Increasingly, my brain chemistry processes ideas and emotions less in sentence form and more as weird visual dichotomies, like Venn Diagrams based on illustrations based on a handshake from the film Predator. Does this mean that I am broken and beyond saving and drifting ever further from the light? Absolutely, yes. But so are you, fellow 2019 Online Person. In celebration of all the ways we irrevocably ruined our dopamine receptors, let us take a look back at all the memes that gave us fleeting hits of joy in 2018.
10. Not A Cell Phone In Sight
This dunk on the kind of person that can’t stop explaining how much better the world was before cell phones was also an excellent chance to make everything from Twin Peaks to the JFK assassination into a cute little kick at minimalists.
9. Infinity War is the most ambitious crossover event in history
Sure, Marvel has done big things, but has never made the radical choices of, say, Disney Channel mega-crossovers or that time the cast of Friends taught you how to use Windows 95. My personal contribution here is that you should check out Mars Attacks IDW, which is a comic collection where the aliens from Mars Attack go up against everyone else in the IDW comic universe, including Transformers, Popeye, Ghostbusters, and the rock band KISS.
8. Steven Crowder’s Change My Mind Table
Conservative “comedian” (?????) Steven Crowder set-up a table on a college campus challenging someone to prove his idiotic ideas wrong. Steven forgot the internet rule of never posing with a sign with a full white background that can be Photoshopped with no effort at all. Now, the internet is full of delightful images of Stevie demanding to be challenged as to whether pee is stored in the balls or to have in-depth discussions about the clitoris. Great job, bud.
7. This Cat Is Chonk / Oh Lawd He Comin
As a proud Cat Dad of an incredibly Chonky Baby Girl, this doctor’s scale for the size of a kitty doubles to introduce a bonus phrase that spins off into its own meme worthy of a spot on this list. Please note that this is not about fat-shaming, this is about size celebration.
6. Absolute Unit
Following in the chonky footsteps, checkin’ out large lads is a delightfully interchangeable meme for expressing delight with bigger boys and animals and, unfortunately, me. Not my favorite meme of the year on that front, but I can recognize what The People enjoy.
5. Exit The Freeway
Sometimes at the last possible moment you need to veer in a different direction. For what it’s worth, I’d never seen the original longer video the screengrab is from, and finding out that the sign was Photoshopped in is blowing my mind.
4. He’s Not Your Man, He’s…
It’s important to explain why a man may not be texting you back. Sometimes he’s a manatee or esteemed American poet William Carlos Williams. Either way, this line-up of helpful facts has probably helped millions sort out the ghosting in their new relationships.
3. A Star Is Born: Hey
It’s wild how much bizarre nonsense we can drag from four frames in a trailer. Hey – Face – Looking at you – Smirk Face is a flawless recipe. Bonus: the Tumblr post that compares the same scene in the four different versions of the film is a real heart-twisty moment for me.
2. American Chopper
This is, on so many levels, the best meme of the year. This exchange from American Chopper proves that almost anything can become gut-punchingly, universally spit-take funny in the right hands and context. It is excellent for any type of strawman emotional argument, but the five frames placed vertically is also such a terrible layout that memes about placing it horizontally or expanding it to six panels feels equally fulfilling. I made more of these memes than anything on the list this year, and I do not regret it.
Gritty wins 2018. If I didn’t include this, you’d all murder me. Gritty is the only good thing and he murders fascists. He is both my son and my father and my best friend who stomps fascists. I would die for him and honestly I want to. Here’s some Gritty. Enjoy Gritty and love Gritty.
Brock Wilbur is a writer and comedian from Los Angeles who lives with his wife Vivian Kane and their cat, Cat. He is the co-author (with Nathan Rabin) of the forthcoming book Postal for the Boss Fight Books series.