcasm into a meme phenomenon. Originally a parody of motivational posters, 'demotivational posters' take cynicism and sarcasm to the Nth degree. More »

Hamster dance

Catchy music with videos of small critters. Here is the original hamster dance from 1999, with a 9-second sound loop from "Whistle Stop" (a Disney movie). This clip has since spawned dozens of follow-up remixes and a top 40 song. More »

Dramatic Chipmunk

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

A very short amateur video of a quirky rodent making gestures. If you're an animal fan, you might like these 3 seconds of human-like hilarity. More »

Diet Coke and Mentos

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

Scientists have varying theories why there is such an explosive chemical reaction between Mentos candy and Diet Coke. But the science notwithstanding, the shock value and creative 'pyrotechnics' are worth 3 minutes of your time to watch these videos. More »

Leroy Jenkins

A World of Warcraft gamer's meme, Leroy is the rebel reckless player in a group of very serious players. He is renowned for crying "Leeeeerroyyyy Jenkins!" as his warcry, where he recklessly leads his team into a virtual slaughter. More »

Onyxia Raid: 'More Dots'

Warning: adult content and profanity. This amateur video is set to the recording of a World of Warcraft gamer who leads his team to attack a large dragon named 'Onyxia'. The raid leader is a Romanian fellow who leads a community called 'Wipe Club' in World of Warcraft. His absurd over-reacting is legendary amongst WoW players. More »

The Evolution of Dance

screen capture of YouTube. screen capture of YouTube

This dance skit by Judson Laipply is easily one of the most viral YouTube video memes of all time.  In just 6 short minutes, Judson manages to parody dozens of major dance styles of the 20th and 21st centuries.  You're guaranteed to recognize at least some of the moves in this hilarious video.  There is also a sequel video with even more dance moves. More »

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