The 40 Most Popular Memes of 2014

In January, it's impossible to predict what crazy stories will arise in the coming year. One thing's for certain though: whatever stories come up, there will be people on the internet to make fun of them. 2014 was no exception. It was a year of international sporting events, political upheaval, spectacular movies, riveting television shows, intense social debate, catchy new music... and butts. Lots and lots of butts.

What will 2015 bring? Who knows? Hopefully more butts.

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  • 1

    Ashley Wagner joins a long list of disapproving Olympians.

    Ashley Wagner Olympians meme
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    Actually, the list isn't that long. It's pretty short. It's very short. It's just one person. Okay, it's just McKayla Maroney, alright? SHUT UP!

  • 2

    Hot Felon was convicted of grand theft for stealing the hearts of women all across America.

    Hot felon dank meme of 2014
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    Blue eyes like piercing icicles, and a jawline cut from marble...

    In June of this year, a 30-year-old convicted felon from Stockton, CA named Jeremy Ray Meeks set the hearts of straight women, gay men, and even a few straight men and gay women all aflutter. Meeks may have landed a modeling contract with Blaze Models shortly after his mugshot went viral, but it's unlikely that he'll be able to fulfill the terms of that contract any time soon, as he's currently facing 10 years in prison on federal gun charges.

    Meeks is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2015.

  • 3

    You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't dump a bucket of ice water on their head this year to raise awareness for ALS.

    dank meme of girl on horse ice bucket challenge with hilarious fail GIF
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    Great! Love all that awareness! Now then, what is ALS?

  • 4

    Vladimir Putin's newly appointed chief prosecutor in Crimea becomes a moe icon.

    Vladimir Putin's newly appointed chief prosecutor became dank meme in 2014
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    moe \ mo-ay \
       1. (slang) Strong interest in, and especially fetishistic attraction toward, fictional characters in anime, manga, video games, and/or similar media.

    Such a definition describes the internet's love for Natalia Poklonskaya perfectly. The seemingly unassuming Russian attorney became famous among anime and manga afficionados soon after she was tabbed to become chief prosecutor in the turmoil-stricken Ukrainian region of Crimea. Any discussion of her credibility and qualifications to govern in a politically destabilized region quickly became overshadowed by the fact that she is totes adorbs. Take that social commentary how you will.

  • 5

    Uncomfortable Situation Seal is the Socially Awkward Penguin for group interactions.

    doe eyed seal becomes dank meme in 2014 for awkward situation memes
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    Via Livememe
    The best memes are the ones that are relatable. By that standard, Uncomfortable Situation Seal takes the cake. If you do something awkward, Social Awkward Penguin. If you're caught in an uncomfortable situation with multiple people, well, you get the idea.

    Speaking of seals...

  • 6

    10 hours of walking in New York City as a woman will get you a lot of catcallers.

    Gender politics took a front seat on the internet in 2014, and no one piece of viral content demonstrates that more than a video that was released in late October showing a woman walking through the streets of New York City and being accosted by several blatantly thirsty dudes. The video was astounding for several reasons, the most prominent of which being the social idiocy of the men who weren't able to pick up on simple hints that the woman wanted to be left alone, and the fact that so many instances of harassment occurred within the span of just 10 hours.

    As is often the case with controversial content that goes viral seemingly instantly, many critics claimed that the video was staged or deceptively edited. They claimed that the men were actors, that the harassment took place in a span greater than 10 hours, that the woman was just a snooty b*tch who should be happy that she's getting so much attention, and other victim blaming crap.

    Again, regardless of the video's veracity, it fanned the flames of gender issues on the internet to the tune of 40 million views.

    Speaking of the men being actors...

  • 7

    Minor Mistake Marvin is majorly relatable.

    Marvin meme about listening for four hours to an audio book on shuffle.
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    Via Livememe
    We all make mistakes in life, but many of them aren't big enough to warrant, say, a 'Bad Luck Brian.' For all those minute mishaps in your life, Marvin's there for you instead.

    It all started with a submission on r/pics by Redditor marky_mark301 entitled "He just wanted some noodles." The rest, as they say, is history.

  • 8

    The Selfie Olympics should have been a Sochi event.

    Cheezburger Image 8403450368
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    Who can take the most extreme selfie? Who can balance on an object, hang from the ceiling, or climb up a tall building to snap a picture worthy of a gold medal? Only the most extremiest will succeed.

  • 9

    Seal of Approval is all about life's little pleasures.

    Cheezburger Image 8403298048
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    Via Livememe
    Let's face it: 2014 was kind of a bleak year.

    A deadly virus terrorized the international community, a jet airliner was blown out of the sky, another one simply disappeared, Eastern Europe descended into political turmoil, a cabal of terrorist radicals swept across the Middle East, a slew of young black men were killed by police causing faith in law enforcement to drop to an all-time low in America, and a comedian many of us grew up with and who made us happy time and again took his own life due to depression.

    With all the sad, disheartening stories popping up in the media, Seal of Approval arrived at the perfect time. It's no small wonder that people are gathering online and looking for something, anything, to counteract a seemingly unending flood of bad news, and a meme that celebrates the littlest of the little good things in life may be a small reflection of that trend, and it may be just what the doctor ordered...

    ... well, that and ZMapp to treat your hemorrhagic fever.

  • 10

    Apparently this kid was pretty popular.

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    Via WNEP-TV
    5-year-old Noah Ritter stole the show on a local news broadcast in Pennsylvania with his adorable misuse of the word "apparently." In contrast to something like Alex From Target, the reasons why Noah went viral are... well... pretty apparent.

  • 11

    Pharrell Williams went "Mountie-Chic" at the Grammys.

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    Word is he was probably storing his Grammys up there.

    Remember, kids: only you can prevent forest fires.

  • 12

    Tim Howard can save practically anything.

    Cheezburger Image 8403332608
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    The 35-year-old goalkeeper's heroics won over the hearts and minds of the American people during the 2014 World Cup, during which Howard set the single-game World Cup record for saves in the USMNT's game against Belgium. In the end though, it wasn't enough, as Belgium went on to triumph 2-1, but let's be honest: if anyone other than Tim Howard had been guarding the net, it would have been like 15-1.

  • 13

    Brazil's utter humiliation at the 2014 World Cup makes as many spinoff images as Germany did goals.

    Cheezburger Image 8403347712
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    Brazilian sports hadn't experienced a sadness this crushing since the death of Ayrton Senna. In a country where soccer is religion, the Brazilian's 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual champions Germany bordered on a national tragedy, and they were the host country for Cristo's sake!

    Despite being humiliated on the world stage, many Brazilians believed the game would eventually have a positive result on Brazilian society. "If our country weren't in such a sad state economically and socially, maybe soccer wouldn't be the only thing we look forward to, and losses like this one wouldn't be as devastating," the logic followed.

    As for the reaction outside the states? Pretty much just a ton of memes like the one pictured above.

  • 14

    Kermit the Frog gets all up in your business (but not really).

    Cheezburger Image 8403280896
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    Via Livememe
    Want to know the best way to get involved in someone else's business? Make one of these, then post it somewhere they can see it.

    You say it's none of your business, Kermit, but is it really?

  • 15

    Luigi's Death Stare will freeze you in your tracks.

    Cheezburger Image 8403483648
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    Via GamAlive
    It's like all the agony of playing second fiddle to Mario all these years was condensed into one glare. He utters no words, but says so much.

  • 16

    Kim Kardashian tried to break the internet.

    Cheezburger Image 8403361280
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    Via Philly
    She failed, because the internet is infinite and eternal, but she got just about as close as anyone has before. The person that is life support for the ass known as Kim Kardashian blessed our eyes with her bodacious, totally-not-photoshopped booty in Paper magazine in November, and thus got the internet's parody imagination pumping (among other things).

    In The Iliad, Homer referred to Helen of Troy as "the face that launched a thousand ships." Nowadays, we have the ass that launched a million retweets. Man, what a time to be alive.

  • 17

    This could've been the best meme of 2014, but you playin'.

    Cheezburger Image 8403370240
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    Oh what could have been if only you stopped playing so damned much...

  • 18

    Straight white boys have no tact when it comes to texting.

    Cheezburger Image 8403412992
    Guy: "Hey, how's it going?"
    Girl: "Good! You?"
    Guy: "Great! Nice weather we're having."
    Girl: "Yeah, it's been really sunny lately."
    Guy: "Yeah. So wanna have sex?"
    Girl: "..."

  • 19

    The Madden GIFERATOR was a big hit (no football pun intended).

    Cheezburger Image 8403427072
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    To go along with the release of Madden NFL 15, EA Sports released the GIFERATOR, a simple program that adds text over football players doing football thangz. Sometimes the simplest template provides the most creative ability.

  • 20

    GamerGate gets its motives questioned.

    Cheezburger Image 8403433984
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    Is it a legitimate critique of the gaming journalism oligarchy that conspires to fix game reviews through bribery? Or a horde of butthurt manbabies who will use any excuse they can to push women out of the video game industry?

    Gaming journalism. Totally.

  • 21

    If you have no idea what the previous entry was about, then Afraid to Ask Andy knows your pain.

    Cheezburger Image 8403439872
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    Via Livememe
    I said it's about ethics in gaming journalism, dude!

  • 22

    Everyone has a starter pack.

    Cheezburger Image 8403445504
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    If anyone ever asked whether or not we can summarize a subculture of people using only four images, then here's your answer to that question: yes, yes we can.

  • 23

    Peculiar Potoo knows all about your weird quirks.

    Cheezburger Image 8403458560
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    Via Livememe
    We all have our odd little behaviors and rituals that make us interesting, and Peculiar Potoo shows that those behaviors may not be as rare as you think.

  • 24

    The Hound professed his love for chicken on 'Game of Thrones.'

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    All you had to do was give him one single chicken, man.

  • 25

    Business Baby became the youngest CEO in the history of ever.

    Cheezburger Image 8403466240
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    Via Livememe
    "Alright Dave, let's talk numbers. Keep in mind that I can only count to three."

  • 26

    2014 was the year we all became about that bass.

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    Sorry, treble, better luck next year.

    Dovetailing nicely with the genderpolitik theme of 2014, Meghan Trainor's chart-topping hit came from out of nowhere to being the rallying anthem for being comfortable in your own skin. Because remember: every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.

    Except "skinny b*tches," apparently. Sorry.

  • 27

    Michelle Obama's #BringBackOurGirls sign was oh-so-exploitable.

    Cheezburger Image 8403488000
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    Oh Michelle, you should have known that the internet was going to take this one and run with it.

    On May 7, Michelle Obama tweeted this image as a show of solidarity for the nearly 300 young girls abducted in Nigeria by jihadist terror group Boko Haram. Soon after, the image made it to r/photoshopbattles where Redditors had a field day with the exploitable image.

  • 28

    An average boy from Target makes it big.

    Cheezburger Image 8403236864
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    Alex from Target. One day he's bagging groceries at his local Target store in Texas, the next day (or at least close to the next day) he's making an appearance on The Ellen Show. When asked why he became a celebrity literally overnight, Alex, whose real name is Alex Christopher LaBeouf, presumably answered "dude, I have no frickin' idea."

    There was brief confusion after Alex became famous as to whether or not he was actually part of some sort of viral marketing campaign. Breakr, a Los Angeles-based startup company claimed credit for the image, however Alex and his family denied Breakr's involvement. Whether it was all orchestrated or not, we'll never know, but one thing is certain: Alex From Target proved that it really is possible to become famous in the span of a few hours in today's day and age.

    And also if Alex happened to be a girl instead of a boy, the person who originally took the picture would probably be facing sexual harassment charges right about now.

    Speaking of sexual harassment...

  • 29

    Boyfriends all over the world overcame incredible obstacles just to get to bae's house.

    Cheezburger Image 8403497472
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    Whether you're scuba diving, on Mars, or locked in a North Korean prison, it doesn't matter: bae is waiting, and her parents will only be gone for like two hours tops.

  • 30

    Kevin Durant let us all know who the real MVP is.

    Cheezburger Image 8404225792
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    Everyone has that MVP in their life. As Kevin Durant explained during his NBA MVP acceptance speech, his was his mom. However, MVPs can vary from person to person. It may be the person who actually pays for the HBO GO account, girls who text first, or the guy who lets you copy his homework because you forgot to do it.

    Who knows, even you might be an MVP for someone!

  • 31

    Nicki Minaj wrote a song about giant South American snakes (I think...).

    Cheezburger Image 8404139264
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    2014 was a year full of butts. Seriously, you could barely walk out of your house without seeing a butt somewhere, clothed or otherwise. I couldn't even look at my back in a mirror without seeing a butt. Butts, butts, butts.

    Please don't mistake this for complaining. If 2014 had to be about anything, butts would be a highly suitable candidate. Butts for president.

  • 32

    The first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII was released, which of course means new lightsabers.

    Cheezburger Image 8404122112
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    First, it was Darth Maul with his double-bladed lightsaber. Then it was General Grievous who wielded four lightsabers at once. Now it's... a lightsaber with a crossguard? Fans couldn't get enough of the new lightsaber design debuted in the first Episode VII teaser trailer, and many decided to put their own spin on the lightsaber's new digs.

    The one pictured above was obviously from a guy in Switzerland...

  • 33

    The iPhone 6 is released, Apple users get all bent out of shape about it.

    Cheezburger Image 8404148480
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    Via Metro
    Another year, another episode of pants-wetting excitement among the Apple faithful over the release of a new version of the iPhone. Through all of the pomp and circumstance of the iPhone 6's release, however, someone at quality control forgot to make sure the device didn't bend in your pocket.

    Shoddy structural quality is nothing new for the iPhone though, as users of the new iPhone 4 will remember ("just don't hold it like that"). Fortunately, chassis bending translates to humor opportunities much more easily than a faulty antenna. See above: a billboard in Berlin that was serendipitously curved much like the device it featured. There's no way that can be a coincidence.

  • 34

    Every began sharing a Coke with everyone else.

    Cheezburger Image 8404210688
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    Coca-Cola began printing random names on their bottles, telling people to "share a Coke" with said random name, which inevitably led to some rather hilarious name pairings.

    Just don't share one with Hans. Dude's a d-bag.

  • 35

    NBA 2K15's new face-scan feature creates monsters for the ages.

    Cheezburger Image 8404218368
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    Yeesh! Here's to hoping they fix this little glitch for NBA 2K16.

  • 36

    Bend it like Beckham. No, not David.

    Cheezburger Image 8403395584
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    Via imgur
    Odell Beckham Jr. is only a rookie, and at age 22, we could be in for 10 to 15 more years of highlight plays like the one above, in which ODB contorts his body to haul in a 43-yard bomb from Eli Manning to give the New York Giants a 14-3 lead over the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas would eventually go on to win the game, but no one will ever remember that. They'll remember this, the greatest catch since The Catch.

  • 37

    You know who this is, right? You don't? Well then, take it away, buddy!

    Cheezburger Image 8404232960
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    Via Blastr
    "I am Groot."

  • 38

    And last but not least... this guy.

    Cheezburger Image 8404273408
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    We KNOW you know who he is.
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