The Best Memes of (So Far), Explained
Its hard to believe were already more than halfway through , but looking back on these past six-plus months, one thing is clear: the internet has been keeping busy. From Bernies now-iconic Inauguration Day fit and Bill Gates divorce to the Gulf of Mexico being on literal fire, there has been much to meme about. Lets take a look back at some of the most entertaining online moments of the first half of the year.
Bernie Sanders at the Inuguration
kicked off with one of the best yet. It is of course Senator Bernie Sanders attending Joe Bidens inauguration in a hilariously practical fit. While many attendees were sporting designer, Sanders opted for a casual look that included his iconic mittens. The look, paired with Sanders unenthused body language, inspired so many memes and superimposed photos of the senator in various settings, like riding the NYC subway and hanging out inside famous works of art.
The Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Oprah Interview
Duke and Duchess of Sussexs bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey exposed many shocking truths about the royal family including an unnamed member of the family expressing concerns over baby Archie’s skin color, Tyler Perry housing the Duke and Duchess in one of his California homes, and that Prince Charles stopped taking Harry’s calls. Apparently, Oprah was just as shocked as we were because she gave us so many meme-worthy reactions.
For the Better, Right? (Anakin and Padme)
This four-panel meme comes from a scene in the film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones where Anakin and Padme are on a picnic discussing the Galactic Republics system of governance and their differing opinions on how it should run. The first variation of the meme was posted by Twitter user @starwarsposting with invented subtitles, not the actual films dialogue. Still, the subtitles align with Anakins progression to becoming an evil Sith and you get the gist of what the meme and its many variations are trying to convey, right?
Agnes Harkness Winking
Kathyrn Kahn as Agatha Harkness in Marvels television series WandaVision gave plenty of iconic moments throughout the show, but her exaggerated wink inspired a plethora of memes used to indicate an obvious lie.
The CDC says
When the CDC made an unexpected (and arguably premature) announcement that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks indoors or outdoors, the internet reacted to the news by coming up with even more guidelines for those fully vaccinated.
The ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal
Poor Ever Given somehow wedged herself into an unfortunate position in Egypt’s Suez Canal, blocking hundreds of other ships from passing and stoking fears of economic fallout. But despite the concern worldwide, the massive container ships longstanding immobility inspired countless memes for the six days she was trapped. Some devised plans for how theyd rescue the ship, while many saw Ever Given as a metaphor for trying your best even with the odds heavily stacked against you.
The Weeknds Super Bowl Performance
The Weeknds Super Bowl halftime performance had everything: million-watt lights, backup dancers in eerie face bandages, songs about cocaine and a dizzying shot of the singer, who got up close and personal with the camera and took it for a spin. The sequence was turned into a gif and memed approximately a million times.
Tana Mongeaus Strange Interaction with the Paparazzi
Infamous YouTuber and social media star Tana Mongeau had an incredibly strange interaction with the paparazzi prior to the big YouTubers vs. Tiktokers boxing event that took place in June with YouTuber Austin McBroom and TikToker Bryce Hall headlining the event. You can read an entire breakdown of the bizarre interaction from In the Knows Kelsey Weekman, but heres a short summary. In the video, Mongeau is presumably asked about the upcoming fight and tells the pap: Fuck Austin McBroom … It’s not my beef, but we’re team Bryce out here. Even the paparazzi Team Bryce, on god. Everything from the way Mongeau is standing to her interesting arm sleeves to her saying on god perplexed many viewers and inspired loads of recreations of the video, all of which are extremely hilarious on god.
Vin Diesel Talking About Family
In honor of the ninth (yes, ninth) installment of the Fast and Furious franchise F9, the internet is riffing on Dominic Torettos (Vin Diesel) undying love for family. If youve watched a few F&F films (or have seen this compilation video from Insider) youll know the characters are big on family. The memes are still ongoing, but so far Diesel has been superimposed into films like The Lion King, Home Alone, Jurassic Park and Disneys Cars (to name a few) with his iconic catchline.
Adult Swim TikTok Trend
Perhaps the best free advertising ever. In June, TikTokers made impressively creative videos inspired by Adult Swim, the late-night adult programming block that runs after hours on Cartoon Network, and the blocks interstitial bumps. The videos would showcase the iconic [AS] symbol underscored by Vanoo s remix of Time Moves Slow by Canadian jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD. The TikToks evoked a sense of nostalgia for many, particularly for Gen-Zers who had hazy childhood memories of waking up on their living room couches, still half-asleep after dozing off during a Cartoon Network show, to an Adult Swim bump. Wed implore you to watch the TikToks listed in the thread above because, despite them being free labor, theyre quite brilliant.
Bill Gates Getting Divorced
A sad day for the Gates turned out to be a very funny day for the internet. After news broke that Bill and Melinda Gates were legally separating, the reaction tweets were just too good.
Matt LeBlanc Is Everyones Favorite Irish Uncle
Irish Twitter had a field day with this screenshot of actor Matt LeBlanc from HBOs Friends Reunion, unanimously deciding the photo resembled a particular family relative — your favorite Irish uncle. Every Irish family has at least one of those uncles or great uncles — extreme salt-of-the-Earth characters, full of dry wit and just a drop of cynicism. Matt looks like a typical Irish uncle in the photos from the reunion from his arms are folded, to his facial expressions, Twitter user @noclarity74 explained to Buzzfeed News reporter Tanya Chan. Essentially, he looks like the well-meaning uncle whos attempting to understand your perhaps alternative or unconventional lifestyle. But hes trying! And we love him for that.
The U.S. East Coast Gas Shortage
You might recall back in May when some folks on the East Coast were briefly in a COVID toilet paper-esque frenzy over the gas shortage that occurred after a cyberattack crippled the Colonial Pipeline. While the government assured citizens there was enough fuel to go around and the pause in operation was only temporary, some drivers panicked and could be seen stockpiling gasoline in the backs of their trunks, only worsening the issue (and appearing a little ludicrous). The event, and the subsequent hysteria, prompted tons of hilarious jokes and memes.
Gulf Of Mexico Ocean Fire
We know we said we wouldnt bring this up but how can we not. At the beginning of July, a ruptured oil pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico caused an underwater fire to rage for hours. Video footage of the incident showed ships spraying the flames with nitrogen, creating a comically futile (but still horrific) image that many on the internet used to convey the serious effects of climate change.
You Can Be A Different Person After The Pandemic
After a New York Times Op-Ed was published in April titled You Can Be a Different Person After the Pandemic with a sub-headline telling readers that personalities are not set in stone, Twitter users began conflating the intended inspirational message with funny pop culture references.
The Cinnamon Toast Shrimp Tails Saga
You can read the full breakdown of this late March Twitter saga here, but a quick recap: Twitter user, podcaster and husband of “Boy Meets World” star Danielle Fishel (Topanga) Jensen Karp tweeted Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s official Twitter account a photo of two shrimp tails covered in cinnamon dust he had found in his box of cereal. (Gross, we know.) Almost all of Twitter had Karps back in his fight against CTC until multiple women who identified themselves as Karp’s exes began sharing similar, damaging information about Karp, including accusations of him being selfish, controlling and manipulative. After hearing these harrowing accusations of abuse, Karp was swiftly canceled by the internet, turning him and this entire Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp tails saga into a “Milkshake Duck,” a term and meme derived from a @pixelatedboat tweet describing a person who gains internet virality for something positive but is later revealed to have a questionable past.
Being Vaccinated Does Not Mean
As more and more Americans across the country received their first and second doses of the COVID vaccine in early April, Twitter users began sharing all the wild shenanigans they planned to get up to this summer, like eating indoors, hosting intimate dinner parties and maybe even hugging their fully vaccinated loved ones. After what had been a long, horrendous year, thinking about how a somewhat normal summer was within close reach was almost therapeutic. But as we wrote back in April, the discourse around going back to normal had gotten intense, with some internet users cautioning those fully vaccinated to not go buck wild this summer. Well, those tweets inspired a phrasal meme, informing those fully vaccinated of what they can and cannot do, the guidelines hilariously similar to well-known movie plots.
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The Best Memes of (So Far)
We have somehow already made it halfway into and even as people start to head back outside, so much of pop culture continues to take place online. Memes have been cemented as part of our daily interactions on social media and this year has not been short of inspiration, providing hilarious viral moments that turned into memes. Television shows, politics, awards shows, and sports have been the source of some of the most popular memes of the year, while other trends originated from social media users themselves.
Memes inspired by Bernie Sanders, Oprah Winfrey, WandaVision, and The Weeknd have been fan-favorites this year. If your timeline wasnt flooded with laugh-out-loud memes while you were scrolling these past six months, something is amiss. Memes have become such an integral part of how people communicate and share information with each other on the happenings of the world but in a comedic way, and this year was no exception. Take a look at the best memes has given us (so far).
- Love after lockup cast
- Bobcat 324 mini excavator specs
- Town of lancaster highway department
- Rustic wood arrow wall decor
We have learned a lot from a year of living most of our lives online. We’ve gone back and forth between treating the internet like a virtual town square on Twitter, revisiting our teenage archives on Tumblr, finding new identities on TikTok, and abandoning old ones on Instagram. Unshockingly, last year’s “top” memes reflect the breadth of this range. From World War III memes in January to coronavirus memes in March to memes about Grimes and Elon Musk’s newborn being some kind of cyberpunk Messiah in May, all struck a chaotic, filthy, and dystopic chord — but they were still funny. For a moment, no matter how bad things were, you could still laugh.
That didn’t hold in June, when Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country. Suddenly, pastel backgrounds and girl-boss slogans stepped in, promoting antiracism as if it were a brand — or worse, a part of our brands. These disgraceful actions eventually got to the point of memeifying Breonna Taylor, showing the power of memes to steer us totally wrong.
Memes are just repetition, but that has a power of its own. A meme groups a few words, images, videos, or sounds, and as more people replicate it and share it, a meme grows stronger, more complex, and harder to pin down. In a way, the “best” memes are the ones that become building blocks for those that come after; they evolve into other memes and live through the ages. Through “dark times” — be they high school or a pandemic — that repetition can make us feel less alone. No matter what, as long as you get the memes, you’re laughing with somebody.
At this point in , viral memes are a cacophony of laugh-crying moments. We were projectiled into with the same level of messiness that pulled us through Since we still don’t know where exactly we’ll end up, once again, we’re going to keep a record of the most viral and impactful memes, one month at a time, to help us along on this journey.
So here we are, spinning into the soggier, mulchier portion of , the year that was meant to be not like the previous year. How's that going? Yes, we're sick of it all, but one of the few bright spots of the last year was that all the extra time we had to devote to pottering around online led to some truly choice memes.
So, we've collected the best memes of here for you. The best memes from are right here, though we understand if you don't want to put yourself through all that again.
When Andrew Neil signed off from his first two-week stint in the big chair at GB News, he told viewers they "ain't seen nothing yet". By god, how true it was.
After a strong showing in the ratings for the launch night, things rather went downhill. The sound was glitchy. The tech didn't work. At one minute to showtime one evening, Neill was told by his director all the external comms were down, so he had no guests and had to fill, on his own, for an hour. The studio was so badly lit it was hard to make out whether we it was the guy from Coast railing against the bloody woke brigade destroying our heritage and blah blah blah or an archive clip of Rick Wakeman on Grumpy Old Men.
And then Simon McCoy – once a respected BBC presenter with a flair for an acerbic aside – had to ask people not to send in correspondence signed off by such luminaries as Mike Hunt, Mike Oxlong, and Hugh Janus.
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Just when things couldn't get any sillier, this bastion against cancel culture cancelled one of its own, Guto Harri, who was sacked after taking the knee during a chat about whether England's footballers ought to be doing it.
Changes were rung. Nigel Farage, who'd been on the edge of nearly every conversation about GB News anyway, got his own show. Neil retreated to his house in the south of France. As Private Eye pointed out, come September the Andrew Neill Show had been hosted exactly eight times by Andrew Neill, and many more times by people who weren't.
In mid-September he hit the ejector button and told the Daily Mail that the stress of running GB News nearly made him have a breakdown. The sympathy among Neill's colleagues in broadcast media has been muted. GB News has ironed out some of the kinks, but we'll always have Hugh Janus.
Soft men, hard men, man men soft times men hard
Obviously fuck L*urence F*x, but we did at least get to witness first hand the first case of poster's brain so advanced that the patient's frontal cortex fully inverted.
Larry, Larry, slow down. Have you had any water today? Have some water.
Ah, the Olympics
A year later than billed and not exactly wildly popular in Tokyo and Japan at large, the Olympics finally pitched up and did what the Olympics always does: grab you by the heartstrings every 20 minutes and make you tear up at the sight of some sporting excellence in a discipline you had no idea existed until Lutalo Muhammad told you it did.
But even before the Olympics kicked off/fired the starting pistol/slapped its legs and tried to grab its opponent's lapels, there were memes.
Those cardboard 'anti-sex beds' turned out not to be a prophylactic at all, just a recyclable frame which could really take some punishment, as various athletes showed by launching themselves onto them on social media. The memes, though, continued. One alternative: appropriate softboi stoner culture.
After everything we've been through, it felt like there was an even gauzier, softer focus to proceedings. Nobody got ripped to shreds, and there was a lot of understanding toward Simone Biles' decision to step back from competition, outside of the doughy middle-aged ex-Good Morning Britain presenter corpus.
Two of the standout moments of the Games epitomised that vibe. There was the Irish athletes' entrance at the Opening Ceremony, a gesture of humility and respect which was only added to by the Final Fantasy victory music playing at the time.
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And there was gold medal-winning diver Tom Daley, who finally made it to the peak of his sport. When he wasn't spinning and twirling toward water at speed, he was knitting like a demon.
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A little bag for his gold medal, a scarf for a little Furby-like mascot, and a truly astounding cardigan commemorating the whole Games. What a champ.
Back in January, John Roderick decided he would tweet about a bit of parenting he seemed quite proud of. His nine-year-old daughter didn't know how to open a tin of beans, and he refused to help her. She'd have to figure it out herself, while he live-tweeted what happened.
Naturally, this up-by-the-beanstraps approach to bringing up a child was met with mixed reviews. 'Bean dad' became Twitter's main character for a couple of days. He was the archetype of a Machiavellian tyrant.
Roderick deactivated his Twitter account not long afterwards, when people pointed out that he was being an arse and then – of course! – some anti-Semitic and racist tweets resurfaced. Every single time.
Anakin and Padme
One thing we've been really missing in is an endlessly remixable meme format – a Marriage Story argument scene, a Man Phwoaring At Woman In Front Of Girlfriend. Now, at last, we have it.
It's taken from the bit of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones where Anakin and Padme exchange woo in a field while also discussing the relative merits of dictatorships and pluralist democracy, and specifically the bit where Anakin endorses totalitarianism. Now, the meme's a handy way of pointing out when something you thought was going to go well has actually spiralled into something deeply disappointing.
Really miss that little car. Quite a few of the best ones are about the vagaries of technology, and quite how irritating different file formats can be.
And there's this one, which is just magnificent.
And finally: a meme from the early Seventies.
Poor David Marshall
Scotland's big day at Hampden Park didn't go quite to plan. Their return to a major championship ended in a loss, and the second goal was a frankly jaw-dropping ping from the halfway line after goalkeeper David Marshall had gone for a sandwich. Marshall's doomed leap after the ball got a memeing, as did his slightly undignified trajectory into the back of the net.
Poor old David Marshall. It's a meme which, looking at it from this end of the England-Scotland draw, managed to tie together two eternally repeating motifs of sport: Scottish plucky loserism, and English hubristic wankerdom. Within days, the hearty fnarr-ing at Marshall had turned to ash in England fans' mouths. Don't even mind it! Feels good. Feels right.
That Marvel mega-trailer
The huge dump of new Marvel stuff which welcomed in the start of Phase 4 by announcing dates for (deep breath) Black Panther 2, Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man 3, Doctor Strange 2 andThor: Love and Thunder did lend itself to a memeing. In the onslaught of new stuff, you could very easily have missed a few announcements. For what it's worth, we'd absolutely watch a mash-up of Mamma Three-a and a rebooted X-Men. Imagine it: Julie Walters jiving around to 'Ring Ring' on Kalokairi while Michael Fassbender does one of his big grimaces. Those mutants wouldn't stand a chance.
The Oscars at large
This year's odd halfway house-style Oscars ceremony didn't prove to be any impediment to the manufacture and dissemination of weapons-grade memes. There was Anthony Hopkins beaming in from the Welsh countryside. There was Daniel Kaluuya giving thanks for the fact his mum and dad banged. There was, of course, Glenn Close doing Da Butt. We've rounded up a few more here.
Dancing Daniel Brühl
Now that it's all over, we can agree that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wasn't anywhere near as good as WandaVision, right? Right. Good to see the lads get a run out, sure, but it didn't kick in the same way. However, it did give us Daniel Brühl as Zemo grooving in a club while Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie look on, narked.
According to Brühl the boogie itself "wasn't on the page," but was something he felt he really, really needed to do.
"This guy has been sitting and rotting in a German prison cell, so it's time to let off some steam," Brühl told ET Canada. "And, also, I like the way Sam and Bucky react to it. You know, truly annoyed."
You can be a different person after the pandemic
A New York Times op-ed with exactly that headline landed in early April. "Our personalities are not set in stone," read the subhead. "They are more like sand dunes." The po-faced, very NYT tone encouraged people to be as gleefully stupid as they possibly could. Maybe your new post-pandemic persona will be Hayden Christensen.
Or maybe you'll suddenly get extremely cool.
Or perhaps you'll leave people seeing double: four Krusties?
Anyway like I say, the joy here is in finding the most aggressively stupid way of interpreting a very self-serious thing, which is some of the choicest joy there is.
The ship that blocked the Suez Canal
When a ship called the Ever Given got itself wedged diagonally across one of the world's most intensely important shipping lanes, blocking 10 percent of the planet's freight traffic, it set something off. Why was it so funny? Why did it hit so hard? Why couldn't people stop telling each other not to make any more jokes because – arf! – that ship had sailed?
We may never know for sure, but there's something in the level of incompetence the layman assumes it would take for a modern ship to get itself so catastrophically stuck that it's just sat there, arse flapping in the wind, for a week. Plus, there's the consoling factor of knowing that however you manage to spaff something up, it'll never be as consequential or world-stopping as getting a tanker stuck in the Suez Canal. For a week.
Speculation as to who was at the wheel/rudder/whatever during the fateful grounding was obviously one of the main topics of discussion.
The wider sociopolitical meaning of exactly why the tanker felt it had to stage this protest was up for debate too.
And finally, when it unwedged itself and floated free once more, joy was unconfined.
The Harry and Meghan interview
The fallout from the Sussexes' interview with Oprah continues to fall out all over the shop. Many of the remixed visions of what exactly Harry objected to about his folks' handling of the announcement of his and Meghan's first-born – which was both shocking and not in the least bit surprising – and blow it up to bizarre proportions.
At the other end of things, the gigantic scale of the impact this has had on the royals and the British establishment got brought down to the scale of some kind of influencer drama-geddon.
Somewhere in the middle, the recasting of the Gen Alpha royals as Schitt's Creek's David and Alexa Rose was pretty inspired.
Elsewhere, you've got Oprah repurposed as a never-not-useful reaction meme. You can never have too many of them knocking about.
March / March
Bloody hell. A whole calendar year of this palaver. Everything has changed, and nothing has changed. You have completely overhauled your outlook, and you have been held in stasis. You have aged a thousand years, and your life has been paused. Bloody, bloody hell.
It's a weird vibe right now, as the UK comes up to a year since it first went into lockdown. Spring's on the way and we're all into the idea that late June will be the mad one to end all mad ones – see below – but there's a queasy sense that things are unlikely to go exactly to plan. It's a meme, yes, but there's a semi-serious point here: we're absolutely knackered.
Lockdown burnout is real, and it's quite heartening to know that everyone else is feeling it to some degree too even if it's in an archly dismissive sort of way. If you've managed to get through the last year without too much specifically bad happening to you or your loved ones, then great – it's still been completely exhausting.
Bring on 21 June
On 22 February, Boris Johnson announced the earliest date we could drop all social distancing measures and launch ourselves headlong into The Greatest Summer Of All Time. There are a lot of ifs. There are numerous buts. The Jenga tower of assessment dates and tests could topple with the slightest nudge. But for the first time we've got a solid date on which life could return, and it's just in time for England v Czech Republic at Wembley.
Some have pointed out that Johnson also reckoned last March that we'd be out of this within 12 weeks, that we'd not need a November lockdown, and that cancelling Christmas would be "inhuman". But really, can one man be that badly wrong four times in a row? It gets statistically less likely every time he's wrong! That's just maths.
It was Agatha all along
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WandaVision hasn't pumped out many memes, but Kathryn Hahn's stage-wink as it was revealed she'd been a witch in hiding the whole time went overground as the series reached its climax. It's your regular intention-versus-reality gag, a bit like Evil Kermit, but this time the captions have had a more intellectual bent.
You don't see many stage-winks around anymore do you? Shame.
Politicians attempting to talk to The Youth Of Today invariably produces excellent moments, like the time David Cameron bored a seven-year-old to death. More bizarrely, Rishi Sunak tried to connect with the voters of tomorrow by admitting he had a terrible addiction to Mexican Coke. That's, ah, central American Coca-Cola.
Look at those lads, gamely listening while the Chancellor of the Exchequer tries to talk himself out of a class A-shaped hole by rambling on about high fructose corn syrup. (Sunak's not even correct here, by the way – Coke in the UK is made with sugar.)
That Texas lawyer with the cat filter on Zoom
In the future, the pandemic's equivalent of 'What's the deal with airline food?' will be unfortunate Zoom backgrounds and face filter. But just because you've seen it before, it doesn't mean you'll be in any way immune to Texas lawyer Rod Ponton's panicked explanation to Judge Roy Ferguson of Texas’s th judicial district: "I’m here live, I am not a cat". Ponton, who seems to be genuinely trapped inside a baby kitten's face, is commendably professional about the whole thing.
Jackie Weaver and the Handforth Parish Council
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Up until February , the sleepy parish of Handforth in Wilmslow, Cheshire was best known for its easy access to Manchester airport and the M6. But all that changed when Shaan Ali, a year-old from East London, tweeted out two minutes of highlights from a Zoom parish council meeting in December.
Jackie Weaver, parachuted in to help keep the beleaguered parish council moving after councillors kept bickering among themselves, bore the brunt of even more bickering. But instead of bowing to pressure, Weaver started kicking councillors out: first Brian Tolver, who questioned Weaver's authority; then vice-chair Aled Brewerton (and unidentified friend) and Barry Burkill felt the full force of Weaver's boot.
(Speaking as a Cheshire expat, the mixture of bureaucratic glibness and foaming indignation at anything going wrong is a pretty solid map of my home county's personality.)
Every single moment of the meeting's been memed or quoted in some way: "You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver!"; "Read the standing orders! Read them, and understand them!"; Weaver declaring herself Britney Spears; Julie's I pad. It's the This is Spinal Tap of viral videos right now.
And then Iain Duncan Smith made a joke about it in Parliament and ruined it. Still, if you're at a loss as to what to watch tonight, the Handforth parish council meeting is on YouTube in its entirety and runs to a tight 90 minutes.
Bernie Sanders and his mittens
The first genuine mega-meme of came, as you might have expected, from Joe Biden's inauguration. It wasn't Joe himself, though, with his air of steady competence and stable boringness. It was meme machine Bernie, and the mittens he was gifted on the campaign trail in Vermont. As soon as that picture of him sat like a cat, with his mitts crossed, was turned into a background-free PNG file, all bets were off. Bernie went on a road trip around the internet.
After that it started getting a bit silly.
I mean, really. We've since found out that those mittens were a gift from teacher Jen Ellis and that they're made of recycled materials and are technically 'smittens', an amalgam of mittens and a sweater. Ellis has since run out of said smittens, so don't both trying and track any down.
"Thanks for all the interest in Bernie's mittens!" she wrote on Twitter. "I'm so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on Etsy who make them."
There's no chance of Ellis chucking in the day job to go full time on the smittens. "I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they're one of a kind and they're unique and, sometimes in this world, you just can't get everything you want," she told Jewish Insider.
If you're after more Bernie memes – and why on earth wouldn't you be – we collected some of our favourites in a Twitter Moment right here.
Sea shanty TikTok
Right back in July last year, Scottish postman Nathan Evans began putting up a TikToks of himself singing sea shanties. Just after Christmas, he put up a very nice one in which he harmonised with himself a 19th century seafaring ditty called Soon May the Wellerman Come.
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Which is lovely on its own, and it's racked up million views. But early in January, the world realised that TikTok had done its Ratatouille: the Musical thing with it, and turned it into a swoon-worthy piece of folk vocalising.
That was the point at which it went properly overground. As in, the New York Times did a piece on it and Evans got roped in to explain himself on the Today programme.
"I did a sea shanty back in July , just because someone had asked in a comment under one of my videos," Evans told Radio 4. "So I uploaded that and it reached m views. I thought there must have been a demand.
“People were looking forward to more and they were commenting underneath every video after that saying can you sing this one, can you sing that one – it was just requests from people for me to sing them."
Evans reckons that despite how tricky that alto line sounds, the simplicity of the sea shanty is its strength, as well as the communal sing-along aspect.
"I think its the fact you can get everyone involved, everyone can join in, you don’t need to necessarily be able to sing, the words are simple and it is just the beat and the voices. I think it’s a bit of everything that appeals to everyone."
Well, not quite everything and everyone. The missing ingredient was, it turns out, an absolutely belting bassline.
Don't worry about what's in the vaccine
As you've probably seen, there's a bit of resistance to the newly (and speedily) developed vaccines going around, and a lot of misinformation. Claims that the various different jabs aren't safe (they are) or are part of some conspiracy to monitor you (they aren't) or could make your feet turn into a mass of purple sores (they can't) have been flying around since early December, and there are a lot of other baseless, unscientific ideas floating on the breeze too.
Obviously, you're not automatically an idiot if scare stories scare you. That's rather the point. But, as many people pointed out, all of the vaccines are a lot safer than many of the things you do and ingest on a fairly regular basis.
The outside world is full of far more potentially dangerous fluids than a rigorously tested vaccine.
And especially if you're in North London, just walking to get the bus could potentially land you with Legionnaires' disease.
There's been a dead pigeon hanging from that bridge for months now. When will it drop? And who will the pigeon of Damocles drop on? For others, perspective came in the form of harrowing post-rave milling around come dawn in central Manchester's transport hubs.
The sheer concentration of complete gibberish and bad vibes around the Piccadilly concourse branch of Upper Crust come am has to have some kind of immunosuppressant effect.
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Of best 2021 memes
The best memes of (so far)
1 September ,
All the funniest and most viral memes from , including Oprah's Harry and Meghan interview, Vin Diesel's Family, Tom Holland and Nicki Minaj and more.
And so it begins again. may be in our rear-view mirrors now but its chaotic spirit is truly living on in – and the memes aren't any different either.
In the first few months of alone, we've already seen the Bean Dad become the main character on Twitter as well as WandaVision and Drag Race UK take over the timelines. We've also watched as social media reacted to the news of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's reported divorce, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah interview, Joe Biden's inauguration and the riots at the US Capitol Building.
To make sure you don't miss any of the memes that have gone viral this year, we're putting the best memes of in a list. Right here. You're welcome. Enjoy.
The My Fall Plans vs. the Delta variant memes
That one aunt and her "roommate" memes
Jake from Love Island saying "You think it's all me?" memes
Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't shower memes
Ariana Grande Fortnite event memes
The Love Island winners meme
The Doc Ock memes from Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer
The Milk Crate Challenge memes
The Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man meme
The Kanye West 'Donda this, Donda that, Donde esta?' meme
The Vin Diesel family memes
The Tom Holland, Zendaya and Nicki Minaj memes
The French Dispatch cast at Cannes Film Festival memes
The Simpsons predicting Richard Branson going to space memes
The Emma Roberts beach video memes
The Old beach memes
The Love Island memes
READ MORE: The best memes from Love Island (so far)
Best June memes
The Pride memes
READ MORE: 25 hilarious gay tweets to celebrate Pride Month
The "deleting dating apps" memes
The Christopher Meloni pink and green outfit memes
The Padmé and Anakin Skywalker 'red flag' memes
The Loki memes
Best May memes
The Little Mix baby memes
The Lily James as Pamela Anderson memes
The Marvel trailer memes
The Knives Out 2 cast announcement memes
The "CDC says fully vaccinated people can" memes
The Rihanna and A$AP Rocky dating memes
The Matt LeBlanc Irish Uncle memes
The Cruella's Mum memes
Best April memes
The "Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out?!" memes
The fake grandparents throwback memes
The dancing Zemo from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier memes
The COVID vaccine memes
The timeline memes
The "You can be a different person after the pandemic" meme
The Daniel Kaluuya Oscars speech memes
The DJ Khaled standing up meme
Best March memes
The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Oprah interview memes
The Agnes Winking memes from WandaVision
The Vishawn J'arvis memes from WandaVision
The Crying Boo memes
The March vs. March memes
The "Ur so quiet in person" memes
The $ stimulus memes
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier memes
The Dream Blunt rotation memes
The Shrimp Cinnamon Toast Crunch memes
The Ever Given ship stuck in the Suez Canal memes
The "stop crying it's just a movie" memes
The White Boy Summer memes
Best February memes
The Handforth Parish Council memes
The Ginny Lemon walking out of Drag Race UK memes
The Weeknd Super Bowl Halftime Show memes
READ MORE: The best Weeknd memes from the Super Bowl halftime show
The "It's always ily and not" memes
The Joe Black wearing H&M on Drag Race UK memes
READ MORE: RuPaul ripping into Joe Black's H&M dress has become a savage meme
The "Bing Bang Bong, UK Hun?" memes
The Gottmik's "Gagatrondra" Drag Race memes
The "are you ok? no but" memes
The Agatha All Along memes from WandaVision
The June 21st lockdown memes
READ MORE: 21 memes about June 21st following Boris Johnson's lockdown announcement
The "you should have been there" meme
Best January memes
The Bean Dad memes
The Jeffree Star and Kanye West memes
READ MORE: Jeffree Star responds to Kanye West TikTok rumours as memes break the internet
The GaysOverCovid memes
The US Capitol Building riot memes
The showing around the workplace meme
The Trump banned from Twitter memes
The 'I love you guys so much' Michael Scott meme
The Trump impeached for a second time memes
READ MORE: Donald Trump has been impeached again and the memes are twice as wild
The Sea Shanty TikTok memes
The Tia Kofi's Alan Turing runway look on Drag Race UK memes
READ MORE: The best memes from Drag Race UK season 2
The Inauguration memes
READ MORE: Joe Biden Inauguration memes: All the best tweets and reactions
The Lady Gaga singing at the Inauguration memes
READ MORE: Lady Gaga singing at the Inauguration is already a God tier meme
The Bernie Sanders at the Inauguration memes
READ MORE: Bernie Sanders wearing mittens at the Inauguration is already the best meme of
READ MORE: Here's how to make a Bernie Sanders mittens meme
The "Once COVID is over" memes
The Gamestop Stock Market memes
The Astrology GF and Stock Market BF memes
Need a recap on the best memes from the past 4 years? Look no further
The best memes of
The best memes of
The best memes of
The best memes of
The Best Memes of (So Far)
The best way many web denizens have come up with to cope with how simply TERRIBLE this past year-and-counting has been is, well, to meme about it. As we've been spending more and more time hunched over in our home offices lately, we've had more than enough time to make jokes about pretty much anything that crossed our paths. We've rounded up the very best of them in this ongoing list we're just going to call the Best Memes of
Need more memes? Check out the Best Memes of , the Best Memes of , and the Best Memes of All Time. And if you want recommendations for things to watch, check out our lists of the Best TV Shows of and Best Movies of
Once COVID is over
The end of this pandemic, so they say, is on the horizon, but for those of us who like to keep our expectations low to avoid disappointment, all this crowing about what plans people are making just a few months into the future sounds like wishful thinking. The vaccine is COMING, it's HERE, hope is REAL, and yet we still feel like Sisyphus pushing our silly little rocks up our silly little hills.
Sea Shanty TikTok
For a brief moment as everyone was reeling from months in lockdown, sea shanties became the hottest track on TikTok. The affection for these antiquated boat tunes began when a year-old Scottish postal worker and musician named Nathan Evans posted a video of himself singing "The Wellerman," a 19th Century whaling song originating in New Zealand. Soon there were remixes, versions featuring Kermit the frog, and think pieces. Shanty culture was inescapable, and very very catchy.
Cat zoom filter
As Rod Ponton awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed on a Zoom conference call into a tiny cat. The Texas county attorney was briefly stumped during a hearing by a Zoom filter that turned his face into that of a kitten, making his plaintive cries of "I'm not a cat" that much funnier. He eventually figured it out, but only after the whole thing was recorded and then immortalized by the Internet.
An overly long thread about a father turning his hungry young child's inability to use kitchen tools into a "teachable moment" that lasted for hours backfired when Twitter turned on the author, podcaster John Roderick, telling him to stop torturing his poor kid. The fracas caused Roderick to delete his account amid accusations of anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets, popular podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me recorded a new theme song, and somehow interim Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings also got involved?
People were dreaming up big plans for when the $1, stimmy finally hit their bank account. It was no longer enough to purchase a new TV or some nice shoes you've been eyeing; we need one of those big red concrete balls that sit outside Target. Microsoft Word's universally loathed virtual assistant Clippy? He's mine. Seafood franchise Legal Seafood? You better believe fourteen-hundo buckaroos are buying me the secrets to the illegal seafood.
RIP to ___ they would have loved/hated ___
What started as a tweet from late about Princess Diana probably loving the video game Total War: Warhammer 2 if she was alive today steamrolled into a very funny meme format in March of , predicting what other deceased famous people would have liked or loathed with surprising accuracy based on topline facts about them. Nikola Tesla would have hated Elon Musk; there's not a doubt in my mind that Karl Marx would have loved Britney Spears. Albert Einstein? Absolutely a fan of Mariah Carey's E=MC2.
Myanmar coup fitness instructor
Times are still pretty dark, and, fittingly, our extremely online sense of humor is even darker. As if *gestures broadly* everything else going on wasn't enough, the nation of Myanmar had a military coup d'etat at the start of February. Along with the news of the military taking control of the government came this video of a fitness instructor teaching a live class, totally unaware that there are tanks breaching the barricade behind her. "Me," we all said, as we all try to go about our days while absolute chaos is erupting around us.
Suez Canal boat
When the 1,foot-long container ship Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal for days, it stopped up global supply chains everywhere but released a stream of memes that could fill an entire list. The Big Boat was the only thing anyone was talking about for nearly a week in March as many of us were just starting to venture out of our homes again, and the incremental measures taken to free the Ever Given's prow from the Suez mud—a prow so big it made industrial machinery look like children's toys—looked so hilarious we couldn't help but post through it.
Zola tweet text
The Twitter thread that Zola is based on came out way back in , but after A24 finally released a full trailer for the film A'Ziah King's immortal opening line — "Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out?! It’s kinda long but full of suspense" — got a new viral life. After one Twitter user posted those words next to photos of Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin from The Social Network, everyone started joining in using those sentences to illuminate their favorite feuds, fictional or otherwise. Even Jeremy O. Harris, the co-writer of Zola, got in on the fun with images of Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith as Elphaba and Glinda in Wicked.
You had to be there
Look, you just had to be there! A meme that sprung up randomly in celebration of nostalgic and bizarre objects and shows from our past is just what we need to get us through the next few weeks, endlessly scrolling through reminders of the awful clothing we used to wear, the accessories the fashion world sold to us, and the truly weird TV we used to watch. The '90s kids are at it again.
Ted Cruz on Mars
Early in the year, Texas found itself in the throes of an unseasonably cold winter, as power outages and dangerous weather conditions nearly stopped the entire state in its tracks. Texas' senator Ted Cruz took the opportunity to make an ill-conceived trip to Cancún while his constituents suffered, and was summarily flamed online for it. At the same time, the Mars rover Perseverance was landing on the surface of the red planet, prompting Twitter users to post many a joke about Cruz's plane making a pit stop on his return trip, using photos snapped of the senator sheepishly dragging a suitcase through the airport. When the stars align, memes are born.
Vin Diesel loves family
Even if you've never seen a Fast and Furious movie in your entire life, you probably already know two things: they're about cars, and they're about family. Nothing is more important to street-racer-turned-international-man-of-mystery Dominic Toretto than his family, a fact he reminds the audience of at least three times per film. On the advent of the latest film in the franchise, F9: The Fast Saga, Internet users imagined what other popular franchises would be like if you inserted Dom Toretto and his monomaniacal love of his familia into them.
Back in January before we all had the misfortune of knowing what an NFT is, the year's first meme stock, involving a bunch of redditors buying up GameStop and AMC shares to fuck with hedge fund bros, was riding its wave. A meme stock will, of course, spawn more memes, and thus stock market bf/astrology gf was born, quickly leading to the most uncanny version of the concept in Elon Musk and Grimes, though Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers, Frye and Leela from Futurama, and plenty of other celeb/fictional couples made the cut too. Related entries include: e-girl gf / podcaster bf, step skin care routine gf / 3-in-1 shampoo bf, and a thousand other iterations.
8. Don't worry about what's in the vaccine
A year into a global pandemic, you'd think there would be near-universal celebration with the advent of multiple COVID vaccines. Naturally, thanks to our culture's penchant for conspiracy theories, there are plenty of people questioning how "safe" the vaccines themselves actually are, given how quickly they've been formulated and approved. "BuT wHaT's iN tHEm??" they ask. According to this meme, chances are, you really don't have to worry about it.
7. Bisexual IKEA couch
Pride Month is a time for queer people everywhere to celebrate their identities and pay homage to the trailblazers who came before, and it's also, apparently, a time for corporations to deeply embarrass themselves on the Internet. Right at the tail end of the month, just when we thought we were free, IKEA Canada unveiled a series of artist-designed Pride loveseats, which were, at best, aesthetically displeasing, and, at worst, well…. Taken out of context, the line from poet Brian Lanigan's spoken-word piece about bisexuality, "When you change OR to AND, nobody believes you," which was printed on the handsy cushions of the Bisexual Couch, just sounds like a weird taunt.
6. Oprah no/yes
Oprah's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was a historically significant moment, the rare look inside the British monarchy and the insidious racism that resides within. It was also very good for memes. The prevailing meme to emerge was this one of Oprah at first rejecting a notion, and then deeply pondering it. It's a version of Drake's no/yes meme from the "Hotline Bling" video, and, thank goodness, because we were in need of a new format.
5. Bernie Sanders inauguration fit
Bernie Sanders came to the inauguration of President Joe Biden perfectly bundled for the frigid DC weather. But when a photographer captured him waiting for the festivities to begin—knees crossed, mittens on full display—he became an instant meme. Easily removed from context, Bernie could be impatiently waiting anywhere. He could be a member of the cast of The Sopranos or Sex and the City. Put him in Uncut Gems! Any spot is a good spot for Bernie.
4. Agatha All Along
Kathryn Hahn was the not-so-secret MVP of WandaVision from the first episode, but when it was finally revealed that her nosy neighbor was not a suburbanite but actually a witch named Agatha Harkness, she turned into the biggest star on the internet. That's largely thanks to Agatha's incredibly catchy theme song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, which was quickly turned into a trap banger. Couple that with the wonderfully loony image of Agnes/Agatha winking from an earlier episode and you've got a sensation.
3. For the better, right?
There is an entire subsection of the Internet dedicated to Star Wars prequel memes, an endless scroll of in-jokes upon in-jokes that has formed a strong community in the years since those movies premiered. Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?What about the droid attack on the Wookies!?Hello there. The most recent of these, and the first to gain popularity amongst the general public, is a photoset taken from screenshots of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, during the scene when Anakin and Padmé are frolicking around in that sunny field. Anakin says something, Padmé attempts to confirm it, and grows concerned when Anakin offers no response, skewering everything from Macbeth to The Thing.
2. The Weeknd's Super Bowl halftime show
The Weeknd's Super Bowl halftime show was extravagant and off-putting, the perfect amount of weird for a very weird year. No part of the concert captured the hearts and minds of mememakers more than the moment that the pop star disappeared into a tunnel of lights and sang "Can't Feel My Face" directly into a camera while it spun around. The perspective was slightly nauseating but also made for great joke fodder.
1. March / March
It's been a whole year, but also it's been March this entire time. And yet, though the month is the same, the days between Pre-Pandemic Us and Post-Pandemic Us has left people permanently altered. We don't know how to make small talk anymore, we still submerge all our groceries in a bleach-and-vodka bath before eating them, and our hair has grown so, so long.
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Stands barefoot on the floor, wearing a dress pulled up to the waist and black lace. After waiting a few seconds, I let go of the hem. He falls as if nothing had happened. swallows. - Further.