Trends and Memes of 2016
January 13, 2017
Everyone seemed to be happy to see 2016 go when the ball dropped on New Years, and for good reason. We lost a lot of greats like Prince, Muhammad Ali, David Bowe, and Carrie Fisher, we witnessed one of the craziest presidential elections to date, and we witnessed terrible tragedies like the Orlando nightclub shooting and ISIS attacks. Although 2016 did have a lot of low points, we must not forget the funniest and most memorable trends from twitter that made us all laugh throughout the year.
The year started off with some funny memes that are still relevant today like the infamous crying Jordan face, which is one of my personal favorites. After any big sports game, like the NBA finals or the Orange Bowl for example, you’ll be sure to see a plethora of crying Jordan’s photoshopped onto the losing team all over twitter. Along with the creation of a legendary meme, we also witnessed a twitter beef and rant from Kanye West to Wiz Khalifa. It started by Wiz subtweeting Kanye criticizing him for the name of his new album (then titled “Waves”) saying it was unoriginal and uncreative. After Kanye fired back at him, Wiz tweeted back with a confusing tweet using the acronym “kk.” Kanye misunderstood what Wiz was really talking about and thought Wiz was referring to his wife, Kim Kardashian. This caused Kanye to go out on an all out twitter rant, firing at Wiz for his past relationships and his “corny” music while also complimenting him for his pants. It’s possible however that this was all planned just to advertise Kanye’s new album, but who really knows. Later on, in late February, we saw the end of an era when Leo DiCaprio finally won an oscar for his excellent performance in “The Revenant.” RIP all those memes roasting Leo for being nominated and not winning year after year. We also saw and then became quickly annoyed with the “Daaaaaaaamn Daniel, back at it again with the white vans!” video. The two kids who made the video, Daniel Lara and Joshua Holz, became so popular that they made it on Ellen. You’ll be happy to hear that Lara and Holz used their fame for good and visited a children’s hospital in their home state of California where they took pictures and signed autographs with the patients along with donating 100’s of new Vans shoes.
In April we all got to give a final goodbye to a goat who will be remembered forever, Kobe Bryant. In his final game, The Black Mamba scored a staggering 60 points to end his glorious 20-year career at 37 years old. In his farewell speech, Bryant said how he thought it was funny how all his years he’s been criticized for never passing, but on his final game his teammates were telling him “don’t pass!” RIP to all those old Kobe passing memes. In April, the start of a new challenge began, the running man challenge, which brought back to fame the old 90s song “My Boo.” You’ll remember this from the opening lines “at night, I think of you.” Drake also dropped his new album “Views” in April which brought on memes of Drake sitting various things, originally the CN Tower on his album cover. In May we saw another challenge of sorts that lives on to this day, water bottle flipping. The whole trend started with a video that went viral of a student at a talent show who did nothing more than walk up on stage, flip a water bottle perfectly on the first try, and walk off. After that everyone wanted to try and in more creative ways than one. Later on in May, came the Ballad of Harambe. Lastly, in June the Warriors took a pretty big L after they gave up a 3-1 lead and lost in the final to Lebron and the Cavs. Cue the crying Jordan memes.
In the beginning of July, we saw the epidemic of Pokemon Go. You’re lying if you say that you’ve never played it. All through local parks and in neighbourhoods many kids and teenagers could be seen walking around aimlessly following their phone to catch em all. Another infamous meme had its birth around this time, the Arthur angry fist meme, one of my personal favorites. In August, we all wondered what the heck happened to Frank Ocean and when his new album would drop after hearing countless false release dates. We also witnessed Team USA dominate in Rio, cue Micheal Phelps’ angry face memes. Finally, a plethora of dancing videos to the song “juju on that beat” made everyone subconsciously memorize the first minute of the song, and disappointed by the other half. On the scarier side, a pandemic of creepy clown videos plagued twitter. Bystanders took out their phone, recorded, and posted videos of clowns wandering around the streets and woods of the southeast, and on many occasions, the clowns chased and attacked people. Thank goodness that’s over.
Finally, we’ve made our way to the final 3 months of 2016, and along with it, we saw the most intense part of the presidential election. Through all the hard campaigning we at least gained an internet legend, Ken Bone. The adorable red sweater wearing political deviant asked a simple question to both Trump and Hillary: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job layoffs?” After that, the internet fell in love with him for his clever name and his sense of style, especially the red cardigan. Later on in November, the song Black Beetles by the rap duo “Rae Sremmurd” dropped and became a sensation. What really brought it to
fame was the Mannequin Challenge in which everyone stands completely still in mid-activity, like flipping a water bottle or jumping on someone’s back, while the song is playing. Later on, we saw the creation of the “Me to Me” Kermit the Frog meme, which became a testimony for the greatness that Kermit has done for internet memes. Finally, the song “Bad and Boujee” by Migos. This song is most popular for its opening line “Rain drops, drop top…” which is usually followed by a rhyming joke. It’s become so popular that Donald Glover went as far to thank Migos for creating the song in his Golden Globe acceptance speech.
When you get down to it, 2016 wasn’t so bad after all when you hide your feelings through memes. Another honorable mention for this year in memes that I couldn’t pinpoint to any one month is The Bee Movie. Check out the link below to see what started it all.