Memes that defined the decade

Looking at the top five memes that impacted the 2010s

by Evan Miller, Reporter

Memes have been a staple in pop culture throughout the 2010s, and they still are very much today. Hilarious images and videos have been shared around billions of times on the internet. There has been a range of different types of memes, and the different types of impacts each one has had. This list encases the top five memes that have had an impact on our social lives both with real-life interactions and online presence. We won’t be focused as much on the specific amount of times it may have been shared.

5. What are those

One day, a man by the name Brandon Moore, Known as Young Busco, sent our social lives into chaos with three words; “What Are Those”.

Social media didn’t run with it at first, as the original post didn’t gain much traction. In fact, the video, uploaded by “YungBusco” on Instagram currently has around 10,000 likes. However, the video was reuploaded by the user “A-RODney King” on Vine a couple of weeks later with the caption “Not even the Police are safe”. The video went viral, being played almost 38 million times.

The public ran with it, as it cemented itself as a standard joke that you probably constantly heard over and over, not to mention the videos that were inspired by it. A new trend on the now shut down social media app, Vine, emerged. The basis of the trend was to record someone and say “I have a question for you”, then proceed to angle the camera at the person’s footwear who was being questioned while saying “What are those” in either a normal or loud and unusual tone. Notable videos that followed the original include a grandmother wearing crocs, and Michael Jordan wearing questionable footwear out in public.

Sadly, the father of nine passed away on November 25th, 2018, just around three and a half years after it all started.

4. The dress

The dress”, as it’s been widely referred to as, was a picture uploaded to Tumblr by user “swiked” on February 25, 2015. It featured a dress that could be interpreted as two possible color combinations due to the angle the photo was taken in. The post instantly went viral, as it gained 400,000 notes on Tumblr. The next day, a poll was uploaded asking what color the dress was. 72%, or 1.3 million voters, said the dress was white and gold. The other 28%, or 491.6 thousand voters, said it was black and blue. Later that evening, BuzzFeed made a post revealing that the dress is indeed blue and black.

This led to way too many arguments among people about what color the dress truly was. Discussions ran in classrooms, households, at gatherings, almost everywhere. It only stayed in true public conversation for only a short time, especially since everyone already had the real answer, but those couple of weeks were completely dominated by the dresses’ deceiving presence.

3. Deez Nuts

A video uploaded by the user “WelvinDaGreat” on Instagram brought back something that I don’t think anyone asked for. Yes, it brought back the infamous saying “Deez Nutz”, which was originally coined by Dr. Dre in a 1992 music track.

Social media absolutely ran wild with it. You probably remember someone asking you a generic or dumb question followed by the saying, not to mention there are too many edited videos of the saying on the internet to count. Some notable edits include a Blues Clues edit and a spiderman edit, which both gained thousands of likes.

As candidates were announcing plans to run for president, an independent party known as “Deez Nuts for President Party” joined the race. Though it was clearly a joke, the party polled 9% in North Carolina at one point according to CBS, who also confirmed that the votes weren’t hacked in any way.

2. Harambe

May 28 seemed like a normal day. In fact, it seemed like a great day to go to the zoo, at least for mother Michelle Gregg and her child. Everything was fine until the four-year-old boy climbed and fell into the gorilla enclosure exhibit.

Zoo officials chose to end the gorillas’ life by shooting him with a rifle due to the danger he presented to the child. The child sustained no significant injury.

The original video was uploaded to Youtube on the same day the incident occurred, and it instantly went viral, gaining about 12.6 million views before the site elected to remove the video.

The public outcry instantly began. The video was re-uploaded many times all over the internet. The next day, a post about the incident on Reddit reached the top of its’ news section, and made a petition called “Justice for Harambe” to try to hold the parents responsible for the gorillas’ demise. It gained over 300k votes over the next 48 hours. Hashtags, such as #RIPHarambe and #JusticeForHarambe began circulating on every social media platform. The zoo itself began receiving multiple calls about the incident ranging from questions to prank calls.

On August 20, Over three months after the incident, a hacker managed to take control of the Cincinnati Zoo’s twitter account and proceeded to spam the account with hashtags and pictures related to the whole incident.

On August 22, two days after the hacking debacle, an article by the Associated Press published an article titled “Harambe lives: Killed gorilla in zoo gets a second life online” included a statement from zoos’ director Thane Maynard. “We are not amused by the memes, petitions, and signs about Harambe. Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes it more difficult for us. We are honoring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us.”

1. Spongebob

Template for the mocking SpongeBob meme

We all knew this was coming. The show is the longest-running show on Nickelodeon, currently awaiting its 13 seasons to be aired.

Spongebob Squarepants has been a hit show from the start, garnering millions of views en route to becoming its own brand by marketing millions of dollars worth of SpongeBob merchandise, ranging from Lego sets featuring key locations to plush dolls of characters. In short, it has had quite an impact on modern television and the potential that a simple cartoon can reach.

The internet has made countless memes from the show, ranging from images to quotes said by the characters.

A few examples of images include Caveman Spongebob, Evil Patrick, Mocking Spongebob, Rainbow Spongebob, Chocolate, Hot Squidward, I’ll Have You Know Spongebob, Moar Krabs, Morbid Squidward, No This Is Patrick, Maximum Overdrive, Too Much Sauce, Surprised Patrick, Time Cards, and Wumbo; just to name a few.

Some quotes from the show that have made a significant presence on the internet at one time or another include “Wumbo”, “The owner of the white Sudan, you left your lights on”, “We can take Bikini Bottom, and push it somewhere else”, “The Alaskan bull worm!”, “The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma”, “I’m ready”, and Spongebobs’ laugh.

The internet has also made countless video edits related to the episodes along with voice-overs of characters.