Memes, for better or worse, were there through all the ups and downs of 2022. Sometimes they made us cringe. Other times they helped us get through the chaotic year of firsts. But most of the time, they kept the «very online» people entertained.
This was a year in which TikTok once again demonstrated its power in terms of where some of the most prolific memes are born, said Don Caldwell, editor-in-chief of the database. know your meme.
«In the early days of TikTok, the memes on there were focused on trends and dance trends… things that didn’t necessarily match up with the memes you’d find on other platforms,» Caldwell said. «This year was different.»
How? Memes on the platform «got a lot weirder,» she said, citing Quandale Dingle, a meme about a fictional football player, as an example (you can read more about his weirdness at Know Your Meme). database).
But TikTok wasn’t the only platform where memes (weird, random, or just plain funny) exploded. You can also find them on Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s NBC News’ roundup of the 10 most notable memes of 2022.
The meme, which began on Twitter in early 2022, depicts President Joe Biden as a laser-eyed edge lord. Or, how do you know your meme describes is a «bolder version» of the president.
It was inspired by the far-right call «Let’s Go Brandon,» a thinly veiled indirect attack on the president. It was initially used, mostly by conservatives, in a «highly tongue-in-cheek» manner, according to Know Your Meme, «with the memes mostly joking about Biden’s perceived senility.»
However, it has become more of an «appreciation of Joe Biden and the accomplishments of his administration,» Know Your Meme said.
By August, it was widely shared by Democrats, including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty even tweeted the memes that month.
9. ‘She/he is a 10 but …’
It was the year of giving people their true rating, and the «she/he is a 10 but…» memes it was the internet’s way of determining if someone could date someone.
The trend originated on TikTok in May and gained more traction on Twitter after several tweets went viral on June 18, according to know your meme.
Rate the imaginary lovers on a scale of 1-10 based on their attractiveness before presenting negative or positive traits that might affect their scores.
8. ‘Honk shoo mimimi’
A man in a nightgown and a pointed cap. Sleepytime tea bear. Getting some sleep was on many people’s minds in 2022, as the meme derived from the sound of people snoring in old cartoons suggests.
The “honk shoo” and “honk mimimi” meme started appearing in tweets in late 2021, but took off in 2022, with variations like being a “honk shoo” or “honk mimimi” girl or putting “honk shoo mimimi” on your List of things to do.
7.’A Negroni … sbagliato … with Prosecco in that’
A viral videoPosted to social media by HBO in late September, it features «House of the Dragon» actress Emma D’Arcy sharing her favorite cocktail in an interview with co-star Olivia Cooke.
D’Arcy’s pronunciation of his favorite cocktail had people connecting passing out.
No other drink has made the internet so thirsty, perhaps to the point detriment waiters everywhere.
6. ‘Euphoria’ meme: ‘You better be kidding’
Every year we receive some exploitableor easily changeable, memes that can be used in any reactive context.
This one from HBO’s «Euphoria,» in which Maddie (Alexa Demie) criticizes Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) for her outfit, was the perfect answer to the internet’s most ridiculous questions and scenarios.
The show, which first aired in June 2019, has been a hit for HBO. The memes have only made it more popular, some experts and viewers said this year.
5. ‘Girl explaining’
The «girl explaining» meme actually started going viral in 2019 in Spanish-speaking circles, according to know your meme. The girl in the image is Denise “Denu” Sánchez, who told Know Your Meme that the photo of her is of her and her then-boyfriend at a club in Argentina. They have since separated.
The image looks as if Sanchez is yelling over loud club music to say something to her then-boyfriend, which is why people who used the meme format wrote in all caps.
Whether it’s explaining what is the Inflation Reduction Act or why the Brooklyn Library is «free ticket”, the loudest memes of 2022 were transmitted through the “girl explaining”.
4. ‘Homelander receives applause’
At the end of the third season of Amazon’s «The Boys,» the secretly villainous superhero Homelander breaks character and shoots his laser eyes at a protester, killing him in front of a large crowd. Homelander is shocked, but the crowd cheers and his horrified look turns into a victorious smile and laughter.
Homelander’s reaction was taken out of context and made into a huge meme reaction, usually to show that someone expecting a lot of backlash got a surprisingly positive or neutral reaction.
The timing, as much of Homelander’s character appears to be, is a nod to Donald Trump’s famous 2016 campaign line that he could «stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone» and not «lose any voters.» . It’s a fitting tribute to the spirit of the times, which has been translated into humor through memes like Homelander.
3. ‘Morbius’/’It’s time for Morbin’
In 2022, society learned that it was not, in fact, Morbin’s time.
«Morbius,» a critically panned film starring Jared Leto, was released in April. While not a box office success, the film’s memes, as well as the «It’s Morbin Time» sentiment, went so viral that Sony Pictures re-released it in a limited number of theaters in June. But it bombed again.
Leto himself leaned into the meme. In June, he aware a video of himself reading what appeared to be a fake script titled «Morbius 2: It’s Morbin’ Time».
But with the post came the unofficial death of the meme. This time, perhaps, without the possibility of vampire resurrection.
2. ‘It’s corn!’
It is very likely that you have heard at least one person in your life declare «it’s corn!» That’s because the corn kid, a 7-year-old boy named Tariq, became one of the most viral memes of the year. In an interview with the YouTube channel Recess Therapy, Tariq was asked about the corn on the cob. corn he was eating (or «big lump with knobs,» as he described it). Tariq’s unbridled joy and youthful wonder at describing what many consider to be a mundane object captivated the internet.
“For me, I really like corn,” Tariq says in the original clip. He later adds: «When I tried it with butter, everything changed!»
In one of his most quoted lines, he said, “I mean, look at this thing. … I cannot imagine a more beautiful thing”.
The interview was turned into a song by the YouTube group Schmoyoho. The video has been viewed more than 85 million times and the audio has been used in 1.4 million posts on TikTok.
Tariq became a celebrity in his own right, even being named a South Dakota corn ambassador, or «corn-bassador.»
1. ‘My money doesn’t move, it folds’
A common theme this year was that anything could become a bop.
Prior to «Corn Kid», a short video of documentarian Louis Theroux talking to Amelia Dimoldenberg on the «Chicken Shop Date» web series went viral and was given the song treatment.
The clip, which was uploaded to YouTube in February, was remixed by TikTokers. @dukeandjones and it became a song. The song centers around a part of the clip in which Dimoldenberg asks Theroux if he remembers a rap he wrote and performed on an episode of BBC 2’s «Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends».
«My Money Don’t Jiggle Jiggle, It Folds» has been viewed on the @dukeandjones TikTok account more than 80 million times and used in more than 6.5 million posts. As it became a viral sensation, the song became a dance trend, was used in animations, and was even shared by Dimoldenberg herself.
Theroux too showed up in a video with @dukeandjones dancing to the beat.