Iconic videos and memes of the decade 

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Iconic memes and videos make the internet a special place. There are millions of videos posted every day, but few videos make the year memorable. The decade was filled with memorable memes, videos and trends worth looking back at. Content is constantly being posted on the internet, as well as people’s attempts to create a new viral trend. Looking back at older memes, I can conclude they are still gold.  

2010:  


The Dougie was one of the first viral dances on YouTube, paving the way for videos late in the decade.  Screengrab from YouTube

The Dougie was one of the first viral dances on YouTube, paving the way for videos late in the decade. Screengrab from YouTube

One of the first viral dance crazes was “Teach Me How To Dougie”. The song was released on YouTube on Sept. 8, 2010, by Cali Swag District. The dance sparked a new movement of dance trends for years to come. “Whip/Nae Nae,” “In My Feelings,” “Single Ladies” and the “dab” later took over the internet as well.  

2011: 

Rebecca Black’s song “Friday” was the highest-trending video of 2011. With over 130 million views on YouTube, this song made Black a viral sensation. Though the video and song did not have a positive impact on internet culture back in 2011, Black’s YouTube career took off. “Friday” will forever be iconic.  

2012:  

This decade was filled with viral music videos. One that caught people’s attention in 2012 was “GANGNAM STYLE” by South Korean singer PSY. The music video was a cinematic production with eye-catching visuals and an insanely easy choreography that became yet another viral dance craze. The video also showcased PSY’s joyful personality, which made this song very likable to Americans.  

2013:  

Vine was a short-form video service that allowed users to make six-second videos. This app was my favorite social media service, and I am still mourning its loss. Vine videos were pure entertainment. Some of my favorite and popular “Vine” videos were “Do It For The Vine,” “Hurricane Tortilla,” “Look At All Those Chickens” and “An Avocado, Thanks.”  


Shake It Off was one of Taylor Swift’s most famous songs because of its accompanying video.  Screengrab from YouTube.

Shake It Off was one of Taylor Swift’s most famous songs because of its accompanying video. Screengrab from YouTube.

2014:  

This was a great year for artists such as Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor. Swift’s “Shake It Off” became an anthem to “shake off” haters in your life. With over 3 billion views on YouTube, “Shake It Off” is one of Swift’s most successful songs. Trainor made her debut with “All About That Bass,” which empowered women and encouraged body positivity. 

2015:  

This was another great year for artists. Adele’s comeback with “Hello” was No. 1 on the Top 100 Songs Billboard Charts. The song has over 4 million views on YouTube and is Adele’s most credited song. “Hotline Bling” by Drake and “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift were also viral music videos. 

2016:   

Most memes originate from Twitter and find their way to Instagram and Facebook. “Roll Safe” was a meme that popped up on Twitter in 2016 but gained popularity in 2017. The person who created the meme is unknown, but there have been many variations that are seen all over the internet by meme accounts. This is the go-to meme to send your friends when you’re plotting an idea.  

2017:  

A gif of video editor and podcaster Drew Scanlon went viral in 2017 and is still being used in 2019. The gif was turned into memes by millions of Twitter users and gained many retweets. 

2018: 

The surprised Pikachu meme took over 2018 and was widely used on all social media platforms. Twitter users paired the meme with captions illustrating how one event turned out completely different from how it was predicted. 

2019:  

The people of the internet have yet again turned a scene from a Spongebob episode into a viral meme. Spongebob getting up from his chair captioned with “Ight Imma Head out” has taken over this year. The meme is used to express the desire to leave a situation. This meme is one of my favorites of the year, and I have seen it on every social media platform with a unique and hilarious caption. A new baby Yoda meme has recently gained popularity. As the end of 2019 approaches, memes are still going strong, and there’s no doubt there will be more iconic internet trends over the next decade.  


Cindy Lam is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at cindy.lam@uconn.edu.

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