The 50 Funniest Memes of All Time
INTERNET HUMOR ISN'T ALWAYS EASILY EXPLAINABLE, BUT IT'S USUALLY PRETTY HILARIOUS.
If it wasn't for funny memes—you know: quips and images that exist solely for easy entertainment—Facebook wouldn't be entertaining enough to steal so much of your time. Instagram, too, would be little more than selfies and stylized pictures of food. And Twitter? Don't even get us started. In short, the internet would be a joyless void of constant news alerts, questionably reliable research, and self-aggrandizing social media posts without some of the internet's funniest memes.
Fortunately, that's a nightmare you don't have to imagine, thanks to the fact that funny memes are everywhere—and not going out of style anytime soon. Herein, we've gathered the funniest memes of all time. Don't worry: We've kept it all SFW. Because if there's one ironclad rule of the internet, it's this: Never hunt for memes on the bad part.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of aspects of our lives went virtual. And that includes legal proceedings. The danger of conducting business over Zoom, as this lawyer discovered, is that it's far too easy to accidentally put a filter over your face that you don't know how to remove. The result? Pure comedy.
Bernie Sanders and his mittens
In typical fashion, Senator Bernie Sanders dressed practically for the January inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The internet instantly fell in love with his posture, his utilitarian coat, and especially his mittens, and the meme factory was in business once again. Even stars like Ryan Reynolds got in on the fun.
The Battle of Josh
Call it an in-person meme. In April of 2021, people of all ages and backgrounds gathered in Lincoln, Nebraska to duke it out (safely), all because they have one thing in common: They're all named Josh. Per NPR, the idea for the Josh Fight came to organizer Josh Swain early in lockdown and blew up thanks to social media. The winner? A four-year-old Josh who was carried on the shoulders of his name brethren after it was all over.
Frodo Makes a Phone Call
Taking care of even minor tasks can give off the same vibes as Frodo finally completing his mission to destroy the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as this relatable meme illustrates.
Brains Are Jerks
Why is it so easy to recall every detail of your most embarrassing moments compared to your proudest? Maybe our brains just have it out for us.
Everything Is Cake
There was a period in 2020 where videos like the one above had all of us suspicious that the most un-cake-like objects might secretly be cake. What's even real anymore??
The Philadelphia Flyers endearingly chaotic mascot Gritty took his place in pop culture almost immediately after being unveiled by the organization. He's become a symbol not just of the hockey team but also of cheerful anarchy in all its forms. Here's to you, Gritty.
Formal Bugs Bunny
Like all great memes, this formal Bugs Bunny meme developed and changed over time. At first, it was used to wish all members of certain groups or demographics "a very pleasant evening," but now it can be used to say pretty much anything.
Michael Jordan Taking It Personally
Thanos: You’re strong, but I could snap my fingers and you’d all cease to exist.
Michael Jordan: pic.twitter.com/7EnOlgrrO1
— herald of alien superstar (@Steph_I_Will) May 19, 2020
The Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance gave us this incredibly useful screenshot, which can be weaponized anytime something someone else does hits a little too close to home.
Dad Joke Wolf
This jokester wolf can't make his gags work with his kids, but his peers love 'em. And is that not the definition of a dad joke?
Baby Yoda Sipping Soup
Baby Yoda, the unofficial name for "The Child" from the Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, was the biggest and cutest meme star of 2019. He's had a lot of gif-worthy moments, but this adorable image of him sipping soup takes the cake.
Is This a…?
You don't need to know the anime series this screenshot was taken from to appreciate the meme. In the original iteration, the man (who's apparently an android in the show) mistakes a butterfly for a pigeon, so this format works for anyone who's ever tried to fit a square peg (coffee) into a round hole (a balanced breakfast).
"Welp" Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks is a national treasure, and his contributions to the culture include a near flawless meme template. If you ever just don't have the words, his reaction to an iffy joke at the Golden Globes says it all.
Confused Winona Ryder
Speaking of memorable award show moments, Stranger Things star Winona Ryder went through a full face journey during costar David Harbour's acceptance speech at the SAG Awards. Her animated expressions inspired some talented internet artists.
Woman Yells at Confused Cat
The woman in question is Bravo Housewife Taylor Armstrong, and no, she didn't really scream at an innocent cat. But internet magic was made when someone put this screenshot side-by-side with a pet named Smudge who does not enjoy a vegetarian diet.
From a confused cat to one who knows exactly what he's doing. Keyboard cat stunned the internet with his musical prowess and is permanently busting out some sweet tunes in our memories.
YouTube/Funny or Die
Years after it first aired, a crying scene from the '90s teen drama Dawson's Creek became a vehicle for nostalgic feels and just generally overreacting to things. Even better, the man who gave us Crying Dawson, actor James Van Der Beek, is enough of a good sport about it that he fake-wept again to give us an updated version for our meme files.
"This Is Fine" Dog
Sometimes you have to ignore how bad things are getting just to get on with your day. That's the story of the "This Is Fine" dog, who's usually sitting in a burning room and sipping coffee (and originated in a comic strip called Gun Show). He's adaptable to many situations, including the strange circumstances of the pandemic, as seen above.
Success Kid is for celebrating all those little wins that can give your day a serious lift. So keep going—this little guy is cheering you on!
Yes, This Is Dog
It's the phone call we'd all love to get. This pup is just so glad to have you on the line!
Bad Joke Eel
The Bad Joke Eel specializes in—you guessed it—bad jokes. Like so many great memes, there's really no logical explanation for why this one if funny. But bad jokes are even better—or, er, worse—when they're being told to you by a wide-eyed eel.
Crying Wesley Snipes
It's so hard to say goodbye to those songs you used to love.
This screenshot of Wesley Snipes in his 1991 film New Jack City has been used in countless memes. This version will resonate the most with anyone who appreciates the art of a great mixtape.
The Most Interesting Man in the World
The world's most interesting man is confident enough to make a joke like this.
Adapted from a Dos Equis ad campaign featuring this cosmopolitan guy, this meme format is still in vogue.
The Ermahgerd Girl is good for any time you need to hearken back to the most embarrassing days of early adolescence. She's excited about everything, and don't you kind of miss that version of you?
Need to make a work joke? It's Business Cat to the rescue, assuming you can squeeze a cat pun in there somehow.
Awkward Moment Seal
This little guy is the cutest possible meme to accompany all of life's horrible awkward moments. If you want to cringe until you literally implode, the Awkward Moment Seal has got your back.
If you love dogs, you'll love the one and only Doge. This shiba inu-inspired meme is all about celebrating the good boys and rare puppers in your life. It's no wnder he went viral—who could resist this face?
Confused Nick Young
If the guy in this meme looks familiar, that's because it's professional basketball player Nick Young, most recently of the Denver Nuggets. Whenever someone says something too absurd for words, you can just send them this meme—they'll get the hint.
Change My Mind
Political commentator Steven Crowder set down at a table with a sign challenging people to change his mind, and a fresh meme was born. If you have an unpopular opinion you love defending, this is the meme for you.
Drake did not hold back on the moves in the video for his song "Hotline Bling." And thus, he inadvertently created the perfect meme for expressing that you like one thing much better than another.
If It Fits, I Sits
The If It Fits, I Sits meme is great for anyone who likes to look at pictures of cats in vessels that can barely contain them—which is to say, it's great for everyone. Even the largest cats, as you can see, are subject to this rule.
Classical Art Memes
Classical art memes prove that some human behaviors transcend the borders of time. Those venerated artists memorialized in museums across the world had a sense of humor too, as their meme-ready work shows.
Distracted Boyfriend, AKA Man Looking at Other Woman, is the result of a ridiculous stock photo that took the internet by storm. The meme is pretty self-explanatory: Whatever is distracting you—and shouldn't be—is "the other woman" in the photo.
Congratulations, You Played Yourself
Sometimes the best way to make a meme is to come up with the most literal, obvious caption possible and then present it like you're brilliant. Case in point: This DJ Khaled meme, which will forever be a classic.
Fry, from the animated cult classic Futurama, is never sure what's right and what's wrong. But when the joke's this good, the answer is both are correct.
Condescending Wonka is good to pull out whenever somebody is getting a little too big for their britches. It's also good to pull out whenever you want to see Gene Wilder smiling.
There are no memes on the internet with the same long-term appeal as SpongeBob memes. They are timeless and ageless, just like the guy who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
The world needs a Grumpy Cat to be our mascot every Monday, because Garfield doesn't hate Mondays quite enough for the modern worker.
The Drunk Baby meme is a hilarious reminder that all kids are like tiny, drunk adults. And they don't even have to be embarrassed the next morning!
Whenever something makes you mad, you can use the Arthur's Fist meme to properly express your emotions. Singer John Legend, who's been mocked by his own wife for his resemblance to the PBS character, even recreated this one.
Good old Karate Kyle loves his vengeance. Fortunately, he looks fairly incapable of exacting revenge of any caliber.
Chemistry Cat is the science nerd equivalent of Business Cat. So if you're wanting to take your puns out of the office and into the lab, he's your kitty.
First World Problems
Every time you get upset at Whole Foods because they don't have your favorite unsweetened iced yerba mate, another First World Problems meme is born.
Every light side has a dark side—even Kermit, as evidenced by this series of funny memes. Fun fact: Evil Kermit is actually a character called Constantine from the movie Muppets Most Wanted.
Baby Insanity Wolf
Actual Insanity Wolf offers extremely violent advice. But Baby Insanity Wolf does things so small that only the person who creates the meme has any idea it even happened.
All jokes aside, Philosoraptor asks some pretty compelling questions. Maybe the dinosaurs would still be around if all of their big existential queries were answered.
This pic is handy any time you can think of a joke that demands a Wednesday punchline.
Kim Kardashian in Bed
The Kardashians have spread themselves all over the internet, so it comes as no surprise that they are the source of many hilarious memes. This one, with Kim Kardashian staring blankly, is useful any time you're really not interested in something someone else wants you to say or do.
Am I Out of Touch?
Principal Skinner's temporary moment of self-doubt is great to have on hand for that one friend on Facebook who disagrees with everyone.
Hipster Dog stopped liking everything you like before you even heard of it. Hipster dog is always three steps ahead of the mainstream.