Memes Rule Everything Around Me
Memes Rule Everything Around Me
Photo Graphic: Laura Alston

Memes Rule Everything Around Me: The Best of 2018 Edition

Memes Rule Everything Around Me: A Four-Year-Old 'Key & Peele' Sketch Lives On Source: YouTube/Comedy Central

2018 was a long and trying year but at the very least it gave us plenty of great memes to help us cope with the insanity of the real world. From Black Panther's Wakanda Forever meme to Ed, Edd n Eddy's Rolf meme, here's a retrospective edition of our Memes Rule Everything Around Me series on some of 2018's best memes.

If there is any meme that properly serves as a reminder of how long 2018 was it's Black Panther's Wakanda Forever meme.

READ: What Happens When the Line Between Hip-Hop Journalist & Online Personality Becomes Blurry?

The highest-grossing film of the year was released back in February and with it came a meme that encapsulated the excitement and exhaustion that came after its debut.

READ: Okayplayer’s Best Mash-Up Tapes of 2018 

The meme features two images of Chadwick Boseman — the titular character of the Marvel movie — with one showing him happily doing the Wakanda salute while the other appears to show the actor being less enthused about it.

The meme came a couple months after Black Panther's release, when The Avengers' Twitter account shared the image on the right.

From there, the meme was born.

Although the anticipation surrounding Black Panther both before and after its release was rightfully deserved, the meme reflected the Black Panther burnout that followed, the Wakanda salute the main way fans showed their support of the film.

"I thought that was funny when people said it," Boseman said in response to the reaction to the meme on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "It's a salute, you know. If I was, like, in the military and I did this every day [mimics official military hand salute], I'm not going to do it the same way every time. Sometimes it's more pedestrian than others. So that person, whoever I was doing it to at that moment, caught a casual one. But three minutes before that, I probably did one that was fully…yes!"

However, it's still more amusing to think that Boseman was experiencing an existential crisis, trying to come to terms with doing the Wakanda salute for the rest of the fucking year.

Black Panther was also the source for another memorable meme — the "Is this your king?" meme. When T'Challa faces off against Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger for control of Wakanda, the latter mocks the former as he fights him. This comes to a head as Killmonger asks the people of Wakanda "Is this your king?" before picking up T'Challa and throwing him into a river, becoming the new king of the fictional country.

But Killmonger also became the king of memes briefly because of the scene.

For the past couple years the internet has managed to make a brief scene from Spongebob Squarepants into a viral meme. From the blurred Mr. Krabs meme of 2016 to the mocking Spongebob meme of 2017, the animated Nickelodeon TV series has provided some of the internet's best memes and continued to do so in 2018 thanks to the Savage Patrick meme.

Taken from the Spongebob episode "Nature Pants," the image shows Patrick Star with what appears to be a maniacal smile on his face. One of the earliest known posts of the image becoming a meme came from @bvercetti on Twitter, her accompanying caption serving as the blueprint for other hilariously absurd and savage captions used with the image.

From there, the Savage Patrick meme took on many forms, the image of the underwater cartoon character used various but specific scenarios that are unquestionably savage.

Patrick wasn't the only savage meme of the year — there was also Cardi B.

The Bronx rapper had a standout year thanks to her well-received debut album Invasion of Privacy. But she also had one of the best memes of the year. A picture of Cardi as a five-year-old started to circulate the internet in July, with Twitter user @FendiVersace kicking off the tattle-telling Cardi B meme.

Cardi even shared the tweet on her Instagram with the following caption: "Yaaaa annoying for this. Leave five-year-old Belcalis alone."

However, the internet did the exact opposite and continued to make memes of the young Cardi.

Outside of the realm of TV, film, and music world, a notable moment in this year's basketball season resulted in one of the best sports memes of 2018. Before his move to the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James played with the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Golden State Warriors during the NBA Finals. With less than five minutes left in the first game, the Cavaliers' J.R. Smith appeared to dribble the ball as time ran out of the game, with LeBron seeming to express disappointment at his teammate after the play.

But the image of LeBron stretching his arms out in and facing J.R. with a look of absolute frustration and confusion, quickly became a meme.

These were some of the biggest memes to come about in 2018 but many, many other notable ones popped up this year too, which are below. Hopefully 2019 will give us just as many memorable memes to help us cope with another new year.

Who Killed Hannibal?

Eric Andre spraying The Eric Andre Show co-host Hannibal Buress with bullets became the perfect meme to call out hypocrisy on various topics.

Squinting Woman

Twitter user @solo_kalin (Kalin Elisa) became a viral meme after sharing a photo of herself squatting-and-squinting in four-inch heels.

Young Thug on the Computer

Young Thug and Lil Durk have collaborated on a handful of songs but their most popular collab may very well be this image of them looking at a computer screen.

Epic Handshake

A deviantART homage to a scene from 1987's Predator helped to show the common bonds forged between unlikely pairings.

Ed, Edd n Eddy's Rolf

The son of a shepherd became the internet's most beloved cartoon character thanks to a simple still image of him looking thoughtfully out of a door.

Zack Fox's #SquareUpChallenge

The Atlanta comedian's dance might've have started as a joke but has since become an actual move used throughout dancefloors, apartment rooms and other spaces.

Key & Peele's Obama Meet and Greet

Arguably the most creative meme to come this year.

Bird Box Blindfold

Who would've thought that a Netflix film starring Sandra Bullock would result in the year's final big meme?

"Weird Flex But Ok"

The best response to questionable boasts.

"To This Day"

A remark made by boxer Deontay Wilder during a press conference became an ideal meme to express one's dedication to something.

If Slavery Was A Choice

The only good to come from Kanye West's incendiary remark that black people who were slaves in America for over 400 years was a choice.

JAY-Z On a Jet-ski

The successor to Jay-Z's hilarious water dive meme.

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. Illustration: Laura Alston