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Sunday, May 29, 2022

From Bernie Sanders to #itscominghome, here are the best memes of 2021

In the second year of the Coronavirus pandemic, memes have been a welcomed relief in the world of global chaos.

As January rolls around, most of us spend time reflecting on the past twelve months and looking forward to the future.

A second year in the pandemic, people have found comedic relief online in the form of memes.

Seemingly every week a new meme emerges from Instagram, Twitter or Tiktok.

Here are our favourites of the past year.

    1. Bernie Sanders’ mittens

At Biden’s inauguration back in January, a picture of the politician and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took Twitter by storm after he was caught sitting on a chair with his arms crossed wearing mittens.

People quickly edited the picture to depict him doing the Gangnam Style dance with PSY, sitting on the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, sitting on the sofa from the Friends’ opening sequence and so much more.

  1. That ship

Back in March, a 220,000-tonne ship got stuck in the Suez Canal, blocking one of the most important global trading routes on the globe.

A very serious problem that is reported to have cost £7.5bn in delays and disruptions to businesses across the world, it didn’t stop people from turning it into a meme on Twitter.

  1. #Itscominghome

#itscominghome first started trending in 2018 when England played in the World Cup but the hashtag was revived this year when England made it to the Euros 2020 Final before being defeated in Wembley Stadium by Italy.

  1. Sea shanties

The Wellerman. #seashanty #sea #shanty #viral #singing #acoustic #pirate #new #original #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #singer #scottishsinger #scottish

♬ Wellerman – Sea Shanty – Nathan Evans

Emerging at the beginning of the year, sea shanties are perhaps the most unexpected meme to crop up this year. A song that is typically sung by sailors on large merchant boats, it is often associated with pirates and was popularised on TikTok.

  1. Happy versus sad bus passenger

Two passengers sitting on a bus. One man faces the window with a smile on his face, taking a picture of the beautiful rolling hills and shining sun and the other looks glum facing a bleak mountainside.

The way the meme works is that you put both passengers in the same situation but each approach it differently – one in a way that makes them miserable and the other in a way that helps them live their best life.

  1. Shocked Oprah

In March, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in the US and Britain. Inevitably, memes emerged, with people providing humorous captions indicating what might prompt such a reaction to Oprah holding in her hands up.

  1. Squid game

The most-watched series ever on Netflix, Squid Game has amassed international attention. The Korean TV show has inspired countless memes.  This meme shows player 001 feeling overwhelmed in a bathtub.

  1. BF/GF

Originating from the /r/WallStreetBets GameStop short squeeze from Reddit in January, the BF/GF meme usually features images and screenshots from pop culture of stereotypes based on men and women. For example stockmarket BF and astrology GF.

  1. Yassification

Arguably, the most glamorous meme of the year. The Yassification meme features images of celebrities, historical figures or stills from movies with a full face of glam makeup.

@YassifyBot started it all, photoshopping President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to look more like fashion icons than politicians.  As the trend picked up traction, the more absurd the transformations got.

  1. Delta versus the world

When the delta variant hit British and American shores, memes ensued. We now have Omicron to worry about but back in August, Delta was the big thing.  The meme shows two pictures side by side, of something good, usually from pop culture and the nemesis of the thing or the thing that put an end to the person’s plans.

  1. The Weeknd’s Superbowl performance

In February, the Weeknd performed a meme-worthy performance at the American Superbowl Half-time show. During the performance, the Weeknd is shown walking around a maze of mirrors looking confused to his song Can’t Feel my Face.

  1. Red flags

People have shared what they deem as “red flags” to look out for in dating which exploded as an online trend. Social media users post scenarios they’ve experienced or observed that stood out to them as turn-offs in a new person followed by multiple red flag emojis.

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