TLF’s Favorite Internet Memes of 2012

TLF is back with our top memes of 2012. This is a carefully curated list of memes that make us LOL, so sorry, you’re not going to find Overly Attached Girlfriend or Ridiculously Photogenic Guy. Here our list from last year, and don’t forget to check out Sophia’s post about political memes from the election, including binders of women.

McKayla is Not Impressed
In a brief moment during the Olympics this year, McKayla Maroney flashed a “hell no” face on the winners stand and a funny meme (with a much longer shelf life than a box of Wheaties) was born. She was not hearing that sass talk — or any other negative talk from anyone. Even the commander-in-chief took time to re-enact the moment of less-than-stellar sportsmanship. Isn’t it funny that *this* is what a world-class athlete will likely be remembered for? Even so, cheers to McKayla for approaching the potentially endorsement-killing media criticism with a sense of humor. – KDC and RL

Texts from Hilary / Hilary and Meryl BFFs 4ever
Hilary Clinton was part of two hilarious memes this year. Yes, when I think of Secretaries of State, memes are the first thing to come to mind. First, #texts from Hillary used the same shot of Secretary Clinton on her phone to convey the idea that Hillary Clinton is a true badass who doesn’t take stupid behavior from anyone. Part of what made this meme hilarious was its believability. Then later in the year, a less known meme that mostly just showed pictures of Clinton with Meryl Streep, an unexpected set of BFFs. Hey, if Mindy Kaling can launch a career starting with writing real person fanfic about best friends, why can’t these two powerful women be part of one of the best memes of the year? — RL

Grumpy Cat
Back in September, a posting to Reddit spawned one of the most endearing (and annoyed) memes of the year. Grumpy Cat grumpily won hearts and became the meme of choice for Internet curmudgeons with her perpetual frown. Why is Grumpy Cat so great? Well, it’s obvious. She gets to be the asshole we all want to be sometimes – saying the things that we want to say when we’re in a bad mood and someone gets in our grill with their “good cheer.” Grumpy Cat actually isn’t grumpy, I’ve heard, but let’s not mess with her mystique. I enjoy thinking that Grumpy Cat is out there, holding it down every day for all of us who have to force a fake smile when we don’t want to. – KDC

Condescending Wonka

On a similar note, Condescending Wonka allows internet users to cross that fine line of snarky commentary without being pegged as “that asshole” on the internet. Condescending Wonka seemed to reach the height of popularity during Election season, when sharing one’s political opinion via social media was a one-way ticket to Flame War City. Condescending Wonka allowed people to share what was on their mind while deflecting the conversation with humor while also hiding behind the smug visage of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. (let’s admit it, Wonka was kind of a dick.) – KDC


On the other end of the enthusiasm spectrum is Ermahgerd, a meme that started by poking fun at a rather embarassing moment of pre-adolescent joy (and the presumed use of a retainer) and evolved into a sincere expression of incomprehensible Internet excitement. Ermahgerd has been used in the most unlikely places, like promotion of the latest Pig Destroyer album, and has even inspired its own language translator. – KDC

Binders of Women
Like last year, our final best meme of the year is a political one. Unlike last year’s Herman Cain, a living breathing internet meme, this one truly came out of left field. A meme from a statement during a presidential debate? One that took off immediately?!? This meme struck a chord with many who believed that their concerns were being tokenized as “women’s issues.” And it was so ridiculous and hilarious, and hopefully dispelled the notion that feminists don’t have a sense of humor. (Warning: Many feminists have a sense of humor that includes Lisa Frank stickers). -RL

Peace, LOLs, and lots more memes in 2013!

Comments (3)

I would like to give Introvert Cat a solid runner up, if I may! Because Introvert Cat KNOWS ME!

All the funniest Condescending Wonka memes were hilarious anti-racist responses to (white/)right-wing political apocalypse theories, such as the one referencing the fear of falling White birth rates (you know, “Oh, so you’re afraid of Whites being a minority? Why, are minorities treated like second-class citizens or something?”). I know Gene Wilder’s Wonka was an asshole, but I freaking love that movie – if possible EVEN MORE now.

Michelle, we will soon have a post up about all of the best/most beloved internet cats — and Introvert cat will be there!

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