The REAL Story Behind Hilarious Internet Memes

The REAL Story Behind Hilarious Internet Memes

top 10 online popular memes and the funny backstory you didn’t know about
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There’s a tremendous irony that exists at the core of meme culture. A web-savvy generation of people looking to use the online world as a platform for instant fame will spend countless hours attempting to piece together the right combination of funny piece of media and clever, irreverent quip to launch their meme to popular, widespread recognition. For all that effort, though, some of the best, most iconic memes on the internet were borne out of completely unintentional circumstances.

Among the hundreds of thousands of photos shared around the web and on social media sites each day, there are bound to be some pretty good, interesting and noteworthy ones. Some pictures can even reveal a compelling nugget that the photographer behind the image never realized was there. It is these instances that can produce the greatest memes, where the photo depicts something that seems unplanned and spontaneously remarkable rather than forced and manipulated.

That being said, there is no perfect, established formula to create a popular meme. A point of cultural and social media-fueled fascination over the past decade or so, memes are complex for the variety of ways in which they can capture public fascination and amusement, but also for their multi-faceted, open-ended nature. The confusion around memes stems from a broad, loose definition that enables it to be applied to a photo, video, person, fictional character, quote, idea, GIF or just about anything the endlessly creative web can dream up. Memes, popular ones anyway, are limited only by the expectation that they speak to a wide and cross-cultural populace united by the internet.

Today, memes have changed the way we consume all media, particularly that which is live. A slip of the tongue at an awards show lives on in infamy, a la John Travolta’s ‘Adele Dazeem’ malapropism at the 2014 Oscars. Even local news features can grow into global phenomena if they produce an internet-friendly sound byte or clip. Late night talk show hosts, such as Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden, have come to curb some of their segments and the over-all organization of their shows around content primed to go viral the next day.

Not all memes are borne out of origins that are as easily recognizable and widely seen as national or even local media. For as quickly as trending internet memes can spread, they often emerge modestly from marginal pockets of the internet like message boards and chat rooms, including 4Chan and Reddit. Some of the internet’s biggest memes had been cycled around online long before they exploded into pop culture awareness. This brings up the two biggest questions surrounding memes: what makes them popular and how did they come to be in the first place.

We may never know why some meme’ed messages, such as Bill Murray’s face and “Keep Calm and … On”, are found to be so compelling. But as we continue to wrap our heads around this internet craze, we can take a glimpse into 10 of the most popular online memes and the stories behind them to see what all the fuss is about.

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20 Responses

  1. TheMateoHV says:

    Whenever a channel does a video about memes I want to kill myself.

  2. Egg Head says:

    “Did you learn something?” No, “Maybe you’ll learn something from these
    videos” > recommended videos: Funniest fails on tv show games, highest
    insured body parts

    >… you fokin serious?

  3. mexicansuperman123 says:

    These memes are WEAK!

  4. Toby Ryberg says:

    The “I hate sandcastles” caption does make sense because the kid has sand
    in his fist and mouth.

  5. TheMustacheUnicorn says:

    You what

  6. VZR says:

    The cringe is strong with this one.

  7. SpaceExplorer says:

    I hate sandcastles – he has sand in his hand

  8. MONKEY.D LUFFY says:

    Grumpy Cat is the best :)

  9. baby mac doll says:

    her voice is so satisfying

  10. Jordan Jamison says:

    These are old memes…

  11. Coleossal says:

    “Hello fellow kids”

  12. Konador Auchindoun says:

    fuck baby memes, shit is so boring

  13. MitchellMLDG says:

    Wtf are some of these memes

  14. David Munoz says:

    stumbag steve looks like mac miller

  15. Phoenix S says:

    but you didn’t mention the dank ones

  16. Jåčķįë Bøõ 17 says:

    I thought that Dan Howell is gonna be here :’D

  17. zvoidx says:

    If there’s ever a remake of Back To The Future, Kyle/BLB should play Biff.

  18. Jason Toney says:

    You know, when I was a kid I had braces, then I got a retainer once my
    braces came off. I never had any issues talking with either of them. If I
    wanted to annoy people, though, I could make the letter “s” whistle loudly
    when talking and wearing my retainer. All I needed to do was change the
    placement of my tongue when saying a word with an “s” in it and it would
    whistle loudly.

  19. Margann Laurissa says:

    Turns out that the reason Tardar Sauce looks “grumpy” is because she has a
    form of feline dwarfism.

  20. Nico Youtube (NicoYT) says:

    Still waiting for that minecraft lets play