The Top 11 Memes of 2011

Meme. You’d probably never even heard the term just a few short years ago. Once reserved for hardcore “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”-loving Inter-nerds, memes have since crossed over in a big way. Now examples of this “idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” (thanks, Merriam-Webster) have replicated like Mogwai in water, mutated via Photoshop and taken over the Web. In case you’ve been living in a hole, have a cheezburger and get up to speed by checking out some of the best/worst memes from the past year.

Scumbag Steve: Everyone knows this guy. He really knows how to kill a party. Unsurprisingly, the real-life Scumbag Steve is from Boston.

Texts From Bennett: Bennett is like Scumbag Steve’s younger, less sociopathic, ridonkulous-text-message-sending little brother. Is he real or fake? Who knows? Who cares?

Feels Old Man: Feels old man feels old... man. Channel your inner curmudgeon with this meme the next time you hear about how SpongeBob SquarePants was on “back in the day.”

Ancient Aliens: Remember when History was called The History Channel and had shows documenting actual history? Now they have dudes with wacky hair saying that Noah’s Ark was an alien craft. The Internet laughs derisively.

Good Guy Lucifer: The Internet loves comic books and evil. So it’s kind of surprising that it took web denizens so long to produce this Neil Gaiman-meets-Christopher Hitchens meme.

The Rage Guy Family: Basically the entire “meme” thing has been boiled down into 25 characters with names like Rage Guy, Trollface and Cereal Guy. You knew this day was nigh.

Pepper Spraying Cop: Congratulations! Thanks to UC-Davis cop John Pike, your grandmother now knows what a meme is!

Business Cat: The only thing people on the Internet look at more than porn is cats.

Lenin Cat: Business Cat has a mortal enemy in Lenin Cat, the only meme approved by the 99 percent.

Unimpressed Astronaut: No matter how legendary you might think your accomplishments are, Unimpressed Astronaut has been to the goddamn moon.

Stocking: Re-enacting your most hated stock image photos in real life is the new planking. For whatever that’s worth.