Year in Searches: The memes that defined 2017

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED December 22, 2017 10:13 am
Photo from Nerdist (left) and HBO (right)

(Inside Manila) The interwebz used to be a simple tool for connecting with our loved ones, playing a few good games even. In today’s scene, it’s hard to think of the Internet without correlating it to the humorous, living and breathing memes.


This year, we got our wits tested on hilarious captions for memes like “Roll Safe,” “Salt Bae,” “White Guy Blinking,” “The Floor is Lava,” “The Expanding Brain,” and “Right In Front Of My Salad.” There’s also the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme which was funny until we learned the real story (he was taken for granted). The entertainment world also gave us Winona Ryder’s reaction faces and Meryl Streep shouting all our favorite lyrics to disperse online.


While all these were funny and incredibly sad, none of it made to the top 10 memes acquired by Google Trends for its annual “Year In Review.” That said, here are the memes that defined 2017:


10) Hot Dog Meme


This augmented-reality hot dog filter rolled out by Snapchat was no doubt the best camera filter of the year. Don’t be mistaken: this wiener breakdances quite amusingly. Perhaps some of the funniest snaps and memes were the ones pinched to their maximum size as the reactions were priceless.



9) Game of Thrones Memes


When the first episode of one of the most awaited television series aired last summer, fans were already in cahoots making the best possible alternative dialogues to certain scenes. By season’s end, the absolute best “Game of Thrones” memes included Dany asking for Jon to bend the knee, Bran’s “error 404: emotions not found” face, and “Finding Theon.” There are too many cathartic and hysterical memes too mention but based on Google’s related-queries data, Ed Sheeran’s cameo amassed the most number of searches.



8) Joe Biden Meme


This, now, isn’t just about a single photo peppered with clever lines or alterations—this is a legit fresh meme format that only required just about any picture that has Joe Biden and Barack Obama in it. Emerged after Donald Trump won the election, our new hero constantly asks Obama to prank the incoming administration, which Obama shoots down the offer rather embarrassingly.



7) It Meme


27 years after the first film was released, Pennywise the Clown returned for a big-screen “It” remake to feed on children and their fears once again. The meme masterminds were quick to react as soon as the news was announced, unveiling various imagined invitations in the sewer scene from the 1990 mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s creation. The results were equally funny and nightmarish.



6) Romper Meme


A Kickstarter for a romper for men went viral back in May and successfully reached its goal and even exceeded. “RompHim,” as it was called, pushed for a “fashion revolution,” and it didn’t take long for the mixed reactions to surface—the memes among them.



5) Spongebob Mocking Meme


Perhaps the most used—and the worst—meme of the year, this meme was responsible for the fiercest burns of the year using only repeated words in alternating caps. Fun fact: the still came from a 2012 episode of the cartoons entitled “Little Yellow Book,” wherein Spongebob Squarepants acts chicken-like upon seeing something plaid. By all means, mock someone with this poster child, but move on after the New Year’s Eve.



4) What in Tarnation Meme


If you know “My Little Pony,” a character named Applejack carries the phrase “What in tarnation.” Tumblr then began sharing a photo of a Shiba Inu wearing a cowboy hat. Several reblogs later, someone ought to find a way for the joke not to die and that’s just what happened: memes where you put a cowboy hat on something and caption it with “what in tarnation” or, better yet, a wordplay.



3) Elf on the Shelf Meme


Worried that the kids won’t behave during the holiday season, parents tend to place a children’s “toy” in a convenient position and tell their kids that it is always watching. Creepy, I know. Like the aforementioned, “Elf on the Shelf” memes played on rhyme scheme. Some of the best wordplays were “Shrek on a deck,” and “Cat on a mat.”



2) United Airlines Meme


You’ve heard the news but probably not about the memes. Don’t worry, it does not laugh off the poor passenger dragged off of an overbooked flight with a disturbing force, but rather United Airlines itself, particularly the CEO’s response. Apparently, the excruciating-to-watch protocol was the right response for the CEO, referring to it as a “passenger re-accommodation.” That’s when the memes—mostly savage than plain—started flowing.



1) Cash Me Outside Meme


Finally, the most popular meme of the year. Danielle Bregoli, now known as Bhad Bhabie, came into the limelight when a 2016 episode of Dr. Phil re-aired, bringing back the infamous catchphrase “Cash me outside, howbow dah.” Bregoli have since been involved in both good and bad cases but nevertheless, the internet will love her and the legacy of this meme will hardly be forgotten.


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