2017: A Year in Memes

If 2017 could be summed up in one word, it would probably be “disastrous”. From Hurricane Harvey in Texas, to wildfires in California, to a rocky new presidency, and a mass shooting in Las Vegas, the tragedies just kept coming. Through all the hard times one thing never failed; the internet provided us with memes, good and bad.

January: Salt Bae and “Cash Me Ousside Girl”
Salt bae was good while it lasted and didn’t overstay its welcome. On the other hand, I think it can be agreed upon that the “Cash Me Ousside Girl” got old very fast. Once the video of “Bhad Bhabie” on Dr. Phil circulated the internet, she was an instant hit for some cringe-worthy content. Her saying “Cash Me Ousside Howbow Dah” was used in text posts, remixed songs, and tweets everywhere. A year later, she is now a rapper and has accumulated 12.1 million followers on Instagram.
February: Roll Safe and Brain Expand
The roll safe meme and brain expand meme hit their peak in February. Brain expand memes can still be spotted, but they are just repetitive now. When they were still popular, its many forms poked fun at people’s ignorance.
March: Italian Hand and B
In March, the Italian hand blessed us with its presence, and the emoji “B” replaced different letters in a variety of words. For example, “Bepsi” or “Boca Bola.” The “B” was also often paired with distortion memes; both didn’t make much sense, but still humored viewers of the memes.
April: United Airlines
Some may recall the incident with United Airlines back in April. If not, here’s a refresher: there was a controversial removal of a passenger from a flight after the plane was informed by the airline that they would be “randomly” selecting a passenger to give up their seat. An Asian doctor headed to Kentucky was selected, and videos were released of him being forcefully taken off the plane while bleeding from the mouth. The videos went viral and memes questioning the airline’s actions soon followed.
May: Fidget Spinner
When first released, the fidget spinner seemed like a good idea for people with ADHD or anxiety disorders. It supposedly relieved stress and increased focus, but by the time they were in the hands of every person, they were just annoying. Fidget spinners that had LED lights or fancy designs were just unnecessary and distracting. It was asking to become a meme with videos of “fidget spinner tricks” all over YouTube.
June: Mocking Spongebob and You See That Guy Over There
The mocking SpongeBob had been around a bit longer, but it was hard to scroll through Instagram without seeing it every other post in June. The format allowed the meme to be relevant in an abundance of situations, but it became very repetitive after the first week. On the other hand, the “you see that guy over there” meme wasn’t as popular, and it added some diversity to the month June.
July: Hotdog Guy on Snapchat
In July, Snapchat began experimenting with their filters and gave the users of their app hotdog guy. The happy dancing hotdog could be easily accessed from the rear camera filters on Snapchat. Some were afraid of him, and some believed he was hilarious, but all are glad he was left back in July.
August: Guy Looking at Girl
This meme was basically the same as the Hotline Bling meme with Drake from 2016. All of the old jokes were reused and familiar, but the “Guy Looking at Girl” meme was still making an appearance in people’s feed through August.
September: Roadman Shaq Gun Noises 
This one is difficult to put into words, you really have to see the video to understand. A rapper by the name of Roadman Shaq was hosted on a radio show where he attempted freestyling and including what he thought sounded like gun noises. His sound effects became a huge meme and people tried figuring out what the noises actually sounded like by playing them over other video clips.
October: Improvise, Adapt, Overcome and Rick and Morty
The legend that is Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild was featured in October alongside a favorite TV show of many, Rick and Morty. Bear Grylls taught how to improvise, adapt, and overcome all obstacles one may face in life. Additionally, the “extremely intelligent” Rick and Morty fans were the center of attention for over half of October with the last episode of season three being aired on the first day of the month. After multiple fans tweeted and spoke about how you have to be very intelligent to understand the show they became the new meme.
November: Ajit Pai
In November, the U.S. was faced with the issue of net neutrality. Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, along with two out of four other FCC members voted to repeal net neutrality, which was put in place during Obama’s administration to ensure that internet service providers allow equal access to all content and applications regardless of the source. It is currently going being discussed in the Senate with 50 senators who have endorsed a legislative measure to override the FCC’s previous decision. Only one more Republican senator is required for the Senate to pass a resolution of disapproval. Needless to say, in November everyone who uses the internet was upset by the thought of net neutrality being repealed, and decided to make the chairman of the FCC the new meme.
December: Kylo Ren 
The new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, premiered on December 15, 2017. The eighth movie in the Star Wars saga made nearly $1.3 billion in the box office and didn’t disappoint fans, but a specific scene with a shirtless Kylo Ren was perfect meme material. The year of 2017 was filled with a variety of memes to aimlessly scroll through. All we can hope for is that 2018 memes improve from last year, but so far with Ugandan Knuckles and Tide Pods, it isn’t looking too good.