It’s time to look back, folks. To look back on all of the memes we Googled — because we thought they were funny, or sad, or heard a young person talking about them and had no clue what was going on — during 2017. Google Trends rolled out its annual data report this week. Here are the top ten most-Googled memes of 2017.
10: “Hot Dog Meme”
Snapchat’s best and most infamous filter of the year. It’s a hot dog, wearing headphones, who break-dances to a catchy little tune. Honestly, I’m not sure why you people were even Googling this. It’s that simple to explain. Hot dog. Headphones. Break-dancing.
9: “Game of Thrones Meme”
This could be so many things, and I could probably tell you more about them if I actually watched Game of Thrones. But based on Google’s related-queries data, it seems like the most popular of the Thrones memes of 2017 involved a cameo appearance from one Ed Sheeran.
8: “Joe Biden Meme”
After Trump won the election, a new meme popped up involving imagined conversations between Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Biden wanted to prank the incoming administration, while Obama would, kindly, admonish him. Good for a laugh during a particularly grim time.
7: “It Meme”
Stephen King’s terrifying novel It got the big-screen treatment this year, but the meme winner wasn’t from the 2017 version of the story. Instead, a screenshot of It’s Pennywise the Clown in a sewer from the 1990 made-for-TV mini-series adaptation got a new life as a viral, nightmare-inducing joke.
6: “Romper Meme”
A Kickstarter for a romper for men, a.k.a. a RompHim — pause here to gag — had a hot viral moment back in May. The campaign was a success and raised over $350,000. Also, there were approximately 350,000 memes.
5: “SpongeBob Mocking Meme”
This meme involves a still from a 2012 episode entitled “Little Yellow Book,” in which SpongeBob SquarePants acts like a chicken any time he sees something plaid. Five years later, and a whole lot of weird internet later, the clip became the ideal way to mock somebody.
4: “What in Tarnation Meme”
A combination of a reference to My Little Pony, the cast of which includes a pony named Applejack, whose catchphrase is “What in tarnation,” and a picture of a Shiba Inu wearing a cowboy hat, which circulated Tumblr at the beginning of 2017. The joke was easy: Just put a cowboy hat on something and caption it “What in tarnation.” Bonus points for wordplay.
3: “Elf on the Shelf Meme”
Elf on the Shelf is a horrifying children’s “toy” that parents can position around their house during the holiday season under the guise that the elf is always watching. Thus, kids should behave. It’s creepy. This meme played on the Elf on the Shelf rhyme scheme. Shrek on a deck. Cat on a mat. You get the idea.
2: “United Airlines Meme”
After crew members violently dragged a passenger off of an overbooked flight when he refused to give up his seat, United Airlines doubled down and acted like everything was fine. The company’s CEO referred to the incident as a “passenger re-accommodation,” and defended the crew’s reaction on the plane in a letter to employees. Twitter, however, didn’t see it the same way.
1: “Cash Me Outside Meme”
If you don’t know Danielle Bregoli and her infamous catchphrase “Cash me outside, howbowdah” by now … what rock have you been living under, and can I join you there? The teen made a name for herself when she and her mother appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss the teen’s “out of control” behavior. (The episode was originally shown in 2016, but didn’t reach peak virality until it was re-aired this year.) From there, Bregoli was everywhere. A record deal with Atlantic. Owning David Spade on Instagram. Pleading guilty to marijuana possession, grand theft, and filing a false police report.