The concept of internet memes originated in the mid-nineties, but it wasn’t until the rise of the internet and social media that they truly took off. The debut of YouTube in 2005 marked a turning point, as everyday individuals suddenly became overnight online sensations. While the memes may be timeless, we often overlook the individuals behind them and wonder what they are currently doing and how they have aged. Fortunately, we have you covered!
Internet memes have become ubiquitous in online culture. These humorous and relatable images, videos, or pieces of text that spread rapidly throughout the internet often feature popular culture references, political commentary, or relatable situations. Memes are a form of communication that transcends language barriers and has the potential to create shared experiences among Internet users.
One of the most significant features of internet memes is their ability to evolve and adapt to new contexts. While many memes are short-lived and quickly forgotten, some have the staying power to become cultural touchstones. For example, memes like the “Distracted Boyfriend” and the “Woman Yelling at a Cat” have become widely recognized and referenced in various contexts, from mainstream media to casual conversations. As internet culture continues to evolve, it is likely that memes will remain a fixture of online communication and humor for years to come.
Despite its continued relevance today, few people are aware of the origin story behind one of the most popular memes ever created. In 2004, Dave Roth photographed the Mebane fire department during a training exercise in his neighborhood. He captured his daughter, Zoe, with a devilish grin that complemented the burning house perfectly.
Zoe, who was just one year old at the time, became an internet sensation when the image resurfaced on social media in 2013. She has since embraced her newfound fame, even stating that she hopes the meme will help her pay for college someday. This meme is a testament to the enduring power of humor and the internet’s ability to turn the mundane into the extraordinary.
This popular meme remains in use today because of its versatility in conveying a wide range of emotions, particularly when you’re unable to express your displeasure or annoyance in words. The idea for the meme was inspired by a YouTube video entitled “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise… AGAIN.” In the video, two sisters, Lily and Chloe, are on their way to school when they learn of a surprise trip to Disneyland. Lily is overjoyed, while Chloe appears furious.
The meme has become a favorite among internet users due to its ability to convey a variety of emotions. It’s an excellent tool for expressing emotions that are difficult to put into words. Its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. The meme’s origin story is fascinating, and it’s exciting to see how it has evolved over time to become a staple in internet culture.
Good Luck Charlie
Remember the young actress who played Charlie Duncan, the newborn in Disney Channel’s hit series Good Luck Charlie back in 2010? Her name is Mia Talerico, and the show aired from 2010 to 2014, with filming taking place when she was only 11 months old. Mia has since become a star thanks to a meme that is frequently used as a synonym for “I don’t know.” She now has over one million followers on Instagram, although it’s unlikely that many of them have seen the show. The rapid spread of this meme is a fascinating example of how social media can create overnight sensations.
It’s incredible to think that a meme can turn someone into a star, and Mia Talerico’s fame is the proof of the power of social media. Despite being so young when she appeared on the show, she has managed to captivate audiences with her charming personality and infectious smile. It’s exciting to see how far she will go in the future, and it’s clear that her star will only continue to rise.
Dogs are a popular subject for memes because they are universally loved. In 2010, a Japanese kindergarten teacher named Atsuko Sato posted several pictures of her Shiba Inu dog, Kabosu, on her personal blog, and one of those images became the first “doge” meme. The picture showed Kabosu lying on a couch with his paws tucked and a confused expression on his face. Although there are many photos of Kabosu that could have been used, the one where he’s smiling on the right is our favorite. What a good boy!
The popularity of dog memes is a testament to the special bond that humans have with these loyal companions. Kabosu has become an internet sensation, and his image has been used to express a wide range of emotions, from confusion to joy. It’s amazing how one photo can capture the hearts of millions of people and become a cultural phenomenon. Kabosu is truly a good boy, and his legacy as the original doge meme will live on for years to come.
Overly Attached Girlfriend
Memes can be problematic for several reasons, one of which is that people often take them too seriously. This can lead to misconceptions about individuals like Laina Morris, who is a YouTuber. In 2012, Morris gained fame for a parody of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which she performed in a webcam video with personalized lyrics. Unfortunately, some viewers mistook the parody for reality and believed Morris was an overzealous or stalking girlfriend.
As a result of the meme’s popularity, Morris expressed concerns about her privacy. Strangers began visiting her personal Facebook page, contacting her friends, and even attempting to access her college records. This intrusion into Morris’s personal life highlights the potential risks associated with online fame and the importance of respecting individuals’ privacy, even if they have become viral sensations through the internet.
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
Let’s face it, no one looks good while running, except for Zeddie Smith, who managed to look attractive while participating in the 2012 Cooper River Bridge Run. The photo of Smith quickly became a viral sensation, and he was even dubbed the “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.”
Despite the unexpected attention, Smith took it all in stride and expressed gratitude for the positive response to the meme. He felt fortunate to be part of a joke that was in good humor, especially considering the potential for online humor to turn cruel. Smith found it incredible that people around the world were enjoying his photo and felt flattered to be recognized across the internet. It’s inspiring to see how Smith embraced his viral fame with humility and a good sense of humor.
Trying to Hold a Fart Next to a Cute Girl in Class
The humorous meme featuring a young man with bulging veins in his head has become a popular choice for people seeking an outlet to express their inner rage. Interestingly, the “cute girl” originally included in the photograph is often edited out, allowing viewers to focus solely on the man’s intense expression.
The meme’s creator, Michael McGee, has found the experience of internet fame to be enjoyable, although he regrets not having copyrighted the photograph immediately. He acknowledges that he could have made a significant amount of money if he had done so. Despite this missed opportunity, McGee is pleased to have created something that has brought joy and entertainment to people around the world. The power of memes to connect people and inspire laughter is truly remarkable.
One of the most famous animal memes on the internet is the picture of an extremely angry-looking cat, which was shared on Reddit in September 2012. Tardar Sauce, as the cat was named, quickly gained popularity, and the image became a viral sensation. The grumpy cat meme has since been used to convey a range of emotions, from frustration to disappointment.
The popularity of the grumpy cat meme brought great success to Tardar Sauce and her owners, who secured sponsorship agreements, book contracts, merchandise deals, and even a grumpy cat video game. Unfortunately, Tardar Sauce passed away in 2019 at the age of seven, but her legacy as one of the most beloved internet memes of all time lives on. The grumpy cat meme’s enduring appeal is a testament to the humor and creativity of internet culture.
Bad Luck Brian
Bad Luck Brian is a type of picture macro meme featuring a photograph of Kyle Craven, originally taken for his 2012 yearbook. Although the principal asked him to retake the official photo, the original shot has since become a viral sensation on the internet. The meme typically includes humorous captions that make fun of Brian’s supposed bad luck and misfortunes.
Despite the popularity of the Bad Luck Brian meme, it’s important to remember that this is a real person, not just a fictional character. Kyle Craven has become an unwitting internet celebrity, and his face is now synonymous with dark humor and jokes about bad luck. While it’s easy to get caught up in the humor of internet memes, it’s essential to recognize that these images often depict real people who may be affected by the attention they receive.
First World Problems
You’ve likely heard the phrase “first-world problems,” which refers to minor annoyances that seem trivial when compared to more significant issues. This expression has become a common way to poke fun at the relatively minor problems faced by people in wealthy, developed countries.
A stock photo featuring Italian actress Silvia Bottini crying has been used to convey this sentiment for years. The photo is often overlaid with humorous captions that highlight the perceived triviality of the problem at hand, such as “Someone on the internet disagrees with me.” Despite being used for comedic effect, it’s worth noting that Bottini is a serious actress who has appeared in numerous television shows and theatrical productions.
These words belong to Blake Boston, also known as “Weezy B,” whose photo became a popular meme in 2011. Boston’s mother took the picture, which features him in a blue tank top, and his defiant expression and bold statement quickly captured the attention of internet users.
Boston’s message, “I have no regrets in my life… whatever I do,” has become a popular catchphrase used to convey a sense of confidence and self-assuredness. It’s a reminder that we should strive to be true to ourselves, even if it means making mistakes along the way. While Boston’s words and image may have been originally intended as a personal statement, they have since become a cultural touchstone and an inspiration to people around the world.
The famous GIF meme featuring Drew Scanlon originated from a 2013 live stream broadcast when he was a video producer for the popular gaming website Giant Bomb. The meme captured a moment when Scanlon reacted with a subtle double take, and the GIF quickly became a viral sensation, expressing a range of emotions, including confusion, disbelief, and surprise.
The origin of the meme was during one of the website’s “Unprofessional Fridays” shows, where Gerstmann, the editor-in-chief, made an unintentional faux-pas while playing the game Starbound. He accidentally said, “I’ve been doing some farming with my h*e,” leading to Scanlon’s memorable reaction. The moment has since become a classic example of the unpredictability of live broadcasts and the enduring appeal of internet memes.
The term “hipster barista” was first used in 2011, and it quickly became a viral meme. Dustin Mattson, who is also known as “Dirty South,” spoke about the meme in an interview with Eater Atlanta. Mattson expressed his frustration and disappointment that the culinary industry and professional baristas were being made into a joke through the meme.
According to Mattson, the meme is indicative of how people tend to value farm-to-table cuisine, craft beer, and cocktail mixology while having little regard for the specialty coffee business and those who work in it. The meme’s popularity highlights a disconnect between the way we view different aspects of the culinary industry and suggests that some areas are not taken as seriously as others. It’s a reminder that everyone in the food and beverage industry, including baristas, deserves respect and recognition for their hard work and expertise.
Sudden Clarity Clarence
Sudden Clarity Clarence is a popular internet meme that features a young man at a concert or other large event reacting to something surprising or shocking. Despite the meme’s popularity, very little is known about the man in the photo, except for a few more pictures of him online.
Nevertheless, Sudden Clarity Clarence has become a beloved meme for the expression on the man’s face, which captures a moment of sudden realization or understanding. The meme’s enduring appeal is a testament to the power of facial expressions and how they can convey a range of emotions without words. While we may never know the full story behind Sudden Clarity Clarence, his image will continue to bring joy and amusement to people around the world.
Confused Math Lady
Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah’s expression in a popular meme perfectly captures the look of many of us when faced with an obscure arithmetic equation or any other vexing problem in our daily lives. Sorrah’s relatable expression has made her image a popular choice for memes and other digital media.
The meme originated from a scene in the Brazilian telenovela Senhora do Destino, which translates to “Lady of Destiny.” While it’s unclear what problem Sorrah’s character, Julia, was dealing with in the scene, her expression has become a universal symbol of frustration and exasperation. The power of the meme lies in its ability to capture a common experience and convey it through a relatable image. Sorrah’s contribution to internet culture will be remembered for years to come.
Actor Kayode Ewumi is best known for his role as Reece Simpson (a.k.a. “Roll Safe”) in the online series Hood Documentary. Ewumi’s memorable performance in the show has become the inspiration for a well-known meme featuring him grinning and pointing to his temple. The meme is typically used to accompany humorous captions that poke fun at poor decision-making.
While Ewumi’s work in Hood Documentary has earned him significant recognition, he is a talented actor with a bright future ahead of him. Although he may be forever associated with the Roll Safe meme in the eyes of social media users, his performances in other roles will undoubtedly bring him continued success and recognition in the years to come.
Hide The Pain Harold
It’s amazing how a few innocent photographs can propel someone to internet superstardom if they have the right look or appearance. Hungarian citizen András Arató is a prime example of this phenomenon. After posing for some stock photos, Arató’s face was appropriated by internet users looking to express their agony through memes.
Rather than shying away from the attention, Arató embraced his newfound internet fame and even formed social media groups to share even more photographs of himself. His willingness to laugh along with the internet has endeared him to countless fans around the world. Arató’s experience is a reminder that sometimes the most unexpected things can bring us the greatest joy, and it’s important to embrace these moments of unexpected fame and find humor in them.
Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, a Swiss-born writer, ufologist, television presenter, and producer, is the subject of one of the internet’s favorite conspiracy-based memes. Tsoukalos is a well-known believer in aliens, and his appearance on the TV show Ancient Aliens is what sparked the viral image that features him with the caption, “I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.”
Despite the humorous nature of the meme, Tsoukalos takes his beliefs seriously and is a proponent of pseudoarchaeological ideas that claim ancient alien astronauts interacted with early humans. He has stated that he considers it an enormous privilege to have been embraced by the internet and recognized around the world. While Tsoukalos may not have intended to become a meme, his image has become a cultural touchstone for the ongoing fascination with aliens and extraterrestrial life.
A popular meme first released in 2015 has grown in popularity over the years, becoming a cultural touchstone for many. The meme’s enduring appeal is reminiscent of fashion trends, with its popularity waxing and waning over time.
The face of rapper Conceited is one of the most recognizable and beloved memes on the internet. The image originated from a rap battle hosted by the Ultimate Rap League in 2009, where Conceited (Reginald Sergile) made a notorious face after Jesse James tripped over one of his words. Since then, Conceited has become an international star and a regular on MTV’s Wild’n Out. Despite his success, Conceited remains humble and grateful for the recognition the meme has brought him, cementing his place in internet culture history.
Kalin Elisa unwittingly created the popular “squinting woman” meme when attempting to strike the perfect pose for an Instagram photo. Her image has since been shared countless times on social media, with users adding humorous captions to the picture.
Despite her unexpected internet fame, Elisa has remained positive and grateful for the joy her meme has brought to people around the world. In a tweet to her 28,000 followers, she stated that her mission in life is to put as many smiles on people’s faces as possible. For Elisa, the creation of the “squinting woman” meme has been a source of joy and fulfillment, demonstrating the positive impact that even the smallest things can have on others.
Do you remember Vine? It was a social networking service that allowed users to share short-form, looping videos of six or seven seconds. One of the platform’s breakout stars was Lil Terrio, whose dance videos quickly went viral and brought him international fame.
Lil TerRio’s popularity was so great that other young people who resembled him also gained viral status. Today, Lil Terrio remains active on social media, with 872,000 followers on Instagram. He uses his platform to advocate for a healthier lifestyle and combat bullying, demonstrating how internet fame can be leveraged for positive change.
My Momma Said
Cardi B, a well-known rapper, became the subject of a viral meme in 2018 when a photo of her as a five-year-old began circulating online. In the photo, she is standing with her hand on her hip and a modest grin, which quickly became a popular image for humorous captions and memes.
Many internet users found the photo relatable, using it to express the idea of wanting to be part of the action and follow in their elders’ footsteps. Cardi B’s childhood photo demonstrates the power of relatable images to capture people’s attention and become a cultural touchstone, even for those who may not be familiar with the rapper’s music.
Confused Nick Young
If you do a Google search for “Nick Young,” the word “meme” will likely appear in the results. Despite being an NBA champion and playing in the world’s best basketball league for over a decade, Young is most well-known for his appearance in a perplexed gif that has become a popular meme.
Although Young played his last game for the Denver Nuggets in 2018, it seems that his legacy will be defined by his internet fame rather than his basketball career. His enduring popularity as a meme demonstrates the power of digital media to shape our perceptions of people and events, even those that occur in the world of sports.
Jodie Meeks gained global recognition in 2014 after his arrest photo went viral on the internet. Court documents reveal that Meeks was found guilty of federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and grand theft.
After being released from prison in 2016, Meeks appeared in a documentary about his life and began collaborating with well-known figures such as Tommy Hilfiger, as well as walking the runway at New York Fashion Week. Today, he is reportedly worth $5 million, demonstrating the ability of internet fame to create new opportunities and launch careers.
This meme has an amusing origin story. In 2012, Twitter user Bronwyn Iler Page shared a photo on her account of a Japanese snow macaque monkey wearing a shearling coat while wandering through an IKEA store in Toronto, Canada.
After nearly an hour on the loose, the capuchin was rescued by animal control and taken to Story Book Farm’s Monkey Sanctuary in England, where he was given the name Darwin. Today, he is safe and enjoys playing with his Curious George doll at the sanctuary, reminding us that even the most unexpected situations can lead to heartwarming outcomes.
Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife
Antoine Dodson became a viral sensation in 2010 after giving an impassioned interview to local television about an intruder in his Huntsville, Alabama home. The video quickly spawned a meme, and Dodson capitalized on his newfound fame by creating a YouTube channel and website to monetize his popularity.
Today, he is focused on building a music career and remains in touch with his followers through daily interactions on Instagram. Dodson’s story illustrates how internet fame can open up new opportunities for those who are able to harness its power.
Catch Me Outside
After appearing on The Dr. Phil Show, where she taunted the audience with the phrase “Catch me outside, how about that?” (which she pronounced as “Cash me outside, how bow dah?”), 13-year-old Danielle Bregoli from Florida became an overnight sensation.
Bregoli has since parlayed her fame into a career as a recording artist and rapper, signing a contract with Atlantic Records and becoming the youngest female artist in history to debut a song on the Hot 100. Her story demonstrates how a viral moment can lead to unexpected career opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Why are You Always Lying?
In 2015, Nicholas Fraser, who was known as Viner on the social media app, released a video where he sang a self-made song about liars to the tune of the R&B song “Too Close” by Next, which became an instant hit. The video has gained over 3.5 million views and 2,100 comments on YouTube, and numerous remixes and screenshots from it have become several memes.
Since then, Fraser has pursued a successful acting career, and he has also released music and appeared in several movies and TV shows.
The Most Interesting Man in the World
Jonathan Goldsmith’s iconic voice and delivery of the classic line “Stay thirsty, my friends” for Dos Equis has made it a favorite among audiences for over a decade. From 2006 to 2018, the campaign ran in the United States, introducing Goldsmith to the public and inspiring countless jokes and memes featuring his image from the ad.
Despite the end of the Dos Equis campaign, Goldsmith continued his acting career, and he even had a small role in the movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Nusret Gökçe, also known as Salt Bae, gained fame through social media by posting videos of himself cooking meat and seasoning it in his unique style. Although it is unclear if he intended to become a meme, he managed to increase his social media presence, and his steak house Nusr-Et gained international recognition.
Thanks to his viral videos and social media following, Salt Bae’s net worth is now estimated to be over $50 million.
That Would Be Great
Actor Gary Cole’s portrayal of the obnoxious, passive-aggressive boss Bill Lumbergh in the 1999 film Office Space has become a memorable meme. His exceptional performance in the role made him an internet sensation.
However, Cole’s talent as an actor goes beyond the iconic role of Bill Lumbergh. He has appeared in various films and TV shows, including Dodgeball, Veep, 30 Rock, Suits, and more. Cole continues to work in the industry and has been involved in voice acting and other projects. He shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Sir Patrick Stewart is a legendary actor renowned for his portrayal of Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Despite having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and several accolades, his most significant contribution to pop culture may be his appearance in memes.
Currently, Stewart is mostly involved in voice acting and charitable work, but he occasionally takes on supporting roles in television shows and movies.
Rainn Wilson is known for his portrayal of the beloved character Dwight Schrute in the popular American sitcom The Office. The show has a dedicated fanbase, and Wilson’s character is famous for his devotion to his paper-selling career and memorable quotes such as, “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ And if they would, I do not do that thing.”
Despite the show’s end, Wilson has kept busy with his acting career and is set to appear on the screen again as Daniel Dandon in the upcoming TV drama The Power.
Petty Skai Jackson
The Skai Jackson meme may not be as well-known as some of its peers, but it has still gained traction online. The meme is based on a photo of Skai sitting upright on a chair and is often used to illustrate social interactions that involve pettiness, pretentiousness, or perfectionism, particularly on Black Twitter.
Despite her young age, Skai Jackson has been in the entertainment industry since she was five and continues to make appearances on TV shows and in movies. She also has a significant social media following.
Why Not Both?
The “Why not both?” meme might be an old one, but it still resonates with many people today. It originated from an Old El Paso taco kit advertisement that featured a group of people arguing about which type of taco is better, hard shell or soft tortilla. The child actor Mia Agraviador then chimes in with the now-iconic phrase “¿Por qué no los dos?” or “Why not both?” in English, which sparked a joke and became a viral meme.
Agraviador, who hails from Australia, is not just an actor but also a talented artist and dancer. When she’s not appearing in commercials, she spends her time creating art and dancing. Though the “Why not both?” meme is just a small part of her career, it continues to bring joy and humor to people worldwide.
This meme originated during the 2012 London Olympics when US gymnast McKayla Maroney was awarded a silver medal instead of the gold she expected to win in the vault event. Her unimpressed expression during the medal ceremony became an instant meme.
Since then, Maroney has retired from gymnastics and pursued a career in music. In 2020, she released her debut official single, “Wake Up Call,” and continues to be active on social media.
Crying Piccolo Girl
One Villanova flute player became a viral meme after the team’s elimination by NC State during the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The image shows a melancholy musician playing a flute while sporting Villanova’s colors.
The bassist of the band, Roxanne Chalifoux, gained overnight fame and was invited as a guest on Jimmy Fallon’s show. She recently completed a one-year residency in ocular disease at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs (VA) Eye Clinic.
What if I Told You…
Laurence Fishburne is a well-known actor, and his fans might recognize him from his role as Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy. Although Morpheus has several memorable one-liners in the sci-fi action thriller, the most famous line from the meme, “What if I told you,” is not one of them.
In recent years, Fishburne has appeared in movies such as John Wick: Chapters 2 and 3, Man of Steel, and Contagion. He continues to be an active and successful actor in the industry.