1. What a year. Politics, terrorism, celebrity deaths … we saw it all.

Despite all this gloom and doom, one outlet provided us with that boost of happiness whenever we needed it — memes. Let’s take a look back at some of the best ones from 2016.

Squidward Dab

It all started with this video.

In January of 2016, this video popped up on everyone’s social media feeds. The internet rejoiced over the fact that this dude/chick/whoever was inside that Squidward suit took two seconds out of his or her day to hit the dab for the guys filming it.

… which led to memes like these:

squidward dab meme 1

squidward dab meme 2

squidward dab meme 3

Kazoo Kid

This one also started with a video.

Shortly after the Squidward Dab made waves on social media, Kazoo Kid took over and left us with glorious memes like this one.

kazoo kid meme

Suh Dude

Here’s the original video.

This meme managed to capture America’s attention by using two simple words (even though suh technically isn’t a word). A two-word greeting. That’s all it took for internet fame. What a time to be alive.

suh dude meme 1

suh dude meme 2

suh dude meme 3

Damn Daniel

This one blew up on Twitter because of this video.

A high school student complimenting his bro on his outfits … revolutionary.

damn daniel meme 1

damn daniel meme 2

damn daniel meme 3

It got so popular, the legendary Ellen DeGeneres even had these dudes on her show.

Paw Paw

Poor Paw Paw. This tweet blew up in March.

Paw-Paw-Tweet

Everyone loved ‘ol Paw Paw and felt so bad for his loneliness. Luckily, the same people who felt sad for him got to cherish groundbreaking memes like these.

paw paw meme 1

paw paw meme 2

paw paw meme 3

Side note: Oddly enough, it appears the girl who actually showed up to Paw Paw’s shindig deleted the original Paw Paw tweet. She tweeted this in November.

Confused Krabs

This was one of the most versatile memes of 2016. It applied to so many situations. This one dominated social media for quite a few months.

krabs meme 1

krabs meme 2

krabs meme 3

Crying Jordan

Most memes are popular for a few months at most — then they die out. But this meme has stood the test of time. While it’s not as popular as it was when it originated, it still dominates today. Although Crying Jordan usually appears photoshopped onto the faces of athletes who recently lost a game, he really applies to any negative situation.

crying jordan meme 1

crying jordan meme 2

crying jordan meme 3

Dat Boi

Out of all the memes of 2016, Dat Boi probably made the least sense. But, of course, knowing the internet, that didn’t stop the unicycling frog from being the hottest meme of the summer.

dat boi meme 1

dat boi meme 2

dat boi meme 3

Arthur Fist

A favorite TV character of young children made quite the resurgence in 2016 by becoming a super popular anger-based meme later in the year.

arthur meme 1

arthur meme 2

arthur meme 3

Harambe

Harambe was something else, y’all. The gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo was shot after a kid fell into his enclosure. The Harambe story started as a legitimate debate on social media about whether he should’ve been shot. But, of course, the internet turned the tragic situation into one of the hottest memes of the year.

harambe meme 1

harambe meme 2

harambe meme 3

Joe Biden

2016 went out with a bang with the debut of Joe Biden memes. For whatever reason, meme lords decided to portray the vice president like a 7-year-old who always wants his way, particularly when it comes to making Donald Trump’s transition into the White House as uncomfortable as possible. On the other end, the memes portrayed Barack Obama as a father-like figure to Biden who always tells him to calm down or fix his behavior.

biden meme 1

biden meme 2

biden meme 3

Honorable Mentions

Spongegar and the Nut Button

Spongegar

Local Memes

Perhaps the best thing to happen with memes in 2016 was the great meme pages on Instagram that center around living on the First Coast. Some great ones include @riverside_memes and @jaxbeach_memes. Here are a couple samples:

riverside meme 1

Riverside Memes

jax beach meme 1

Jax Beach Memes