The Brief: 2020 has been a year like no other and the evidence is in the memes which capture some of the chaos, struggle, and incomprehensibility of the past year.
The breadth of memes from 2020 show how people have been coping in uncertain times via absurdist humor, political commentary, silly pop culture references, and more. Here are some of the defining memes of the dumpster fire year known as 2020.
This nonsensical meme started with a joke about the whole world being part of Ohio. More broadly, it’s used to highlight major realizations and conspiracy theories.
Memes about stick-figure parents trying to relate to their kids are surprisingly wholesome.
— Respectful Memes (@RespectfulMemes) December 22, 2020
Quavo’s pickup line to Saweetie took the internet by storm as people boldly started using it on their crushes, including celebrity crushes.
— Zack Fox (@zackfox) October 8, 2020
Wojak knows exactly how it feels to be standing in a corner, being anti-social at a crowded party.
As people rewatched Glee in quarantine, this Sue Sylvester meme took over the internet.
britney spears in 2003: pic.twitter.com/nC0MjEMZOx
— riane ♡︎ (@fromtheIakes) November 30, 2020
The same thing happened with Gossip Girl and this Blair/Serena wordplay meme.
Although there are IRL combination Pizza Huts and Taco Bells, we’re still waiting on Femboy Hooters, Goth IHOP, and Tomboy Outback to get their business licenses.
femboy hooters if the crowdfund reaches its goal pic.twitter.com/Jc1asbC2iw
— jd (@ShitpostOnEarth) June 10, 2020
Shiba Inus were the face of multiple memes this year, most notably the buff Doge versus crying Cheems comparison format.
In the era of social distancing, conversations typically look like this.
Year Of Wojak & Chad Memes
In 2020, Wojak cartoons that originated on 4chan gained widespread traction, inspiring several prominent meme formats and new characters including:
- Yes Chad
- Thank You For Changing My Life
- My Parents vs. Me At Age
- Girls vs. Boys
- Girl Chad
- Doomer Girl
- Doomer Boi
- Pink Hair Girl
- Black Wojak Characters
- High-Def Wojak Memes
Only in 2020 would a food trend cause people to question their grip on reality.
don't trust anyone, not even yourself pic.twitter.com/YRqGZhpt9l
— james🌋 (@fueiho_boogie_) July 12, 2020
The straightforward “draw 25” Uno meme format shows the lengths people will go to avoid certain things.
This Bernie Sanders format had traction far beyond just political memes.
You can’t always get what you want.
He’s literally just vibing.
- 2020 Dumpster Fire
- Political memes – remember the election?
- Rick ripping wallpaper
- Juan El Caballo
- 12-Foot Home Depot Skeleton
- Adam Driver punching the wall (set to music)
- Tiger King memes: they were fun while they lasted.