From the early days of the pandemic last spring, to the horrible second wave-winter, and then the year anniversary of the pandemic – there is something of a light at the end of the tunnel (touch wood) as vaccinations roll out and restrictions ease. As we hope this could be near the final stretch of the worst of it, here are 25 of the best memes that helped us make our days a little bit brighter.
One of the first, and perhaps weirdest, memes of quarantine was this strange Gossip Girl meme featuring Blake Lively, as Serena saying “I have to pee”, and Leighton Meester, as Blair, responding “Go piss girl” (a rearrangement of the TV show’s title). Unclear exactly why it’s so funny, but the template has been used in very niche ways.
This random picture of actor Robert Pattinson dressed in a weird matching outfit and exuding a concerned energy also became a long-standing meme during lockdown.
The show villain vs The real villain
Over the summer, perhaps from watching too much TV, the internet took the opportunity to discuss who were the real villains of the screen. (This The Devil Wears Prada example was among the most popular).
The movie villain. The actual villain. https://t.co/alAeLvmtO4
I am going to create an environment that is so toxic
Here we find an absolute favourite of everyone in lockdown, that had a longer meme-lifespan than the rest. An old meme of Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester from the show Glee saying, “I am going to create an environment that is so toxic” had a real resurgence in 2020 year – likely because everything is just... so... toxic!
And let us not forget the vast levels of political turmoil happening in tandem with lockdown. As the 2020 election and primaries were underway, a clip of Bernie Sanders saying “I am once again asking…” was instant meme material (Although, let us not forget his mittens either.)
This claim is disputed
In that realm, remember when former-president Donald Trump was allowed to have Twitter? (good times). But before his account was fully taken away from him for his incitement of a riot, there was an effort to push back at his stream of online disinformation. Twitter began labeling Trump’s tweets with the disclaimer: “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
but she caught me on the counter
!⃝ 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗽𝘂𝘁𝗲𝗱
saw me banging on the sofa
!⃝ 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺 𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗽𝘂𝘁𝗲𝗱
i e… https://t.co/AlUHdRR8q6
— new year (same) tweeter (@new year (same) tweeter)
People, of course, found ways to meme other ‘disputed’ facts.
I can’t talk right now, I’m doing Hot Girl s***
This popular TikTok trend turned meme uses lyrics from rapper Meghan Thee Stallion’s “Girls in the Hood” to showcase all the non-traditional “hot girl”-related activities to participate in.
Mike Pence vs. The Fly
Here’s a real throwback: remember when a fly kept landing on Mike Pence’s head during the Vice Presidential debates like some kind of horrible omen?
Total time a fly sat on Mike Pence's head: two minutes https://t.co/PtI0rKSi5I
Back to the beginning of lockdown, and people began spending inordinate amounts of time indoors – social media users began posting photos of nature returning to its natural state (clean water in the canals of Venice, etc.) This was obviously quickly distorted...
Took this picture in Bury town centre this morning. Nature is healing. https://t.co/05n2cswk8J
TikTokker Nathan Apodaca skateboarding with a jug of Cran-Raspberry juice while lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” was arguably the biggest meme of lockdown. It inspired over thousands of tribute videos, including even Stevie Nicks.
Towards the end of 2020, “They Don’t Know I…” is a poorly drawn comic of a man standing alone in a corner watching other partygoers and thinking to himself about secret no one else knows or really cares about (or in some meme renditions, it’s obvious what the lonely man is thinking about).
Anti-vax rhetoric has been a difficult part of lockdown, especially as vaccinating the entire population of the world is underway. As the internet tried to assure those concerned about what was in the vaccine, a hilarious meme format was born:
if you’ve ever had an infected nose piercing, don’t worry about what’s in the vaccine
As things got more desperate for most people as the summer ended, Kim Kardashian shared photos from her 40th birthday party in another case of celebs not reading the room. Not long after posting photos from her expensive private island extravaganza pics, Kardashian got some meme blowback.
After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle wit… https://t.co/fE0nWoyfC5
Yes there was a moment of relief for many when Joe Biden beat Donald Trump in the run for the presidency, but soon a viral video of VP Harris telling Biden “We did it Joe. You’re gonna be the next president of the United States,” was mimicked and meme-ifed.
As we came close to reaching essentially a year in some form of lockdown, a meme of a man wielding a knife became a template for everyone who was still trying to process everything that had happened in the past year.
One of the most long standing meme formats of lockdown, this expansive meme format perhaps takes the cake for most amusing meme of the year. This later evolved in March 2020 vs March 2021 memes – as we all tried to grapple with the mentally and emotionally strenuous new lives we’ve been leading.
How it started: How it's going: https://t.co/8IiIHfXCn0