Memes are one of those things that fall under "I know it when I see it," which isn't helpful when your mom keeps asking what a meme (or "mi mi," as my mother pronounced it) even is.
Personally, I've defined it as "a collective joke the entire internet is in on," and these 24 memes took the internet by storm this year. They were derived from various photos and videos and became part of our daily conversations. They're the very definition of what it means "to go viral."
Also known as "George Glass," this meme originates from "A Very Brady Sequel." Jan Brady told her sister Marcia she had a boyfriend named George Glass -- which she totally made up -- and Marcia threw the shade heard 'round the world. Also, Marcia says the world "school" as "sküle," because this movie was absolute gold. So, this meme is perfect for calling out someone's obvious bullsh-t.
Ah, Left Shark. He came to fame during Katy Perry's halftime show at Superbowl XLIX, where he awkwardly and unrhythmically danced his way into our hearts. Now he's an inspiration to terrible dancers everywhere.
Charlie Charlie Challenge
If you're in the mood to summon a Mexican spirit, then this weird challenge is for you. After drawing the correct symbol, you're supposed to say, "Charlie, Charlie, can we play?" and then the pencils will move -- then you and your friends freak TF out. It ended up being a marketing campaign for "The Gallows."
What are thoooooooose?!
This meme trend started with a Vine of a man looking at a police officer's shoes and asking, "What are those?," drawing out the "those" in a comical/ridiculous way. The video quickly went viral, prompting a horde of memes to emerge.
File this under "Strangest Things on the Internet." After an unfavorable photo of singer Demi Lovato emerged on Tumblr with the caption, "Demi’s twin sister. She was locked in a basement her whole life. This picture was taken the first time she went outside. Her name is Poot," fans gave Poot her own voice and identity. What does Demi think about this whole thing? Nothing good, that's for sure.
"Hotline Bling" dance moves
When Drake's smash hit "Hotline Bling" music video debuted back in October, the internet exploded with memes of the rapper's iconic dad dance moves. They're definitely a sight to behold, and the internet made sure they'll live forever in cyberspace.
Netflix and chill
This phrase basically means "Let's hang out and watch Netflix, and then not watch Netflix. Wink wink." The popular internet streaming site's headquarters was vandalized with the unofficial slogan in November. There are even songs about it, including one featured in a Doug the Pug video.
According to the Tumblr blog Meme Documentation, this meme started in 2014 but rose to viral fame in 2015. How this meme goes down, at least in some Vines, is someone will be minding their own business and suddenly John Cena's WWE intro blasts in the background.
Miley, what's good?
Arguably the Nicki Minaj/Miley Cyrus showdown was the best part of the 2015 VMAs, although Kanye West's presidential announcement was a close second. Minaj bluntly called out Cyrus by saying, "Back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press; Miley, what’s good?" And the internet lost its collective sh-t.
Chrissy Teigen's crying face
Little else is remembered from the 2015 Golden Globes than Teigen's crying face. After she became a meme, Teigen responded to the viral sensation with a perfect retort.
Why you always lying?
After Nicholas Fraser's Vine dropped at the end of August, it quickly became a viral sensation. It was only made better when it was revealed the six-second video was actually part of a music video that's the sheer definition of magical. The song is a rework of Next's "Too Close," but you wouldn't know it based on the amount of memes the video inspired.
This video's already been viewed almost 24 million times and the premise is as short as the video. A guy tells someone offscreen, "Something came in the mail today... deez nuts!" He then laughs hysterically at his own joke and proudly proclaims, "Got you!" Deez Nuts is even a 2016 satirical presidential candidate — yes, really — and is the brainchild of 15-year-old Iowan Brady Olson.
A spinoff of the popular meme Pepe the Frog, this meme began in October 2014 but rose in popularity in early 2015, according to Know Your Meme. People would photoshop or alter a meme of Pepe the Frog, and then act like their artwork was super valuable, "sharing the 'rare' images of Pepe as if they were trading cards, some of which were posted with watermarks to retain their value." The internet, man.
Everyone on the internet quickly learned they were all Pizza Rat when a rat was filmed dragging a huge slice of pizza down the stairs of a New York City subway station. There were plenty of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" jokes (as seen above) and even a ~sexy~ Halloween costume, because why not?
Shortly after Pizza Rat made his internet debut, Pigeon Rat was close on his heels. A video of a rat fighting and killing a pigeon went viral, and like the internet tends to do when faced with bizarre things, it responded accordingly. Also, RIP Pigeon.
Crying Piccolo Girl
This meme started when Roxanne Chalifoux was caught on camera playing her piccolo while crying. Her tears were because the Villanova Wildcats were going to lose the game. Chalifoux eventually ended up on "The Tonight Show," playing her piccolo with The Roots.
Donald Trump's hair
Actually Donald Trump in general became a huge meme, but his hair was a major focus. The 2016 Republican candidate's hair simply ? can't ? be ? tamed, and the result was pure internet gold.
"Jurassic World" raptors
After watching the iconic scene where Chris Pratt calms down the raptors from attacking, zoo keepers (and everyone else) began parodying it. But, of course, Pratt himself took his meme to the next level — with Legos!
Straight Outta Compton
To help promote the NWA biopic, the production company set up its own "Straight Outta X" website. Soon, fans and celebs were making countless memes about where their favorite movie and TV characters came from, including Drake's former acting life.
Beyoncé always on beat
Replacing the song Beyoncé was originally dancing to, the internet came up with some the most hilariously out-there songs. And because she's Queen Bey, she's always on beat and working it flawlessly, no matter the song.
Kanye's presidency announcement
As mentioned earlier, this priceless moment occurred during the 2015 VMAs. Yeezy dropped a major bombshell on everyone and stated, "I have decided in 2020 to run for president." His "bro" and question-infused speech was what really helped make the memes come alive.
Llamas on the loose
In late February, America found themselves cheering on two llamas who escaped and ran amuck in Arizona. Authorities tried to catch the llamas, much to the amusement of everyone at home glued to their TV and computer screens. (They were eventually successful.)
"Hello" by Adele
If you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, Adele launched her hit song "Hello" off her new album 25. The lyrics and music video were parodied in almost any and every way you can think of, and then some.
Forget Kim Kardashian and her naked butt: THIS is the image that broke the internet. On Feb. 26, BuzzFeed employee Cates Holderness published an article titled, "What Colors Are This Dress?" Simple enough, right? Wrong. The internet became divided, debating that it looked either white and gold or blue and black. Seriously, people lost their damn minds looking at that dress. (I see dirty green and periwinkle, but whatever.) Science was eventually used to explain this crazy color phenomenon.