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!
2012 had its fair share of strange occurrences, many of which spread through various sites across the Internet. Know Your Meme took a look back at some of this year’s most “WTF” memes, narrowing down ten of the most signicant. Some that didn’t quite make the cut include the New York City Cryptic Subway Code, Satoru Iwata Holding Bananas, Super Saiyans are Real, Prince Harry’s Naked Army and the Weird Part of YouTube.
| || |
- About: Toothpasting refers to the act of putting toothpaste on one’s nipples to induce an intoxicated mental state.
- The Weird Factor: It is amazing that anyone could actually believe this was true. Also, you don’t see men putting things on their nipples every day.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – May
- Similar Memes: Jenkem, Purple Drank, Silk Road, Photo Fads
#9: One Tiny Hand
#8: Actual Cannibal Shia Lebouf
#7: Weird Twitter
| || |
- About: Weird Twitter is a loosely connected group of Twitter users notable for experimenting with incorrect spelling, punctuation and format for humor or poetry.
- The Weird Factor: The nonsequiter-style of humor and nonsensical sentences which weird Twitter users are known for can be very confusing.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – October
- Similar Memes: Horse_ebooks, Burst Into Treats
#6: My Video for Briona
#5: Fifty Shades of Grey
| || |
- About: Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in an erotic fiction trilogy by author E.L. James about the romantic relationship between characters Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
- The Weird Factor: Originally written as a Twilight fanfiction marked by graphic sexual imagery, the story somehow became the top New York Times bestseller of the year.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – July
- Similar Memes: Twilight, Fanfiction, Shipping
| || |
- About: Dolan is a series of MS Paint comics featuring poorly drawn Disney cartoon characters.
- The Weird Factor: The comics feature nonsensical humor, unintelligible grammar, scenes involving murder and rape and Disney characters drawn in a disturbing fashion.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – April
- Similar Memes: Spurdo Spärde, Oh God What Have I Done?, McNuggies
#3: Miami Zombie
| || |
- About: “Miami Zombie” is the nickname of Rudy Eugene, which was coined after he was shot and killed by police while cannibalizing the homeless man Ronald Poppo.
- The Weird Factor: The online conversations centered around cannabalism, rumors of Eugene being under the influence of the designer drug “Bath Salts” and zombie apocalypse references altogether made it one of the most bizarre news stories we’ve heard this year.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – June
- Similar Memes: Anti-Zombie Fortress, Zombies, “They’re Eating Her!”
#2: Jason Russell’s Breakdown
| || |
- About: Jason Russell is the co-founder of the non-profit Invisible Children who had a public mental breakdown after the Kony 2012 video went massively viral.
- The Weird Factor: Russell was found naked on a sidewalk in San Diego, reportedly masturbating and yelling nonsense at passers-by, yet the only formal explanation given to the press was that he was dehydrated and exhausted.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – March
- Similar Memes: Kony 2012, Fap, Prince Harry’s Naked Army
#1: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
| || |
- About: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is an emoticon created with unicode character symbols often used to spam forums and image boards, similar to the Japanese word “desu”.
- The Weird Factor: The origin is still unclear and without consensus on what the icon actually means. The facial expression conveys a million feels, making the emoticon practically unfathomable.
- Peak Interest: Google Trends – December
- Similar Memes: (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻, ಠ_ಠ,