Remember Distracted Boyfriend and Side-Eye Chloe? These Are the Very Best Memes of the Decade

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Memes of the Decade
Getty Images/Vanity Fair/Nick Mantle

With 2020 fast approaching, it's a good time to recall the most addictive, clever, shareable memes of the last 10 years.

Videos and images from pop culture saturate feeds on what feels like a daily basis. Some are embraced for only a few hours. But a select few become so popular they never seem to fade away. 

Here's a breakdown of the internet moments that took on a life of their own each year of the last decade.


2010 Runner-Up: Homer Backing Into Bushes

Everyone needs a graceful exit for an awkward situation online. This GIF, created from The Simpsons, always does the trick.

2010 Winner: Bed Intruder/Antoine Dodson

This Huntsville, Alabama, resident's animated reaction to a man allegedly trying to break into his family's home has joined the canon of meme greatness.


2011 Runner-Up: First World Problems

Social media users have been tagging #FirstWorldProblems since 2011 to playfully reflect on all those pesky non-issues.

2011 Winner: Table Flip

When life doesn't go our way, it's nice to have this meme to showcase our irritation. Table Flip memes have served us well since 2011.


2012 Runner-Up: Ermahgerd

Back in the day, a girl named Maggie Goldenberger's passion for the spooky YA book series Goosebumps gifted the world one of its most endearing memes -- "Ermahgerd!" We share her excitement to this day.

2012 Winner: McKayla Is Not Impressed

2012 brought us an Olympic-level viral moment involving gymnast McKayla Maroney's unimpressed reaction when she received the silver medal at the summer games in London, England. Her image has served as a fitting reaction to moments that fall short of amazing ever since.


2013 Runner-Up: Side-Eye Chloe

One look and it was clear: Little Chloe's reaction during a car ride was bound for internet gold. 

2013 Winner: "Surprise, B*tch"

Fans of American Horror Story: Coven will remember that, in the eighth episode of the season, Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) revealed to Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) that she was back from the grave, proclaiming: "Surprise, b*tch. I bet you thought you saw the last of me." The moment was destined to be shared for years to come.


2014 Runner-Up: Alex From Target

Perhaps not long ago, just being a charming cashier at Target wouldn't be enough to make you a household name. But we're in the age of memes. Things have changed.

2014 Winner: Kim Kardashian Breaks the Internet

The internet would be "broken" many, many times in the following years, but theKeeping Up With the Kardashiansstar's Paper Magazine cover was created specifically to bring things to a standstill. And it did, to mixed reviews. 

In addition to a #BreakTheInternet hashtag, the cover became meme-worthy with #ThingsThatLookLikeKimKardashiansBum, giving us some... interesting comparisons. 


2015 Runner-Up: Chrissy Teigen's Crying Face

GIFs of this former Sports Illustrated cover girl and current Twitter fave crying doesn't have an expiration date.

2015 Winner: #TheDress

It all began with the posting of the garment online and a simple question: "What Color Is This Dress?" In no time, it took over news cycles and fueled endless posts with some claiming it was white and gold and others positive it was black and blue.


2016 Runner-Up: Math Lady

Sometimes memes manage to sum up the confusion and/or anticipation related to upcoming events and such is definitely the case with this gem. 

2016 Winner: Arthur's Fist

Taking top honors this year is a shocking image from Arthur, the children's show, which has become a clever reaction to loads of unwelcome news.


2017 Runner-Up No. 1: Distracted Boyfriend

Meme-worthy stock photography? Yessir. This object labeling meme illustrating the shiny new thing pulling our focus became so popular that it was featured on the front page of the New York Times business section and shot the models featured into stardom. 

2017 Runner-Up No. 2: Salt Bae 

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Ottoman steak 🔪

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These year was so meme-ful that we couldn't choose just one runner-up. Who would have guessed that enthusiastically sprinkling salt on a steak would inspire millions of views and a bona fide viral moment? Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, perhaps.

2017 Winner: Blinking White Guy

Like Chloe, this GIF's use has exploded over the years because, well, we're all confused and mystified on a regular basis.


2018 Runner-Up: Birdbox Challenge

This fad-turned-meme inspired people everywhere to do all kinds of things, some arguably unsafe, while blindfolded after the dystopian Sandra Bullock vehicle Birdbox arrived. Don't try this at home.

2018 Winner: Squinting Woman

The popularity of the "Squinting Woman," a meme that took flight in 2018 for its ability to sum up confusing situations. 


2019 Runner-Up No. 1: Woman Yelling at Cat

What do you get when you pair Kyle Richards melting down onThe Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with a cat seemingly taking the heat nearby? Viral gold.

2019: Runner-Up No. 2: "I Don't Feel So Good"

Another year of top-notch memes, 2019 gave us Peter Parker's "I Don't Feel So Good." Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, users everywhere adopted the "disintegration" meme mimicking the "dusting" or "snap" in the film. Like Thanos' gauntlet, this meme is one formidable tool.

2019 Winner: "Sorry to This Man"

This year, Keke Palmer agreed to a lie detector test during a Vanity Fairinterview, where she admitted that she didn't recognize former Vice President Dick Cheney. The moment was chopped into a shareable clip and quickly trumped Mariah Carey's "I Don't Know Her" of yesteryear.

2019 Scene Stealer: Baby Yoda Drinking Soup

Just when we thought Keke Palmer's "Sorry to This Man" would take the cake for 2019, The Mandalorian's cutest character swooped in. Yiddle -- more popularly known as Baby Yoda -- has taken over the internet as the reigning cutest Star Wars character. (Sorry, Porgs.) Condolences are also due to another beloved character, Kermit, as Baby Yoda's soup meme has become the new go-to for any "sips tea" moment.

Here's hoping the next decade gifts us with a new arsenal of weird and wonderful memes for all occasions.

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