Time was you would open an article like this by saying “if 2009 was the year of anything, it was the meme”, explain what a ‘meme’ was, and make a real funny joke of it that anyone could regard something as inconsequential and fundamentally not-serious as a meme being anywhere near deserving of an annual retrospect.
Anyway, it’s 2017 now and memes have enmeshed themselves so deeply within the fabric of culture that you’ve decided to click this article instead of one of our other End of Year roundups about worthy pursuits like music, films and books. Imagine cultivating an interest in something beyond memes. It’s hard, isn’t it? Memes are the prism by which you make sense of life now, your rosetta stone for reality. You can’t parse the news unless it’s been poured through the great big meme sieve of online and garnished with a handful of memes which refer to the original memes.
And it’s so damn moreish. You are a greedy piglet suckling at the teat of the world wide web, and you won’t stop until you’ve guzzled the well dry. There’s a meme drought coming, mark my words, because we’re burning through them faster than I can mix my metaphors. That means we should take stock while we still can. Here were the memes to remember from 2017, in order of artistic merit.
Homeboy's Gonna Get It
Winona Ryder's SAG Award Reaction
This is Just to Say
He Protec but He Also Attac
The Floor Is
Man's Not Hot/The Ting Goes...
Cracking a Cold One Open With the Boys
One Thicc Bih
Monkey Getting A Haircut
bröther may i have some öats
I Would Love it if We Beat Them
White Guy Blinking/Drew Scanlon Reaction
This was a very good meme as it allowed you to couch your actual opinions inside a joke so people couldn’t boot off at them. For instance, you could outright say people who liked Sam Diss were pea-brained idiots, and that the more intellectually-inclined preferred Dave Fawbert, and then - as long as you went properly daft with the ‘biggest’ brain’ - you could get away with implying Gary Ogden was choice among those who have more brain than head. Or you could make it about more ‘relatable’ debates about putting ketchup in the fridge, or whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie etc etc.