The memes of 2016 reflect a year filled with a lot of … errrr … feelings.
There was crying, anger and a frog riding a unicycle.
And in the weirdest year yet of the 21st century, funny stuff on the internet just might have been 2016’s saving grace. So we’re taking a look back at the dopest memes of the past 12 months.
From athletes making surprising facial expressions to cartoons from our childhood resurfacing to Joe Biden playing pranks on Donald Trump, this has been a year to remember (or hopefully forget with the right amount of therapy) for the internet.
Behold, the year in internet memes.
When you just wake up from a nap and your parents already yelling at you pic.twitter.com/ksf0Sbop8P
keyboard warrior (@isthatahmed) February 1, 2016
If you needed to express confusion in 2016, good ol’ Mr. Krabs was there for you. A teen originally tweeted the swirly image of Spongebob’s boss with the caption, “When you just wake up from a nap and your parents already yelling at you,” and so the alternate name for this meme is “When You Wake Up From a Nap.” Who can’t relate to that?
It was a REALLY long year. That is all.
12. Evil Kermit
Kermit confronted his doppelgnger enemy Constantine in Muppets Most Wanted, and Twitter transformed the encounter into Kermit talking to his evil inner self in the mirror. Kermit says what seems to be on your mind, but Evil Kermit reveals what’s really on your mind.
This meme is the visualization of the conspiracy theory that Ted Cruz is the never identified Zodiac Killer. While the hilarious theory first popped up in 2013, it came back in full force in 2016 during the height of Cruz’s ill-fated presidential campaign.
Drake’s album cover for Views features him sitting on top of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. The internet fell in love with tiny Drake, and added him along with a Parental Advisory label to just about everywhere imaginable. A Drake’s Views generator even popped up, allowing fans to easily make their “views” come alive.
Apparently Crying Jordan wasn’t enough to satisfy the sensitive basketball fans of the internet. When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA championship, he broke down crying. Luckily a photographer snapped a shot perfect enough to accompany any overly emotional caption.
After Game of Thrones finally revealed the meaning behind the character Hodor to be “hold the door,” the internet immediately got cracking. Not only did photos of Hodor on “hold door” elevator buttons show up, but designers quickly went into production to create Hodor door stops.
During the Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps’ tense way of warming up was revealed when he was forced to do so alongside rival Chad le Clos. We all fell in love with Phelps’ angry mug NBC even used it as a logo for the rest of the Olympics.
Of all the Arthur memes, the titular aardvark’s fist rose to the top of our Twitter feeds pretty quickly. Whenever something infuriating is on our minds, Arthur’s little balled-up fist just says it all.
5. Dat Boi
While the phrase “dat boi!” dates all the way back to 2014, the animated green frog on a unicycle was only born this year. According to Know Your Meme, the Facebook page Fresh Memes About the Mojave Desert and Other Delectable Cuisines was the first to pair the phrase “dat boi” with the unicycling amphibian.
4. Damn, Daniel
A Florida teen uploaded a montage of Snapchat videos to Twitter, in which he’s praising his friend Daniel for his white Vans. “Damn Daniel!” has now become a catchphrase for teens across the internet and in IRL the place where all great memes wind up eventually.
Whether or not you wanted to, you probably participated in a Mannequin Challenge at some point in the last two months. Started by teens in Florida, the viral challenge involves filming a room of frozen people trying to achieve the mannequin look.
Back in May, a gorilla named Harambe was fatally shot by an employee at the Cincinnati Zoo to protect a child that had fallen into the gorilla enclosure. The internet responded with hashtags like #JusticeForHarambe and #RIPHarambe as well as a flood of memes honoring the late gorilla. It was the type of dark humor perfect for a year like 2016.
If you needed a laugh to cope with Donald Trump’s presidential win, Prankster Joe Biden was there for you. Photos captioned with imagined lines of dialogue between the POTUS and VP quickly surfaced after the election, featuring Biden playing pranks on Trump, and subsequently getting scolded by Obama.
Thanks, memes. 2016 really needed you.