According to Merium-Webster Dictionary, a meme is "defined as an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." Internet memes have taken over the internet and captured the hearts of millions of nerds all over the world. With their natural evolution over time, they have even seemed to have acquired sentience, with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins stating that "memes should be considered as living structures, not just metaphorically." Memes, to put it simply, are a big deal.
I'm sure we can all agree that 2015 was a great year for memes. It may have even been the dankest year ever for memes. These are my picks for the five most powerful memes of 2015, based on meticulous empirical analysis compiled from various sources.
5. Guy Fieri.
Tumblr’s obsession with Guy Fieri is simultaneously baffling and amusing. This passionate food lover captures the hearts of thousands of nerds with his critically-acclaimed TV show, "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives." In every episode he takes you to Flavor Town, which is apparently everywhere. He never ceases to treat everyone well, with his always positive and often suggestive comments. He also kind of looks like the singer from Smash Mouth and Violent J from Insane Clown Posse.
4. Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams.
Included in this spot are the closely related “Bush did 9/11” meme, along with the general Illuminati memes. Satirizing obnoxious conspiracy theories is always fun. It’s glorious how exploitable these phrases are. Anything with even the slightest triangle shape --or even none at all, with a crude drawing of one overlaid -- is sure to fall victim at some point to this wide-spread meme.
3. Just do it.
Shia LaBeouf is a fascinating man. Honestly, he could be considered a very successful meme. His magnum opus of memetic creations is decidedly his aggressive motivational speech he kindly gave to us at no charge. My favorite thing about the video is the fact that he performs in front of a blank green screen, allowing internet nerds to easily edit and exploit the original footage to create even more memes. Don’t let your memes be dreams.
2. SpongeBob Squarepants movie end speech.
This is one meme you may not recall right away. It was somewhat popular on Reddit for a very short period of time, before getting overshadowed by the Surprised Patrick meme, which was from the same movie, making the finding of this meme rather difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Surprised Patrick meme; it just pales in comparison to the immense exploitability of the end speech. I just wish there was a bit more variety, but with a relatively lesser-known meme like this I’m not surprised.
1. Rare Pepe.
There really is no competition in the meme universe for Pepe. He is by far the greatest thing to ever happen to the internet. He is profound in his realistic depictions of human emotions: sometimes he is sad, sometimes he is angry, and other times he is mischievous. He has demonstrated his tolerance, branching off into numerous fandoms including Pokemon, Insane Clown Posse, Satanism, bees, and more. The concept of rareness has also made a profound impact of the internet community by creating a subtle, yet powerful, critique of our oppressive capitalist and consumerist culture.