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Discussion: The most popular type of meme

Last posted Sep 02, 2012 at 11:39PM EDT. Added Aug 23, 2012 at 12:15AM EDT
12 posts from 12 users

Since I have been into memes for about 2 1/2 years now, I have come to the realization of what is the most poular type of meme. That is Rage Comics. If you look at the entries with the most views on this site, you’ll realize that the majority of the Top 20 entries are rage comic faces. Also they always seem to appear in any collage or Meme Overload image. It’s almost like it’s the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they think meme.

Buy why is this so? Rage comics aren’t the first memes to exist. We’ve had much older ones exist before they even surfaced. And yet, whenever a new one would surface, they would take off like a snowstorm. Why do you think Rage Comics are the most popular meme type? This mystery should definetly get more looked in to.

It depends of the community. Rage comics have been taken by the mainstream population thanks to Facebook and “meme” sites like 9GAG, etc. They don’t require much thought and you get a few jiggles. People want more, you produce more; that’s how such a simple idea grew in size larger than other ideas on the web.

If you look at other communities, you can see how they keep moving forward with new spin-offs of past ideas. Case in point, Reddit and Tumblr. Reddit is filled with new image macros all the time. I remember a time when we had a new entry from the admins for one of these almost daily, soon to be forgotten in favor of “another take” on the first idea. In the case of Tumblr, you can see how original they can be with new ideas. The sweaters, the hannibal Shia, the airport journey, the circus afro, etc; but most of these are forgotten even faster than Reddit’s; people expell all they can give and post it in hope of getting likes and reblogs, then the idea die off.

And then you have the case of the “Internet legends”, people that became famous due to viral videos and stuff. They gain notoriety, they try making business out of it, they “sell out”, they’re forgotten. It’s interesting seeing how many old confirmed entries on this subject have little to no content added since they’ve been forgotten by the popular opinion.

In the end this can be a good and a bad thing. It’s good that the world keeps producing new ideas and don’t rely on old ones. It’s bad since they could have been developed more than they did (the typical case of “arriving late to the party” applies here).

But for some reason, mainstream people took on hold of these ideas called “Rage comics” and now go with it. If you keep using memes or used ideas, you limit your own creativity. This can be a bad sign for the Internet culture.

KI already said what I was going to say: The sheer simplicity of rage comics is what makes it so appealing, particularly to simple minds. But I’ll go into more detail

Rage comics are such an easy concept to grasp. They consist of basic characters with only one single trait where it is easy to depict that character doing what it does, even if you are by no means a comic genius.

If you don’t know how to make a comic, you can learn how just by making Rage comics. They are as basic as comics get. Essentially, for many, they are the first stepping stone to generating internet humor

Rage comics are further complimented by easily replicated pre-set formats that anyone can copy. No skill required

You have 4 panels, MS Paint and a featured a rage character that you can easily copy from somewhere. If its rage guy, you depict him raging at something that makes you rage. If it’s Gusta, you depict him liking something you like. If it’s Forever Alone, you depict him feeling rejected by something that makes you feel rejected. Simple, simple, simple.

Anyone can do that whether you are young or old, smart or stupid. The rage comic openness, flexibility and versatility to idea’s all equates to a meme that easily spreads like wildfire

I’m glad that KI also mentioned Advice Animals because Advice Dog is popular for that exact same reason. With Advice Animals you just take an image that is either a thing itself (Teacher, Liberal, Christian, Soccer Mom, Politician) or represents the thing you want to depict (Paranoid parrot, Awkward Pengiun, Foul Frog, Courage Wolf) and you point out it’s hypocrisy and contradictions or just character traits.

You take your Advice Animal, put a statement at the top about what it does then a statement on the bottom about how it contradicts the first statement….that’s it, done. Again, a beautifully simple format that is easily to replicate and morph no matter who you are.

So long story short, it’s all about simplicity that also does not restrict creativity.

Last edited Aug 23, 2012 at 01:02AM EDT

Well, every argument I was planning on making was already made in this thread, so maybe I’ll just offer a different opinion instead: like Advice Animals, simple, easy to distribute and create, and let’s be honest, catchy as hell when you see them.

They went around the internet as funny, relatable and easy to make comics. It’s a perfect meme by that logic, is it not?


Point is, even those who don’t know their memes too much know what they are and enjoy them; I keep seeing my friends share them about of facebook often.

Rage comics have lost popularity to the point that they’re really only popular on 9gag and Memebase, and they definitely annoy a lot of people. The concept of advice animals is so easy to grasp, and there are so many generators, that new “derivatives” come out every day. It’s definitely a question of simplicity.

Apart from exploitable (rage comics, advice dog spinoffs), there are also simple one-liners. I can’t count the number of times somebody’s used “Over 9000” or added “Chuck Testa” in a conversation. A few words is the easiest meme to use.

It’s been said by most everyone that’s posted here; Rage Comics and Advice Animals, because of their malleability and ease of use.

Frankly, that’s probably what separates the hyper-popular memes from the really popular ones; the simpler it is to use, the more people will be able to use it, and the faster it’ll spread. The most popular memes right now are Rage Comics and Advice animals because they’re very simple to make, and in the future the most popular memes will likely be the ones that anyone with two brain cells can use, as it is.

Furthering previous posts, I’d go as far as to say that advice animals/image macros are more popular than rage comics, basically because rage comics have lost their luster in a lot of communities.

Additionally, I’d say image macros are usually the first thing someone thinks of when they hear “meme”, not rage comics. This is why, a lot of the time, people will call image macros/new advice animals “memes”, even though they’re not.


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