New Year, New Meme

Colleen Noah, Writer

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2020 is just around the corner marking the second decade of the 21st century. People mainly focus on the few big things that happened over the decade, like Donald Trump’s election and 2012’s end-of-the-world scare. But I’m here to talk about something completely irrelevant and quite unimportant: the evolution of humor through memes.

If you compare memes from 2010 to the memes of 2019, it is safe to say there is a HUGE difference. Millennial and Gen Z humor has taken a different, and not to mention, really weird turn since 2010. For instance, a fairly recent meme revolves around the Looney Toons character, Bugs Bunny. When mocking Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny turns into a fat version of himself and repeats what Elmer Fudd says: “That’ll hold him.” Many people have taken this fat version of Bugs Bunny and dubbed him “Big Chungus.” He often appears in warped photos with lasers coming out of his eyes. And for some reason, this is hilarious.

A lot of memes from 2010 feature an image with white bold text around it that’s supposed to say something funny. For instance, a picture featuring the famous Bad Luck Brian would say something like “gets a pet cat to make up for a lack of friends” on the top, and on the bottom, it would say, “cat runs away.” This whole concept sounds really stupid but for some reason, everyone thought it was hilarious. This kind of meme format has been liked and shared thousands of times with thousands of different photos and captions, they were very famous.

Videos were also a popular meme format in the early 2000s, and even today. There were various news interviews that were autotuned to make funny songs. There were videos of people being stupid, and the one guy who sang “Chocolate Rain.” And, don’t forget Nyan cat. This famous video-formatted meme was thus born again in 2013 by the name of Vine. Vines are six-second videos of people doing whatever they wanted, and this blew up. A lot of people on vine made funny skits, and this actually made them famous, some people from vine actually go on tour. Though Vine died in 2017, they are still often posted on a variety of social media platforms, and many people have become famous from it.

In 2017, a new kind of social media platform arose: Musical.ly. Musical.ly was a lip-syncing app where kids could pretend to be singing (for some reason) and then post it. This gained popularity, just like Vine. It seemed to be like a weird, less funny, alternative to vine. In 2018, Musical.ly was absorbed by Tiktok, which holds the same exact concept but with the opportunity to “duet” with others, or make videos that match with videos from other people. Some, I admit, are actually funny, but a lot of them are stupid. Now these videos take up most of the Instagram feed and other social media platforms, they’re everywhere.

The evolution of humor is quite weird, it seems like the most random things that make absolutely no sense are considered hilarious today. I obviously think that a lot of memes today are funny, but I admit they are really dumb. So many things have happened throughout the past decade, and 2020 is in a few weeks. It’s time to start a new year of resolutions that probably won’t be met, and a new type of meme that will be talked about for a few months and then be overshadowed by another stupid meme that’ll blow up. Just don’t forget the memes that started it all. Or forget. It’s not that important.

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

Works Cited

Huddleston, Tom, Jr. “Twitter Is Officially Shutting Down Vine Today.” Fortune, Fortune Media, 17 Jan. 2017, fortune.com/2017/01/17/twitter-shut-down-vine-tuesday/. Accessed 19 Dec. 2019.

Jennings, Rebecca. “TikTok, explained.” Vox, Vox Media, 12 July 2019, www.vox.com/culture/2018/12/10/18129126/tiktok-app-musically-meme-cringe. Accessed 19 Dec. 2019.

Smith, Christine. “Introducing Vine: A Brief History.” Uniconverter, Wondershare, 3 Dec. 2019, videoconverter.wondershare.com/convert-video/vine-history.html. Accessed 19 Dec. 2019.