It’s the end of a decade, and for many, that can be a pretty stressful thing to think about. Like any year, 2019 has brought its own doom and gloom, but I’m sure if each and every one of us sat quietly for a few minutes and thought about it, we’d be able to come up with plenty of things to be grateful for. For me, some of those things come in the form of memes.

1. Straight-line, dashed line

This meme first surfaced at the end of 2018, but it didn’t really gain any traction until we were a few days into the new year. It’s a pretty simple format “Straight line: ________________”, “Dashed line: ___ ___ ___ ___ ___” and then a a line of your choosing. Anything goes, and they’re all hilarious. Here’s my favorite.

2. Marie Kondo “Sparking Joy”

Marie Kondo’s Netflix show took the world by storm. People started rummaging through their things and folding their clothes into little rectangles in no time. I thought it was ridiculous until I got sucked into the show when I moved to NYC and found myself sitting on my bedroom floor, gripping and staring at an old purse for 20 minutes, trying to figure out it if “sparked joy.”

3. Game of Thrones 

Admittedly, I never ended up watching the final season of GOT – I got bored. But as disappointed as many fans seemed to be about the finale, I have to say, if anything made $15 million per episode worth it, it’s the memes we got as a result.

4. Celebrities compared to random objects

Some people just have an eye for these things, and once they point them out, you just can’t unsee it.

5. Billie Eilish “Bad Guy”

Billie Eilish’s song “Bad Guy”  was an international success upon release, and internet users didn’t hold back when editing in unrelated clips to her video. Sadly many variations of this meme seem to have been taken down, probably for copyright reasons. But a couple of gems are still out there.

6. The Met Gala 

People with way too much money, ridiculous outfits, and a plethora of photographers. It’s like the Met Gala was made for memes.

7. Storming Area 51 

Area 51, a US Air Force Base in the Nevada Desert, is adorned with warning signs, surveillance systems, and armed guards. The secrecy surrounding the place has fuelled many a conspiracy theory, with one of the most popular being that it houses a crashed UFO and… aliens!

The “Storm Area 51” Facebook event made headlines when over a million people pledged to raid the site in search of extraterrestrial life. And so ensued a stream of topical memes over the next few weeks.

8. Kombucha Girl 

I need to start with this PSA: Kombucha sucks. I mean, it’s okay I guess. My negative bias probably has something to do with PTSD from working in a Brooklyn-based cafe and having to change kombucha kegs (yes, KEGS) that hurt my hand and made me smell like, in the words of Kombucha girl, “a public restroom.”

The original video shows Brittany Tomlinson smelling and tasting the drink, and her oh-so-relatable reaction has been used time and time again.

9.  Woman vs Cat

Each of these pictures had circulated as a stand-alone meme until some genius on the internet hooked the two up, and so was born possibly the most iconic meme of the year.

10. Blinking white guy

Although Blinking White Guy has been around for a couple of years, I think 2019 was the year people realized his full potential. And just before you think this could get any better, Drew Scanlon, THE blinking white guy, used the meme’s viral status to raise funds for medical research. You can read more about that here. 

11. Thanos memes

Not only was Avengers: Endgame one of the most awaited movies of the year, but its villain makes for a good meme.


12. Straight pride

An explanation as to why this is such a joke isn’t required.

13. Keanu Reeves

The internet holds a special place in its (collective) heart for Keanu Reeves. Perhaps it’s because the Matrix star has had a reputation as a heartthrob since the 90s. Perhaps its because he’s the epitome of “cool.”

14. “Wrong answers only”

This is another one that has actually been around for a while, but it has aged well. Its latest variation is that of people posting a screenshot of a scene and asking people to name which (wrong) movie it’s from. The results are epic.

15. “I’m gonna tell my kids this was”

Parents have been lying to their kids since the beginning of time, and it can make for some harsh (or embarrassing) realizations when they find out – think about Phoebe and how her mother lied about the end of Old Yeller and Charlotte’s Web. Well, this year the internet has taken things to a whole new level, drafting up an impressive deck of hilarious white lies to tell their future kids.

16. “Cheesing”

In case you live under a rock and don’t know what “cheesing” is, its basically smacking an unsuspecting victim with a slice of cheese to the face. Who started this? And why did it catch on? Maybe we’ll never know.

17. This Tik Tok cross-over

There are no words to explain why this is so funny or to express how hard I laughed when I first saw it. I guess I just have immense appreciation for people who can really commit to a joke and take it to the brink of absurdity.

18.  My therapist

It is a form of light-hearted self-deprecation to share a fabricated excerpt of a conversation with your therapist, and as funny as these memes are, they’re also relatable in a very human way, making them some of my favorites of the year.

19. “Okay boomer”

It’s simple. It leaves no room for a snide response. It’s the ultimate burn. And it has become a massive meme.

20. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper 

Their incredibly moving live performance of Shallow spawned rumors about the nature of their relationship and of course… some priceless memes.

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21. Baby Yoda

When Disney+ launched, and the new Mandalorian series hit people’s screens in November, Baby Yoda stole our hearts and the internet spotlight.

What were YOUR favorite memes of the decade? Tweet them to us at @WeAreTheTempest.

Bring on 2020!

  • Shaima Alterkawi

    Shaima is a Saudi/American writer, rocker, and traveler with a BSc from the University of Birmingham, UK. and currently working towards an MSc in Psychology at UCL. Born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Shaima associates writing with freedom. She is passionate about finding meaning in the mundane and welcomes the opportunity to work with fellow creatives. In her free time, you'll probably find her dancing, attending live music events, drinking hot chocolate, talking to strangers or writing poetry.