This Year In Memes
Start writing a post

Memes. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Well, sort of. Personally, I could definitely live without the Minion memes the over 50 crowd continuously shares on my Facebook feed, but I digress.

As popular sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Vine reached record-setting numbers of active users in 2015, memes were spread around faster than the common cold in a public elementary school. Even the most well versed pop culture and Internet connoisseurs had the potential to feel lost amongst the continuous stream of reaction photos, buzzwords, and cultural catch phrases.

Whether you’re a meme queen or you’re new to the game, as 2015 comes to a close, consider this your guide to all of the references you may have missed over the last 365 days, month by month. Starting with…

January – Left Shark

Technically, this meme came on the scene on the tail end – pun intended – of January, but it had such a worldwide presence that the month could be defined by no other. During Katy Perry’s live Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance of “Teenage Dream,” an anonymous dancer dressed up as a shark caught a quick case of nerves and forwent any planned choreography. Instead, Left Shark danced awkwardly to the beat of their own drum, and subsequently, into the hearts of Internet users across the globe. BuzzFeed created a quiz titled “Which Katy Perry Halftime Show Shark Are You?” which sealed Left Shark’s launch to fame, and the rest is history.

February – #TheDress

If Shakespeare was alive in 2015, the Montagues would have seen blue and black, and the Capulets would swear up and down that they saw white and gold. It was the meme heard ‘round the world. It was a true fashion emergency. This meme’s inception came on February 25 when Tumblr user Swiked posted the famous photo, asking other users to identify the dress’s colors. Again, BuzzFeed caught hold of the post, which was up to 400,000 notes in less than 48 hours, and World War III officially began. To be honest, I’m still not fully convinced that we as a culture are over it.

It’s black and blue, okay?

March – Iggy Azalea Rapping (#StopIggy2015)

Whether you love Iggy Azalea, hate Iggy Azalea, or just don’t care, you’ve got to give it to this meme. Vine user Damn Tommy posted the six-second clip of Iggy’s “D.R.U.G.S.” performance on March 16, and in two weeks, it received over 22 million views, 34,000 Revines, and 75,000 likes. What Iggy is saying – I couldn’t tell you. Maybe 2016 will be the year that we discover the Rosetta Stone that includes the language she was speaking.

April – Let’s McFreaking Lose It

April was a slow month for memes. A meme drought, if you will. However, even in the Meme Famine of April 2015, Ronald McDonald was there to provide a shining beacon of hope. Sort of.

Vine user Krath posted a series of pranks on his account back in February, including one clip of him dressed as Ronald McDonald yelling the now-famous “Let’s McFreaking lose it!” catchphrase in front of several shocked McDonald’s patrons. The meme didn’t catch much attention until Tumblr got ahold of it in April, and to this day, I’m still questioning everything I thought I knew about fast food chain restaurants.

May – Just Do It

It’s the end of the semester, finals are approaching fast, and you’re devoid of all motivation. What better way to get whipped into shape than by having Shia LeBeouf screaming inspirational phrases at you in front of a green screen, complete with weirdly vivid hand gestures and grunts? This meme was born on May 27 and garnered 1.4 million views in less than five days. Nothing like a little motivational speaking.

June – What Are Those?

If I had to pick a number one meme of the year, without a doubt, this would be it. Stemming from a Vine posted by A-RODney King, the coined catch phrase quickly spawned tons of parodies and remixes pulling in other references, from Jurassic World to Spongebob to a Q&A by Michael Jordan. It was also one of the longest lasting memes, with the original Vine continuing to pull in views throughout the remainder of the year.

July – Breadstick Meme

Ever had an awful first date? So awful that you just want to leave, but the food is too good, so you stick it out? Tumblr user chrisprattsgf, the creator of the breadsticks meme, knows how you feel. According to Know Your Meme, this joke is a collection of “mock dinner date conversations in which a person abruptly leaves the table while stuffing complimentary breadsticks into their purse after hearing their date say something offensive.” The meme covered all kinds of topics, from being a cat or dog person to the current state of feminism.

August – Netflix And Chill

One of the typically defining moments for the end of a meme comes when corporations and large media outlets acknowledge its existence. For Netflix and chill, the exact opposite happened. Netflix and chill, which is a slang term for inviting someone over for sexual purposes under the guise of binge-watching television, came on the scene around April 2015 and blew up by August of the same year. Netflix themselves acknowledged the term, only encouraging its popularity.

September – Why You Always Lyin’

The year wouldn’t be complete without at least one parody song worthy of a Grammy. 2015’s was “Why You Always Lyin’” by Nicholas Fraser; a Vine clip of the music video he made to accompany the song was reposted with the caption “When she say [sic] she got a cute friend for you”, which has been looped over 21 million times since its creation in September. Remixes and parodies of the parody have since exploded all over the Internet, making it one of the most easily accessible memes of the year.

October – Poot Lovato

Without a doubt, 2015’s greatest breakout star was none other than Poot Lovato herself. Legend has it that Poot is the long lost sister of singer Demi Lovato, and that she hadn’t been outside before the day that photo was snapped on October 11.

Or, it’s just an unflattering photo of Demi at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance in London.

Or, maybe that’s what Demi wants you to think. We’ll let you decide.

November – "Hotline Bling"

2015 was hip-hop artist Drake’s year; whether he was starting Twitter wars with fellow rapper Meek Mill or dropping singles, all eyes were on him. After “Hotline Bling” dropped in July, everyone was highly anticipating the release of the video. And Drake certainly delivered, though not in the way any of us expected. The most memorable part of the music video for “Hotline Bling” was Drake’s dancing; it was a cross between your dad after spending too much time at the open bar of your cousin’s wedding and something weirdly on point. Obviously, it was the perfect storm for a meme. Vine and Twitter remixes of the video, including Drake making pizza, playing Wii tennis, and dancing to meringue music blew up across the Internet, making the video one of the most unforgettable moments of the year.

December – "Hello"

If Drake was the king of the music scene in 2015, Adele was the queen. While she was quiet for most of the year, she exploded back onto the scene as soon as the teaser for her song “Hello” was released on The X Factor back in October. When the actual video for the track was released on Adele’s YouTube, it quickly racked up 27.7 million views in 24 hours, breaking the Vevo record held previously by Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” Parodies, featuring everyone from YouTube creators to celebrities like James Cordon and Ellen DeGeneres, continue to circulate as the year wraps up.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

77593

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1562611

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

973983
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

898397
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

584491
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

372318
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

491336

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments