If you have been on the internet these last years, you most probably have noticed a funny phenomenon going on named “meme“. Truth is that it’s hard not to notice it, as almost any everyday situation is subject for a meme. The word that comes from the abbreviation of “mimeme” (which in turn comes from the Ancient Geek word mīmēma ”something imitated”) has been used to describe ideas that spread via the Internet.
Though most of us might know the most popular memes, not everybody knows how each one was created and what were those crucial moments or elements that made them rise to this level of stardom. This is why the guys at Rocketboom, owners of a three minute daily video blog, started making the “Know Your Meme” video series.
The series tackles them one by one and delivers us a detailed history of some of the most famous memes like Keyboard Cat, FAIL, O RLY or Numa Numa.
“Keyboard Cat ” is one of the funniest memes involving cats. It started with a footage of Fatso being assisted by his owner Charlie Schmidt, in playing the piano. The video sparked the appearance of a large number of viral videos that incorporated it under the name of ” Play him off, keyboard cat”. One of its most famous uses was at the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 when Adam Sandberd announced that if an award winner’s speech went too long, he or she would be played off by the keyboard cat.
3 Wolf Moon
The “3 Wolf Moon” T-shirt achieved the meme effect due to a simple and hilarious comment on the item’s page describing the customer’s magical experience he gets from wearing it. The comment sparked a lot of other comments making the shirt sell from 10 per day to 10 per hour. This was possible because of the bandwagon effect, to be more precise popularity begets popularity.
Om Nom Nom
Though we might know the “Om Nom Nom” meme from the kitties on YouTube, the original sound was created by the Cookie Monster character from Sesame Street. Now, Om Nom Nom has become the funniest and the most common way of expressing that something is delicious.
The original purpose of the technology behind “Auto Tune” was to find oil reserves underwater, but the creator realized that it could correct a singer’s off key vocals. Most artists used it sparingly, but rap singer T-Pain made it even more famous by using it in all of his songs. Also users from YouTube applied it to non-musical videos making it even more fun to use. Auto Tune reached the peak of self parody in 2009 when T-Pain collaborated on creating the smartphone app ” I am T-Pain”.
The David After Dentist
We came to know the “The David After Dentist” meme due to an user error, because it was supposed to be private. In the end it became one of the most hilarious videos on YouTube generating a lot of remixes, parodies and T-shirts with the kid’s anesthesia generated lines.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
“Peanut Butter Jelly Time” is probably the most annoying and aggravating meme of them all. The song, the repetition and let’s not forget the banana made it stick to the hearts of internet users.
Christian Bale Rant
The “Christian Bale Rant” meme is the Titanic of the memes, being one the most short-lived memes. It consists of an audio clip in which the actor goes ballistic while yelling at Shane Hurlbut, the director of photography of the Terminator 4 movie.
“FAIL” is one of the oldest memes having the origins in the video game “Blazing Star”. An image has been created for almost all situations, FAIL dogs, FAIL ships and many more, proving that nothing escapes it.
The ” O RLY? ” meme started with John White’s photo of a white owl. Its simplicity made it easy to catch on and be adapted in many forms which were and still are used for the LOLs.
The “Numa Numa” meme started off as a video made by Gary Brolsma which was intended to make some friends laugh. Within weeks it received millions of views on YouTube and imitations started popping up all over the internet.