Internet Memes: A History

Love them or hate them, internet memes are probably here to stay. This is their story.
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Love them or hate them, internet memes are probably here to stay. This is their story.

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Internet memes are certainly a thing, roughly a 10 year old thing if you want to start getting more specific, but what's lead me to think of memes more of a "thing" than I used to? Nostalgia. Whether this is exposing my age or not I don't know, but I started to remember memes of yester-year with a fondness similar to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle cartoons or the mild contempt surrounding my days at school.

When you realise that the stupidity behind these internet in-jokes suddenly becomes part of a conversation with some almost-respectable adults. I still maintain that saying "L-O-L" or "O-M-G" isn't acceptable if you work for a living, but the fact that people even speak like this shows that this madness is pretty much normal now, right?

There are thousands of memes and as many top meme lists, maybe with some lists for those lists... Meme lists are like arseholes, everyone has one - here's mine.

Y U NO

One of the most emotive memes out there, the Y U NO guy is just about pure rage care of Japanese Manga with txt spk and a stickman thrown in for good measure. Somehow this crude and crazy meme manages to capture reality in its bat-shit craziness more than most other memes - just check these out:

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The second most important question, ever.

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Probably the most important question.

For anyone who works with colleagues on IM - read the status for the love of god!

Demotivational Posters

Life gives you lemons? Give those lemons to someone else and hope they get squirted in the eye with citric acid when they try to make lemonade - that's what demotivational posters are about!  Because you feel better knowing that no matter how shitty life gets, someone else is having an even worse time somewhere else.

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Are elephants made of cheese too?

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A six pack covering a beer barrel - much like mine...

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Find out who's behind that mask and at least we'll know who to send the therapy bills to.

Tard the Grumpy Cat

What's funnier than a picture of a cat? A picture of a cat that hates life and everything in it! This misanthropic feline goes by the name of Tard (not the kind you're thinking of...) and her grumpy disposition was an internet sensation waiting to happen.

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Fun is overrated.

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Wait until you see what she did to next door's dog.

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I don't want to be about when that does happen.

 More...

 The Anti-Planking Act 2011 And Other Endangered Photography Memes

The Harlem Shake & The Less-Than-Subtle Art of "WTF?"

I Can Has Cheezburger

You can't talk about cat memes without "I Can Has Cheezeburger?", the cat pics (or lolcats) which started it all. The most noteworthy achievements of the lolcats or ICHC memes somehow managed to unify the best (hilarious animal pictures) and the worst (lolspeak) the internet has to offer in one place.

HOW IZ DIS NOT TEH MOST ANNOYIN TING EVR? BUT STILL, KAT PICTUREZ 4 DA WIN!

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The cat that started it all.

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You can't tell from the picture, but this bike comes with a bell.

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So that's where they all went...

Planking

Moving away from cats (kind of), we get onto the strange stuff. Planking is when you lay with your body rigid (hands by your sides) like well, a wooden plank - simple! Extra points for the highest levels of embarrassment, danger or a combination thereof. Planking has become one of the most dangerous memes since its creation with some leaving their mark on the world - just not in the way they'd initially planned.

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£50 to whoever lets off a firecracker.

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Be careful who you tread on when making your way to the top.

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"That's not a plank, that's a log."

Charlie Sheen

From one plank to another, we get to the human vacuum cleaner that is Charlie Sheen. Famously quoted for being high on the drug "Charlie Sheen", it would have almost been rude not to ridicule him across the internet - you can never win as hard as Charlie Sheen, never!

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#Winning, whilst #failing - that's a win.

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Perhaps Sheen should take the Pepsi Challenge.

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I don't think you can get this drug over the counter.

Chuck Norris

From one celebrity meme to THE celebrity meme, the man, the legend who is Chuck Norris.

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I want to see that list, I'm sure he's missed some.

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The memorial is going to feel a bit awkward isn't it?

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After getting burned, Ice Cube went on to star in Boyz in da hood
Hadukening 

This is the most recent on the list and probably has only made it on here because of my misspent youth (and adulthood) playing Street Fighter. The Hadouken, one of the most iconic moves from the game, is something most of you will know about - if not take a moment, stand up, pretend to shoot fireballs at people whilst shouting "Hadouken" (ha-doo-ken). One of two things will happen; either, you'll feel epic or, people will laugh at you and you may get famous on "teh internets" - so a win-win, right? Hadoukening is this very thing but in meme form for your viewing pleasure!

It's not technically a Hadouken, so what?

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Show off!

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This is what happens when you play the wrong note.

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Hadouken gone mainstream, thus automatically rendering it un-cool. This is Arsenal FC’s attempt.

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Gangnam Style

Love it or hate it, this couldn't not be on the list, the Korean singer/dancer, Psy, stormed the internet and removed Justin Bieber from the top spot of the most viewed video ever - an achievement if nothing else. This has then spawned a meme itself and, more importantly, has kept wedding DJ's amused as bridesmaids everywhere think they can do the dance in heels after too many cocktails.

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Chris Green works for High Position, fixers of websites and creators of winning content strategies, amongst other things.