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Top Memes Through the Decade

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things that never failed to put a smile on my face through the decade has been MEMES!

So may I present to you my top memes from 2010-2019 in order of year:

2010 – Hide yo kids hide yo wife

Antoine Dodson went viral in 2010 after a news interview with NBC affiliate WAFF – 48 News about the attempted rape of his sister. As dark and serious the subject matter was, Dodson managed to become a sensation after his enthusiastic and flamboyant style of describing the incident and warning the neighborhood to “hide yo kids, and hide yo wife, and hide yo husband ’cause they rapin’ e’rybody out here.” This sound bite was soon remixed by The Gregory Brothers on YouTube as a part of their series Auto-Tune the News. “The Bed Intruder Song” ended up making its way to number 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Even 10 years later, I said “hide yo kids” and my roommate finished the lyric “hide yo wife” almost immediately. 

Honorable Mentions: 

– Double Rainbow

– Old Spice “Look at your man, now back at me.”

2011 – Rebecca Black “Friday”

Rebecca Black was just 13 when her parents paid $4,000 to have ARK Music Factory produce a music video that became the viral sensation “Friday.” In the early months of 2011, the music video was uploaded to YouTube. After first going viral on Twitter with it being labeled as the “worst video ever made” it racked up 166 million views in three months. That upload was soon taken down as the Blacks and ARK Music Factory were in a legal dispute. It was then reuploaded to Rebecca’s official channel and sits at 138 million views with 1 million likes and 3.6 million dislikes. Rebecca is still currently pursuing music on her channel as well as posting other vlog content. 

Honorable Mentions:

– ALIENS man 

– Planking

2012 –  Grumpy Cat

This iconic cat first sprung to our attention when the cat’s uncle Bryan Bundesen posted a photo on Reddit. Tardar Sauce who was later referred to as Grumpy Cat became an American internet celebrity for her permanently grumpy facial expression which is a result of an underbite and feline dwarfism according to Erin McCarthy of Mental Floss

This adorably grumpy kitty grew a huge social media presence racking in 8.4 million Facebook followers, 2.7 million Instagram followers and 1.6 million Twitter followers. Sadly Tardar Sauce passed away in her owner’s, Tabatha Bundesen, arms May 14, 2019, due to a urinary tract infection. She was seven years old. Pour one out for Tardar this holiday season. *Cue “In the Arms of an Angel” by Sarah McLachlan.* 

Honorable Mentions:

– McKayla is not impressed

– Bad Luck Bryan

2013 – Doge

Contrary to popular belief, the Doge meme is broken down to not just one dog but an entire species: shiba inus. Kabosa a female shiba inu from Japan can be credited with the origin of Doge after a photo was posted by her owner Atsuko Satō on a blog. The photo later surfaced with colorful words in Comic Sans on Tumblr and the rest is history. Doge is still respected today as it was most recently ranked the number one meme of the decade by ABC News

Honorable Mentions:

– The Harlem Shake 

– Unflattering Beyonce

2014 – Kermit – But that’s none of my business

According to knowyourmeme.com, captioned photos started being posted on Instagram with the hashtag #kermitmemes in January of 2014. The earliest known post of a Kermit photo with the caption of “but that’s none of my business” can be credited to an Instagram account @kermitbelike. This meme took on a new life in recent years as the rise of the slang term “tea” grew in popularity. 

Honorable Mentions:

– Leo DiCaprio running topless

– Sexy mugshot guy

2015 –  “Hotline Bling”

Drake’s video for his single “Hotline Bling” was released October 19, 2015, and it immediately made waves for good and bad reasons. The news site Jezebel referred to the video as “dorky” and that “Drake’s dorkiness works because he is always in on the joke.” This later spanned into people editing Drake’s dance moves into various scenes and using them as reaction gifs. Ask people to do the “Hotline Bling” dance, and they will more than likely start sweeping their knee in and out or circling the phone hand sign around their ears. 

Honorable Mentions:

– Netflix and Chill

– “Why you always lying”

2016 –  Harambe

Probably the only light that came out of the darkness that was 2016… we received the angel that is Harambe. Harambe was a 17-year-old silverback gorilla that was shot down at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his encloser. The 4-year-old climbed into the encloser and can be seen being grabbed by Harambe before he was shot by an employee. Many blamed the parents of the 4-year-old for the death of the gorilla. This sparked a Change.org petition entitled “Justice for Harmabe” that called for the parents of the child to be held responsible. According to knowyourmeme.com, the petition received more than 338,000 signature in under 48 hours. This later sparked memes of Harambe in clouds looking down on us and the still funny sayings, “Dicks out for Harambe” and “Tits out for Harambe.” Twitter is something else sometimes. 

Honorable Mentions: 

– Damn Daniel

– Confused Mr. Krabs

2017 – Blinking White guy

The blinking white guy is Drew Scanlon who is a video editor and podcaster for Giant Bomb. The reaction resulted in a called “Unprofessional Friday’s on Giant Bombs’ site back in 2013. Scanlon made the iconic double-take after Jeff Gerstmann says “farming with my hoe.” The gif of the reaction sparked in popularity after Twitter user @eksbl used it when describing his reaction to his biology class. This meme is still big today. I tweet this gif out at least once a month because it is honestly a WHOLE mood. 

Honorable Mentions: 

– Mocking Spongebob

– Nothing but respect for MY president

– Yelling Meryl Streep 

– Distracted Boyfriend

2017 was a GREAT year for memes!

2018 – Alexa, Play Despacito

As we are headed to the end of this list, it gets harder and harder for me to choose the memes. Memes have changed so much over the decade that there are now Twitter memes, TikTok memes, memes your mom knows about and memes that are so niche I don’t even understand. So, for 2018 I narrowed it down to “Alexa, play Desacito.” This meme came as a result of the huge popularity of Luis Fonsi’s song “Despacito” which still sits as the most viewed video on YouTube at 6.5 billion views. This year was also the rise as the voice assistant speakers. According to knowyourmeme.com, this meme can be credited to the Tumblr account bisexuael when they posted “this is so sad alexa play despacito” on June 19, 2018. This lead to people tweeting the phrase paired with moments that would be an inappropriate time to actually play the hit song. But hey, there is never a bad time to play “Despacito.” 

Honorable Mentions: 

– “I don’t feel so good”

– Moths

– Change my mind

– Woman squinting

2019 – Baby Yoda

I had to. Baby Yoda makes my day every time I get a look at him. The Disney+ original series “The Mandalorian” introduced us to the one and only baby Yoda. After the release of the episode that depicted a 50-year-old Yoda people started freaking out on Twitter. Even people who have yet to watch the Disney+ show are sharing their love for the cute big-eared baby. Baby Yoda is probably one of the purest memes on this list.   

Honorable Mentions: 

– Area 51

– Kombucha Girl

– Woman yelling at cat

– Ok, Boomer

I hope I did you meme-enthusiasts proud with this list of the top memes of the decade. I never claimed to be a meme lord, yet here I am. 

What are your top memes of the decade?

Jess Goodwin is a  senior at Kent State University, where she is the Senior Editor for the Her Campus Kent State chapter! She is a Journalism major who has enjoyed writing and telling stories her whole life. When she is not writing, Jess is dancing and choreographing. She has been dancing for over 15 years and choreographing for just about 3 years now! She has a passion for movies, books and entertainment, but she also has a love for activism and promoting love! Jess's socials are: Instagram: @jess.goodwin Twitter: @jessgoodwin13 
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