If President Trump stares straight into the sun during a Solar Eclipse but no one makes a meme out of it, did it ever really happen?
Memes don’t require a definition, but we’re going to drop one for you anyway. Urban Dictionary says a meme is “an image, video, or set of text that becomes popular and spreads rapidly via the internet.”
The best memes go viral because the image captured perfectly expresses a universal emotion, often one that totally describes your reaction to a scenario that’s totally unrelated to what was happening in the original picture.
Example? In February, Stranger Things actress Winona Ryder hit the stage at the SAG Awards to accept the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series on stage with her cast. The camera caught her making the most dramatic, hilarious series of expressions that basically spanned the entire spectrum of human feeling, and as a result, thousands of memes followed. I mean, doesn’t that face entirely depict the confusion, happiness, frustration, and excitement you felt during the Bachelorette finale? Or the emotional stages you go through when you watch the news?
For a meme to succeed, it has to live and breathe independently, outside of its original content. It speaks your truth, just like Winona Ryder did for this guy:
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Basically, they keep you updated, they’re funny, and they make you feel like you’re not the only one who’s losing it.
These 14 memes that came out of 2017 could not describe the year any better. Prepare to LOL.
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1. George W. Bush’s ‘Tude at the Presidential Inauguration
We had a lot of feelings about the 2016 election and the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump. Apparently, so did President George W. Bush, who was just not having. Nothing sums up the feeling of “I can’t” better than this meme.
2. Michelle Obama and Melania Trump’s Awkward Inauguration Greeting
Like any good meme, this one speaks for itself.
3. The 2017 Oscars Best Picture Fail
Remember when Moonlight was first announced as the winner for Best Picture at the Oscars, even though the real winner was La La Land? It was funny—but awkwardly cringe-worthy, which is what the best memes are made of.
4. Nicole Kidman’s Weird Oscars Seal Clap
Nicole Kidman finally cleared the air as to why she looked as though she’d never learned to clap before the Oscars, but that night, people had a lot of questions.
5. Meryl Street Cheering at the SAG Awards
Meryl Streep congratulated her Hollywood compatriots at the SAG Awards, and then this happened.
6. President Barack Obama’s Post-White House Vacation
What did Barack Obama do after he dropped the governmental mic? He chilled. And he went kitesurfing on the shores of Richard Branson’s private islands in the British Virgin Islands. What a guy.
7. Beyonce’s Pregnancy Announcement
Beyoncé broke the internet when she announced she was expecting twins Rumi and Sir Carter in February. The photo was epic, and a little weird, and so were many memes that followed.
8. Diddy’s Red Carpet Arrival at the Met Gala
The Met Gala gave us a ton of fabulous fashion moments, and then Diddy stopped by. No, this isn’t an altered image. He really did lie on the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for photos.
9. Prince George’s Hand Gesture
This damn cute photo of Prince George went viral first, for the fact that he’s just so adorable! And second, because this fabulously mischievous expression is the best possible way to say “I’ve been up to no good.”
10. Beyonce Ordering Off a Menu
Beyoncé makes another appearance on our list because, well, Beyoncé. She shared a series of collages on her Instagram, mostly referencing her outfit, but one photo stuck out to fans. Why? It offered a glimpse at her doing something a little pedestrian: ordering off a menu, from a waitress, in a restaurant. Oh, boy!
11. Kendall Jenner’s Tone Deaf Pepsi Ad
Kendall Jenner starred in an unfortunate commercial for Pepsi that received a wave of backlash for what many on social media considered highly inappropriate and insensitive moments. Namely, it appears as though Jenner was comforting protestors and solving the issue of police violence with, well, a can of Pepsi. Pepsi pulled the ad, but the memes kept going.
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12. The Salt Bae Phenomenon
Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe acquired millions of followers (@nusr_et)—and later opened a restaurant in Miami—thanks to this funny way of sprinkling salt onto his meals. People used the way in which he confidently peppered the ingredient, and his signature hand move, to create relatable memes about things completely unrelated to food.
13. Trump Staring at the Solar Eclipse
Regardless of whether or not you watched the Solar Eclipse in August, everyone understood one cardinal rule: don’t look at it without protective glasses! Everyone except President Donald Trump, that is.
14. Melania Trump’s White House Christmas Decorations
First Lady Melania Trump’s Christmas decorations at the White House appeared more menacing than those of previous First Ladies, and it surely did not go unnoticed.
- 1 1. George W. Bush’s ‘Tude at the Presidential Inauguration
- 2 2. Michelle Obama and Melania Trump’s Awkward Inauguration Greeting
- 3 3. The 2017 Oscars Best Picture Fail
- 4 4. Nicole Kidman’s Weird Oscars Seal Clap
- 5 5. Meryl Street Cheering at the SAG Awards
- 6 6. President Barack Obama’s Post-White House Vacation
- 7 7. Beyonce’s Pregnancy Announcement
- 8 8. Diddy’s Red Carpet Arrival at the Met Gala
- 9 9. Prince George’s Hand Gesture
- 10 10. Beyonce Ordering Off a Menu
- 11 11. Kendall Jenner’s Tone Deaf Pepsi Ad
- 12 12. The Salt Bae Phenomenon
- 13 13. Trump Staring at the Solar Eclipse
- 14 14. Melania Trump’s White House Christmas Decorations