2016 was an incredible year for meme-creation.
While no one could forget the meme legacy left behind by Harambe (R.I.P.), countless other memes erupting with the same force sizzled out as quickly as they appeared.
Here are five memes from 2016 that we had to be reminded existed.
Nothing demonstrated how quickly a meme could rise and fall than “Damn, Daniel.” We have to give it credit as the most quotable meme of the year–but then again, there wasn’t much more to it than that. “Damn, Daniel” immediately captured the nation when it first burst onto the scene, but ultimately, it lacked an emotional connection–an essential ingredient that keeps so many successful memes replicating throughout the internet. But luckily for Daniel, he’ll never forget it after receiving that lifetime supply of Vans from Ellen.
Mom on camera describes returning clothes to Kohl’s, shows us a chewbacca mask toy she picked up on the way out, and laughs a lot at it. Still not sure I understand this one, but the original Chewbacca actor did tweet the video a few days after the original upload date, which probably helped. Most of us may have stopped thinking about Candace Payne’s infectious laughter, but according to a recent article by Cosmo, the brief fame inspired Payne to pitch a book and a web series.
Pokemon Go memes
While the subject of Pokemon Go is, itself, worthy of a “disappearing 2016 fads” list, the memes it spawned are worth mentioning. We saw them on every subject: being led into bad neighborhoods, finding a new interest in exercise and the outdoors, reckless playing-while-driving (DON’T DO IT), and countless video parodies. While the Pokemon Go craze in the US is long gone–taking all the relatable memes with it–there’s no denying that it had a huge impact on the nation for kids and adults alike.
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Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer
2016 brought us the first election cycle during what appears to be an internet renaissance. While Clinton, Trump, and Sanders brought this election to ultimate meme status, even Ted Cruz became the subject of one contagious idea: he bore a shocking resemblance to the infamous Zodiac Killer from the ’60s and ’70s. This mock-conspiracy showed us that no one is safe from becoming the subject of an outlandish meme. Even GQ couldn’t resist getting in on the joke. Still, after Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, the joke immediately disappeared with him.
A wacky meme that plagued Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as a catch-all for any feeling that could only be described by, well, by the intense expression of a caveman Spongebob. Not so easy to describe, but understood perfectly by anyone who could relate to the accompanied text. “Reaction” memes like these come and go, constantly being pushed through Instagram and Twitter. Using Primitive Spongebob this late will definitely get you some eye-rolls. According to Know Your Meme, the image’s popularity spiked in June and sank like a rock shortly after.