The History of Memes

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Skylar Lytle, OwlFeed Lifestyle Reporter

Memes, we all know what they are. Pictures with captions, videos with text, people doing something stupid. No matter what type of meme it is though, it is designed to make you laugh, and everybody needs a good laugh once in a while. That’s why memes are so popular across the internet. Whether you love them, or you hate them, we’ve all seen and probably laughed at a couple, or even made some. That’s why I want to walk down a road of nostalgia and talk about some of the most famous memes of the internet.

Most memes “die” within about a week, or if they’re lucky, a month. When a meme “dies”, it stops being popular and usually stops being used in general. However, some memes live way past those times or even never die. If a meme doesn’t die, then it is probably really funny and deserves to stay. So if a meme has been around for about a year, then it’s probably there for good.

First up, the trollface. Everybody knows this guy, although they have had multiple renditions through time. From the original smug face to the rage comics, and a more recent rendition as the wojak faces. They have been used for many types of memes over the years. Originally as a type of response to say “you mad bro”, or a character in a comic. With some more recent memes depicting them as some type of being of mass power. Whether you hate this guy or love him, you have to admit he has been a huge influence on the internet throughout the years.

Next is Pepe the Frog. While not exactly tied to anything funny in itself, Pepe was still a very popular thing used in memes and still is. It is usually used as a way to symbolize things such as sadness, disappointment, happiness, confusion, or a sense of superiority, depending on the image of Pepe being used. Pepe is a symbol of memes that I’m sure almost everyone knows about, and is one of the most known faces on the internet.

Photo credit: Skylar Lytle

I’d like to take this paragraph to talk about some of the more recent “dead” memes. First up is “Among Us” and all things associated with it. Very popular around 2020, lingering in 2021, but even after its long life, it still died. Big Chungus from 2018, that big Buggs Bunny that the internet went crazy over for about a month or two, fun fact, Warner Bros. turned Big Chungus into an official character, but that didn’t save them from their inevitable death. The last dead meme (or memes) I’d like to talk about is the various images with captions. Such as the curious velociraptor, Hide the Pain Harold, fist pumping baby, etc. While they used to be funny they inevitably lost their charm and became cringy.

Lastly, cats, they’re funny, everybody knows that, including the internet. That is why cats are a staple in meme culture. They are strange creatures, they can be either a liquid or solid at will, they’ll jump on anything, and they make weird faces. So it’s no wonder why they are so popular on the internet. If you’ve never seen a cat doing something funny, online or not, then you must be living under a rock, because those beautiful (and silly) creatures are basically the glue holding memes together.

So, now you know a bit of the history of memes, and if you already knew all this then I’m sorry for wasting your time. You chose to read this article, not me, so be mad at yourself. Hopefully this article will get you to look more into the backgrounds behind memes, as some of them are really interesting.