By Joel Wilson
What are memes? You may have seen them plastered all over the internet in the form of pictures and writing, you may also think that they are a recent phenomenon. None of the above is entirely true, as the purpose of a meme is to convey a social or cultural phenomenon satirically from either a comedic point of view or, less commonly, a serious point of view. Therefore, any sort of satirical message (such as graffiti or political cartoons) can be classified as a meme.
Having said this, there is no way to truly determine what the first meme was or when it happened. Depending on your perspective of what memes are, the first meme could range from cavemen painting on walls in prehistoric times to the Hampster Dance in the late 1990’s.
But the types of memes I will be discussing today are the ones of the internet variety. So with the lengthy introduction out of the way lets look at some of my favourites:
The ‘Nope, Chuck Testa’ meme: Surfacing in 2011, this meme is actually an ad for a taxidermy company operating out of Ojai Valley, California. The ad consists of scenarios where animals seem to be doing human-like things. The owner of the company, Chuck Testa, will then jump into the screen and say, “Nope, it’s just Chuck Testa”. The ad was popular due to its lacklustre budget and hilariously terrible acting. The ad went on to be shown across a number of news stations and shows, such as Commercial Kings.
The ‘I Know that Feel Bro’ meme: This meme originated in 2010, but where exactly is unknown. The meme shows two poorly drawn men embracing with the caption “I know that feel bro”. The meme is used to express sympathy towards a person over the Internet. It also coined the term “feel” which is used over the Internet to show your sadness. Some variants of the meme include ‘Right in the Feels’, ‘Nobody give a Feel’, ‘why can’t I hold all these feels’ and my favourite: ‘We’ve become that feel bro’. You can find this meme by searching “I know that feel bro”.
The ‘Doge’ meme: This meme started just last year, in 2013. The meme shows a Shiba Inu (a Japanese breed of dog) sitting on a couch with font around it. The font normally says something along the lines of: “Wow, such (X), very (X) or many (X).” Due to the popularity of this meme the amount of Shiba Inu dogs brought as pets have risen sharply, and these dogs are now referred to on the internet as ‘Shibes’. The meme can be found by searching ‘Doge meme’ on Google.
Those are my favourite memes, you can find more by searching up Memebase. They have detailed and varied articles about memes.