The Evolution of Meme Culture

mEmeS ArE fUnNy


The popular “SpOnGBoB” meme

Our generation is by far the most privileged. While advancements in technology and unlimited access to the information of the world are very nice, neither of these compare to how lucky we are to be living in the modern day Meme Renaissance. In this article I will attempt to enlighten you “normies” in the vast world of modern day memeing, as we track the evolution of memes from those goofy pictures your grandma posts to her Facebook timeline to the complex and intricate nature they have undertaken in the last few years.

To begin, we must learn the origin of the meme. Archaeologists first discovered cave paintings depicting stick men bowing down to another stick man who sat atop a throne, looking down upon the others in the year 1936 in the south west region of Wyoming. Little did they know, they had discovered one of the first known depictions of “normies” worshipping a meme page admin. Following this discovery, society decided to give their best attempt at creating entertainment through the use of ordinary pictures with humorous, or in some cases, very dark and disturbed messages. These are some examples of the early works of modern memes.

Memes are the backbone of Democracy

— Abraham Lincoln

Bad Luck Brian                           












Success Baby






















Willie Wonka




















One Does Not Simply…












As you have likely figured out, these are not very funny. Our poor parents and older siblings were forced to live and grow in a dark, memeless world. But not any longer. Something changed towards the early 2010’s. Suddenly, memes and pictures posted online were funny and capable of creating emotions other than sadness or despair. Notable scientists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy argue that this change in meme culture is likely due to a rise in cyberbullying in these same years. While this journalist does not condone such actions, I will admit that I am grateful that people felt safe enough hiding behind their computers and online profiles to begin creating humorous content at the expense of many popular social figures.

The next category of memes we will delve into are those which have risen above all the others, becoming staples in meme culture for years. These memes offer flexible use as well as being simple enough for the common “normie” to understand what is happening. These have been dubbed, The Timeless Classics.

Memes make me smile 🙂

— Luke Freudenheim


























Kermit the Frog















Cheating Boyfriend




































Travis Scott














For the final lesson in this article, we will be looking at some of the memes currently circulating around meme pages. These rising stars if you will are all seeking the same goal, to achieve meme gold status and never die out. Many will fail. Very few will succeed. Let’s take a look shall we?

I don’t like memes. Only music

— Hannah O

Shocked Pikachu


























Am I a Joke?











Free Real Estate
























Ladies and Gentlemen, We got Him











One honorable mention to this list is the entirety of TikTok.










For those who have been living under a rock, TikTok is the latest attempt by the “normies” to replace the beloved Vine (RIP Vine). Unlike the other failed attempts such as and Dubsmash, TikTok has been able to provide entertaining content. However, these videos are not entertaining due to their quality or good jokes. In fact the thing that makes them so funny is how cringey, awkward, and punchable the people in the videos look. These qualities allow the meme community to rally around these lovable misfits in order to encourage them to keep making fools of themselves for our enjoyment.

In summary, I hope that each of you will leave this page today feeling just a little more cultured. Learning about our heritage is an important step to ensure that the failed and dead memes of the past stay dead, as well as promoting our generation to cure themselves of being “normies”.

If any of y’all found these offensive, well, “Baby, I’m sorry (I’m not sorry)”. These are supposed to be fun so don’t rain on anyone else’s parade. And for the rest of you I encourage y’all to go out and explore the more explicit meme culture on your phone.