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12 of 2017’s best memes

The only year in review you need.

It’s been a good year for memes, making it quite the challenge to pick a single one for each month.

So apologies to the solar eclipse, the floor is, the Babadook, the Trump orb, Snapchat hot dog, the Sheriff and blinking guy. You were good, but in your respective months there were better.


1. Salt Bae

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Ottoman steak 🔪

A post shared by Nusr_et#Saltbae (@nusr_et) on

Nusret Gokce’s extravagant meat cutting technique went viral in January, and other than Trump Draws was probably the first really memorable meme of the year.

The parody above sums up the hype that surrounded Gokce after his Instagram account was found.

The restaurateur’s signature salt sprinkle sparked football celebrations and mass internet hysteria, and the Turkish phenomenon has been dining out on it ever since.

2. Roll Safe

Roll Safe, the character portrayed by actor Kayode Ewumi in web series Hood Documentary, was everywhere during the month of February – with his grinning face accompanying tons of advice that’s probably better off not followed.

3. Meryl Streep singing

Meryl Streep continued the year’s strong start when an image of her shouting at the Screen Actors Guild ceremony, from two years earlier, took off in March.

The Oscar-winning actress was soon joining top artists in duets of their best-known songs.

And some of their lesser known songs too.

4. Spotify playlists

A format that was first used as an innovative way to break up with someone soon morphed into something else, with some Twitter users instead using Spotify playlists to send corny messages to their crush.

They were being used throughout the month of April for obscure references from things like The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, Bee Movie, or even that viral video of the Scottish woman whose kids forgot to flush the loo.

5. Mocking SpongeBob

May’s meme is doubtless still being used to mock people on WhatsApp groups the world over.

The image of SpongeBob comes from an episode in 2012, when it’s discovered that the Bikini Bottom resident clucks like a chicken whenever he sees plaid.

But the derp-like expression, combined with upper and lowercase letters, gave the moment an altogether different meaning.

Alongside Confused Mr Krabs from 2016, it’s been another strong year for the ever memeable sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

6. Living in 3017

People love a good life hack, but they love to laugh more.

Combining the two let people show their ingenuity in June – whether it was handing out business cards with QR codes on them or finding innovative ways of eating food.

7. Nothing but respect for MY president

Donald Trump’s star has endured a torrid time since he became president, being defaced and urinated upon.

But one supporter took the time to show it some love in July, cleaning it with a make-up wipe, and creating a movement.

People realised that if she was showing respect to her president, they should probably be doing the same for theirs.

Later in the year it was still performing well.

8. Distracted boyfriend

If there’s one meme that really crossed over in 2017, it was this one. It appeared early in the year but August catapulted it to new heights.

Things would eventually get very meta, the rest of the photo series would be discovered and the photographer would give interviews threatening legal action. But Distracted Boyfriend lives on.

9. The ting goes

Comedian Michael Dapaah’s Man’s Not Hot freestyle for BBC Radio 1Xtra went everywhere in September, with his onomatopoeic gunshot noises spawning hosts of parodies.

Even when you know what’s coming, it’s still funny.

10. Homeboy is gonna like… get it

In October supermodel Bella Hadid came through with possibly 2017’s most awkward interview of 2017 when she went sneaker shopping with Complex.

The 21-year-old uttered some immortal words, and people took the clip and really ran with it.

11. What is an extreme sport?

A simple question posed on Twitter promoted thousands of joke responses throughout the month of November. It honestly needs no more explanation than that.

12. Yeah sex is cool but have you ever… been paid to write an article about your favourite memes?

The year ended with a few strong country-specific memes – looking at you Terrence Howard and that whole cheating boyfriend train debacle – but this one was shared across nations.

It started a couple of years ago but nobody was sad to see its return to round off the year.

Let’s hope 2018 is just as wholesome.

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