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10 Memes That Ruled The Internet This Decade

Memes have become a part of the mainstream culture with their hilarious and relatable content.


While memes were just starting out at the beginning of the 2000s. However, that was before 2010 came around and kick-started the meme frenzy. Since then memes have ruled the internet. These memes have engaged us with their humor, stupidity, and sometimes just plain relatability.

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As we descend into a new decade, take a look at some of the memes that ruled the internet this decade.

1. Change my mind

male privelage memes that ruled the internet TLM

This meme surfaced in 2018 when comedian Steven Crowder posted a photo of him sitting at a desk. The desk had the sign “Male privilege is a myth, change my mind.”

This was done to provoke debate for his podcast and YouTube channel. However, even Steven could not have predicted the memes this simple photo would generate. People used this photo by not only changing the words on the poster but digitally manipulating other people to sit beside the sign.

2. Distracted boyfriend

Distracted Boyfriend memes that ruled the internet

This meme originated from a stock photo clicked by photographer Antonio Guillem in 2015. Two years after Guillem uploaded the photo, it became one of the memes that literally ruled the internet. So much so that near the end of 2018 it was banned from use in an advertisement company.

Even celebrities got into the trend with Dolly Parton tweeting out a meme version of her song Jolene.

3. Exit 12

exit 12 memes that ruled the internet

This image of a car aggressively exiting the motorway at full speed provided a lot of fodder for new memes. Memes simply altered the photo by adding text to the road sign and the driver aggressively choosing one option. The above picture combined two memes. The tide pod challenge the picture talks about is next in our list.

4. Tide pods

tide pods memes that ruled the internet

Not all meme trends were funny. In 2017, a weird trend started gaining traction on YouTube. This was the Tide Pod Challenge. Here people recorded themselves eating laundry detergent and uploaded the results on YouTube. Several memes erupted on the internet around the stupidity of taking up the challenge.

College Humor even did a video on the topic to dissuade people from eating Tide Pods.

5. Doge

doge memes that ruled the internet

So Doge. Much wow.

Killing the English grammar completely, this 2010 meme was simplistic yet irresistible. It resulted in people imitating the Doge talk and that wasn’t quite as entertaining as the meme. The meme originated with a personal blog where a Shiba Inus named Kabosu is sitting on the sofa giving a quizzical look to the camera.

The dog has since been photoshopped into thousands of memes.

6. Grumpy Cat

Grumpy cat memes that ruled the internet


Grumpy Cat is a particularly irritable looking pussy who goes by the real name “Tardar Sauce”. This meme again took off thanks to Reddit, in late 2012 when original photos of Grumpy Cat were posted online.

Various Photoshopped pics of Grumpy Cat appeared online with captions expressing his distaste for whatever the topic happened to be about.

Grumpy Cat proved so popular that it spawned all sorts of spin-offs including stuffed toys, books, t-shirts and even a coffee drink.

7. Success kid

success kid

Success kid (also known as “I hate sandcastles”) became popular in around 2008 when a photo of a smug baby at the beach was used across the web on social media, mainly as personal profile photographs.

Later, the photograph was Photoshopped and turned into thousands of different memes in the animal advice style or referencing his apparent hatred for sandcastles.

Success kid goes by the real name Sammy Griner and has now aged a few years, but still seems just as pleased with himself in all the recent photos we’ve seen. His fame also helped to successfully pay for his father’s new kidney after a plea for funding for a transplant went online in the middle of 2016. So maybe he is successful after all!

8. The most interesting man in the world

interesting man memes

Jonathan Goldsmith provided the fodder for a barrage of I don’t always memes when he appeared in an advertising campaign for Dos Equis beer in 2006. His catchphrase was “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis…”.

The campaign was a success but so were the memes that ruled the internet in its aftermath.

9. Shut up and take my money!

Shut up and take my money memes

This meme was immortalized by science-fiction series Futurama where Fry rushes to purchase the new “eyePhone” with the words “Shut up and take my money!”

This meme has now become synonymous with an eager enthusiasm to spend money.

10. Sad Keanu

Sad keanu

Sad Keanu was a result of paparazzi snapping the actor eating a sandwich in NYC. The photograph went on to become a meme with people photoshopping Sad Keanu in relatable situations to create memes. The meme was so popular that the BBC even asked Keanu about it in an interview in 2011.

ALSO READ: 20 Grumpy Cat Memes To Convert A Face To A Smiley Face

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