Ermahgerd, memes! A retrospective on this year’s internet quirks and curios

28 Dec 2012166 Shares

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Image from 'Toy Shining' by Kyle Lambert

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It seems 2012 was the year memes went mainstream. Helped largely by the rise of social media and the fact most of us now have an online presence, you’d be hard pushed to find someone who didn’t come across at least one of this year’s memes, mash-ups, viral hits or image macros. We’ve rounded up the best memes of 2012 for you to look back on and laugh at what a long, strange trip it’s been. So, go on, pop the kettle on and let’s have a giggle.

Texts From Hillary

If the 2012 US election is anything to go by, politics and memes go hand in hand. But before unemployed Big Bird, binders full of women and sassy Obama, there was Texts From Hillary, a short-lived single-topic blog ruminating on what kind of texts Hillary Rodham Clinton would send.

Texts From Hillary

Texts From Hillary

Texts From Hillary

Texts From Hillary

Texts From Hillary

The blog lasted just one week and after 32 posts, 83,000 Facebook shares, 8,400 Twitter followers, more than 45,000 Tumblr followers, and a meeting with Clinton herself, creators Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe called it a day – but not before publishing a submission from their inspiration.

Texts From Hillary

Call Me Maybe

But while Smith and Lambe knew when to quit while they were ahead, some memes continued way beyond their peak. Cue, Call Me Maybe. This catchy pop song was parodied to the point of exhaustion. It’s when a meme starts showing up on business cards that you know it has peaked.

Call Me Maybe

Some tributes, however, were better than others.

 

As you can tell, some of us got pretty tired of this one doing the rounds.

Call Me Maybe

Shit Girls Say

Speaking of memes getting out of control, rumour has it that Shit Girls Say (which in itself is derivative of the successful Shit My Dad Says) has 700 imitators.

 

The original web series generated a never-ending string of Shit People Say videos, some just as funny and some borderline racist. While Shit Girls Say has been critiqued for walking a fine line between humour and sexism, we like to think the series and some of its better copycats are just poking fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texts from Dog

Texts from Dog started out as a single-topic blog documenting text conversations between UK-based blogger October Jones and his pet bulldog. No, really.

Texts from Dog Texts from Dog

Texts from Dog Texts from Dog

The popular text series resulted in a newly released book and a cartoon series.

 

Dogshaming

Having a dog is wonderful, but sometimes these wonderful creatures will break your heart, and for that, there’s Dogshaming.

Dogshaming

Dogshaming

Dogshaming

Dogshaming

Dogshaming

Dogshaming

Angelina Jolie’s leg

Actress Angeline Jolie walked the Oscars red carpet this year in a thigh-high split gown, posed ridiculously, and thus, legbombing was born.

Angelina Jolie's leg

Angelina Jolie's leg Angelina Jolie's leg

Angelina Jolie's leg

Angelina Jolie's leg

Angelina Jolie's leg

The Descendants co-writer Jim Rash (you may recognise him as Dean Pelton from Community) obviously knew on the night that a meme star was born and re-enacted the pose on accepting his Oscar – handed to him by Jolie herself. What a legend!

Angelina Jolie's leg

McKayla Is Not Impressed

While we covered the memes of the London 2012 Olympic Games quite extensively, somehow we forgot to included McKayla Is Not Impressed. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney (Team USA) took silver in the women’s vault and was pictured looking less than pleased with second place when on the podium.

McKayla is Not Impressed

As it turns out, McKayla is not impressed by a lot of things.

McKayla is Not Impressed

McKayla is Not Impressed

McKayla is Not Impressed

McKayla is Not Impressed

McKayla is Not Impressed

And when she met her president, neither were too impressed.

McKayla is Not Impressed

Toy Shining

From following Lee Unkrich on Twitter, visual artist Kyle Lambert learned of the Toy Story 3 director’s love for Stanley Kubrick and The Shining. This inspired him to create a 25-panel storyboard mash-up on an iPad using the Brushes app. And we are all grateful that he did.

Toy Shining by Kyle Lambert

Toy Shining by Kyle Lambert

Toy Shining by Kyle Lambert

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Seriously, who looks this good running a marathon? Zeddie Little, that’s who.

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

This meme also inspired the lesser-spotted ridiculously photogenic Syrian rebel…

Ridiculously Photogenic Syrian Rebel

… and a ridiculously photogenic horse.

Ridiculously Photogenic Horse

Ermahgerd

‘Ermahgerd!’ is a phonetic exaggeration of how you might say ‘Oh my god!’ if you were wearing a retainer and/or making a silly face. It was inspired by this young lady, who really, really likes Goosebumps books.

Ermahgerd Ermahgerd Ermahgerd

Then lots of people joined in on the act.

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

And there was a music video.

 

Even animals couldn’t resist getting overly excited.

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

Ermahgerd

I can honestly say nothing has made me sound so ridiculous and laugh so hard since Allie Brosh’s Spaghatta Nadle.

Bad Joke Eel

Did you ever notice eels always look like they’re waiting for you to react to a terrible joke?

Bad Joke Eel Bad Joke Eel

Bad Joke Eel Bad Joke Eel

Bad Joke Eel Bad Joke Eel

I Should Buy a Boat Cat

This sophisticated cat, from Bjork’s Triumph of the Heart music video, has just realised something important.

I Should Buy a Boat Cat

Frankly, the best use of this meme was to explain the existence of Ikea Monkey.

I Should Buy a Boat Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard (short for Tardar Sauce) can’t help how his face looks, but he can entertain millions with it.

Tard the Grumpy Cat Tard the Grumpy Cat Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Also, have you noticed that he kind of looks like Jeremy Renner?

Tard the Grumpy Cat

Tard the Grumpy Cat

The Irish contingent

Of course, I couldn’t end this list without a shout-out to some quintessentially Irish videos, GIFs and images that circulated the web in 2012. First there were the chat-show audience members who really made an effort to stand out when the camera was on them.

This guy was in the audience of The Saturday Night Show.

 

While this guy from the audience of The Late Late Show reacts with less flair and more death stare.

The Late Late Show audience member

And then there’s the ‘Down with this sort of thing/Careful now’ protest, which has been an Irish tradition ever since Father Ted hit our screens and this year travelled to Poznan for Euro 2012.

Down with this sort of thing, Poznan

Image via Duncan Hull on Flickr

The Evil Toddler image macro also got an Irish twist.

Evil Toddler from Ireland

And we’ll end with an optical illusion courtesy of the diaspora.

Irish girl sunbathing

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com