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Memes are hilarious and here to stay. They are the new source of amusement for generations raised on visual imagery and often sarcastic humor. A meme can be an image, an image that has text added, or even a video. They spread like wildfire on various social media sites throughout the internet and some go viral, giving us some of the best memes ever. There are even memes that are so popular they are defined by one word, like Rickrolling. This is any meme with a link that leads you to the video for the pop song 'Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley.

Although memes used to exist primarily in the real world as behaviors, they are now most well known as cultural exchanges of items spread across social media. Recently, many memes have been used to convey the divisive nature of politics. More often than not, though, the best memes convey a universality of thought, like when something illogical is said and you look at friends with an expression that asks "what"? The famous meme of Nick Young looking befuddled and surrounded by question marks is an example of this, as are many other memes.

What Makes These The Best Memes Ever

The nature of the best memes ever is that they are always changing and constantly being created. These memes are the best memes ever that have been created up until now. There are many that are still some of the best memes ever that did not make the list.

The television shows SpongeBob SquarePants, South Park, and Futurama have contributed a massive amount of material, both still photos, text, and video to an abundance of memes. Joe Biden's fun-loving attitude, conservative blaming of Obama for anything and everything that goes wrong in the world and even a World War I British slogan have all become memes. Nothing is off limits in the world of memes.

10 Best Memes Ever

Yanny/Laurel And The Dress

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Although these are actually two of the best memes ever that became popular at around the same time, they are included here as a pair. This is due to the fact that they both illustrate how we see and hear things differently from each other. The Yanny/Laurel audio recording challenged listeners to retrain their ear to see if they could hear the name they had not heard initially.

The dress became such a major phenomenon that, like many memes, it was on every morning talk show. A picture of a dress in an advertisement with horizontal bands said the bands were a certain color. Many people saw the colors of the bands differently. This is an example of how something becomes one of the best memes ever, as it allows us to look at things from different perspectives.

Double Rainbow

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The overjoyed vocalizing of a man who saw a double rainbow is one of the best memes ever because it is so humorous and awesome that Microsoft used it to advertise their Windows Live Photo Gallery. People doubled over in laughter (and tears) as they listened to the man's voice alternately laughing and sobbing uncontrollably at the beauty of the two rainbows on the video.

Evil Kermit

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The Evil Kermit meme originates with the movie "Muppets Most Wanted" in which Kermit had to face his evil doppelgänger, Constantine. The image of Kermit facing evil Kermit became the modern-day version of the angel and the devil on your shoulders. Social media quickly took the image and went to work captioning it with first a 'Me' then an 'Evil Me' statement about a situation. This way, any bad decision they made was the fault of Evil Kermit. This is one of the best memes ever since it illustrates how the meme generation has been steeped in irony.

Condescending Willy Wonka

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Originally this candidate for best memes ever was intended as a Creepy Wonka meme, but it ended up morphing into the Condescending Wonka that is common now. When someone is not impressed with another person's achievements or opinions, they can caption this photo to imply both disdain and disbelief. One of the common themes of many memes is to take cherished childhood memories and turn them on their head with dark humor while still managing to retain some of their original charm.

Distracted Boyfriend

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This entry on the best memes ever was from late 2017 and got a lot of mileage out of a stock photo of a girlfriend catching her guy checking out another lady. This photo captures the FOMO (fear of missing out) mentality that has always been popular, especially with younger people. It has also been used in a variety of other areas as the caption rectangles can fit different kinds of statements. One iteration labeled the girlfriend as capitalism, the man as students and the other lady as socialism, making the meme a metaphor for a variety of things and cementing its status as one of the best memes ever.

"Bye, Felicia" And "Don't Tase Me Bro"

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These have been grouped together since they are both culturally iconic phrases that are derived from other sources. The ever-popular mention of Felicia was first spoken by Ice Cube in the movie Friday. It is intended to be a brush off to someone you don't want to deal with and an indication that they should go away.

The second phrase was yelled by a student at a John Kerry speech who was making a ruckus. When the police were holding him down, he screamed those words just before they tased him. Although the situation was understandably serious, the young man's words immediately became a meme with humorous intent behind it. The man in the meme said he has not profited from it but may write a book about the legal system.

Ice Bucket Challenge

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This meme was pretty much everywhere in America, from celebrities of all sorts to politicians at the highest level. Even President Obama took the challenge to raise money for ALS research by donating and having a bucket of ice dumped over his head while he challenged three other people to do the same. This is a great example of how social media can sometimes bring out the best in people. More than 17 million people participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and over 115 million dollars were raised for the ALS Association, which is a great indicator of the positive power of memes and social media.

Ermahgerd

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This meme defines the nature of the internet as being a place where nothing is ever really gone. A young lady posed at the age of eleven excitedly holding three Goosebumps books. Someone found the photo on Facebook and posted it to Reddit, with the caption, "ermahgerd."

This is what is known as 'interior monologue captioning' in a photo. In this one, it helps convey the awkward teenaged years, from the retainer emerging from the awed mouth to the goofy vest and side ponytails. The most amusing thing about this meme is that the author of the books the young girl is holding doesn't get the joke. The subject of the meme has since been interviewed as an adult by Vanity Fair.

Cats Everywhere

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The internet is overridden with cats both cute and ugly, mean and sweet, and memes are no exception. Some of the following deserve an honorable mention in the category of best memes ever

  • Grumpy cat looking angrily at the photographer
  • Nyan cat, whose body is a pop tart and who leaves a trail of rainbows as he flies
  • Keyboard cat who displays impressive musical skills
  • LOL cats are cat memes that often include spelling, syntax and grammar errors in their captions, since they're (supposedly) written by cats

So Much Popcorn

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One of the most iconic memes in this day and age involves popcorn. Many of us walk around with music piped into our ears feeling a lot like everything is a movie, so it should come as no surprise that this meme has gained so much popularity. The message of this meme is that the drama is getting good and we are there to enjoy it.

You will often see this meme, for instance, during Twitter celebrity feuds. There are popcorn memes with virtually every celebrity and animation ever gobbling the cherished snack while staring into the camera. Some meme-makers have even sped up animations to make it appear as if the celebrity or animation is gobbling the popcorn down rapidly.

Conclusion

Many people never make any money off of the memes they have created, but they do make lifelong connections. A meme is the ultimate in-joke of a group, and those have existed since people and communities have existed and exchanged them. The only difference is that a meme can go viral and be communicated to much larger numbers of people. They often are a mishmash of many elements of culture and cover all interests, allowing them to connect and entertain us.