Making memes on different situations is probably the best way to cope with how the last couple of years has been. Surrounded by uncertainty, lockdowns, and dependence on online solutions, many found relief in joking about the stuff happening in the outside world. Just like 2020, this year also did not have much to offer other than fodder for memes. From celebrity gossips, viral photographs, catchphrases, to TV shows, folks shared memes on almost everything they came across on the internet. It is impossible to list every viral meme so, here is a roundup of some of the best memes of 2021 that perfectly reflect the mood around this terrible year.
10 Best Memes of 2021 Make the Year Less Awful
Selecting the best memes of 2021 is almost as difficult as creating them in the first place. The year has been hard on everyone so these memes are nothing short of a gift to the whole world by the respective artists. They make scrolling through the traumatic social media timeline bearable by giving users a reason to laugh.
Bernie Sanders on Inauguration Day
The year 2021 started with the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new US President but senator Bernie Sanders stole the spotlight. His one picture made waves on the internet and sparked thousands of photoshopped images. In the picture, Sanders was bundled up in a work jacket, wearing an oversized pair of mittens, and sitting socially distant on a folding chair, crossing his arms and legs. This photo of the former presidential candidate inspired many to apply their creative skills and give it the personality it deserved. Some of the best memes of 2021 were when users placed Bernie’s pose in famous movie scenes, historical locations, famous paintings, and even on another planet.
Bernie’s campaign officially launched merchandise based on the viral meme in form of a crewneck sweatshirt for 45 USD. According to reports, Bernie raised nearly 2 million USD from the merch sales before the end of January. All the proceeds reportedly went to Meals on Wheels Vermont, a social program for delivering meals to elderly who are homebound, disabled, or face financial struggles.
Don’t Worry about What’s in the Vaccine
The successful production of vaccines for the coronavirus was indeed a remarkable achievement in human history. However, many remained skeptical about the authenticity of the cure. Misinformation about COVID vaccines continued to spread on social media, questioning their ingredients. Some even said that governments may be injecting tracking devices inside humans in the name of vaccination. So, netizens prepared a counter-meme to disregard all those claims in a funny manner. They reminded the anti-vaxxers that if they had been doing other dirty things then they did not need to worry about what was in the vaccine.
Suez Canal Blockade
Ever Given container ship stuck in Egypt’s Suez Canal inspired hundreds of the best memes of 2021. The vessel as large as the Empire State Building lodged itself diagonally in the narrow canal after getting knocked off course by winds. It also blocked other trade ships that were carrying items like oil and livestock. Reportedly, the blockade was costing 400 million USD to the global trade on an hourly basis. It was successfully refloated but not before it became a huge joke on the internet. Many started to relate to the behemoth and the efforts taken to clear the blockade. A lot of memes explained the feeling of being stuck in a crucial point in life, and couldn’t find the strength to go through. It was reflected in the way tiny excavators were trying to be helpful in the colossal task of refloating the giant.
Harry and Meghan Interview
Oprah Winfrey’s reaction to the explosive interview by Harry and Meghan caught many eyes. As soon as Meghan Markle revealed that there were racial concerns regarding the skin color of her child in the Royal Family, Oprah reacted in a shocking way, which was probably the reaction of the viewers as well. It was already one of the best memes of 2021 as users played a lot with her reaction to other commentaries.
Oprah has inspired many popular memes like the “you get a car” which users normally share when they approve of something on the internet.
Fall Plans vs Delta Variant
One of the most relatable and best memes of 2021 is about the impact of the delta variant. When the world was starting to ease up with lockdowns and hoping to return to normalcy, the rising cases of delta variant again sparked fears and concerns all over the globe, resulting in more lockdowns. Moreover, the reports doubled the anxiety by warning that the Delta variant would affect the vaccinated people as well. The news hit the world like a wrecking ball because the future again started to look bleak. So, to cope with uncertainty netizens made memes to show what Delta variant did to their post-lockdown plans.
Red Flag Meme
In the month of October, social media users started to share what they considered a warning in terms of dating with a bunch of red flag emojis. It quickly became one of the best memes of 2021 that celebrities, politicians, and even brands started to share. A red flag is considered a deal-breaker when it comes to talking to someone so folks used the trend to share what worked for them and what didn’t.
Anakin and Padme
A meme based on a political discussion between Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker and Natalie Portman’s Padme Amidala was originally from a 2002 Star Wars movie “Attack of the Clones”. Netizens popularized this format this year and made it one of the best memes of 2021. The prequel films of Star Wars were largely controversial including the romance between a queen and a future Darth Vader. The film shows how Padme becomes gradually aware of Anakin’s dark political ambitions that seem relatable to what’s going on in the real world. In this particular scene, Anakin makes a concerning statement about dictatorship and Padme shockingly questions him again to learn that he is not joking. Netizens swapped the film dialogues and added their own commentary to make things hilarious. The meme became so popular that even celebrities joined in on the fun, including the Time’s Person of the Year, Elon Musk.
Happy Side, Sad Side Bus
The inspirational cartoon first made it to the internet in 2013 but recently has been overshared so much that it also made it to the list of best memes of 2021. Brazilian illustrator Genildo Ronchi created and uploaded this image to his website that had an overlaying text that read “Escolha o Lado Feliz da Viva!” which meant “Choose the Happy Side of Life!” in English. It also had a title that said “As vezes só depende de nós” (Sometimes it just depends on us). The picture showed 2 passengers on a bus; one was taking in the beautiful view outside while the other one was sadly facing the mountainous wall. It shows how both passengers approach the same situation differently. One can feel miserable whereas the other might be having a time of his life. The cartoon sent a message that a person is in charge of his own happiness and it is as simple as choosing where to sit on a bus. However, the netizens hijacked the uplifting cartoon and turned it into a meme that showed how they find happiness in silly stuff instead.
It’s Better Than Drugs Jeremy
The phrase from The Squip Song by Be More Chill quickly caught on and became one of the best memes of 2021. In the song, two guys Rich and Jeremy talk about how they can’t get laid but then one finds a pill that helps him get what they want. The other friend asks him if “it’s like drugs?” and he replies, ‘it’s better than drugs Jeremy’. The line was relatable for so many people who started to share what they liked more than drugs.
The Squid Game is probably the most famous TV show this year, so are its memes. One of the best memes of 2021 involved the perfect placement of the terrifying doll at various spots in the real world. In the show, the dolls order the machine guns to kill anyone who fails to follow the rule of Red Light, Green Light game. Some meme-makers wondered what would have happened if that robot is installed at the traffic lights.