Examining The Most Popular Memes Of All Time

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  • 27 Apr, 2022  |
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1 Examining The Most Popular Memes Of All Time

It isn’t uncommon to see dozens, if not hundreds of different memes on a weekly basis. Some have been around for months, others for days, and others till for years. It is an interesting question as to why some have longevity, while others fade away in a matter of days. Those that have lasted the longest truly do say something about the nature of the shared human experience. It seems that some images, and some ideas, really do have no international borders.

Grumpy Cat

A portly cat named Tardar Sauce was born with a unique characteristic; he always looked annoyed. As will soon be seen, that a meme simply conveys a universally understood expression is the key. Everyone, no matter which language they speak, understood what Grumpy Cat was conveying. Hence, it is little wonder that, to this day, this is the longest running, and most widely understood meme of all time.

Tardar Sauce passed away in 2017, but his face is still a popular sight on social media platforms around the world. Those that really want to show support can even look into Grumpy Cat themed merchandise.

The Most Interesting Man

The Most Interesting Man, once again, is simply a template of an emotion. In this case actor Johnathon Goldsmith looks to camera oozing sophistication. The original advert saw him punting beer, but he could just as well be talking about anything in that calm and sophisticated way. Hence the appeal of the meme.

The template has been used for just about everything, so much so that still, to this day, it is amongst the most used in the world.

Success Kid

A chubby baby pumps his fist, expressing the pure, determined satisfaction of achieving success like when you win big at River Belle Casino. This one is used for comedy more often than not, generally by those that want to express mundane success over a minor challenge. It is easy to understand, gets the point across at a glance, and is almost guaranteed to get laughs. Assuming that the template is used correctly.

Squinting Fry

There are hundreds of jokes in the 7 seasons of Futurama, but somehow a generic image of lead character Fry squinting has stood the test of time. Yes, it is once again simply an expression of a commonly shared emotion. In this case Fry is depicted as being either thoughtful or sceptical, and everyone can relate. The format is normally ‘I can’t tell if X is true… or Y is the more logical reality.’ Insert your own X and Y to get the point across.

Condescending Wonka

Last, we have Condescending Wonka. Gene Wilder played the legendary Willy Wonka in 1971, though surely didn’t imagine a single still would be amongst the longest running memes of all time. The idea is that Wonka is listening to a clueless person with a condescending smile. For example; ‘Oh, you went to a single philosophy class? Tell me more of your profound wisdom.’ It’s often the polite way of telling someone they aren’t qualified to be sharing an ‘expert’ opinion.

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