The great thing about memes is that anyone can make one. The horrible about them is that, well, anyone can make one, and in 2016, people had *feelings* and made memes about them. Let me be clear: I believe 99.9 percent of political memes in 2016 were offensive, poorly designed, and largely unfunny. But the remaining 0.1 percent were timely, incisive, and sometimes even profound. I've collected here the best political memes of 2016.
I’m pretty good at the internet, and supposedly, I am a millennial, so I should probably be able to define “meme” in my sleep, right? Sadly, a useful definition eludes me, so I am left to describe them as “little internet things.” What was useful about these “little internet things” is that they could be shared quickly and easily, and helped us feel a bit like we weren’t taking crazy pills.
There are certainly many more worthy memes out there than what I’ve gathered here for you today, but before you go dumpster-diving into the internet to find them, just remember that it’s just as easy for a hate-monger to use Imgur as it is for anyone else. Practice safe memeing, everyone.
So, without further ado, the 10 Best Political Memes of 2016:
1. Dogald Trump
I thought I’d start us off easy, because even though Trump’s election might be signaling the the end times, who doesn’t love seeing a puppo in a wig? Nobody, that’s who. I’d vote for him.
2. Trump’s Hair Is Funny, #SorryNotSorry
Maybe if Jimmy #!@&ing Fallon hadn’t made Trump seem aw-gosh adorable on The Tonight Show by tugging on the golden cloud Trump has had installed over his head, I would feel worse about this. But I don’t.
3. Ted Cruz Is The Zodiac Killer
I've read the KnowYourMeme about this one and still don’t totally understand the origins, but Ted Cruz’s facial expressions are so priceless that I almost feel like you could pair them with any conspiracy theory and it would be great.
4. Chris Christie’s Silent Scream
In one of the more stunning turn of events of this election, Chris Christie was an early endorser of Trump, offering an endorsement that apparently stunned nobody more than Christie himself, who was caught on camera looking horrified at what he’d done. It was almost a self-made meme, just needing some meaningful music in the background.
5. Taco Truck On Every Corner
When Trump surrogate Marco Gutierrez went on MSNBC to assert that Hispanics “had a very dominant culture” and were going to put “taco trucks on every corner,” at first everyone on the internet was like, “Wait, there’s a taco truck on our corner? Brb,” and then they started making fun of him. There are too many good #TacoTruckOnEveryCorner memes to choose from, but this one is my favorite.
6. Ken Bone
I didn’t quite understand the Ken Bone mania — is it possible we were all just desperate for some levity? — but I do appreciate this meme, and I would like to play a game of Guess Who? as soon as possible.
7. Madame President If You’re Nasty
Frankly, I thought once Trump called Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” in the last debate, that the election was over — he’d never be able to come back from that. I was wrong, but at least we got these sweet Photoshopped album covers.
8. Joe Biden Changes The Wi-Fi Password
So then, the Democrats lost, bigotry triumphed, and we all just needed a goddamned hug from our dad and a joke to make us laugh through our tears. Joey “the Shark” Biden was there for us.
9. Joe Biden’s Secret Plan For Driving Trump Crazy
In fact, he was so good at it that I’ve included a second one here. And while I know Joe himself didn’t make these, I’d like to think he approves this message.
10. Delete Your Account
It was a little tough to watch Clinton try SO HARD to win over the youth vote, but this was a decent attempt at trying to speak their language, even if it didn’t translate into votes. In the end, I wish this parody video of Clinton trying to meme out had actually been produced by the candidate.
Keep it up, internet — we need you in the next four years now more than ever.