As editor of The Prompt, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks from some of the esteemed writers that have graced our webpages over the years. This week, I’m stealing from one of the greats: Dr. Power Rankings, DDS. The one and only, Mike Stiriti, who put the ‘rank’ in power rankings.
This week, we’re ranking all the animated GIF-type things that matter. Now, let’s start the show.
Guys, I’m really excited about this list. So excited, in fact, that I’m starting it off with the absolute best GIF of all time. It’s the bottom of the 9th inning, in what context clues suggest is probably a Marlins game. Two outs. Down a run with a runner on second. And stepping to the plate is someone not nearly as ready as this incredible creature in the stands.
This little pipsqueak is PUMPED, bro. Standing on her mama’s lap, wearing a bright-ass yellow jacket, hair in pigtails, and 96 percent of the way done with her cotton candy, she cannot contain herself. The bite, the head-twist, the hand-wringing, and finally—the eyes bugging out of her skull. This little maniac is Christmas morning, directly to your veins.
Did someone double-cross you? Did you just realize that Jughead from Riverdale is the kid from Big Daddy? Are you absolutely shook? When that moment of realization takes you over, grab your chin, cross your arms, and open your mouth as the camera pans right. Of all the incredible moments and scenes in The Wire, none of them convert to GIF form quite like when Stringer Bell tells Wee Bey that Kima was a cop.
Someone just suggested putting vegetables in the macaroni and cheese. It’s the worst idea. You’re infuriated. You’re hurt. You’re confused. And you’re not going quietly.
As a rule, I think GIFs are better when they don’t have words layered on top of them. I prefer to keep it pure and let the animated image be worth a thousand words. But the longform all caps NOOOOOOOO, which runs off the page and perfectly captures the feeling of dread, actually adds to the GIF. For those times when you need to convey exactly what a bad idea something is, you can look to legendary Regional Manager, Michael Scott. Bad news, Michael: Toby’s coming back. It’s your nightmare.
Nothing says, Man, I wouldn’t if I were you, quite like zooming in on my guy with the cubic zirconia boulder earrings. Holding a Solo Cup and dressed as fresh as the day is long, you can tell he was just there to kick it. He was just chilling. Just trying to have a good time. Then somebody said something stupid, and now shit is about to pop off. You see the four men standing behind him? Do they look like they put up with any bullshit? I don’t think so. To be honest, they look tough to upset, but somebody might have just pushed the right button and my dude in the green shirt, jiggling his keys in his pocket, does not seem amused.
Ah, the five stages of kombucha. Is it terrible? Is it delicious? Is it worth it for the alleged positive impact on your gut health? We’re all pretty confused. Especially this very expressive young lady, whose face is the perfect way to capture your reaction to a mediocre date, a strange gift from Aunt Mildred, or when someone asks whether you like Kanye’s gospel album.
It’s simple. It’s to the point. And with three taps to the temple and a knowing smile, there’s no mistaking that this gentleman is sharp as a tack. With his gold chain and watch, pleather shirt, and line shaved into his hair, Smarty Jones over here is representing early 90s fashion, but this scene was shot in 2016. A timeless classic.
I don’t think this GIF gets enough circulation. When trying to express our sadness in GIF form, we get a lot of the Dawson Leary crying face, distraught toddlers, and the tweenager watching Northwestern lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Those are not only unoriginal—they’re just not good enough.
In a time (and a league) where toxic masculinity reigns supreme, it feels good to let it out. And no one has ever cried like Knowshon Moreno while listening to the national anthem. Holy wow. Get out your buckets. Because with just two tears, Moreno could have solved California’s wildfire crisis.
Did your friend just make a good point? Does it make you want to point aggressively and shout, “YES!” in your formalwear? Do you want to upstage J.Lo? Great news. Meryl Streep, who practically lives at the Oscars, has the perfect GIF for you.
Talk about a shock and awe campaign. You took no prisoners. You had no mercy. You torched the whole village. And you’re not even sorry.
Sometimes you drop a verbal assault that leaves no doubt who is the King of Pride Rock. You did it. Now stand there confidently, stare down the camera, and let the people rejoice. We are all witness.
Will you be ready when your number is called? With your face to the wind and a bald eagle at your back, there is no equivocation: ONE HUNNIT. Ilana Glazer is one of the best physical comedians this great nation has ever seen, and with her lip snarl and exaggerated salute, she leaves no doubt. Your girl is up for the challenge.
Also Receiving Votes:
Ron Swanson on Snake Juice
White Guy Can’t Believe What He Just Heard
Adorably Confused Nick Young