Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.
As 2012 rapidly comes to a close, here’s a quick overview of which Internet memes made life worth living this year.
Don’t laugh, memes are serious business according to LOLcats expert Kate Miltner, and can even be used to announce venture capital funding rounds. They also tend to fade out, eventually.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t take a good look at Know Your Meme’s end-of-year overview first and foremost, but we’ve made this our own list of favorite memes.
We also encourage you to read TNW’s exposé of the crazy world of Brazilian memes and Internet culture penned by our own Anna Heim.
Without further ado, here are the 10 best memes of 2012:
1) PSY – “Gangnam Style”
Heeeeyyy sexy lady, this was the most popular video on YouTube evva with one billion views and counting. Need we say more?
South Korean musician and rapper Park Jae Sang (aka PSY) couldn’t have predicted that his song and music video would take off the way that it did when it was released in July 2012.
In fact, no one could have. Tis a genuine freak of nature. Gangnam Style.
2) Kony 2012
Kony 2012 is a short film created by charity Invisible Children. Released on March 5, 2012, its purpose is to promote the “Stop Kony” movement to make Ugandan cult and militia leader and indicted war criminal Joseph Kony globally known in order to have him arrested by the end of this year (this hasn’t happened, although progress has been made).
The film received a lot of attention: it has clocked over 95 million views on YouTube and over 18.3 million plays on Vimeo.
3) Gotye – “Somebody That I Used to Know”
Written and performed by Belgian-Australian singer and songwriter Gotye, with additional vocals by Kimbra, the pop song was released in 2011 but really took off when it was covered by Canadian indie rock group Walk off the Earth using a single guitar played simultaneously by all five band members.
The original music video has been viewed over 350 million times on YouTube, while the cover has been streamed over 140 million times to date.
4) Shit People Say
Okay it was already making its way onto the Internet in late 2011, but it really became a popular meme in 2012: Shit … Say(s).
My personal favorite is Shit That Siri Says, but there are plenty of other parodies to be found on the Web.
Here’s one you can probably relate to:
5) Grumpy Cat
What’s not to like about this very angry-looking snowshoe cat, which originally made its way onto reddit, and worldwide Internet fame next?
A retainer-induced lisped pronunciation of “oh my god,” Ermahgerd is an image series featuring a photo of a young woman holding several books from the children’s horror fiction series Goosebumps.
7) McKayla Maroney is not impressed
The Internet got to know American artistic gymnast McKayla Maroney through a photo of her being disappointed for not winning a gold medal in the vault finals of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The image quickly became an Internet meme, sparked by a Tumblr blog called “McKayla is not impressed”. Which the Olympian found funny, too.
8) Annoyed Picard
An image macro series featuring a screen capture of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character Jean-Luc Picard, played by British actor Patrick Stewart, asking the people of the Internet a constant, rhetorical how, why, and what the fuck. Because seriously, what the fuck?
9) Botched Ecce Homo Painting
Refers to the FAILed restoration by an elderly woman named Cecilia Jiménez of a century-old devotional fresco dubbed Ecce Homo, created by Spanish painter Elías García Martínez.
10) Overly Attached Girlfriend (OAG)
A series of webcam pictures of a needy and very clingy ‘girlfriend’ (Laina Morris). Yes, it has already jumped the shark, but it deserves to be included in this list for sure.
We also really, really love Tumblr blog #RealTalk from your Editor.
The end of the world, or rather 2012, according to JibJab
Picture sharing site Imgur gets a refresh to make the spread of viral images that bit easier
“Memes are serious business” – A chat with LOLcats expert Kate Miltner
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