Top 5 memes of 2014: Leo, Sochi, RKOs, World Cup and water charges

28 Dec 2014

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No Oscar for Leo meme via Know Your Meme

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Once again we had a year of global (and local) events and discussions prompting new memes and side-splitting online content that made the internet a funnier place.

5. #SochiProblems

As members of the media descended upon the Russian city of Sochi for the XXII Winter Olympics, it was clear that concerns about the location’s readiness for the international event were well-founded. The hashtag #SochiProblems inspired a new Twitter account that, after only three days, attracted more than 200,000 followers.

@SochiProblems tracked the broken, busted and baffling things journalists encountered while covering the Winter Olympics, though a lack of attribution in some cases meant that the account was best enjoyed with a side of scepticism.

Sochi Problems meme

Sochi Problems meme

Sochi Problems meme

Sochi Problems meme

Of course, this wasn’t the only meme to be spawned by the 2014 Winter Olympics, which also gave us Ashley Wagner’s anger, the Shoshi Games for fans of Girls, and ‘Quinning’, the practice of resolving problems through excessive force, inspired by this tweet from US Olympic bobsledder Johnny Quinn.

4. Water charges

The introduction of water charges in Ireland has been an issue of much consternation throughout 2014. But with controversy comes a touch of comedy and, in true Irish style, residents found a way to laugh through the tears (which will henceforth be stowed away in a reservoir).

Water charges meme

Water charges meme

Water charges meme

3. FIFA World Cup 2014

There’s nothing like an international competitive event to inspire sheer hordes of memes, tonnes of trends and rampant online chatter.

Before the World Cup games had even begun, the meme machine was whirring into action and within one week the group stages had already created six new internet sensations, only for another to arise during the quarter-finals. Then came Brazil’s 7-1 annihilation at the hands of Germany in the semi-finals, prompting many a meme and reaction GIF

World cup meme

World cup meme

World cup meme

World cup meme

World cup meme

World cup meme

2. No Oscar for Leo

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio may have lost out on an Academy Award for his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street this year, but he’s a winner when it comes to inspiring memes on the subject.

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

No Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio meme

1. RKO out of nowhere

Sometimes a viral video sparks a trend of imitators (remember the Harlem Shake?) and, this year, a new video-based meme was born with WWE wrestler Randy Orton running amok across YouTube, Facebook and Vine, taking anyone and everyone down with his signature move, the RKO – out of nowhere! It’s silly, but it works every time.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com