An Introduction to Memes

A “meme” can be defined as a piece of virally-transmitted web content, which can be a cultural symbol or reflection of a social idea. The majority of internet memes these days consist of captioned photos of people, celebrities, and movies which are intended to be humorous or poke fun at current events. Often, memes ridicule human behavior and they are a worldwide social phenomenon which quickly passes through social media (known as “going viral”) to reach people in all corners of the world.

There are literally thousands of memes which have been created throughout the years, but there are three which stand out and are wider-known than all the others.

Rage Face

Rage Face meme faces comics came from a series of web-based comics with a group of characters commonly known as the “rage faces”, which were created on Microsoft Paint. These Rage Face Comics aim to tell stories of real-life occurrences and typically end with a humorous punchline. Now, thanks to the creation of rage comic generators, anybody can have a stab at creating their very own comic.

Rage Face dates all the way back to 2008 when they first appeared on 4chan and they began to spread rapidly in January 2009. Rage Face’s popularity has increased exponentially over the last ten-or-so years, which has culminated in a vast range of amateur-made Rage Face comics all over the web.

Doge

Doge dates back to 2013 and was one of the very first viral animal-related memes. The Doge meme is based on a 2010 photograph of a Shiba Inu dog and the meme itself consists of said photograph accompanied by a range of multi-colored words in MS Comic Sans font.

The Comic Sans text represents a form of an internal monologue and is written in broken English to reflect the Doge’s surroundings in the picture. Doge generally uses two-word phrases with the first word consisting almost exclusively of the following five words – “so”, “many”, “much”, “very” and “such”.

Grumpy Cat

Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) is one of the most famous internet memes of all time. Grumpy Cat earned her fame after a picture of her distinct frowning face was uploaded to Reddit and went viral. This grumpy-looking face gave inspiration to thousands of new Grumpy Cat related memes and it is a hilarious, PG meme which has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

The Grumpy Cat meme generally encapsulates annoyance and overexaggerated dissatisfaction at trivial problems. Grumpy Cat has been so successful that she even has her own line of merchandise!

Today, memes are an incredibly popular internet pastime, which is increasingly gaining recognition all over the world. Although most memes are intended with light-hearted humor in mind, there are a fair few which cause controversy and offense, giving memes a negative image in the media. These few bad apples have not spoiled meme culture, however, and there are thousands of examples of memes such as Grumpy Cat and Doge which have done nothing but good for the world and have provided us with hours of entertainment.

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