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The best memes of 2012

Grumpy Cat, Angelina Jolieing, and those binders full of women. It’s been a quality year for internet memes. Here’s the cream of the crop…

IT’S BEEN QUITE a year for memes.

From grumpy cats to empty chairs and unfortunate amateur fresco restorations, the past 12 months have brought us limitless internet-generated cheer. Here’s our selection of the top memes of 2012 – and if we’ve left any of your favourites out, please share them in the comments below.

Angelina Jolieing

What better way to kick off the memes of 2012 than with Angelina Jolie’s right leg? (See what we did there? Sorry…) Angelina Jolieing became the hottest thing online after her bizarre – but apparently inspirational – stance on the red carpet at this year’s Oscars. Even Nic Cage gave it a go:

(Submitted by iLexxx to Angelina Jolie-ing Tumblr)

Call Me…and Me… and Me…

Experts have been called in to deconstruct the craftily catchy Carley Rae Jepsen track ‘Call Me Maybe’ as parodies of the pop hit threatned to take down the Internet:


Olympic memes

Amid London 2012 Olympic fever, double gold medallist Mo Farah became an Internet hit with the Tumblr ‘Mo Farah Running Away From Things’.

(Submitted by Dan Basnett to

And Mo wasn’t the only Olympian to inspire an Internet meme. US gymnast McKayla Maroney won gold and silver in London, and proved she was just as good a sport over her ‘Not Impressed’ meme during a recent visit to the White House:

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

She may have has something of an influence on Barack, though, given the subsequent ‘Sassy President’ meme:

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Press Association Images)


This meme didn’t break until late in the year, but boy did it make an impression once it did. PSY’s Gangham Style has become the most watched video on YouTube – and is responsible for many, many parody/tribute videos. Even Ban Ki-moon’s a fan:


Ecce Homo

One well-intentioned woman in northern Spain inadvertently sparked the ‘potato Jesus’ meme after her handiwork/botched attempt to restore a 19th century fresco of Jesus went global:

(Submitted by anonymous on

Those binders…

During the third and final debate between US presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Romney told an anecdote about how his search for women to consider for his cabinet led his staff to compile binders full of women. And the internet rejoiced in a fresh meme:

Clint and the empty chair

And that wasn’t the only cracking meme the debates brought us. Remember ‘Eastwooding’?

(@delrayser on Twitter)

Meanwhile, Obama’s Secretary of State also starred in her own meme, Texts From Hillary. Unfortunately, the folks behind the related Tumblr retired at their peak after receiving a Text From Hillary submitted by… Hillary:

‘I’m not grumpy…’

Of the millions of cat images flooding the internet every day, 2012 discovered what might just be the most cantankerous-looking feline of all time. Cue the Grumpy Cat meme:

(Submitted by eateris to

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