The Best Memes of 2020 Pretty Much Summarize the Dumpster Fire This Year Has Been

Lia Beck
Photo credit: Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Sony Pictures

From Cosmopolitan

This year has felt incredibly long, and nothing makes that more apparent than looking back at 2020’s best memes. Can you believe the Dolly Parton challenge was in 2020? Or the running javelina? What about the best subway seat debate? Yep, all of these extremely internet-y things happened this year.

While there are surely more memes to come, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest memes of 2020 so far. Sure, they’re basically just funny inside jokes on the internet, but they tell us a lot about this moment in time. There’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the isolation we’ve all gone through because of it, the presidential election, and random other things like a teen soap that ended eight years ago unexpectedly making a meme comeback. Check it out.

My Plans vs. 2020

Let’s start with the meme that really says it all about this beyond unpredictable year. My plans: a good/positive/hopeful image. 2020: a related but bad/ominous/the-world-is-a-dumpster-fire one.

January, February, March…

And on a similar note, there’s this meme that shows exactly how the year went, month by unbelievable month.

“I am once again asking…”

Bernie Sanders was once again asking for financial support. Thanks to this meme, he’s once again asked for everything, from more chips and salsa to confirmation that you’re not mad.

Leonardo DiCaprio Pointing

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Rick Dalton, points at his TV screen when he sees himself pop up on a show. Now, the still of Leo pointing is used for any moment of recognition while watching something. Particularly, when someone refers to the title of the movie in the movie.

The Dolly Parton Challenge

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Inspired by @dollyparton, of course!

A post shared by Kerry Washington (@kerrywashington) on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:47pm PST

In January, Dolly Parton posted four pictures of herself that represent the social media platforms LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder…and then everyone else did the exact same thing.

Jo March Saying “I Can’t”

“I can’t. I can’t. I’ve tried it and I failed. I can’t,” Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) says to Laurie (Timothée Chalamet) in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women remake. Obviously, that’s a sentence that applies to a lot of situations, which makes it extremely meme-worthy.

Wash Your Lyrics

The proper amount of time to wash your hands is 20 seconds, and one way to keep track of that time is to sing “Happy Birthday.” But it’s no fun to sing just one song, so someone made a website that adds any lyrics to this infographic about hand washing. Of course, people started making them with the weirdest, funniest, or darkest lyrics they could find.

Canceling Plans Is Okay

It was way back in 2017 that Chance the Rapper shared some self-care advice on Twitter, including that “canceling plans to read is okay.” But it took until this year for the tweet to reach its full meme potential. People began using the format to explain movie plots, like the Twitter user above did with Parasite.

Billie Eilish’s Confused Face

During the Oscars, the live camera got a hilarious shot of Billie Eilish reacting to Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig while they were presenting an award with a silly song, and her expression of confusion is one that works for endless situations.

Gossip Girl Q&A

Serena van der Woodsen says something or asks a question, and Blair Waldorf responds only with words that can be created by removing or rearranging letters from the title, Gossip Girl. That’s all there is to it.

Pick Your Quarantine House

Remember the cafeteria meme? This is that, but you’re choosing the celebrities or fictional characters you’d want to be stuck inside with for the foreseeable future.

“Always Has Been” Astronauts

This started as an Ohio-specific meme and recently took on new life as a very absurd way to make a faux-dramatic statement. Usually, the second astronaut has a gun and is meant to be like a movie villain, but as shown above, flowers work too.

The Best Subway Seat

This one really kicked off the New Year, way before we needed memes like My Plans vs. 2020. The question was simple: Which seat on the subway is best? Everyone weighed in, and those outside of New York City came up with their own versions.

Draw 25

Uno is already frustrating as hell, but people made up some even more difficult scenarios for the game this year.

Running Javelina

Finally, in February, an animal called a javelina was filmed running through Tucson, Arizona. The footage was better with music. It was a simpler time.

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