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We all know the internet is a garbage vacuum. From conspiracy theories to Facebook rants to comment threads to fake news, there’s a lot to weed out before getting to the good stuff. Like memes, the diamonds in the rough of internet culture. And so to you, the distracted, browbeaten reader of the web, I present my picks for the best, funniest memes of 2016. #ForTheTeens

Me at the Beginning of 2016 vs. Me at the End of 2016

Look, 2016 was a shitshow. We started the year on a high, coming off the heels of the release of The Force Awakens, but then David Bowie and Prince died, setting the tone for the year, and here we are. The “beginning/end” memes use a variety of before and after pictures, giving everyone the opportunity to pull out and display their favorite obscure references.

2017, no pressure, but WE NEED YOU TO BE GOOD. I want the meme to reverse, and do pictures of Princess Mia from The Princess Diaries with frizzy hair, all sad for “me at the beginning of 2017” and then post-makeover Mia for “me at the end of 2017.”

Kermit vs. Kermit

Everyone faces inner turmoil. The Kermit vs. Kermit meme perfectly displayed your monologue when faced with a bad decision, or a decision you know you are going to make that is bad for you anyways. You are your own worst enemy, and Kermit, the OG frog of memes, provided the ideal demonstration of your bad calls that were so classically you.

Name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

I’m not super hot on the origins of this meme: mocking a teen girl who tweeted the caption with a photo of Kendall and Kylie. In Teen Girl World™, there is not a more iconic duo. We should not disparage Teen Girl Culture™. However, the statement itself is PREPOSTEROUS. OF COURSE there are more iconic duos than THE YOUNGEST of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Again, this meme gave people the opportunity to showcase their pop culture knowledge, and to get as obscure and random as possible. I love it. If there is a better meme to showcase personalization, I’ll wait.

Daaaamn Daniel

Only including this to share the Jurassic Park remake.

Arthur’s Fist

A meme about internalized rage using a classic children’s character? SIGN ME UP. The Arthur meme was versatile, recognizable, and easily explainable. All key ingredients to a classic meme.

Lush Bath Bombs

RIP Vine, gone too soon. The Lush Bath Bomb is a little known Vine meme that never broke into mainstream, and has been notably absent on other ‘Best Of’ lists. The premise of the meme is someone is testing a Lush Bath Bomb, but instead throws a random object into a bathtub. The best uses of this meme involve live animals. I still laugh out loud at these.


memes of 2016

More like Haram-bae.

How much do I love Harambe? As much as a person could love a meme about a murdered gorilla. These memes were such offensive, shameful capitalizations on a real tragedy that the internet grabbed hold of and told each other, “It’s OK to laugh at this.” This meme even provoked offline responses, causing a lot of issues for the Cincinnati Zoo. So, to the Cincinnati Zoo, I apologize for laughing at your plight. As a person whose primary method of coping is inappropriate laughter, the Harambe meme provided an outlet for people like me, who are unable to deal with our feelings.

As we cast 2016 off on a burning funeral pyre, may we remember the memes the year brought us, and may we forget literally everything else. Please?

What did we miss? What were some of your favorite memes from 2016?

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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