Memes; the lifeblood of all students. Today’s article hopes to showcase 5 of my favourite meme trends that have kept me scrolling through social media way past my bedtime.
So, in no particular order:
1. Lord Farquazuckerplier and ‘E’ (February-November 2018)
Someone had the great idea to photoshop Markiplier onto Lord Farquaad and later, Mark Zuckerberg, and soon the ‘E’ meme was born. It’s an important meme due to what it represents: absolutely nothing. The ability to create one of the most popular meme trends of 2018 simply by ‘deep frying’ a mishmash of characters and tagging it with ‘E’ is a classic example of “millennial humour”; nonsensical to most, and the greatest source of entertainment for those aged 14-25.
2. Prequel Memes: A Star Wars Story (2015-Present Day)
In 2015 the Star Wars Prequels exploded into the countless meme pages we know and love across the internet. Movies and TV shows play a critical role in the business of memes, but none more so than the prequels. ‘The ability to speak does not make you intelligent’, but the ability to make a meme out of literally any prequel quote grants you ‘UNLIMITED POWER!’. Am I biased in my opinion? ‘Possibly’, but that does not take away from the versatility of the prequels as a source of near limitless content.
3. VINE (2012-2017)
Vine was undoubtedly an important part of the upsurge of meme culture throughout the decade. Lasting for 5 years, Vine dominated much of the mobile data of our generation during its lifespan and created some of the most recognisable content of the decade. Good or bad, white vans or potatoes flying around rooms, Vine welcomed all, It became a career for many, and a lifestyle to millions. Replaced somewhat now by tik-tok, Vine is still fondly remembered as a generator of the best memes of the decade.
4. The Distracted Boyfriend (2015-2019)
Versatile in its application and brilliant for its content, the distracted boyfriend has cut about in many forms since 2015 and still sees regular use. Whether its Millennials lusting over socialism whilst having capitalism, or ignoring a healthy sleep pattern for the sake of scrolling through their phone, this meme is the crown jewel of looking past what you have for what you want. It even appeared in the New York Times in a boomer attempt to appeal to the meme generation.
5. Harambe: (2016-2017)
We all know the story of the gorilla that was shot after a young boy fell into his enclosure. The internet’s response was to idolize him, resulting in popular slogans such as “dicks out for Harambe”, as well as tricking google into renaming someone’s street “Harambe Drive”. Whilst a meme at heart, it was still a show of support for the unjust killing of an innocent animal, and this is not the only case in which memes have been used to support contentious issues.
The world of memes is vast of course, and this is but a fraction of the internet’s potential. Whether you believe these are some of the greatest trends on offer or not, I’m sure that all can agree on the place memes have in our culture, and I look forward to what the swinging 20’s can offer us!
[Mitchell Welsh – he/him]