The Best Memes of 2019 Paint a Hilarious Portrait of Our Unhealthy Times
While the Internet can be supremely bad at times, it also gives us a new crop of memes every year. Thankfully, 2019 is no exception. With Aunt Becky going to jail and Jason Statham showing us how to open a bottle with a roundhouse kick, it's been a big year for memes already. We've rounded up the best of the crop because if anything is an unsettlingly accurate portrait of our times, it's probably the memes we produce.
Sorry to This Man
In a perfectly innocuous interview with Vanity Fair, Keke Palmer only had to be herself to launch one of 2019's newest memes. "Sorry to This Man" can be used in a few different ways. Sure, you can drag someone who is but just a memory to you. Or you can do an old fashioned (New Testament) throwback. It's perfect, either way.
30 to 50 Feral Hogs
This might be the only meme in existence to stem from... gun violence? After singer-songwriter Jason Isbell tweeted that we should all be working toward a resolution to America's gun violence problem, a man responded asking how he should deal with the "30 to 50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?" Twitter took it by storm and launched it into a full fledged meme, proving that the internet comes through every once in a while.
You Were at My Wedding Denise
Only Meghan McCain can stumble backwards into a meme. Responding to conservative journalist (and apparent wedding guest?) Denise McAllister, McCain thought she was getting the last word with the response, "You were at my wedding Denise..." The internet picked it up quickly and turned it into a mock retort to every situation imaginable. Crossing the aisle to make Meghan McCain into a meme is called making America truly great.
It all started with one bogus Facebook event (that also might have been an attempt to launch a Fyre Festival-esque event a military base? We'll never know.) From there, the lines were immediately blurred as to whether people were actually going to storm Area 51 or if it was all a joke. But it turned into hilarious memes that continued well after the event was a bust.
The Bird Box Challenge
Bird Box came out at the end of last year, but its influence lives on in meme form. The gist of this "challenge" is people attempt to do various tasks with said blindfold on. It got bad enough that Netflix had to put out a statement asking people to stop.
Adam Levine's Super Bowl Shirt
This meme didn't end up being as good as the Justin Timberlake texting kid from last year, but then again, Maroon 5 wasn't as good as Justin Timberlake was last year. What we did learn though is that we all have very similar pillows in our homes, and Adam Levine has apparently stolen one and turned it into a shirt.
The Japanese organization specialist sparked all kinds of joy when her series hit Netflix. All about organizing, prioritizing the clutter in your life, and only keeping what "sparks joy," the Internet reacted accordingly and came up with a slew of memes.
When video surfaced of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing in college, the GOP thought they'd found some real dirt on her. Turns out, though, everyone loved her dancing. And AOC's adorable dancing swept through the Internet, bringing joy in a way that we're not quite used to seeing when it comes to politics.
Everyone has seen the Shen Yun Dance Tour ads. No one knows exactly what it is or if anyone has ever gone to an actual performance. But in 2019, it's emerged as a hilarious meme: an homage to arguably the most effective and ineffective marketing campaign of all time.
Nancy Pelosi Clap
The perfect golf clap heard 'round the Internet. Pelosi's Petty Clap is pettiness personified and best utilized when you're expressing absolute unimpressed congratulations. It can also be used simply for acknowledging Pelosi deploying the essence of Lucille Bluth.
Intimate Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
As soon as they touched faces, A Meme Was Born (2019). Internet users quickly pasted some text over Gaga and Cooper's to meme-ify the moment. An example? Pizza over Gaga's face. Me, over Cooper's. Boom, you have it.
She is the face that caused widespread panic amongst parents as rumors spread that children were attempting suicide by looking at this horrifying chicken/woman hybrid. The media dubbed it the "Momo Challenge", which was really just a hoax.
The downfall of Lori Loughlin in the great College Admissions Scandal of 2019 has been one of those weird news stories that could only have been made in the Mad Libs that is our modern times. Bad news for Aunt Becky, but good news for basement-dwelling comedians waiting to make memes out of it.
Avenge the Fallen
When Avengers: End Game came out with a whole set of posters to tease the movie, it revealed who lived and who died at the end of Infinity War. Naturally, the Internet turned the treatment into a meme itself, applying it to all the fallen they've seen throughout pop culture history.
Meryl Streep Scream
Meryl Streep was always going to steal the show on Big Little Lies, but no one would have guessed it would have been with a scream that nearly shattered a million TV screens. Use it when you're at your wits end because no scream sends a message like Meryl's.
...and it shows
Proving that the internet can make anything out of nothing at all, "...and it shows" is one of those memes that doesn't rely on any particular moment in time, meaning it will probably stick around for the ages.
The Stark Family Trio
I mean, it's Sophie Turner JUULing like a boss. It's simply iconic photography.
Jonathan Frakes asking questions
Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes gives us one of the year's weirdest, most hilarious memes with a simple super cut of him asking questions. Apply it to any and all situations: the stranger the better.
Bottle Cap Challenge
Often attempted, rarely achieved, the Bottle Cap Challenge is the insane feat of uncapping a bottle with a roundhouse kick alone. John Mayer and Jason Statham managed it. Mariah Carey somehow did it with her whistle note. And one of the Jenner girls did it on a ski doo. The choice is yours.
Someone Like You via Gummy Bears
With all the memes out there this year, it's hard to find one more hilariously perfect than this one. And all those gummy bears? Good God. This is the kind of dedication all memes should require, because if you've put in that amount of time, you know you're committed.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.