If you rolled up the Internet like a soggy dishcloth and tried to wring it out, memes would come pouring out, ruining your Christmas sweater (well, ruined is a relative term) and your drunk Aunt Marie’s shag rug.
The point is memes are a way of life for the Web. They’re a constant. And here we present to you the cream of the crop of the year. This is it: The last word on the best memes of 2012!
We know you remember being in love with Goosebumps. So in love that you contorted your face and exclaimed to the heavens “I’m choosing my own adventure!” This meme is for you and for those memories. It popped up in March this year and, apart from being hilarious, it’s pretty damn awesome. This young girl lives in all of us, taking on the world in the pages of a good book by our beloved R.L. Stine
9. Photobombing Stingray
There’s a certain sense of schadenfreude that makes this meme so delicious. You’re young, attractive, and on vacation, and you think “Let’s swim with the stingrays!” So off you go, camera in tow, ready to capture all the moments. But the average stingray, awkward but well-meaning, loves vacationers and just wants to get in on the fun, too, you guys. And then… uuuuugh! I mean, you feel bad for everyone involved. Even the poor stingray who just wanted to join in.
8. What People Think I Do/What I Really Do
This meme spread like wildfire on Reddit and, later Facebook, as you soon figured out that all your friends’ glamorous professions and goings-on weren’t quite what they seemed. And you could relate. As a writer, people thought you were living this bohemian lifestyle that meant you didn’t have bills and you grew pot in your backyard and never have to put pants on in the morning. You don’t even have a backyard. You go to Shop Rite like everyone else. And they have, like, the worst produce ever. The worst. And you still don’t even know how to cook so God knows how you feed yourself. And… Ffffffffffff…
7. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
This one hits the nail right on the head. This guy really is just ridiculously photogenic, isn’t he? Another Reddit classic, he’s really a runner out of South Carolina waving at a friend of his. Virality is crazy. His name is Zeddie Little, and turns out he’s a pretty decent human being. Kind of simultaneously warms your heart and makes you feel bad about yourself.
6. Overly-attached girlfriend
The harsh light. The creepy stare. This is too perfect. Overly-attached girlfriend started out as a response to Justin Bieber’s insufferable-but-you-still-kind-of-like-it-but-did-he-really-say-SWAGGY song “Boyfriend.” Pretty soon this video turned into an image macro with some extra creepy captions. It might be construed as sexist, but it still grabbed us for a spell there.
5. Texts from Hillary
The entire Benghazi dustup notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton was at the height of her political powers this year. So when a Reuters photo surfaced showing a boss-looking Hillary simply checking her phone, Tumblr was on the case, making macro after macro depicting her as kicking ass and abiding no fools. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
4. McKayla is not impressed
Even though McKayla Maroney had an impressive showing at the London Summer Olympics, she took silver for her vault routine. From the podium, viewers could see her almost-palpable disdain for… whoever won the gold. She doesn’t matter. The point is, that single pout sparked a meme that we still enjoy to this day. Even the President got in on it.
3. Grumpy Cat
He’s so sad! Awww! Grumpy Cat is simply a grumpy-looking snowshoe cat, but the way he’s made his way around the internet, you’d think he was carrying the whole world’s existential malaise and apocalyptic dread on his tiny kitty shoulders. And you just want to squish him and lighten the load.
2. Call Me Maybe
The official song of Summer 2012… before it totally wasn’t. But for a few months there, Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit played and played and played until you were singing it to yourself in the shower and you completely hated yourself. But it’s still so adorable. You know what makes it more adorable? Corgis. You’re welcome.
1. Gangnam Style
This is the song of 2012. It doesn’t really need an introduction, does it? It’s the single most-watched video on YouTube, turning Korean pop singer Psy into a sensation. But I think it jumped the shark in the best possible way when the song was remixed with MC Hammer’s 2 Legit 2 Quit at the American Music Awards. So… enjoy!