Though 2021 was a great year for memes, 2022 has begun with the kind of giddy, fast-paced memeing that only the third year of a pandemic and simmering resentment of everyone in charge can provide.
What should meme futures speculators invest in this year? Of course, the best memes often catch you off guard – no one could have predicted Bean Dad or Rishi Sunak confessing to a child that he was a “coke addict” – but there are a few flashpoints that savvy meme investors will be constructing portfolios around.
It’s a new year, which means new memes! We can’t deny that the last several years have been an emotional rollercoaster. The only way to get through all of the craziness is to laugh, and the year 2022 is off to a great start with some hilarious memes.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular memes from this year, as well as ones from the previous year that are still making us—and the internet—laugh.
Why is it called a meme?
Richard Dawkins, a British scientist, coined the term “meme” in his book The Selfish Gene, which was published before internet memes became widespread in the 21st century. “A unit of cultural transmission,” he defined it. Since then, the term has grown to incorporate today’s online memes. A meme is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an amusing or interesting item or genre of items that is spread widely online, especially through social media.”
5 Best Memes of 2022
- Will Smith – Chris Rock
It’s obviously old news now, and the slap argument is, to be honest, a little stale. Was it funny? Or is disturbing? Both? Neither? The further we go away from it, the more difficult it becomes to say.
The memes, on the other hand, were many, and many were far worse than either pearl-clutching or attempts to exculpate Will Smith of his assault on Chris Rock. People seemed to love the fact that a man had lost his cool and smacked another man in the most public of situations. However, there were some absolute gems in there as well. So let’s have some fun with them before putting them away.
2. Queen Elizabeth II is Dead
This one will require some explanation if you missed it. The gossip site Hollywood Unlocked shared an image of the Queen on Instagram on February 22.
“Sources close to the Royal kingdom [sic] notified us exclusively that #QueenElizabeth has passed away,” read the caption. “She was scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful but was found dead. Story developing.”
A praying hands emoji and a love emoji followed. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Royal Family’s activities could tell you that this was about as likely as the Queen dying in a hail of police gunfire following a botched bank heist.
Jason Lee, the founder, and CEO of Hollywood Unlocked and the man who appeared to be the most certain that the Queen was dead was not about to surrender.
After Christmas, the world was taken over by a simple word game with no ads, in-app purchases, or ulterior motives.
People shared how they’d done with the day’s puzzle, and then people took screenshots of the fact that they were blocking any mention of Wordle, and suddenly, everyone’s Twitter feed was overtaken by matrices of green blocks as people shared how they’d done with the day’s puzzle. Wordle had moved into the meme territory.
4. Euphoria High
Just before the second season of HBO’s teen drama Euphoria ended, Twitter reported that the HBO teen drama was the most tweeted about show of the decade. That should come as no surprise, given how much the over-the-top, stylized series is essentially one big class in creating meme-able content—possibly one of the few course options at what fans called Euphoria High. With a show where more kids do hard drugs and spiral into pits of despair once a week than turn in their homework on time, it spawned a slew of memes guessing what these kids were learning, who their teachers and other classmates were, and thousands of excellent TikToks of people flaunting their Euphoria High dress code-approved ensembles.
5. Crypto Crash
I’m not going to pretend that we understand fully what happened in late January when an earthquake in the cryptosphere became a full-fledged meltdown.
There were numerous memes. One of them was this.