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Kermit and Distracted Boyfriend to Dat Boi and Damn Daniel: The weird and wonderful memes of the decade

It’s been quite a journey

If there’s anything that’s defined the 2010s, it’s the rise of the meme.

From being a word that people had no idea how to pronounce (we’ll never forget Gemma Collins and her ‘me-mays’), to the purest way to comment on pop culture, politics, and everything in between, they’ve had quite a journey.

They’ve seen us through the best and worst times of the decade, and lightened up all manner of situations, making social media a slightly less terrible place.

And, really, what more is worth celebrating?

2010: Hide yo kids, hide yo wife

Before memes were even really a thing, we could always count on bizarre television interviews.

In hindsight, the situation was actually pretty disturbing, with Antoine Dodson giving an interview on local television about the attempted rape of his sister.

‘Well, obviously we have a rapist in Lincoln Park. He’s climbin’ in yo windows, he’s snatchin’ yo people up, tryin’ to rape ’em,’ he said.

‘So y’all need to hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husband cause they rapin’ err’body out here.’

It featured in countless remixes, before becoming one of the most well-known clips on the internet.

What a way to kick things off

2010: Double Rainbow

All the way across the sky!

What can beat this man, genuinely very excited about a double rainbow?

Maybe the multiple remixes, including the Gregory Brothers’ beautiful ballad. Brings a tear to our eye.

2011: Condescending Wonka

If there’s anyone you want to be looked down on from, it’s 2011’s Condescending Wonka.

Of course rising to prominence on Reddit, the shot from the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was paired with patronising captions

‘Oh, you just graduated? / you must know everything,’ was the first known example, with thousands to follow.

Safe to say we were all brought down a peg or two.

We’ve been brought down a peg

2012: Grumpy Cat

Grumpy cat rose to fame early on in the decade, with the internet star being known for the purest of reasons – just for being her grumpy self.

She brightened (or maybe darkened) many a day, with the moodiest of captions being edited onto her photo including: ‘I like the sound you make/when you shut up.’

It was a true internet success story, until tragedy struck in May 2019 and the icon left us forever.

RIP old friend.

RIP old friend

2012: Ain’t nobody got time for that

Oklahoma resident Sweet Brown became an instant celeb when she was interviewed on her local news about a fire.

She described running from her apartment without shoes when she became aware of the crisis, stating that: ‘Ain’t nobody got time for that!’

She’s not wrong.

2013: Harlem Shake

In one of the most creative memes to hit the internet, literally everyone got involved in the Harlem Shake.

The premise was easy: get your weirdest friend to start dancing (or, commonly, thrusting) to the music with everyone else continuing their daily lives and, when the beat drops, chaos descends.

Ed Sheeran and Cody Simpson were among those joining in and, real talk, we might never get the tune out of our heads.

Truly bizarre

2014: Doge

Doge pretty much began the internet’s obsession with Shiba Inus and we have no complaints.

The meme basically consisted of a picture of the beloved pup looking very baffled indeed, with captions like ‘wow,’ ‘such meme’, and ‘very good’ printed around him in rainbow Comic Sans.

Has anything ever brought more joy to the internet?

The face of pure confusion

2014: I’m in me mum’s car

Broom broom.

Is there really any context to this? We’re not quite sure.

Either way, viner Tish Simmonds is still thriving as an internet star on TikTok and it’s exactly the happy ending we needed.

No word on if she’s still in her mum’s car.

2014: But that’s none of my business

Kermit has always been an icon but The Muppets star found a whole new level of fame when he was meme-ified.

With people grabbing hold of a picture of the puppet enjoying a cold glass of iced tea, it became the best way to let everyone know you were minding your own business (but not really).

Kermit went on to become a true king of the memes and we’re not sure a frog has ever had such an impact on society.


2015: Dat Boi

But then again…

In frog-related news, Dat Boi is one of those memes that sort of just came out of nowhere.

Fondly remembered as one of the purest, least problematic memes of all time, the bizarre 3D frog can be seen happily riding his unicycle, with images declaring: ‘Here come dat boi!!! Oh s*** waddup?’

One of the purest memes

2016: Harambe

In another example of the internet making a joke out of literally anything, Harambe became one of the most used memes of 2016.

It all started when Harambe the gorilla was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure.

So…meme time?

A petition titled ‘Justice for Harambe’ began to spread and, before long, the memes followed suit.

‘Justice for Harambe’ (Picture: DonKYM)

2016: Why You Lying?

Nicholas Fraser shut down all the liars of the world when he performed his song Why The F*** You Lying? to the tune of Too Close from American R&B band Next.

The lyrics were simple but definitely powerful : ‘Why the f*** you lyin’? Why you always lyin’? Hmmmmm Oh my god stop f***ing lying!’

Performing in his back yard (we love a budget king), he had the entire world singing along to his hit.

2016: Damn Daniel

‘Damn Daniel’ originated from a high school, just with a Twitter user hyping up his pal, particularly for his choice in white Vans.

Is there anything more pure?

With his video going viral on Twitter, Josh Holz and Daniel Lara went on to appear on Ellen, with people named Daniel regretting everything from then onwards.

2017: Cash Me Outside

By 2017, memes could turn ordinary people into full-blown celebrities – and that’s exactly what happened for Danielle Bregoli .

After appearing on Dr Phil and uttering the immortal phrase ‘Cash me ousside, how bout dah?’, she embarked on a music career under her stage name Bhad Bhabie.

She went on to become the youngest female rapper to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 with her debut track These Heaux.

Who would have thought?

Bhad Bhabie had weird origins

2017: Distracted Boyfriend

Stock photos have provided the internet with countless hours of joy over the years, but maybe none more so than the distracted boyfriend.

In the original, a man appears to be ogling another woman while he’s with his girlfriend, but of course it’s been applied to every scenario under the sun.

And fans have even created full-blown stories surrounding the trio, one of our faves being the one where the two women ditch the dude and fall in love with each other.

We love a happy ending.

He’s not worth it

2017: Blinking Guy

Surely Drew Scanlon never thought that a video of him blinking would enthrall the internet for months, but here we are.

As a producer at Giant Bomb, he partook in an innocent video game with his pals, before expressing his surprise in the best way possible.

We may never know why the camera was zoomed in so close to his face, but we’re sure glad it was.

2018: Is this a pigeon?

It’s another one that came out of seemingly nowhere but it’s got to be one of our faves.

It originated from a tiny moment in a 1991 episode of the anime show The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird (because what else?), with the context being unknown by most of us.

But really, do we need it?

Is this a pigeon? combines internet ‘lol random’ humour with a genuinely baffling situation to provide one of the purest forms of meme.

We have no idea

2018: Yodelling Walmart Kid

By this point, making people famous by means of memes was common practice.

And Mason Ramsey, also known as the Yodelling Walmart Kid, is definitely no exception.

Who would have known on that fateful day that his fire yodelling would earn him a genuine music career? But hey, look at him now.

2018: Bee Movie

‘According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly.

‘Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground.

‘The bee, of course, flies anyways. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.’

2019: Baby Yoda

The Star Wars universe has given us many a gift over the years but few really come close to Baby Yoda.

The creature, which features in the Disney+ Show The Mandalorian, became one of the cutest things to ever grace the internet.

Coupled with his cup of soup, he rivalled Kermit as the sign of when someone needs to mind their own business.

And that’s not even to mention him causing rifts in the Star Wars cast (we see you John Boyega and Oscar Isaac).

A true icon (Picture: Disney+)

2019: And I oop

Jasmine Masters from RuPaul’s Drag Race had no idea what she was getting into when she suffered some discomfort down below and declared: ‘And I oop.’

But people simply ran with it.

The star appeared everywhere on the internet for a good few months, with people seemingly never getting bored of the meme.

It can express pretty much any emotion and we’re not quite sure where we’d be without it.

The ultimate surprise

Hey, look at us!

Paul Rudd’s Hot Ones interview was immediately dubbed iconic when he told host Sean Evans ‘Hey! Look at us!’

Fans applied it to every and all situations and it immediately became the right response when you’re feeling that little bit proud of yourself and your pals.

Look at us, guys. Look at us.

2019: I don’t know who this man is

Keke Palmer provided nothing but hilarity when she was asked if she thought True Jackson, VP was a better vice president than Dick Cheney.

As for her response? Indescribable.

‘I don’t know who this man is,’ she declared. ‘I mean, he could be walking down the street, I wouldn’t know a thing. Sorry to this man.’

A power move if ever we saw one.

MORE: Christmas gifts inspired by 2019’s biggest memes to get for your always online pal

MORE: Baby Yoda sipping soup wins meme of the year and we’ll hear no more on the matter


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