2017 was full of terrible things and people, but away from Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein and Rick and Morty fans, the internet heralded in a glut of new heroes, each of them on-hand to make the mindnumbing drag of contemporary existence just that tiny bit more bearable (yes, I’m looking at you, Big Shaq and “Disloyal Man Walking With His Girlfriend and Looking Amazed at Another Seductive Girl“). As the world became impossibly more ridiculous, so too did the memes: the jokes weirder and subject matter darker. I mean, look at this — it’s basically avant-garde art:
If the net neutrality debacle means the internet is a sinking ship, then at least the memes of 2017 will ensure it sinks in beautiful, hilarious style. Given most staffers at Highsnobiety spend about 80 percent of their daily lives sitting on the internet (like, literally), it goes without saying that memes play a big part in the office culture around here (if you’re reading this, Salt Bae, please swing by our Berlin place next time you’re in the city). As such, and following on from our best of 2017 meme round-up, we asked our editorial team to share some of their favorites from the past 12 months. Find them below.
First of All
This meme is applicable to anything and everything, which is what the ideal meme is: useful in every single situation ever. This makes it all the easier to make your own, which I have a huge fetish for.
First of All refers to a series of dialogue tweets in which a tweeter imagines a person saying something, to which the person responds “first of all…” with a humorous rebuttal. The texts are predominantly popular on Black Twitter.
— Naina Kamath, Social Media Editor, Berlin
Walking Past Office Co-workers That You Don’t Know Well Starter Pack
This is relevant on a daily basis. A picture of my face could easily be added to this. In fact, if you removed “that you don’t know well” and it just said “walking past office coworkers starter pack” it would still be relevant.
— Aaron Howes, Branded Content Editor, Berlin
I have multiple ongoing group chats with my friends for the sole purpose of sharing memes, so this was a tough choice. I went for Mocking Spongebob because its one of the few memes that successfully translated into real life — don’t pretend you didn’t mimic Spongebob’s stance while annoying your loved ones.
— Lia McGarrigle, Staff Writer, Berlin.
Little Caesars Customer Service Chat
This Little Caesars customer service chat is the first thing that comes to mind every time someone brings up memes. Fast food social media accounts are among my 3 favorite things on the internet. The other two being ordering pizza and interacting with chatbots. Add to that: a good friend of mine worked at Little Caesars back in the day, which is to say, I believe this is 100% real (both the pizza and response.) It cracks me up just thinking about it. My holy grail of memes.
– Pete Williams, Editor-in-Chief
My favorite meme of the year would have to be “covfefe.” Although I’d prefer not to endorse pretty much anything Trump does or says, this one was just too brilliant to not stand behind. It’s become my replacement word for “coffee” and in general works for anything you don’t know the name of. I’m not sure it was ever even officially confirmed that he meant “coverage” which just adds to the whole Tommy Wiseau ridiculousness of it all.
– Brock Cardiner, Editorial Director, Berlin
Four Tet’s Studio
When Four Tet posted an image of the modest studio he recorded his ninth solo album, New Energy, in, he evidently underestimated the internet’s ability to turn even the most mundane subject matter into a long-running joke. Within minutes, ironic replies poured in as users posted the same caption alongside images of their own set-up. Electronic artists are hardly renowned for their sense of humor, so seeing the likes of Kode9 and Joe Goddard contribute was almost heartwarming. By the end, even Kieran could see the funny side.
— Graeme Campbell, Senior Staff Writer, Berlin
I generally like memes than conflate mental health issues, absurdist humor and pictures of dogs, but a standout for me this year was this one. It speaks to me on a visceral level as well as calling me out as a complete snake.
Honorary mentions go to the distracted boyfriend meme, any kind of positive/wholesome memes and @Poundlandbandit starter packs.
– Max Grobe, Associate Fashion Editor, Berlin
Bella Hadid Goes Sneaker Shopping
My meme of the year is definitely Bella Hadid’s cringe-worthy sneaker shopping interview where she outlines what the ideal footwear a potential partner would have to be wearing in order to have a shot with someone like her. I’ve never heard ‘dope’ or ‘fresh’ used in a sentence that often. Like all truly iconic memes, this one has been applied to a variety of different contexts, each more hilarious than the last.
– Sandra Motwary, Social Media Editor, Berlin
For more end of year round-ups, check out our editorial staff’s favorite sneakers.