The internet meme, far from being isolated to an esoteric and niche audience of glasses toting book warriors, has effectively become accepted into the mainstream of public life. We’ve seen many strange and bizarre memes over the years, arguably starting with the “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” meme, and this year hasn’t failed to disappoint with the new additions. Well, I suppose they haven’t all been everyone’s cup of tea, but when are they ever?
So, without further adieu, here are our top 10 memes of the past year:
Unfortunately, the embedding for this YouTube video has been disabled on request so, instead here is the songify version:
On February 28th this year, Charlie Sheen gave an interview with “Good Morning America”. Originally wanting to claim that he had come clean from his addictions, the interview turned into a tirade of neurotic ridden sentiments from the former Two and a Half Men sitcom star. This original video from his interview with Good Morning America has so far reached 13 million views.
You might be a little surprised to see this particular video top our list, especially with some decent competition and that it wasn’t the most viral of memes out this year. However, it is the one that made me chuckle and laugh the most, whilst at the same time being the most unbelievable and slightly disturbing series of rants and videos you are likely to see this year, or even for some time to come.
Originally mis-interpreted as real, this video sees a young lady selling herself postmodern style to eHarmony’s member base. However, the video takes a slight turn for the worse as she is overcome with emotion on the thought of cats; more specifically her literal physical inability to hug each and every cat.
This again might surprise you to see it as high as it is on our list, but it was another video that really made me laugh. As much as the videos spawned by the Talking Babies and “Friday” were excellent, the videos themselves weren’t so amazing. For this reason, I prefer to place this one a little higher.
I didn’t actually realise this video was released this year until very recently, as I saw it courtesy of Ray William Johnson, who appears to be the spearhead for many internet memes these days on YouTube. Still, this is definitely one of my favourites from the year, attaining an impressive 75 million views on YouTube.
Don’t think I need to justify the selection of this one.
4. Emerson, “Mommy’s Nose Is Scary”:
Perhaps a more ‘adorable’ addition to the series as opposed to our more humorous counterparts, the “Mommy’s Nose is Scary” video still raked up a fierce number of 27 million views in the year. Of course, the creme de creme of all baby orientated YouTube videos is unquestionably “Charlie Bit My Finger“, which nearly has a staggering 400 million views. It also shows the lucrative value that can be obtained through YouTube.
5. Nyan Cat:
A more annoying addition to our collection, the Nyan Cat meme took off like a rocket into internet memedom. Japanese for “meow” (though I always thought “meow” to be universal), the repetitive pop-tart doning feline has amassed 54 million views since it’s inception on YouTube. However, the Meow cat can be found in places other than YouTube, including a website specifically catering the meme and a user created game. The website even times how long you can watch the Nyan Cat, records your score and then lets you tweet it, if you really wanted.
I think the most fun you could have with this meme was annoying other people by having it your ring tone/text alert/changing their boot up sound to the Nyan Cat music and so forth.
6. Google’s Easter Eggs:
These only really became apparent towards the end of the year, as developers began to familiarise themselves with HTML5 and CSS3. The first Easter Eggs we saw from Google Search were the ‘Barrel Roll’ and ‘Tilt’ phenomena, whereby the screen would either do a 360 flip, or slide to the side. Of course, you could only do this if your browser supported HTML5, so Internet Explorer users had no idea this was even happening. Especially those using Internet Explorer 6.
Google have gotten festive with their recent Google Search Easter Eggs. If you type in ‘Let it Snow’ in Google Search, the screen will appear to snow and eventually freeze over, where you’ll have to ‘defrost’ (in true “my car has frosted over again” fashion) in order to continue using the page.
There are other Easter Eggs when you type in “Christmas” or “Hanukkah”. I’ll let you discover the amazing results from doing so.
Popularised late in 2011 around August time, the video was actually made by already YouTube celebs (if that’s not an oxymoron) Rhett and Link as part of Commercial Kings. The video was made for Ojai Valley Taxidermy service as an attempt to promote their services as a taxidermist, however I don’t think they expected the kind of recognition it has received from YouTube and the internet world alike.
Don’t hate me, hate Rebecca Black; or more accurately, hate the Ark Music Factory which fund and flourish all these abhorrent young wannabes. Rebecca Black’s foray onto the big-time world of internet stardom unfortunately is stark proof that talent is not a precursor for success in modern times. Nay, it is merely the presence of a very good PR team and their inane enthusiasm that super-charges the success and popularity.
Although, I liked this meme simply because of all the videos that it spawned mocking it. A lot of them were painstaking funny and really made this meme what is was, even though it was already successful for being possibly the worst piece of music you’ve ever heard.
In the midst of making this post, I’ve just discovered that YouTube did a rollback of it’s own top ten of the year and it was hosted by… Rebecca Black.
There are some viral videos that aren’t so much viral themselves but more become viral due to the nature of the videos that are made as a result of them; the Talking Twin Babies are an example of this very phenomenon. The video above is a clip of my favourite remake (possibly not safe for work, even though it’s the ‘clean’ version), however you can watch the original Talking Twin babies here and here.
10. Rabid Man Dog:
The video title is actually “Psycho Dog Man”, this was just the term I used when hunting for it for this blog. Again another video I found whilst watching RWJ, quite literally made me laugh out loud when I first saw it. Not quite as popular or as successful as many other contenders out there with a measly (comparatively) 2 million views, it is however still one of my favourites from the year.
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