The 9 Best Memes of 2021

Wait, the Suez Canal thing was this year?

It’s been a weird year, and it’s only right that 2021’s best memes would reflect that. From sea shanty singers forming TikTok duet choruses, to the Puxatawny Phil-esque “Bones Day” forecast, here are the best memes of 2021.

Sea Shanty TikTok

Sea shanties, originally used by sailors to pass time, had a renaissance in 2021. Few TikTok sea shanties have been as iconic as Nathan Evans’s “The Wellerman,” which gained over 9 million views in the month after it was posted, as well as countless duets.

Inauguration Bernie

Though Senator Bernie Sander’s modest garb and crossed arms were likely just the result of the cold winter weather at President Joe Biden's inauguration, it didn’t take long for Sanders’s perceived disinterest to become a 2021 version of the “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” meme.

Oprah Interview Reactions

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s explosive March 7 interview with Oprah was groundbreaking in more ways than one. Despite the interview’s heavy discussion topics, many out-of-context frames of Oprah’s reactions became fodder for internet reactions.

Suez Canal Ship

Ever Given is a fitting name for a ship with perennial impact. The internet had a field day meme-ing the six-day blockage at the end of March. Because nothing says self-care like taking a break in the middle of one of the world’s highest traffic trade links.

Screenshot via YouTube

Berries & Cream

When the absurd "Berries & Cream" Starburst commercial debuted in 2007, we should have known it was ahead of its time. TikTokers got hold of it over the summer and suddenly, everyone wanted to be a little lad.

Good Soup

While this TikTok-famous sound comes from an especially tense scene in HBO’s Girls between Adam Driver and Lena Dunham, over the summer it was used to accompany everything from ducks drinking Starbucks water to dogs licking shower water off their owner’s legs.

Bones Day Forecast

2021 was the year we let a senior pug decide the vibe of our days based on his ability to stand each morning — which, statistically, was about the same as flipping a coin in the air. Petition for TikToker @jongraz’s pug Noodle to replace Puxatwany Phil this Groundhog’s Day?


2021 was also the year of re-downloading editing apps like FaceTune to "yassify" public figures. Seeing celebs look like the Handsome Squidward version of themselves never gets old.

The feminine urge to...

What began as pointing out common experiences of womanhood quickly devolved into lampooning trivial gender stereotypes. Users joked about their feminine urges to finish every sentence with “if that makes sense,” be a mythological siren, and have bruises.

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