THESE ARE THE MEMES THAT BROKE THE INTERNET IN 2018
Pop Culture | TheVibe EditorialHimani Gupta
2018 can well be named the year of “meme” as this new-age pop-culture phenom transcends digital-verse to become part of everyday conversations. These are the memes which spread like wildfire to become part of our global lexicon through the year.
1) SURPRISED PIKACHU MEMES
Pikachu, the lead character of the famous anime – Pokemon, became the surprise meme breakout of 2018. Surprised Pikachu is a screenshot of the Pikachu with its mouth agape as if it were surprised at something. In the autumn of 2018, this screenshot was converted into a meme by adding text.
The image was used as a reaction to the situations that lead to predictable outcomes and yet, one is left surprised. On September 26, 2018, this image was used as a reaction for the first time on Tumblr by the user – ‘Popokko’ and it garnered many likes.
On 10th April, 2018, a testimony delivered by the Facebook CEO – Mark Zuckerberg before the United States Congress, was to become the start of a hilarious meme factory. Twitter user @MikeTokes tweeted a GIF of smiling Zuckerberg at the hearing. Within a day, the tweet reached more than 16,000 likes and was re-tweeted by more than 7,300 people.
The next day, an edited clip of the CEO, drinking a glass of water was uploaded, along with a code. It appeared as if Zuckerberg was a robot running a program. In no less than three hours, the post gained many likes. Many memes depicted him as a robot or alien that is pretending to be a human.
3) RADHIKA – NETFLIX APT MEMES
Radhika Apte appeared in three original content productions of the Netflix this year – The Lust Stories, Sacred Games and Ghoul and the actor grabbed all of the attention online. Memes and GIFs flooded social media sites comparing the chemistry and love between Radhika Apte and Netflix even as the Internet went into overdrive.
Netflix too acknowledged the memes and came back with a witty repatriate. On Instagram, they changed their page’s description to ‘ Just another @radhikaapte fan account’ and also shared a spoof video about how she is omnipresent in Netflix. Netflix shared the video on Twitter with the caption, “Whatever the role, Radhika apt hai.”
4) SACRED GAMES MEMES
Sacred Games is a first-ever Indian web series by Netflix, which struck a chord with the viewers. Hence, it was quite obvious for memes and jokes about the series to appear on the Internet. The fans have immortalized some of the scenes and dialogues by converting them into memes, for instance, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s dialogue – “Kabhi kabhi lagta hai ki apun hi bhagwan hai” ( Sometimes I feel like I am the God).
5) IS THIS A PIGEON? MEMES
“Is this a pigeon?” – this sentence was said by a humanoid character from the 1990s Japanese anime – The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird. The character identifies a butterfly as a pigeon since it is not a human. The meme first appeared 6th December 2011 and got millions of reactions on the net over the next three years. The memes faded away in 2018, but in late April 2018, they again resurfaced on the Internet and there has been no stopping since then.
6) PUBG MEMES
We all know that PUBG quickly became one of the most popular games and generated intense fandom. The die-hard players’ inside jokes soon converted into viral memes that raged to become part of mainstream digital conversations.
7) I DON’T FEEL SO GOOD MEMES
Warning! Spoiler for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ below.
At the end of the film comes the most tragic scene, when the Spiderman lying in Tony Stark’s arms starts disintegrating into dust. Spiderman utters his last words looking up at Tony Stark – “Mr Stark, I don’t feel so good…” People gave honour to the death of the Spiderman by making a meme on this heart-wrenching moment.
“I Don’t Feel So Good“ is a series of photoshopped image of other figures, in which the subject appears to be dissolving. On 29th April 2018, after the release of the film, a Facebook user posted an image of Sponge Bob disintegrating. The post garnered more than 20,000 reactions, 42,000 shares and 8,300 comments within a day.
8) DONALD TRUMP MEMES
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) built a test of the presidential alert system and a series of jokes based on this test popped up on the internet. People put mock messages on US President – Donald Trump online. The first meme appeared on 3rd October 2018 by a twitter user FEMA. The message was – ‘ At 2:18 PM EDT, we will be testing the Wireless Emergency Alert System nationwide. Expect a message on your phone along with a loud tone and vibration.’ The tweet gained more than 2,100 re-tweets and 2,200 likes, within a day. On the same day, people photoshopped the image of the message to put humour in it. Donald Trump though has been a gift that keeps on giving for the Internet savvy with new memes coming off of him every day.
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