Culture

All The Best Memes Of 2019

From Baby Yoda to Area 51, 2019 excelled in memes.

best memes 2019

2019 signalled the end of a decade of memes with some the the most wholesome, weird and dankest memes yet.

We had innocent youths attacked by 30-50 hogs, fuming Boomers, attempts to Naruto run into Area 51, and Baby Yoda flicking switches just so he could play the internet’s favourite tune, Toto’s Africa.

The internet’s love for the surreal and at-first-glance mundane is bigger and better than ever before. From Vine (RIP)-esque Tiktoks, to prize winning screen grabs of clapping women, yelling women and yeah, Kombutcha women, we the internet, have clawed out the 2010’s by the skin of our teeth.

What better way to ring in a new decade, and unbelievably enter *jesus* 2020, than with nineteen of the strongest memes of 2019?

1. Does It Spark Joy?

Marie Kondo

In the 2019 Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Kondo’s ‘Konmari Method’ catchphrase sees people cleaning their homes by holding up an item and asking themselves, “Does this spark joy?”

If the answer is yes, then they should keep the item, and if no, it should be thrown away (only after being properly thanked for its service).

Naturally this phrase was rife for the memeage as early in 2019, everyone from Twitter to Tumblr, TikTok and other platforms starting with T, proceeded to assess the items in their life, their relationships, their bills and even their grandmas yeeted them without hesitation.

Thank you, next.

 

2. 30-50 Feral Hogs

 feral hogs gun control

Little did singer-songwriter Jason Isbell realise that with one tweet, he would reveal the true scourge of 2019.

After tweeting his opinion on the ownership of assault rifles, Isbell received a reply from Twitter user William McNabb who asked: “Legit question for rural Americans. How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

Obviously, the collective internet couldn’t let this comment slide. What started as simple mockery, soon turned into an onslaught of macros, parody song lyrics, tweets and satiric hottakes.

3. Untitled Goose Game

 Untitled Goose Game is coming for Nintendo Switch

It’s undeniable that there’s something soothing and even cathartic about being a feathered honking mischief maker.

Very quickly after the Untitled Goose Game’s release the internet was full of screenshots of the goose abusing others, destroying property, and happily making others miserable. Of course this soon escalated with the goose being photoshopped and drawn into other video game scenes, films and eventually all over everything.

From Parliament House to confronting Thanos, Bad, Untitled Goose spread across the digital landscape, taking its malevolence where ever it went.

What makes this meme work so well, is that some identified with the goose, some (wisely) feared it, others became inspired. Maybe in the new decade we could all be a little more Goose.

4. Shaggy’s Power

Shaggy Rogers, possibly the most recognisable character from the Scooby Doo series, outside of the titular character itself, has always been a bit of a meme farm.

Although in 2019, he reached new, extreme heights as it was revealed across Reddit, Tumblr and Instagram and he was actually an omnipotent godlike being able to possess his co-stars, defeat any powerful opponent, and alter the fabric of space-time.

Imbued with Goku’s (Dragon Ball Super) Ultra Instinct glow, Shaggy rose into 2019 fully formed. Fully badass. Fully fierce. Inspiring massive amounts of fanart, macros, screengrabs and video edits, and lighting up various subreddits in early 2019.

5. H2O: Just Add Water

For those who weren’t plastered to Channel Ten after school in the mid noughties, the 2006 TV series H2O follows three teen girls who develop the ability to transform into mermaids after ending up in a pool under a dormant volcano right as a full moon passes above them.

Y’know, like you do.

While this is hilarious enough, the craze that swept through TikTok was in fact the girls rather unfortunate supernatural condition.

After coming into contact with any form of water, the girls shapeshift into their mermaid form. Applying this condition to the everyday and even, the recognition by teens that we are in fact 60% water, has lead to a hilarious string of parodies and, perhaps a little more cringey, some The Good Place-esque terrible Aussie accents right across TikTok.

6. Scarlet Johansson Cast As…

Scarlett Johansson 

This may come as a shock to some, but Scarlett Johansson has made some rather controversial comments in 2019.

When interviewed by As If Magazine, Scar Jo was discussing the current and hopefully growing trend of casting and on-screen representation when she said : “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”

Cue Scar Jo being cast in roles outside her race and gender, but especially trees. Everything from Grandmother Willow, the animated tree from Disney’s Pocahontas, to the Weirwood from Game of Thrones, to the whomping Willow of Harry Potter. The internet had no idea just how much range Scar Jo had as a tree (nor did we realise how many recognisable trees there are in pop culture).

7. Nancy Pelosi Clapping

American Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi became an unexpected meme when a photo of her clapping for President Donald Trump at the State of the Union address spread around social media like wildfire.

The pic shows Nancy Pelosi in what comes across as she shadily applauds Trump with outstretched arms. The shot has been revamped to be a reaction dripping with sarcasm, imbued with the sense that whoever you send it to is earning praise for doing the absolute bare minimum.

Some photos just have feeling in them y’know?

8. OK Boomer

Ok boomer

If I have to explain OK Boomer to you, you are, just possibly, a boomer.

Which in 2019 is unacceptable.

 9. I Just Took a DNA Test

Lizzo performs at the 2019 VMAs

 

In case you haven’t heard, Lizzo is 100 percent “that bitch.”

In 2019 her hit song ‘Truth Hurts’ Lizzo states “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch even when I’m crying crazy.” Catchy, funny and damn good meme fodder. As both Twitter and TikTok found out, each having their own take on the lyric.

On Twitter, the meme is essentially  “I just took a DNA test turns out” and ends with any phrase you want. You could be like actress D’Arcy Carden and be “100% dead”. Or maybe “18% that bitch on my father’s side” like me.

For TikTok, a series of video exploitables showed people swabbing their mouth for a DNA test in sync with Truth Hurts, and then creating their own conclusion in increasingly outlandish ways.

10. Woman Trying Kombucha 

Brittany Tomlinson is certainly braver than me in trying the suddenly super-popular bacteria water. Luckily for her it seemed to work out in her favour, in more ways than one.

Posted on TikTok, and then making the rounds of the rest of the internet, fast tracked into virality by relatability, Tomlinson’s shown tentatively taking that first unsure sip. Then…there’s the pause for thought, swiftly followed by a physically recoiling NOPE.But wait! Self doubt, indecision, no wait she hates it, WAIT! No, yes.. okay…maybe?

This flip-flop between disgust and appreciation is peak relatable content in 2019. Tomlinson’s face journey might just be the best reaction we have to 2019 as a whole.

11. ‘I want this on a T shirt’ Bot Bait

It’s interesting that one of the memes signing us out of 2019 ended up being Twitter users baiting bots, which collect popular artworks for online stores.

Users took to combat the bots directly posting images that contained copyrighted characters and script which read “This site sells stolen artwork,” with other users tweeting or commenting that they would like to purchase a shirt containing the image.

As a result, the scraped image becomes offered as a design in such online stores. And said stores were smacked with repercussions from the original copyright holders.

12. Co-Star Notifications

Co-Star messages 

In 2019 the queers were attacked. Attacked by our very own phones, as Co-star, the astrology app, sent users short AI-fuelled horoscopes that included cryptic emojis and weirdly intense/bold messages.

The notifications were perfect meme material as people started posting increasingly escalating, invasive and somewhat critical fake notifications.

In the spirit of 2018’s Duolingo Owl, Co-Star’s blunt remarks, sassy statements, and eerily personal advice when memefied poked fun at how personal and even aggressive the apps notifications could feel.

13. Celebs as Things

Have you ever looked at a picture of Michael Sheen and thought, hmmmm, “umbrella”?

In what is possibly the peak of Stan twitter in 2019, the world came to see what can never be unseen as celebrities, in a manner most uncanny, were compared to everyday objects.

Chris Evans as Doritos chip packets. Zendaya as bacteria, Stan twitters undying devotion to their faves is so strong we can warp the very fabric of reality itself and reveal see some of the worlds A-listers as they really are, just like us, and also  sneakers, goats, candles…

14. Storm Area 51

area 51

The “Storm Area 51” meme exploded after a viral Facebook group encouraged everyone to rise up and “see them aliens” the idea behind it being that they, undoubtedly the armed guards surrounding the modern day fortress, “can’t stop all of us”.

And yet, much in the way of most facebook events, while millions of people signed up to attend, on September 20th, 2019, the day of the assault, approximately 150 people showed up. With one notable attendee Naruto running behind a KTNV Channel 13 Las Vegas news reporter.

The joy of this meme was mostly in its lead up, as hilarious responses, tactical discussions, parodies, bewildered media coverage and spin off events occurred.

15. I don’t know who needs to hear this but

“I don’t know who needs to hear this, but empty the dust bag in your vacuum.”

This mostly helpful meme took off on Twitter as users gave each other genuinely helpful albeit blunt suggestions on everything from life to relationships, finances, self-care, but most notably, just for the laughs.

16. Woman Yelling at Cat

Woman vs cat, woman yelling at cat meme

The internet hit gold when pairing a screencap of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards mid scream-fight against this picture of a confused-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate, also known as Smudge the Cat.

In 2019 Twitter user @missinggirl made a post containing both images, writing “These photos together is making me lose it.” and honestly, @missinggirl is 100% correct.

There’s just something about these images together that makes it high art.

best memes 2019

17. Silver Kanye

best memes 2019


Just when I think a meme of the year list can go without mentioning Meme King (tbh this is the only thing he is the king of,) Kanye West, he goes and pulls some real Kanye shit like painting himself silver.

Gone are the days of our little gay fish, of snatching mics from Taylor Swift and insisting collaborators abstain from sex whilst working with him — Kanye has moved on. And while performing in a silver painted chorus has been snapped slinking around like a cross between the Tin Man and a blow up doll.

The only way to respond to this Silver Surfer inanity?

Meme it.

best memes 2019

18. I’m Gonna Tell My Kids

best memes 2019

I’m gonna tell my kids this article won a Pulitzer.

Next to cats (actual cats not the haunting film and overrated musical CATS), rewriting history is the greatest form of comedy, as this 2019 memes showed, as internetians took to Twitter to celebrating some of our standout celebrities, politicians and cultural figures but identifying them as other characters, people, and moments in time.

This meme exploded into virality after some Hollywood executives suggested that, um, Julia Roberts was up for contention to play American abolitionist and political activist Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet inspired by her life.

Yikes.

19. Baby Yoda

best memes 2019

 

Much in the way of Baby Groot, the internet was a sucker for this tiny, primarily nonverbal, big eyed alien as soon as he hit our screens.

Not only did we fall in love, but we fell straight into memery as seemingly with every new episode of Disney’s The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda did something new to capture the internet’s imagination. From simply holding a spatula, to sipping a cup of soup and the latest; showing an absolute and comical child like interest in all the buttons of the Mandalorian’s ship.

Baby Yoda has been mashed up with different music tracks, macro’ed, photoshopped and captioned. Honestly, this 50-year-old green baby has done a lot of the heavy lifting in saving us all from the darkside of 2019.

best memes 2019

May he continue to usher us into a New Hope(ful) decade.


Jes Layton is @AGeekwithaHat, writing, drawing and discussing queer-nerdy things in Melbourne.