[caption id="attachment_156825" align="alignleft" width="300"] Cage Cats[/caption]
Joaquin Phoenix would probably think our Best Memes list is "total, utter bulls**t." But we think at least a few of these may end up on your Facebook wall before you're done reading it.
There was certainly no lack of memes this year. From Angelina Jolie's leg flash at the Oscars to Clint Eastwood sternly talking to an empty chair, there were plenty of events and incidents that inspired madcap Photoshop wizardry.
And then there were those random pop culture icons of yesteryear such as Darth Vader and Morpheus from "The Matrix" that suddenly came to the front of someone's consciousness and wham! They're suddenly all over the Internet with some sort of witty text.
And then there's, you know, putting Nicolas Cage's face on cats.
Yes, there were many memes out there in 2012. These were the ones most worthy of being spread to and fro and far and wide.
10. Annoyed Picard
Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) recited lines from a few Shakespeare sonnets in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Ménage à Troi," which originally aired on May 28, 1990. Almost 22 years later, well, this happened. The Bard himself would be proud ... of all the publicity, anyway.
9. Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair
Clint Eastwood had everyone thinking he was off his rocker (HA!) when he told President Obama — represented by an empty chair — to "go ahead, make my day." This inspired some of Eastwood's fellow Americans to have a little chat with the President as well via a series of memes that would henceforth be known as "Eastwooding."
8. Angelina Jolie's Leg
Angelina Jolie memorably (and rather randomly) showed off her right leg at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, inspiring an epic tidal wave of parody that began even before the ceremony ended — most notably by "The Descendants" co-writer Jim Rash, who imitated the "Salt" star's stance during his acceptance speech for the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Hey, that dress was made for showing off at least one gam ... or, uh, many.
7. Joaquin Phoenix Thinks Everything Is Bulls**t
"The Master" star (and frontrunner for a Best Actor Oscar nomination) Joaquin Phoenix made headlines with his revelation that the Academy Awards are, in his opinion, "total, utter bulls**t." This, of course, inspired the Internet to portray him as someone who thinks everything is "total, utter bulls**t." The one below is just one of many dismissive Phoenix decrees — there's a lot of "everything," after all.
6. What the World Thinks of Me[me]: The Movie Fan Edition
You remember all those "What ___ thinks I do" pics. We'd seen ones for everything from programmers to journalists, but we hadn't seen any for what we are: die-hard movie fans. So we made them ourselves.
5. Other Bane Masks
No one cared who Bane was until he put on his mask ... and then he was known as that guy whom no one could really understand when he spoke (complete with a vaguely aristocratic accent). Maybe some of these mask variations come with a cleaner vocal filter (or, in the case of the Speak and Spell mask, with its own set of subtitles).
4. Sad Vader
No one has it harder than the Dark Lord of the Sith. You can't really be a supervillain unless you earn a certain amount of sympathy, and the Sad Vader memes will have you really feeling for poor Anakin and his various galactic misadventures, missteps and misunderstandings. Ya know, Obi-Wan was a bit hard on him with that whole cutting off his legs thing ...
3. If You Watch It Backwards ...
True, this meme first came into being sometime in 2011, but 2012 saw some of its best variations, including a way to look at "127 Hours" as an even more inspiring survival tale. How long before some Blu-ray features a "Watch It Backwards" special feature, just for the hell of it?
2. Morpheus / What If Told You ...
The wisdom of Morpheus spread through the Matrix, er, the Internet with this series of simple yet often witty truths. What If We Told You that there's never been a cooler mentor than the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar?
1. Cage Cats
The Internet wouldn't be the Internet without its healthy (or is it unhealthy?) supply of pictures of cute cats and kittens. However, we've found an abomination that will test the endurance of even the most hardcore cat lover: "Cage Cats." But can you look away? No, you cannot.