With 2019 drawing to a close, Washington Post reporter Gene Park posed a simple question that kicked off a furious debate online: “What is the meme of the decade?”
what is the “Meme of the Decade”
— Gene Park (@GenePark) November 13, 2019
Memes are near and dear to people’s hearts, a shorthand for expressing an emotion or reaction without using clumsy old words. As for which meme has been the best or most dominant over the past ten years, that’s up for discussion. There were some heavy hitters that led the pack of responses and which will surprise nobody who’s been online or extremely online in recent years and some others that may surprise you.
Here are the top contenders for “Meme of the Decade.”
1. Distracted Boyfriend
— Distracted Boyfriend (@DistractedBoyfd) August 26, 2017
Perhaps the most ubiquitous and flexible meme of recent years “Distracted Boyfriend” is the go-to meme for people who prefer one thing to another thing, a group that includes every human alive. Needless to say, this meme has endless applications and has taken on too many forms to count.
2. This Is Fine
A snippet from a larger comic by KC Green, few memes capture the chaos and helplessness of our current hyper frenetic age better than the “This Is Fine Dog.” Sometimes when the world is disintegrating around us, denial is all we have left.
3. Woman Yelling At Cat
— Jake Iverson (@jakeiverson57) November 13, 2019
A fairly recent meme, “Woman Yelling At Cat” is still a strong contender as it’s been absolutely everywhere lately and seems to encapsulate the overheated nature of online debate quite well. Plus people love that cat.
4. Spider-Man Pointing
— Chi3f #P5R (@Chi3fster) November 13, 2019
There’s perhaps no better meme for calling out hypocrisy than “Spider-Man Pointing.” So it makes the list.
5. Galaxy Brain
Sometimes things get taken to their logical conclusion and sometimes they get taken to a place far beyond that. For those times (and for when you want to imply that someone is a big ole’ dum dum) there’s the Galaxy Brain GIF.
6. Blinking White Guy
This ever-present meme about confusion in a confused world is also a strong contender for meme of the decade. Stuff’s messed up and nothing makes sense. And Blinking White Guy is here to feel that confusion with you.
7. Confused Nick Young
Doge has lasted longer and been revived in so many forms that I’d have to give it to her (the dog). pic.twitter.com/n3zV7p9ZbJ
— Burp (@DavidKoggan) November 13, 2019
Doge was such a persistent meme in the early 2010s that it even got its own cryptocurrency. Doge’s multiple lines of text also set the tone for how many later memes would communicate different ideas. Sure it’s old now, but it had real staying power, and for that it deserves a spot on the list.
9. Roll Safe
The go-to meme for when someone thinks they’re being clever but really aren’t. We all need some lifehacks in our lives, whether they work or not.
10. Is This A Pigeon?
The “Is this a pigeon?” meme in which a man (actually an android) confuses a butterfly for a pigeon is also a solid choice when mocking someone online.