You don’t need to be reminded that 2020 has been a strange and difficult year.
Lockdowns, pandemics, binge watches, we’ve endured them all. And one way we have been able to get through this mess of a year is to make light of the tough situations we’ve found ourselves in.
We’ve managed to find a joke for every phenomenon, person or incident that gained notoriety this year, from politicians to video games and fictional characters.
To mark the end of 2020, Google has compiled lists for the most popular search terms as part of its Year in Search project. The categories include actors, news events and recipes. (Unsurprisingly, banana bread makes an appearance in the latter.)
Google’s Year in Search gives a fascinating overview for what the world has been thinking about this year, and that includes the internet’s favourite coping mechanism: memes.
Yes, the search engine has unveiled its list for the most Googled memes of 2020 – and it’s safe to say we’ve encountered at least a couple of these over the course of the year.
It’s not exactly shocking news that coronavirus memes dominated this year. When the pandemic effectively put the world at a standstill, people still managed to find something to laugh about. The coronavirus memes are wide-ranging – from curfews to vaccines, there’s a joke for everything.
When lockdown first started, Netflix’s docu-series landed on the streaming service just in time to curb the world’s collective boredom. And did it succeed. Millions were fascinated by the stories of zookeeper Joe Exotic and his nemesis Carole Baskin.
There have been four years of Trump memes, so naturally, the internet took advantage of the opportunity to ridicule the president for his election loss.
This meme comes from a unique feature in Call of Duty: Warzone. When two players are eliminated from the main map, they face off in a 1v1 battle for a chance to return. The joke was then applied to Kim Jong-un following false rumours that he passed away.
The actor may not have appeared in any movies this year, but that only presents the opportunity to fill the gap with memes. DiCaprio has inspired dozens of memes, but 2020 gifted us with the “pointing” meme taken from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
One unexpected phenomenon that exploded during lockdown was Among Us, the Mafia-style online video game where players attempt to discover an “imposter”. It even became so popular that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined in on the fun.
Disney probably has Baby Yoda to thank for the soaring success of its Star Wars spin-off, The Mandalorian. To be fair, he’s so cute that you can’t help but fall in love with him.
Twitter was not having it when Dominic Cummings admitted to breaking lockdown rules to travel to Barnard Castle. Testing your eyesight by driving down the A67? Should’ve gone to Specsavers.
Being forced to stay indoors also presented plenty of opportunities for memes.
Working from home
People also managed to find a whole new set of relatable problems thanks to our new working situations.
It’s been a bad year in general, but a great year for memes.