As 2019 comes to a close, let us harken back and remember some of the greatest gifts we've been given this year: memes. There was Alexei and his beloved Slurpee from Season 3 of "Stranger Things" (may he rest in peace), the "When the 'Succession' Theme Song Hits" meme of Kermit the Frog dancing, Marie Kondo instructing us to trash absolutely anything that "doesn't spark joy" and so many more. Let's take a pause to remember the TV memes that got us through the year 2019.
"When the 'Succession' Theme Song Hits"
This may be the most meme-able theme song of the year. It has been paired everything from a gif of Kermit the Frog dancing to a video of a doggie-DJ getting the aux chord at a party -- it's even been Nintendo-fied. The long and the short of it is -- this theme song just absolutely slaps. Props to composer Nicholas Britell.
"Game of Thrones" Coffee Cup
This is meme may have overstayed its welcome, but it just won't die. What happened was, somehow, for a split-second, a coffee cup that couldn't possibly have existed during the "GOT" timeline made it into a scene in front of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). It's not clear who's fault it was at this point, but in any case, the coffee cup memes will likely live on as long as Clarke and Conleth Hill (Verys) continue to toss the blame back and forth like a hot potato.
This year, Marie Kondo taught us all the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up -- and she sparked some relatable memes, from reaction images of Kondo saying "I'm so excited because I love mess" to her always relevant question: "Does this spark joy?"
Meryl Streep's Scream
This moment from "Big Little Lies" Season 2 is actually a serious one in context, considering Streep's on-screen son was killed the previous season and her scream is one of actual grief. But out of context, you have to admit, it's pretty meme-worthy. Watch for yourself here.
When Lori Loughlin was named as one of the 50 parents embroiled in the college admissions scandal for allegedly paying $500,000 to get her two daughters into USC, the internet just couldn't resist roasting its beloved Aunt Becky.
Alexei and the Slurpee From "Stranger Things"
"Todd, listen to me. That man in there? I know he doesn’t look it, but he is one of the most dangerous men in the world. He’s murdered many children.” With those words, Jim Hopper set in motion a meme to remember, forever immortalizing Alexei and his cherry Slurpee. This is how we choose to remember him, the way he was in life: Angelic, red-tongued, and smiling. Rest in Peace, you beautiful soul. Gone but not forgotten.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Performing "Shallow" at the Oscars
Who could forget the steamiest Oscars moment in history? When Gaga and Bradley nearly made out on stage in front of everyone watching the goings-on at the Dolby Theater that night, a meme was born. Gaga has said the performance was just good acting and that she and Cooper aren't actually in love... but we can dream.
You Were at My Wedding, Denise
It all started when author Denise McAllister tweeted a snide remark alongside an article about "The View" which prominently featured a photo of Meghan McCain. "Can someone explain to me the purpose of The View? It seems to me to be a roundtable of delusional mental midgets ricocheting ignorance and lack of emotional regulation," was the exact verbiage of McAllister's since-deleted tweet. McCain's legendary reply? "You were at my wedding Denise..."
Jonathan Frakes' "Beyond Belief" Supercuts
Although Frakes' "Beyond Belief" stopped airing on Fox in 2002, this TV meme was still born in 2019. The premise of the show was that Frakes would tell several stories of seemingly impossible scenarios, and audiences would decide for themselves which were true and which were false. At the end, Frakes would reveal the truth. A supercut of catchphrases like "it never happened" and "it's fiction" birthed a meme.
How Many Times
This technically aired on TV, so here you go. A meme was born when Rep. Jackie Speier questioned Michael Cohen, former lawyer for President Trump, during his televised testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform this past February. Asked how many times he had threatened individuals on Trump's behalf, (50? 100? 200?) Cohen simply responded "more" until Speier finally raised the bar to 500 times, to which he replied, "Probably." Needless to say, the internet has had a field day changing the context for Cohen's response.
Andy King from Fyre Fest
Both a Netflix and a Hulu doc were released early this year, and they still count for 2019 -- as do the memes they inspired. A favorite is this wordless screen grab of Andy King, the festival producer who was told by Billy McFarland to offer a blowjob to a customs agent in order to get some water for Fyre Fest. He was the real MVP.
In a screen-grab from the second episode of the final season of "Game of Thrones," Daenerys Targaryen smiles tensely at Sansa Stark during conversation with her. Twitter users began adding their own captions to the photo, and a meme got its wings.
Photo by: NBCUniversal
Me on Ellen
Ellen Degeneres is known for gifting guests with ridiculous things. The "Me on Ellen" meme capitalizes on that by imagining scenarios in which Ellen gifts guests absolutely ridiculous things, like the ocean itself.
The Flounder Puppet in "Little Mermaid Live"
When “Moana” star Auli’i Cravalho made her debut as Ariel for her first performance of “Part of Your World,” she was joined on stage by a puppet version of her companion Flounder that the audience found less than convincing. The fish-puppet's unblinking eyes and forced smile inspired many a meme that evening.
Adam Levine's Super Bowl Shirt
The Maroon Five singer was just minding his own business when suddenly everyone on Twitter collectively realized that Levine's shirt was the same pattern as a lot of commonly-owned Target furniture. But lucky for them (or unlucky, depending on who you ask), he took off that tank top pretty fast.
Oh, Andrew Scott. Who gave you the right? This one isn't strictly a meme, per se, but it was such an internet-phenomenon that it deserves an honorable mention. Because we never learn his name on "Fleabag," he is simply referred to on screen as The Priest. But Twitter quickly bestowed upon him a nobler title -- Hot Priest. And the internet was never the same again. Phoebe Waller-Bridge explained why audiences thirst for him so hard in her SNL opening monologue: "It was because he was doing this one thing: listening."
Kendall Roy Rapping on "Succession"
Another honorable mention goes to this famous "Succession" moment, when Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) sings an original rap to commemorate 50 years of his father, Logan Roy, running Waystar Royco. Many gifs circulated afterwards, but no one could have predicted the scope of Ken-W-A's impact. Here we are, months later, still humming along to "L to the OG, dude be the O-G-A-N, he playin'." Okay, maybe just me?