Editor’s Note: This article is part of Know Your Meme’s Top 10 Review. looking back at some of the most memorable and popular memes, events and people that defined the Internet culture in 2012 as we know it. And brace yourselves, the grand finale list Best Memes of 2012 is coming soon!
This year, it seemed like every big internet happening came with its own novelty Twitter account. Although many were abandoned after a handful of tweets in a few days, these ten accounts stuck most of the year out, with some even tweeting long past the event they were created for. Throughout the year, parody accounts were also created outside of the realm of newsworthy events. These personalities manifested on the microblogging site as defined through hobbies, mixing philosophy with celebrity and nostalgia for Web 1.0.
Following the east coast landfall of Hurricane Sandy on October 28th, several parody Twitter accounts were established to give humorous voices to the so-called superstorm. Despite the removal of the short-lived parody account @AHurricaneSandy, @realsandycane quickly took over its place with a tweet about canceling Halloween. The account was also known for tossing in name puns and altered song lyrics to its stories of desctruction.
- Site: @realsandycane
- Launched: June 18th, 2012, first post October 28th
- Active: No, last post November 21st
- Total Followers: 23,870
- Total Posts: 82
- GoldenTweet: A screenshot from a parody page for Hurricane Katrina, which caused massive destruction in 2005, that personifies the storms as arguing middle school girls has gained more than 7000 retweets and 4200 favorites.
THIS BITCH twitter.com/realsandycane/…— HURRICANE SANDY (@realsandycane) October 30, 2012
Though Jaded Punk Hulk is not the first The Incredible Hulk novelty account, it was the fastest growing instance to be created in 2012. Run by a New York-based punk rock fan, the account oftentimes criticizes the crowds at local shows, talks about his favorite bands (especially Black Flag) and comments on the musically oblivious and hipster culture while maintaining the superhero’s atypical grammar. The creator also maintains a Facebook page and OkCupid profile under the persona for fans who want more than just 140 characters.
- Site: @JADEDPUNKHULK
- Launched: March 15th, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 28,738
- Total Posts: 2183
- Golden Tweet: In this October 23rd tweet, Jaded Punk Hulk evokes Hipster Barista in his commentary on the evolving meaning of neck tattoos.
20 YEARS AGO, IF YOU HAD NECK TATTOO, IT SIGN NOT TO MESS WITH YOU. IF YOU HAVE ONE NOW, IT SIGN THAT YOU RIDE BIKE TO JOB AT STARBUCKS.— JADEDPUNKHULK (@JADEDPUNKHULK) October 23, 2012
Inspired by an Apple commercial starring actress Zooey Deschanel and the iPhone personal assistant program Siri, this parody account began tweeting both silly and serious questions that Deschanel would ask Siri, all disguised in a playful or cutesy manner. The account has touched on various stereotypes of the quirky hipster girl that Deschanel has come to embody, such as what restaurants allow guests to draw on the tablecloth, what the real fabric of our lives is and how to grow a moustachemoustache. Creator Curtis Dickerson averaged seven tweets per day between May and June.
- Site: @ZooeySiri
- Launched: May 2nd, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 33,304
- Total Posts: 790
- Golden Tweet: This jab at hipster-associated filmmaker Wes Anderson, suggesting he uses Instagram for his work saw 585 retweets and 182 favorites.
Siri, are Wes Anderson films shot in Instagram?— Zooey Asks Siri (@ZooeySiri) June 28, 2012
Almost immediately after Angelina Jolie appeared on the red carpet at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony in a revealing dress, this Twitter handle was established to celebrate the Hollywood actress’ enviable leg line. Within hours, it gathered more than 12,000 followers through a series of tweets asking people to pay attention to it. After the ceremony, the account continued updating with opinions on music, the latest iPad and Barack Obama. It is unclear who runs the account, but a October 9th tweet claims they were hired by viral content site Buzzfeed.
- Site: @AngiesRightLeg
- Launched: February 26th, 2012
- Active: No, last post November 28th
- Total Followers: 41,862
- Total Posts: 147
- Golden Tweet: On February 27th, a tweet about being a fantastic body part was retweeted more than 3500 times with more than 300 favorites.
You have to admit I’m one hell of a leg.— Angelina Jolie’s Leg (@AngiesRightLeg) February 27, 2012
This tongue-in-cheek undercover account operates under the guise of trolling teenagers from Prescott, Arizona with hilariously awkward-sounding tweets soliciting random people to do something illegal (and thus incriminate themselves). Among the best of his tweets are attempts at scoring drugs, purchasing stolen goods and finding Hot Topic shoplifters. Two weeks after this account was created, @NotPolice began tweeting in a similar fashion with the same avatar, gaining nearly 46,000 followers between October and December. It is unknown if they are the same person, however @NotAPoliceman has threatened to call the cops on @NotPolice
- Site: @NotAPoliceman
- Launched: September 21st, 2012
- Active: No, last post November 11th
- Total Followers: 64,278
- Total Posts: 55
- Golden Tweet: Unfortunately, when this average dude who is clearly not a cop asked his followers to tweet a photo of their favorite meth lab, Walter White missed the call. However, it gained more than 4100 retweets and 1000 favorites.
Send Me A Pic Of Your Favorite Meth Lab— Not A Cop (@NotAPoliceman) October 5, 2012
While giving his endorsement speech for Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention in August, iconic American actor Clint Eastwood raised some curious eyebrows when he started addressing an empty chair as if President Barack Obama were on stage with him. Approximately five minutes into the speech, an anonymous Twitter user registered the handle @InvisibleObama to counter Eastwood’s rhetorics as the invisible President. The account attracted more than 50,000 followers in 24 hours as it tweeted about transparency, global warming and its thoughts on the Eastwooding photo fad. Though the election is over, the account continues to tweet about television shows and the holiday season.
- Site: @InvisibleObama
- Launched: August 30st, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 64,304
- Total Posts: 516
- Golden Tweet: This tweet was made the day after Obama’s reelection, November 7th, and gained 1516 retweers and 378 favorites.
FOUR MORE LEGS.— Invisible Obama (@InvisibleObama) November 7, 2012
Following in the footsteps of 2011’s @Justin_Buber, this account combines the happy-go-lucky attitude of reality star Kim Kardashian with the existential thoughts of 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. The topics range from twerking and the distraction that is her own show to the “summery” nature of Shakespeare. Gaining more than 10,000 followers in just a few weeks, it paved the way for more celebrity/philosopher mashup accounts like @Kantye_West and @NietzschiMinaj.
- Site: @KimKierkegaard
- Launched: June 27th, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 73,291
- Total Posts: 178
- Golden Tweet: This tweet from October 12th, earning 975 retweets and 286 favorites, blendsmakeup techniques with a quote from Kierkegaard’s journals on the importance of despair in finding onesself.
Contouring is an amazing way to shape your nose & define your cheeks, but only terror to the point of despair develops a man to his utmost.— KimKierkegaardashian (@KimKierkegaard) October 12, 2012
British comedian Colin Trevor Grey launched this parody of Fifty Shades of Grey in June, tweeting pictures of sexy-looking grey sheds. After several photos, the account began tweeting strange erotica lines, explaining an obsession with S&M (sheds and mowers). This later progressed into how his female partner liked to torture him with a Sex and the City box set. A book inspired by the tweets with the tagline “Erotica for the not-too-modern male” was published in September.
- Site: @50ShedsofGrey
- Launched: June 21st, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 100,000
- Total Posts: 142
- Golden Tweet: This excerpt comparing a young woman’s seduction technique to a piranha, tweeted on July 15th, has more than 5800 retweets and nearly 1150 favorites.
She gazed up at me wide-eyed from the shed floor and bit her lip seductively. Unfortunately it was her top lip so she looked like a piranha.— Fifty Sheds of Grey (@50ShedsofGrey) July 15, 2012
The same day Curiosity landed on Mars, this Twitter account sprang up to give a sarcastic point of view to the rover. Among other things, the parody account has asked to come home, commented on the beer preference of Martian hipsters and claimed to have discovered inner strength and aliens. In an October interview with ScienceNews, creator Jason Filiatrault said he imagines this rover as “a tired government worker” whose bitter inner thoughts are sugarcoated for the public.
- Site: @SarcasticRover
- Launched: August 6th, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 105,438
- Total Posts: 2122
- Golden Tweet: The Sarcastic Rover responded to the Hostess Bankruptcy on November 16th by comparing the response to the lack of care for a manned space program. It gathered 968 retweets and 175 favorites.
The fact that America is more worried about the loss of Twinkies than a manned space program is cause for concern.— SarcasticRover (@SarcasticRover) November 16, 2012
Evoking the nostalgia of twenty-something internet users who grew up with Windows 95, America Online and the sweet sounds of dial-up internet, @YourAwayMessage shares stereotypical inside jokes, inspirational quotes and song lyrics that might as well have been your away messages when you were still using AOL’s instant messaging service. Created by NYC-based photographer @SoCarolineSays, the overly dramatic tweets often overuse tildes, drawn out punctuation and alternating capital letters to mimic the ways teenagers communicated in the 2000s.
- Site: @YourAwayMessage
- Launched: September 9th, 2012
- Active: Yes
- Total Followers: 243,867
- Total Posts: 387
- Golden Tweet: Posted on September 14th, this tweet contains lyrics to the 2002 Taking Back Sunday song “You’re So Last Summer”. It has more than 2800 retweets and 1300 favorites.
the truth is you could slit my throat & with my one last gasping breath I’d apologize for bleeding on your shirt…:-\— your away message (@YourAwayMessage) September 14, 2012