Things That Matter

These Top 12 Memes Of The Decade Told Our Stories Of Joy, Anger, And Sadness

A meme is basically a trend that is passed on person to person within a culture. It’s one of those infectious “word of mouth” kinds of things. That’s why memes go “viral,” they spread. With the internet’s ubiquity looking back at memes is like looking back at cultural moments. It’s a way of taking stock of what has happened in the past through an absurd, ironic, and humorous lens. Here’s your decade in memes. 

“Come to Brazil”

The phrase celebrities heard ’round the world on Twitter. “Come to Brazil” became the battle cry of Brazilians thirsty for pop artists to acknowledge the country’s existence and just visit. Its origins cannot be fully traced, but the first documented instance of the phrase being tweeted at a celebrity was in 2009 — at Justin Bieber who had joined Twitter. For the rest of the decade, the phrase would be used both ironically and in complete earnest. 

“Friday” by Rebecca Black

One of the earliest viral videos, 13-year-old Rebbeca Black’s amateur ode to the best day of the week became a beacon of the internet’s ironic humor. Discovered by The Daily What in 2011, the video garnered millions of views in just a few days. The video turned Black and the “awkward dancing girl” featured in the video into memes. However, the meme also spawned a larger conversation about what happens to random people when they get memed. Black described her experience as largely being cyberbullied.

Ermahgerd

While the “Ermahgerd” meme is probably too dated for Gen Z, the photo of the pigtailed girl holding a plethora of Goosebumps books was everywhere in 2012. The strange spelling and imagery meant the meme would be remixed and reappropriated for years. 

The Harlem Shake

“Harlem Shake” by Baauer dropped in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2013 when the blogger Filthy Frank posted a video fo four people dressed in latex outfits to the song that the meme caught on. Seemingly thousands of people created Harlem Shake videos, making it one of the first and most ubiquitous video memes that required a lot more effort than reposting the same image with text. Creators had to execute a concept where something unexpected happens (usually a crazy dance or wild costumes)  when the beat dropped. 

Confused Brazilian Math Lady

Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah portrayed Nazare Tedesco in the popular telenovela Senhora do Destino. The image of her confused face as math algorithms emerge from it was a photoshopped reaction GIF traced back to 2013

But That’s None Of My Business Kermit The Frog

The Muppet drinking a cup of tea became the totem of a generation seemingly obsessed with getting, sipping, and consuming the proverbial tea so to speak. The “none of my business” Kermit meme grew in popularity in 2014, spawning other Kermit memes like “evil Kermit” and “Kermit falling down the stairs.” 

Soraya Montenegro

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#CriesInSpanish

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The fictional character and antagonist of the Mexican telenovela Maria la del Barrio, garnered an ironic following for her campy performance. Soraya’s image has been remixed millions of times, but it was the “Cries in Spanish” meme of 2014 that brought her to a mainstream audience. 

On Fleek

We wouldn’t be saying “On Fleek” if it wasn’t for Viner Peaches Monroee who uploaded her viral selfie video on June 21st, 2014. Peaches described her eyebrows as “on fleek” and the rest is history.

Why The F**K You Lyin’ 

On August 29, 2015, Nicholas Fraser uploaded the “Why The F**k You Lyin'” meme to Vine. The video of him dancing and singing the lyrics to the tune of the 1997 R&B single “Too Close” by Next. The video circulated on Vine, then YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Hotline Bling

Drake is perhaps one of the most meme-able celebrities of the decade. The 2015 “Hotline Bling” video was jampacked with dance moves and facial reactions that seemed tailored to be repurposed. The video was parodied on SNL, and turned into multiple memes including #DanceLikeDrake and #DrakeAlwaysOnBeat. It even spawned an entire movement of memes called “Drakeposting.” 

Obama/Biden Memes

The “Prankster Joe Biden” memes emerged in the 2015 campaign season and carried through 2016 — the election that solidified President Barack Obama would be ending his presidency. To lament the loss of Obama users began circulating memes that lionized the Vice President and President’s friendship. Obama is portrayed as the straight man, to Biden’s hapless but seemingly authentic antics. 

Do It For The Vine (RIP) 

“Do it for the Vine,” became the slogan of Viners and fans who competed to be the funniest and most outlandish on the platform for views. In 2013, Kaye Trill released a hip hop track called “Do It For The Vine.” Kids these days wouldn’t have TikTok without Vine. Founded in 2012, the revolutionary platform that only allowed six-second looping videos, paved the way for largely creators of color to showcase their comedic and storytelling skills. By 2015 it had 200 million users, by 2016 the app was shut down. 

Cheetos Released The Official Name For The Cheesy Dust Left On Your Fingers And Some People Seriously Hate It

Culture

Cheetos Released The Official Name For The Cheesy Dust Left On Your Fingers And Some People Seriously Hate It

Pixabay

Frito-Lay has declared the cheesy residue left on your fingertips after eating Cheetos is called “cheetle.” Don Cheadle might be feeling some type of way right now. The press release has caused some confusion on social media with many Twitter users refusing to accept that this is the correct terminology and questioning its origins.  

To blow matters perhaps even more out of proportion, actor Ed Helms claims a comedian came up with the word “cheedle” in the 1980s. Some users even pointed out that the term was added to Urban Dictionary in 2005. 

Frito-Lay declares Cheetos dust “Cheetle” in official press release.

“We’ve seen the way Cheetos lovers don their red- and orange-dusted fingers like a badge of honor, and we’re always looking for ways to help them step up their snacking game,” Brandi Ray, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay North America said in a press release. “The only way to truly take popcorn to the next level is to add the iconic Cheetle, the cheesy dust that will entice Cheetos fans to snack on this popcorn all year long.”

The move to bring Cheetle into the popular lexicon comes as Frito-Lay announces new Cheetos popcorn. The snack is popcorn with Cheetle as a topping in two flavors including Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot. 

“Snacking on Cheetos has become a special experience for many fans, including the experience of having the iconic cheese dust left on your fingers,” Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, told TODAY. “We (Frito-Lay executives) have long called that red and orange cheese dust ‘Cheetle,’ but it became clear from our fans the special interest they had, so we knew it was time to share our beloved name for this magic ingredient.”

Where did the term “Cheetle” come from? What is the truth? 

Ferdinando claims that Frito-Lay trademarked the term in 2005. An earlier form of the word was spelled “cheedle.” A 2005 entry in Urban Dictionary defines cheetle as, “the orange, powdery residue left on your fingers after eating Cheetos.” Perhaps, a Frito-Lay employee submitted it? 

“Frito-Lay officially trademarked ‘Cheetle’ in 2005, but the company hasn’t used (it) externally in much capacity until now and haven’t told consumers about it,” Ferdinando said. 

However, the Hangover actor Ed Helms believes the term was invented by Saturday Night Live alumni Rich Hall, who coined “cheedle” in his book sniglets

“An earlier form of Cheetle, spelled cheedle, was found to be one of the sniglets (fun coinages) of comedian Rich Hall in the 1980s, which he defined as ‘the residue left on one’s fingertips after consuming a bag of Cheetos.’ The first known proper use of Cheetle, as such, was found in a finger-painting online computer game as early as 2004 and 2005, after which the name was first popularly defined on Urban Dictionary,” according to Dictionary.com.

Many Twitter users did not know how to feel about Cheetle. 

As can only be expected there were many Don Cheadle jokes, but perhaps the best was the one that differentiated between Don Cheetle (the orange-tanned Donald Trump) and Don Cheadle (the Golden Globe-winning actor). 

Some on Twitter wanted to keep things simple.

Other users were just not feeling the name. Why call Cheetos dust “cheetle” when you can call it “Cheetos dust”?

“I love you Cheetos, but no. It’s Cheeto Dust, end of story. In no world am I ever gonna say I have Cheetle on my fingers, WTF,” one user wrote. 

Helms wasn’t the only one on social media upset that Rich Hall wasn’t getting his due credit. 

“So @Cheetos thinks they have come up with the perfect name of the dusty cheesy residue left on your fingers… Sorry, the name Cheetle was used by Rich Hall on NNTN as one of his @SnigletsOFC back in the ’80s,” another user wrote. 

The future is still unwritten, who knows if the term “cheetle” will ever catch on? Personally, I don’t converse about Cheetos enough for it to ever come up casually. Nevertheless, Frito-Lay’s branding effort clearly worked: we’re all talking about cheetle today.

As If The Surreal Movie Adaptation Of ‘Cats’ Wasn’t Trippy Enough, People Are Watching It High And Omg The Reactions

Entertainment

As If The Surreal Movie Adaptation Of ‘Cats’ Wasn’t Trippy Enough, People Are Watching It High And Omg The Reactions

Cats / Amblin Entertainment

From what reviewers and audiences have been saying about Cats, the surreal nature of the movie probably doesn’t need to be enhanced by adding psychedelic drugs. However, that didn’t stop adventurous moviegoers from sampling their drug of choice before sitting through the weird musical —to make the experience even weirder.

For most people, “Cats” is unnerving enough sober.

It tells the story of a group of singing, dancing alley cats who compete for the chance to go to the Heaviside Layer, a metaphor for death and rebirth into the next of their nine lives. Critics have described the movie adaptation as a feverish drug dream, a bad trip. It is expected to lose as much as $100 million, according to Variety. The budget, mind you, was more than $95 million, all going to a rushed production that found the film’s visuals still being cooked even after the movie opened wide over the Christmas holiday.

People are watching the movie on drugs—and their experiences are nothing short of wild.

According to a sweeping new story by The Washington Post, a fraction of that box-office take is coming from audience members who are seeing the movie on drugs, and the results are evidently transcendent. WaPo rounded up some of the best reactions from viewers that saw the movie on mind-altering substances as shrooms, LSD, edibles, and more.

The paper offered a list of compelling, if not encouraging, responses:

“The most terrifying experience of my life. I swear to God my soul escaped me.”

I mean this is a bit dramatic…right?

“Vomited four times but ultimately understood the film on a deep level.”

Now this is definitely a reaction that I think only a high person could have. If you’ve seen the movie, you know it’s true.

“Had a panic attack in the middle of it …”

I feel like this could happen whether you were high or not…

Raina, 25, from South Carolina, said she couldn’t handle the mismatched proportions of the furry animals.

She lasted 10 minutes, “and then I went to the AMC bathroom and threw up”.

Annaliese Nielsen, terrified by the furry face of James Corden, called the film “a special kind of evil”.

That last scene especially, is freaking people out.

Here Judi Dench’s Deuteronomy breaks the fourth wall to address the viewer, and freaks people out. “When Judi Dench turned and looked me directly in the eyes to let me know that a cat is not a dog, I was terrified.”

The movie may be hard to follow if you’re looking for a plot.

Because there is no plot. Basically all the cats —as portrayed by the likes of Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Dench, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, and Taylor Swift— are auditioning for eternal life in the Heaviside Layer, a heaven-like place of rebirth for cats in the upper atmosphere.

“Where their fur ends and their human hands start, it would move in a weird unnatural way,” one audience member told The Washington Post.

“I felt like I was losing my mind…I was just concentrating on taking deep breaths.”

Of course, your choice of whether to enhance the experience of Cats is yours —and your state’s— own, but from what we’ve seen, the movie is likely weird enough to simulate a drug trip without needing to consume them at all.