We live in an era defined by memes. True, meme-ifying images is a practice as old as humanity itself, but the advent of the internet has made that process much… danker. Whether repurposed from YouTube videos, movie screengrabs, or catchphrases, these golden viral nuggets shape how we consume, criticize, and communicate through cultural touchstones.
But which ones achieved lasting greatness? To answer that, we looked for memes with universality and malleability; a dank meme exists in many permutations, and can cross cultural and linguistic barriers. We confined ourselves to the internet; only symbols and phrases that crossed from traditional media to the web qualify (sorry, Kilroy). We also considered the ubiquity and persistence of a meme in determining its position on this list, which means more recent memes tend to wind up lower in the ranking.
As you’ll soon see, though, this ranking is perfect and indisputable.