Top 30 Memes In 2010 — From Betty White To Double Rainbows

When I look back on 2010 I won’t remember it as the year of the earthquake in Haiti, the US elections or the Chilean miners rescue. Rather, I’ll remember 2010 as the year Christine O’Donnell told the world she’s not a witch, the year double rainbows went viral and the year Brett Favre sang ‘Pants on the Ground’ in the Vikings locker room. After all, what better way is there to remember a year than by recounting the top Internet memes of that year? We’ve put together a massive list of the top 30 memes of 2010, so take a seat and get ready for a wild ride through bed intruders, crazy flight attendants, HOPAs and more.

Antoine Dodson

When Antoine Dodson went off in a news clip after an intruder came into his Alabama home and tried to assault his sister, saying the now infamous like, “Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband ’cause their raping everyone out here”, the most popular Internet sensations of 2010 (if not of all time) was born.

The Gregory Brothers, aka Schmoyoho, auto-tuned Dodson’s news interview to create the ‘Bed Intruder Song’, which blew up on YouTube, was covered by a ton of musicians, and even made the Billboard Hot 100, earning Dodson enough money that he was able to buy his family a new (and hopefully more secure) house!

Double Rainbow OMG!

Double rainbows also achieved meme status this year, thanks to Paul Vasquez aka Hungrybear9562, who uploaded a video of himself going gaga for a double rainbow in the Yosemite Mountains.

Schmoyoho also auto-tuned Vasquez’s ecstatic video, creating the viral hit the ‘Double Rainbow Song’, one of the most massively popular YouTube remixes ever at the time (of course, the following month the ‘Bed Intruder Song’ surpassed it).

Once the double rainbow video went viral it was the talk of the town. It was features on the news and morning talk shows, was running rampant on Twitter and Facebook feeds, and was the inspiration behind hundreds of parodies. Here’s my favorite parody, ‘Double KFC Drive-Thru’.

Old Spice ‘Man Your Man Could Smell Like’

Old Spice’s ‘Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ was one of the most popular memes of 2010, and his campaign was the most popular online video campaign of all time. It all started with a Super Bowl commercial, which made its way to YouTube, then Twitter and won the hearts of women and men alike all over the world.

The Old Spice campaign has been parodied again and again by men, women and even sausages. I have to admit that it’s getting to be a little too much. Old Spice has retired the ‘Man Your Man Could Small Like’, but the parodies aren’t stopping and I’m anxiously awaiting the day when they finally will.

Old Spice created a meme and the results were simply awesome. Check out the case study below to see what an amazing success the campaign was.

Betty White

Betty White became a meme at the beginning of 2010 after her Super Bowl commercial went viral.

Following the airing of the commercial there was a sudden outburst of support for the Golden Girl. A Facebook page surfaced trying to get ‘Betty White to Host SNL (please)!’ and the campaign was a success. Betty White merchandise also started to pop up all over the web this year, from shirts and bags to pins and more.

JetBlue Flight Attendant Steven Slater

And who could forget JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who cursed out passengers, quit his job, grabbed two beers and then slid down the emergency escape chute and headed home? Steven Slater became an instant Internet star/meme/hero and even had several songs written about him. Check out the video below to see just what sort of impact the Steven Slater meme has had on the web, and the world.

Trololo Guy

“Yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-yeh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-ohhhhh!” The Russian song ‘Indeed, I am very glad that I finally am returning home’, which has become known as the ‘Trololo song’ is one of the strangest memes of 2010 if you ask me. Eduard Khil’s 1963 performance of the song was uploaded to YouTube at the end of 2009 and started going viral in early 2010.

Because of the odd lip synching nature of this clip, lots of people have uploaded clips of themselves and even their pets singing along to the song. Trololo guy look-alike contests have abounded, a single-serving Trololo website launched and the Trololo guy was even a popular 2010 Halloween costume. Edward Khil himself, 44 years later, even watched and commented on all the Trololo parodies and called upon fans to write their own lyrics to the song!

Continue reading on the next page for more of the top memes from 2010!

Cigar Guy

When Mark Pain, photographer for UK’s Daily Mail, took an awesome photo of Tiger Wood’s golf ball heading straight for his camera at the 2010 Ryder Cup the picture started spreading around the web like wildfire. At first, the picture spread because it was an awesome golf shot. But soon, people began to take notice of a guy standing in the crowd behind Tiger, wearing a brown wig and a fake moustache and smoking a cigar.

Turns out that Cigar Guy was actually London golf fan Rupesh Shingadia. He was playing tribute to the Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jiminez with his costume. Imagine his surprise when he became “Cigar Guy”, one of the most viral memes of 2010!

I’m Not A Witch

The 2010 US elections were a breeding ground for memes this year, and no one became as Internet famous and parodied as Christine O’Donnell who informed the world that she is definitely not a witch.

Of course, Schmoyoho was early to jump on the parody bandwagon as usual, songifying Christine O’Donnell’s ‘I’m Not a Witch’ clip with an auto tuned song and all sorts of other Christine O’Donnell parodies hit the web. It also isn’t surprising that many Halloweeners went as Christine O’Donnell witches this year.

The Rent Is Too Damn High

The Rent Is Too Damn High meme is another great one to make its way out of this year’s election. “The Rent Is Too Damn High” is the slogan coined by Jimmy McMillan for his New York state gubernatorial campaign.

Not surprisingly, parodies of Jimmy McMillan abounded. Of course, Schmoyoho got in on the action once again.

Auto-Tune

So by now you have surely noticed that The Gregory Brothers (aka Schmoyoho) have jumped on almost every single viral YouTube meme to create an auto-tune remix. While auto-tune isn’t new in 2010, it has certainly become one of the biggest trends this year, thanks to big hits like the ‘Double Rainbow Song’ and ‘Bed Intruder Song’. The Gregory Brothers’ songs have been more covered than any other songs on YouTube this year. Even Weezer got in on the auto-tune action earlier this year, starring in an episode of Auto-Tune The News.

Vuvuzela

Oh what sweet memories I have of the World Cup with the soothing sound of the Vuvuzela. No, but seriously, for some reason when people heard the horrid sound of the Vuvuzela in South Africa they were inspired to create a whole plethora of videos starring the most annoying sound in the world. Over the summer when the games were going on we put together a list of the top 10 Vuvuzela videos. Here’s one of my personal favorites from MysteryGuitarMan.

Inception

Inception was one of the best movies to hit the theaters in quite awhile, but it became a meme long before it even hit the theaters. Just after the trailer was released on YouTube we started seeing a whole rash of Inception trailer parodies. If you haven’t seen the original trailer you can check it out here:

We put together a list of the top 10 Inception trailer parodies back in August, but the parodies continue to this day. They include everything from characters like Dora the Explorer to footage from Toy Story 3 and Up. One of my personal favorites was ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Inception’.

Evil Cat Lady

Earlier this year a British woman achieved notoriety on the Internet when she was caught on security camera throwing a cat into a trash bin.

The video of her heinous act has been viewed over 1.3 million times, a Facebook group was formed to bring her to justice, and a rash of LOLCat-like graphics and videos hit the web, poking fun at “Evil Cat Lady” and giving her what she deserves. In ‘Revenge of the Cat’ the cat throws the lady in a bin.

Sad Keanu

Sad Keanu is a funny picture meme similar to the Cigar Guy meme that went viral this year. It is based off of a paparazzi photo of Keanu Reeves eating a sandwich on a park bench and looking a bit sad.

It became a popular trend to take the cutout of Sad Keanu and stick him in various situations, eating various things with funny captions. There’s Sad Keanu at a kid’s birthday party, Sad Keanu with bunnies, and Sad Keanu on the Moon just to name a few. The Sad Keanu meme even got it’s own song! Check it out in the video below.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods got a lot of negative coverage over the past year due to what was going on in his personal life. However, he only achieved meme-hood in April when his ‘Earl and Tiger’ Nike commercial hit the web.

The ‘Earl and Tiger’ commercial quickly amassed over 3 million views. There was a lot of controversy surrounding it as the voiceover is Tiger’s late father and he seems to be questioning Tiger about some of the decisions in his personal life.

The parodies quickly began spilling in, initiated by a parody shown on the Jimmy Kimmel show. The parodies include everything from a Lion King-inspired parody to a David After Dentist-inspired parody.

Kanye West’s Tweets

Who would have thought that someone’s tweets could become a meme? It may sound surprising, but it’s true. Kanye West’s tweets were meme-ified in 2010.

For starters, KanyeNewYorkerTweets launched this year, captioning New Yorker cartoons with Kanye’s tweets. The results are freakin’ hilarious.

Babelgum also got in on the Kanye tweeting action with a series of videos called ‘Kids Reenact Kanye’s Tweets’.

Justin Bieber To North Korea

Over the summer a massive prank nearly sent Justin Bieber to North Korea. According to the BBC, “A website polled users as to which country he should tour next, with no restrictions on the nations that could be voted on.” Trolls on the infamous Internet board 4chan held an online assault on the page in order to vote North Korea up to the top of the list. A bunch of funny images campaigning for Justin Bieber to head to North Korea also hit the web.

“Dude, you have no Quran!”

On September 11 of this year, Jacob Isom became a local hero when he stole the Quran from a Quran-burning that was scheduled in Amarillo, Texas. When he explained what he did on the news he said, “I snuck up behind him and took his Quran. He said something about burning the Quran I was like, ‘Dude, you have no Quran!’”

Jacob Isom was interviewed by Shira Lazar, auto-tuned, and the ‘Dude, You Have No Quran!’ catchphrase has stuck. Jacob Isom was also a popular Halloween costume this year.

Levi Johnston For Mayor

A lot of people thought it was a ridiculous joke when Levi Johnston (father of Bristol Palin’s baby) announced that he would be running for mayor of Wasilla in 2011. So ridiculous in fact that the idea spawned its own meme, complete with fake ‘Levi Johnston For Mayor’ campaign posters and videos.

TSA

Tension is on the rise between travelers and the TSA, especially during the holiday season this year. People don’t want to be abused with new extreme TSA measures and they are taking their fight to the web. There have been all sorts of online campaigns against the TSA over the past few months, from YouTube videos to 4th Amendment Underclothes that reveal the 4th amendment to TSA officials when you go through the body scanner at the airport. If you ask me, it’s sad that travel conditions have gotten so bad that anti-TSA material has achieved meme status on the web.

We put together a list of the top 10 anti-TSA videos online. You can watch one of my favorites below.

Forever Alone

‘Forever Alone’ is one of those randomly viral memes that makes you tilt your head to one side and say, “huh?” The ‘Forever Alone’ meme originally came from a 4-pane comic derived from the ‘Rage Guy’ meme. ‘Rage Guy’ was series of 4-pane comic strips that told the story of a guy who was disappointed and frustrated with life, and the situations in the strips generally caused him to fly into a rage.

One specific comic, ‘Forever Alone’ (above), drew a lot more attention than usual. The picture in the final frame started to be used as the final frame in other people’s comics, and even made its way onto all sorts of random pictures as well. I don’t really get why, but this thing is huge.

Pants On The Ground

At the very beginning of 2010, American Idol gave birth to one of the year’s very first memes with Pants On The Ground. General Larry Platt, the last audition of the day in Atlanta, blew the world away (in a silly way, of course) with his awesome song, “Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground.”

The song took off within days, with all sorts of parodies and covers hitting YouTube. There’s the ‘Pants on the Ground Poodle’, the official auto-tune remix, and of course, the video of Brett Favre singing ‘Pants on the Ground’ in the Vikings locker room.

Epic Beard Man

Don’t you just love when violence goes viral? Oh, and when facial hair goes viral too, of course? The story of Epic Beard Man began on February 16, 2010 when Iyanna Washington of Oakland, CA uploaded a video of a bus fight to YouTube. The video went viral, amassing over 1 million views in twenty-four hours and spawned the Epic Beard Man meme. Know Your Meme explores the case of Epic Beard Man in the video below.

Katy Perry Sesame Street Video

Earlier this year Katy Perry went viral on YouTube with a Sesame Street music video duet with Elmo that was dubbed by parents as too hot for kids.

Whether or not the video really was too hot for kids is up to you to determine. However, the situation spawned a whole barrage of parodies that were definitely too hot for kids. We put together a list of some of our favorites. One even stars Katy Perry herself.

Strutting Leo

If you liked Sad Keanu then you’ll love Strutting Leo. Strutting Leo was inspired by a picture taken of Leonardo DiCaprio (or in this case, Leonardo DiHapprio) on the set of Inception. He is strutting along in a happy, jolly manner. People thought the picture was hilarious and so, like with Keanu, they cut his image out and started putting it in all sorts of situations.

Strutting Leo also got his own song and dance move. So come on everybody and do the Leo Strut!

“Jenny” The HOPA

Jenny is a HOPA (aka “Hot Piece Of A$$”). Over the summer Jenny quit her job by emailing a series of photographs of herself holding up a whiteboard where she wrote about her crappy boss, how he spent his days playing Farmville and called her a HOPA. The photographs were posted to TheChive.com and went viral almost immediately. Millions of people were reading the post, writing about it, sharing it and talking about it.

Turns out that the HOPA Dry Erase girl was fake – just a massive hoax pulled off by TheChive. However, once the hoax was reveled Jenny had already become a meme. Groups were forming to get Jenny to pose in Playboy, and the term HOPA, which most people had never heard before, became a popular new name for hot chicks everywhere.

BP Oil Spill

The BP oil spill was one of the worst environmental crises in recent years, but it started an outcry against BP on the Internet that took on a life of its own. There were all sorts of videos that poked fun at BP, explained the situation in a silly way (for example, with cats), and creative agency Jess3 even released an Oil Spill Plugin for Firefox that blacked out all mentions of BP with dripping oil.

Jessi Slaughter NSFW

OK, before I get into the Jessi Slaughter meme I just want to say that this one sort of sickens me. When cyber bullying becomes a meme, something has gone terribly wrong in the world, if you ask me. That being said, this was one of the most popular memes of 2010, so here we go…

Over the summer, 11-year old Jessica Leonhardt (known as Jessi Slaughter online) had become something of a little celeb online because of fan videos she created for the band Blood on the Dance Floor. For some reason, 4chan thought it would be funny to make her the target of one of their online attacks and so they started spreading rumors about her on Sticky Drama, namely that the lead singer of BOTDF had slept with her.

The situation led to a number of videos showing the deterioration of Jessi’s life as a result of the 4chan attack.

Even her dad got in on the action:

You can read more about it on Know Your Meme. Can anyone tell me why people thought this was funny?

ICP “Miracles”

The Insane Clown Posse (ICP) released a music video for their single ‘Miracles’ in April of 2010 and became an instant meme. In the video, ICP talks about magic, miracles and science and ask ridiculous questions like, “F**king magnets, how do they work?”

The video seemed like a joke, so people played off that and started making jokes of their own. Even SNL did a spoof of the video with Ryan Philippe. “Are children small, or just far away?”

Find out more about the ICP Miracles meme from Know Your Meme in the video below.

Bros Icing Bros

Icing is a new frat boy trend that took root this year. It’s a drinking game in which you can serve a Smirnoff Ice to your bro at any inopportune time and they have to kneel down and drink it. You’ve gotta drink it no matter what or you will be excommunicated from bro-dom. If a bro ices you when you’re on your way to work, you gotta drink. If you’re on your way to a big final exam, you gotta drink. Heck, even if you are on your way to deliver a set of twin babies, you gotta drink. It’s as simple as that.

So what was your favorite meme in 2010?

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