ELF ON THE SHELF
This glorious meme was first made in December 2016, believe it or not. The first iteration was posted on Tumblr *shivers*, and involved an action figure of Ash Ketchum in a garbage can (Ash in the trash). It finally picked up steam in September 2017, and by that time it was everywhere. The best thing about this meme was how creative it allowed people to be. From Link on the sink to Nick Cage on the bacteriophage, the possibilities were endless. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the end was spelled out when this meme appeared on normie TV shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Expanding brain was one of the longest-running memes of the past year, being relevant right from the start of 2017 till now. If a meme can make it through a whole year, then you can make it through 2018. Originating in Reddit to make fun of the “whomst” meme, this ended up doing so much more. Most of the humour here comes from the overkill in the final few frames of the meme, and this over-the-top ridiculousness is something we can all get behind. A prime example of this is the meme which starts with “peeing on the side of the toilet bowl to not make noise” and ends with “peeing into your hand and using a flashlight and magnifying glass to evaporate the pee over several months to avoid making noise”. Fun fact: the final frame of this meme looks like the logo of Dragonforce.
RICHARD AND MORTIMER
Now we get to the big daddy of memes: Rick and Morty. Disclaimer: Those who haven't watched Rick and Morty do not have the required IQ to understand this paragraph. Kindly skip to the next meme. Now that all the addlepated simpletons have left, let's talk about Rick and Morty. No one is sure when the fanbase transformed into a screaming cult of wannabe elitists, but we can all laugh at the end result. It was funny when it was just groups of awkward adults throwing tantrums in McDonalds, but then came the copypasta. “To be fair....” hit like a hurricane, and from then onwards everyone was embarrassed to say they unironically watched the show.
Rating: 180/10, because of the IQ needed to understand the show
Are you afraid of flying? You should be, when there are airlines like United. This company rose to notoriety and meme status when they beat up and dragged a bleeding doctor out of an overbooked flight. As horrible as it was, the memes spawned from the incident must have made the poor doctor feel better. Maybe. With so many memes ridiculing the use of “volunteer” and “reaccomodate” in their CEO's response to the event, even Merriam Webster dictionary got in on the act. Not to mention how the on-board situation was likened to The Hunger Games and Fight Club. My favourite would have to be “United Airlines: We bring a new meaning to the expression fight or flight”.
Rating: 12/10, oops, I seem to have overbooked the rating
This meme should have achieved legend status by now. It began way back in 2011 when L.A. Noire first debuted on PlayStation systems. Somehow, it stood the test of time and kept gaining traction through 2017. One of the reasons for this was how it could fit in almost anywhere. From an optimistic post to a clearly ridiculous statement, anything could be hit with the doubt. More than comedic effect, this meme thrived because of the disfigured little pessimist inside all of us which is dying to get out at every opportunity. This meme is a celebration of that side of us.
MAN'S NOT HOT
The first time I saw fire in the booth, I thought it was hilarious. Once I discovered that Michael Dappah was a comedian who created Big Shaq, I was in love. Not many people can claim to have intentionally made a meme, so when it does happen it is wonderful to behold. Of course, once you look beyond the meme, Mans not hot is actually a good song. *sees Gucci Gang*. Actually Man's Not Hot is a great song, and Big Shaq is a better rapper than most.
Rating: 2 + 2 = 4, minus 1 = 3 – quick maffs
THAI POLITICAL CRISIS BREAKUP
While this may sound unfamiliar, this is actually the proper name of the very common 4-frame meme. This features 2 people walking into an apartment, getting ready to do *stuff* when one person sees something in a picture frame that makes them leave. This meme works so well because it's one of those opinion memes (much like the scroll of truth), where you can antagonise whatever it is that you don't like. This gives far more power to the OP of the meme than other formats, and is the reason why it has such longevity. Personally I'm a bigger fan of the space edition of this meme, but to each his own.
SKYRIM SKILL TREE
My second-favourite video game meme, the Skyrim skill tree meme is wonderfully adaptable to all situations. Whenever you see something ridiculous, you can attribute it to one of the skills in the Skyrim skill tree. The most common one is “Destruction: 100”, but I've seen wonderful ones based on illusion and alteration as well. More than anything else, this meme reminds us all of just how many different skills there are in the Skyrim skill tree. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get to experience it again when Bethesda releases Skyrim HD Remastered Definitive Collector's Pack Mod DLC Edition for your microwave.
WHO WOULD WIN?
The answer is “the whole world”, when creative memes like these take off. This meme is a real OG, and started way back in 2010. Since then it's had many different versions, and some of the best have come about this year. It started with simple things, like actual comparisons between things. Very soon it moved on to other topics, such as “Who would win: jet fuel or steel beams?” One of my favourites involved another meme, the great emu war – “Who would win: A country or some birds that can't even fly?” Then it started using the format where the second item ended with “boi” until finally reaching the modern format of mirroring a person's face and name. It has gone through many evolutions.
Those were the best of the international bunch, but now it's time to look at some of the most memorable Bangladeshi memes. Get your Bangladesh jerseys on, ladies and gentlemen.
E KEMON BICHAR?
Taken from the classic “Thakurmar Jhuli”, this meme is both funny and multipurpose. The situations this can be applied to are endless – from screwing up a test you studied for to getting blamed for something you didn't do. An average Bangladeshi's day could fill an entire catalogue of “E kemon bichar?” memes, it's so damn relatable.
AHSAN HABIB PAIR
In case you didn't know, this person is a faux-religious dude who claimed to be doing good. Eventually he was revealed to be a blackmailer who has no moral compass, and is now rightfully in jail. Some of the things he said during his expose have been immortalised as memes. This is the origin of the meme: “Bhai ami ghume thaki, amar kheyal thake na”, which was his 10/10 response when confronted with his wrongdoings. This is what it looks like when someone tries to plead ignorance, and this meme can only be trumped by another meme involving him: “Apon lok-ke bisshash korle ja hoy aarki”. Remember kids, if you want to incriminate someone else for the things you've done, this is how you do it.
Bangladeshis are a romantic bunch – so much so that every year there is at least one crazy dude embarrassing himself on camera for love. Last year we were graced with Xunayed, this year we have Khan Helal. If you've ever done embarrassing things to win back your ex, you should watch this guy's videos to feel better about yourself. In each of his well-produced and informative videos, he narrates his tale in broken English, and the intrigue between him and his beloved Mithila unfolds. Don't let me spoil it for you, go ahead and watch these videos again, and again.
These were the most memorable memes of 2017. Now you can finally say goodbye to 2017 the right way, and welcome whatever memes 2018 has in store. Happy New Year!
Wasique Hasan is a confused soul. With a heart of ash and a PC of potato, he could really use some help. Send him memes at facebook.com/hasique.wasan