Old year, old me(mes)

A look back on the viral jokes that got us through 2017

Rachel Fernandez, Managing Editor

Memes are the gifts that keep on giving. The most widely distributed and easily understood jokes. The backbone of internet comedy that never fail to unite people. They’re are inside jokes we have with strangers, and there’s no better way to pay homage to a somewhat rocky 2017 than by looking back at some of the most circulated memes of the year.

Mocking Spongebob

Memes compiled by Ally Zacek

The summer of 2017 was dominated by yet another Spongebob meme adding to a collection from the show including Primitive Sponge and Confused Mr. Krabs. The sassy joke paired a slightly disturbing image of Spongebob as a chicken with captions that insinuated ridicule of some sort. The meme probably got popular since almost all millennials share the experience of growing up watching Spongebob, so there’s a feeling of nostalgia when jokes about the show emmerge. Although circulation has diminished, a good Mocking Spongebob meme is always gonna get a chuckle.

Bean Events

Memes compiled by Ally Zacek

If you are even slightly Chicago-adjacent, chances are you spent a good month or two scrolling through what felt like an endless amount of Facebook events inviting people to do some absurd thing at The Bean. The best part about this meme was how intricate the events became if you followed them closely: “Windex the bean” “Paint the bean black so they can’t windex it” “Prime The Bean so they can paint it black.” The joke was pretty niche and got annoying after a while, so it didn’t give the joke a very long viral life, but it was good while it lasted.

Distracted Boyfriend

Memes compiled by Ally Zacek

The comically convoluted structure and unnecessarily dramatic picture made this meme an instant classic. Stock images are funny on their own, but adding text really takes them to another level. The catch with this meme is that you have to read it right to left, but once you get a grasp on the format, the laughs come naturally. This is another one of those timeless memes that you can always adapt to whatever is happening in the world.

Expanding Brain

Memes compiled by Ally Zacek

Making this 2017 meme required skill. The meme is set up presenting a hierarchy of three or more things with a specific connection, and putting them together took a lot more effort than just using a reaction image. Anyone who made an expanding brain meme actually had to take the time to think through the joke and use photo editing software to put it all together meaning that many of them were really good. It also left a lot of room for absurdity with some of the memes going on for up to nine or 10 panels. Nothing but respect for anyone who made an expanding brain meme in 2017. Not all heroes wear capes.


Honorable mention: Rick Roll

Rick Rolling will never die (see: bolded words)