Remember when you could slap Impact font on an image macro and call it a day?
Nowadays, it seems the life expectancy of memes is no longer than that of a blowfly’s. Technology has facilitated meme distribution to a point that it’s too easy to forget the days of yore where we had to make ourselves a bowl of cereal while we waited to connect to the Internet with dial-up.
Our next generation should consider themselves lucky they didn’t have to suffer the joke shortages as we did. We were basically cavemen back then. But as the saying goes, it was a simpler time.
And so, we reflect on the memes that shaped us into the irony-poisoned millennials we are today.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
I Can Haz Cheezburger/LOLcats
Online communities celebrated Caturdays since 2006 with pictures of cats with funny text over them. Who knew butchered grammar and silly cats would be such a great combination? It really didn’t take much to amuse us back then.
This Moldovan pop song was popularized by Gary Brolsma, who uploaded a video of himself in 2005 passionately lip-syncing along to the dance hit. The video went viral and in 2008, Rihanna and T.I. sampled it in their song “Live Your Life”.
Rage Faces brought meme-making to the masses. These simplistic faces drawn in MS Paint were used to create slice-of-life webcomics that were not only humorous, but relatable too.
Before there was Grumpy Cat, we had Keyboard Cat. The video (filmed in 1980s) was published on YouTube in 2007 by Charles Schmidt. The cat, Fatso, was often posted in response to someone’s failure, hence the phrase, “Play him off, Keyboard Cat.” This meowing musician tickled the ivories as much as he tickled our hearts from two decades ago.
The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
If you don’t remember this song, you surely remember Potter Puppet Pals. A lot of credit is due to Neil Cicieraga when it comes to Internet history and not just for his music. Cicieraga helped to create and popularize Flash animation, a form of dadaist, web-based animation.
Daft Punk Girls
These girls made Internet history with their creative Sharpie skills and choreographed Daft Punk tribute. I’m still waiting for Criterion Collection to pick this one up.
Here’s one for the gamers out there. A World of Warcraft player missed out on instructions when he was busy preparing himself some chicken. He came back just in time to make history. Don’t do raids with this guy!
Charlie Sheen might have costed his career on Two and A Half Men, but he gained all the more in Internet infamy. If you’re wondering what he’s up to these days, it’s this.
Joe Jonas as Beyonce in “Single Ladies”
In general, remember the JoBros? We don’t either.
The Kitty Cat Dance
This list has so far indicated that cats are the perfect fodder for memes.
Last, But Not Least.
- Salad Fingers (2007)
- Shoes (2007)
- “Don’t Tase Me Bro” (2007)
- Charlie the Unicorn (2008) (We could call this our generation’s Casablanca)
- Mr. Trololo (2009)
Keyboard Cat? Play the reader out with this classic tune…