Memes are my favourite way to start the day. Every morning, I hurriedly open my Instagram in the hopes that many of my like-minded friends will have tagged me in a ridiculous number of memes found as they traversed across the magical wonderland that is the Internet.
This year, meme makers really stepped up their game as competition rose to an unprecedented level. The meme business is no longer just a trivial pursuit—some meme accounts are amongst the most influential on social media, and there’s real money to be made.
Of course, potential success also means over-saturation, and while some of 2016’s memes should never have seen the light of day, others will live on in the hearts and minds of their admirers forever.
It was a crazy year in the world of internet slang, and whilst it’s tough to whittle it down to just a handful, here’s the top 5 most hilarious and wildly appropriated memes of the last 12 months.
Damn Daniel pic.twitter.com/Va10hmpePO
— Joshua Holz (@Josholzz) February 16, 2016
Josh Holz debuted the first ‘Damn Daniel’ video on his Twitter in March this year, and it was embraced with open arms and splitting sides. The catchphrase spread like wildfire, and Vans enjoyed one hell of a free marketing campaign thanks to the line “Back at it again with the white Vans.”
A personal favourite, Kermit the frog found fame this year in captioned screenshots talking with his enemy Constantine who is dressed as a Sith Lord from Star Wars. Evil Kermit makes good Kermit do bad, bad things.
Harambre was the poor silverback gorilla that was shot dead at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure in May. The world erupted in outrage that the gorilla lost his life due to the perceived ineptitude of the kids’ parents, and the In Meme-oriams came rolling in.
OBAMA / BIDEN
The Jobama meme took on a life of its own after Trump was elected president, with many fans of the dynamic duo that is Barack Obama and Joe Biden bidding them farewell the only way they know how—by inventing hilarious fake conversations immortalized forever in meme.
NAME A MORE DYNAMIC DUO
Some misguided soul known only by her Twitter handle @negansvoid posted a photo of two other misguided souls known as Kylie and Kendall Jenner, paired with the caption “Name a more iconic duo.. I’ll wait.” The reaction was swift and severe, with thousands of suggestions flowing in, like Patty and Selma, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, and The Parent Trap Twins. Still, nothing beats the genius who responded with a single image of Ed Norton in Fight Club.