Fandometrics compiled the year’s top meme tags, but we know that memes are so much more than the metadata we measured. To add some color to 2017’s meme culture, we invited Justin and Nick, the moderators of Meme Documentation (@memedocumentation), to contribute their expertise to Year in Review.
2017 in Memes
Life is fleeting. Life on the internet even moreso. Because of this, my friends and I launched Meme Documentation in 2015. It was a place to document the memes that became popular on Tumblr. We were committed—even checking the Tumblr at our high school prom. After a year of steadfast dedication, we decided to take 2016 to focus on our IRL instead of the URL. We found we missed the memes too much and came back with a vengeance this past year.
Memes are more than just jokes made on the Internet. They’re a way people can connect and feel a sense of belonging. 2017 has been…difficult. It seems many of us have felt the need to look back on simpler times, and the growth of nostalgia-heavy memes reflected that. The floor is lava meme reminds us of the popular childhood game of the same name. The Woody Collective, in its own strange way, calls back to the films we enjoyed as kids. Even songs from nearly a decade ago began to resurface as new memes.
In February 2017, 2008’s “Shooting Stars” by Bag Raiders began to get repurposed in video remixes. Typically, the song kicks in when a person or character flies into space.
Over the summer, the 2009’s “Fireflies” by Owl City transformed into a text-based meme that riffs on the line, “You would not believe your eyes if ten million fireflies.” You probably recognize one of the more well-known posts: “you would not believe your pants if ten million fire ants.”
The Elf on the Shelf meme offered up a double dose of nostalgia, melding the children’s picture book and toy of the same name with 2015’s meme “You’ve heard of Bigfoot, now get ready for Smallhand.”
Memes in the future
All good things must come to an end, and that includes @memedocumentation. We’re moving on in 2018. That doesn’t mean documenting memes has to be over. Anyone can do it. If you love a meme and want to remember it, consider documenting it yourself. Maybe even tag it #meme documentation.
And remember, if you’re ever feeling nostalgic, especially about the nostalgic memes, Meme Documentation’s documented memes from 2015 and 2017 will always be here for you.