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.
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.
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.
When I start a job vs when I’ve been working there for a couple of weeks pic.twitter.com/3yUhSeyeHw
— D… (@dale_fromcali) April 24, 2018
The meme came a couple months after Black Panther‘s release, when The Avengers‘ Twitter account shared the image on the right.
— The Avengers (@Avengers) April 24, 2018
From there, the meme was born.
When you regret opening up the gates to Wakanda to everyone. pic.twitter.com/xBS8EyGYf6
— imagine the x-men cupid shuffling w/sentinels 😬 (@Steph_I_Will) April 24, 2018
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.
Bills: Is this your paycheck?! pic.twitter.com/FbrhBzBAN4
— Vizy (@VizyLawrence) March 20, 2018
IS THIS YOUR SPRING ?!?!? pic.twitter.com/fFHwg0Cjeo
— RunALap🏁 (@TheyWant_Nolan) March 20, 2018
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.
When he giving you head and start telling you how good you taste when really he tasting another man nut pic.twitter.com/unRkemDwPR
— Honey Vercetti (@brittnyvercetti) February 27, 2018
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.
Wen de strength of di Black Panta is stripped away pic.twitter.com/OHg4seD9PS
— AK 🇹🇹 (@franzakeem) March 2, 2018
— JC (@CFiggus) March 2, 2018
When he tells you he’s falling in love with you but you know the period blood in the spaghetti is what really did the trick pic.twitter.com/9kXXwEyz4w
— Kyrie Curving (@StuckOnMarss) February 28, 2018
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.
My momma said y’all have to play with me pic.twitter.com/fKDNdZeScI
— E 🦈 (@FendiVersace) July 1, 2018
Cardi even shared the tweet on her Instagram with the following caption: “Yaaaa annoying for this. Leave five-year-old Belcalis alone.”
View this post on Instagram
However, the internet did the exact opposite and continued to make memes of the young Cardi.
My momma said I can’t sit down cuz y’all got roaches pic.twitter.com/5y29m6l13Z
— Jus O (@realjus__o) July 9, 2018
My momma said we got to watch you while you in the house, cause you steal. pic.twitter.com/ljjDCixdEv
— Deku Meliodas Uzumaki (@Chris_CrossYa2x) July 9, 2018
My momma said your daddy ain’t in college, he in jail. pic.twitter.com/OdchA19TlH
— Peace Seeking Missile (@Menace2Anxiety_) July 8, 2018
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.
The play that decided Game 1. pic.twitter.com/e1UeOv57Rn
— ESPN (@espn) June 1, 2018
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.
this moment is going down in nba history pic.twitter.com/0BoTKFzXU0
— whitney medworth (@its_whitney) June 1, 2018
— Jordan Lange (@jordanlange25) June 1, 2018
— Jessica Smetana (@jessica_smetana) June 1, 2018
when my wife fails to notice I did exactly one chore pic.twitter.com/w0sNyND1RR
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) June 1, 2018
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.
This is a damn good contender for best meme of the year – all of the variations are good…but this one is the best pic.twitter.com/SwpOUAuRjk
— RickyFTW (@rickyftw) April 18, 2018
Twitter user @solo_kalin (Kalin Elisa) became a viral meme after sharing a photo of herself squatting-and-squinting in four-inch heels.
When your knees are crying after you’ve squatted for the gram 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/vrkXszRkI2
— SheaButtaBaby (@Solo_Kalin) March 20, 2018
Me looking at the menu knowing damn well imma get the same thing i always get.. pic.twitter.com/nYGSYq4aPk
— Django (@WatchJRoss) March 23, 2018
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.
A deviantART homage to a scene from 1987’s Predator helped to show the common bonds forged between unlikely pairings.
Idk who made this but its fucking great pic.twitter.com/3BCvVuUZ42
— Bbygrinch🌹 (@lisa_ashtray) June 26, 2018
I did it pic.twitter.com/Ova63NpA5H
— The Gentle Freak (@mitchysuch) May 14, 2018
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.
Smokey: “I Thought This B*tch Said JANET JACKSON” pic.twitter.com/R9wMONDvzF
— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) September 12, 2018
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.
— 🥂auld lang syne (@CinnerPeace) September 5, 2018
Key & Peele‘s Obama Meet and Greet
Arguably the most creative meme to come this year.
best shit i ever made 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/BurNtpRqcm
— 𝗯𝗿𝘆𝗮𝗻 / Man United Fan (@matte_blackkkk) September 22, 2018
Bird Box Blindfold
Who would’ve thought that a Netflix film starring Sandra Bullock would result in the year’s final big meme?
— 💛🖤 Tasha Maree 12-3 🖤💛 (@tasha_bermudez) December 24, 2018
“Weird Flex But Ok”
The best response to questionable boasts.
Weird flex but ok https://t.co/tto1JKHgfg
— Jordan (@jordangibberish) September 26, 2018
“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.
Them: still finding ways to use “to this day” video?
— Sam_I_Am (@doza1869) December 12, 2018
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.
Jay Z looks like he’s on his way to save DJ Khaled pic.twitter.com/V4qdx9zSNi
— Four Seasons Total Landscaping (@KingFavre) July 4, 2018