Memes have been an integral part of our lives, and 2020 was no exception as people relied on humor and laughs to overcome the pandemic. The year gave birth to numerous memorable memes, such as the Karen meme, which became a representation of entitled and privileged women. The quarantine memes that emerged during the pandemic were also popular as people shared their experiences of working from home and dealing with quarantine. Other renowned memes of the year were the “I’m not a cat” meme and “This is fine” dog meme. In conclusion, the top 10 memes that shaped pop culture in 2020 were a reflection of the year’s events and struggles, and they provided a way for people to connect and find humor during difficult times.
The Top 10 Memes That Shaped Pop Culture in 2020
Memes have become a part of our daily lives, and 2020 was no exception. From hilarious videos to witty captions, memes were all over the internet, social media, and even in our messaging applications. They have become a way of sharing our emotions, reactions, and humors, among other things. Here are the top 10 memes that shaped pop culture in 2020.
The name Karen came to represent a particular type of entitled, privileged woman who often demanded to speak to managers and made a fuss over small issues. She became a popular meme in 2020, with various Karen videos and images circulating on social media. The meme gained so much popularity that it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a pejorative term for an entitled or demanding middle-aged white woman.”
2. Quarantine memes
The Coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill in 2020. With lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing guidelines in place, people found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. This downtime resulted in an explosive growth of quarantine memes. With themes ranging from toilet paper hoarding to Zoom meetings, quarantine memes became a way for people to bond and share their experiences during this challenging time.
3. Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Memes
In January 2021, US Senator Bernie Sanders arrived at President Joe Biden’s inauguration wearing a bulky coat and a pair of mittens. This seemingly unremarkable outfit sparked hilarious memes that took over the internet. People started placing Senator Sanders in various settings, from underwater adventures to sitting beside famous celebrities on a talk show.
4. “I’m not a cat” meme
During a virtual court hearing in the US, an attorney accidentally turned on a cat filter that made him appear as a fluffy white kitten. After struggling for a few moments, the attorney clarified that he was, in fact, not a cat. The video quickly went viral, and the “I’m not a cat” meme was born.
5. Tiger King memes
The Netflix true-crime series, Tiger King, became a pop culture sensation in 2020. The show featured a colorful cast of characters, including Joe Exotic, a gay zookeeper who had a vendetta against a fellow big cat owner. The show’s popularity sparked a myriad of memes, with Joe Exotic’s mullet and outrageous personality becoming instant memes.
6. “This is fine” dog meme
The “This is fine” dog meme is a graphic illustration of an anthropomorphic dog sipping coffee while casually ignoring the fact that his house is on fire. The meme represents the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed, yet still trying to maintain a sense of normalcy.
7. Netflix “The Queen’s Gambit” memes
“The Queen’s Gambit” is a Netflix hit miniseries about a young girl’s journey to become the world’s greatest chess player. The show’s 1960s fashion and production design inspired a myriad of memes, with some poking fun at the characters’ hairstyles and several featuring the phrase, “Anya Taylor-Joy’s eyes are everything.”
8. “Dolly Parton challenge” meme
The “Dolly Parton challenge” is a meme that involves sharing four different images of yourself within the four major social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder. Each image represents how you present yourself differently on each platform, with LinkedIn being the most professional and Tinder being the most flirty.
9. Gossip Girl memes
The iconic teen drama Gossip Girl may have ended in 2012, but it remained fresh in the minds of many in 2020. With the announcement of a Gossip Girl reboot, fans took to social media to share their love for the original series through hilarious memes. The memes ranged from Chuck Bass’ iconic quotes to the show’s complicated romantic entanglements.
10. “How it started vs. how it’s going” meme
The “How it started vs. how it’s going” meme is a format that showcases a juxtaposition of something’s beginning compared to its current state. The meme became popular in 2020, with people using it to show their growth, progress, and transformations through before-and-after images.
In conclusion, 2020 was a year like no other, and memes played a significant role in shaping pop culture. From the Karen meme to the Bernie Sanders Inauguration meme, these memes invoked laughter, emotions, and bonding during a challenging and difficult year. The above memes were the most popular and widespread, but many more took the internet by storm in 2020.