2016: The Year of the Meme

2016 is thankfully coming to a close in less than a month. There was good and there was lots of bad, but one thing that particularly stood out throughout the year was the meme. Memes have been around for a while however 2016 seemed to be the year where they reached their peak, for better or for worse. New York Magazine has a roundup of every single popular meme that surfaced this year, in case anyone was looking for a little comic relief.

Danny Trejo helped to make “Dicks out for Harambe” mainstream with the help of comedian Brandon Wardell. Memes even made it to the 2016 Presidential Election.


Cosmopolitan rounded up their “Most Fascinating People of 2016”, which included the guys who created “Damn Daniel”, Joanne the Scammer and Chewbacca Mom, along with the duo who created “Dicks out for Harambe.”

Why were memes so popular, especially in 2016?

My theory is that since 2016 was such a garbage fire of a year, people were consistently looking for a way to relate all of the terrible things happening and using humor as an outlet. This sort of idea isn’t particularly revolutionary, comedy has been an outlet for many years. Now that social media is at its height it only makes sense that memes would become the biggest trend of the year.

Memes had the power to change people’s lives. Take Ken Bone as the example. Kenneth Bone became an overnight success after he was featured asking a question during the Presidential debates. Within hours, the Ken Bone meme was everywhere. The meme was shortlived however once the country found out about Ken’s shady questionable past.


Memes were relatable. Failed a class? Tweet out a meme. Got a promotion? Post a meme on Facebook. Get in a fight with your friend? Spill the tea with a Kermit meme.

Whatever the case may be, memes were probably one of the most positive things to come out of 2016 and hopefully they will continue to flourish in 2017.



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