What are Internet memes? Basically, it’s something that goes viral and ends up spreading from one person to another by way of email, instant messaging, or some other form of Internet communication. An Internet meme can be just about anything, including a funny picture, a shocking video, a joke, a “my cousin swears it really happened” urban legend, or a quote from the hottest new TV show. Whatever it is, something about it will make such an impression on a person that they just have to share them with their friends, who share them with their friends, and so on and so forth. And, before long, hundreds (or even thousands) of people have “caught it.” There have been a countless number of Internet memes over the years but here are some of the most popular.
- Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” Video. YouTube is home of many popular Internet memes. And one of the most popular you’re likely to find is Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. Since it was posted late in November 2009, this video has gotten over 350 million views at YouTube. And that number continues to grow.
- This Is Sparta! This Internet meme was inspired by the movie "300". In that movie, one character yells, “This is Sparta!” Since then, that phrase has popped up in several TV shows, movies and spoofs. Replacing “Sparta” with some other word also caught on. “This is Internets!” has become a popular catchphrase in and of itself.
- Engrish Funny. As we all know, translations can be far from perfect. (Just put some text into a translation program, click “Translate,” and marvel at the results.)
- LOLCats. If you like cats, or just need a good laugh, this is the meme for you. LOLCats are funny pictures of cats that have captions that make them even funnier. Surf the Web long enough, and you will see one of these pictures at one of the forums or blogs you visit.
- The Spinning Dancer Illusion. This Internet meme has been capturing imaginations since it appeared back in 2007. Looking at this optical illusion, you can’t tell whether the dancer is twirling clockwise on her left foot, or twirling counterclockwise on her right foot. Millions of people have spent more time than they’d probably like to admit trying to figure out exactly which way that dancer is spinning.
- Harlem Shake. This is a dance craze stemming from the song "Harlem Shake" by Baauer. The video trend stemmed from video blogger Filthy_Frank. He uploaded a video in January 2013 featuring four people in funny costumes thrusting their pelvises to the beat. One the music drops the dance becomes something totally crazy and unpredictable. Countless others began making their own versions of the crazy video.
If you spend any time online, sooner or later you will “catch” an Internet meme. In fact, there’s a good chance you already have, and didn’t even know it. That’s one of the things that make Internet memes so much fun.