The Most Popular Meme of All Time: Ranking the Ultimate Internet Sensation

Choose the meme you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 8, 2024 07:20
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters, and the ultimate showdown of meme supremacy is about to unfold! Prepare to dive into the most epic, hilarious, and unforgettable internet phenomenon as we rank the "Most Popular Meme of All Time." With thousands of polls and a diverse range of topics, we bring you the ultimate arena to witness iconic memes battle for the top spot. Cast your vote, root for your all-time favorite, or suggest a legendary meme that we may have missed. Join us, as we embark on this rollercoaster ride through the world of witty humor, relatable situations, and ingenious creativity. Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to be a part of meme history!

What Is the Most Popular Meme of All Time?

  1. 1

    Pepe the Frog

    Matt Furie
    This green frog became a symbol for the alt-right movement and has been used in various memes since 2005.
    Pepe the Frog is a popular internet meme featuring a cartoon frog character. The meme is typically used to convey a range of emotions or ideas through various iterations of Pepe in different situations.
    • First Appearance: 2005
    • Origin: Created for the comic 'Boy's Club'
    • Internet Popularity: Peaked in 2015-2016
    • Sad Pepe: Depicted with downturned eyes and a frown
    • Happy Pepe: Depicted with wide eyes and a smile
    Pepe the Frog in other rankings
  2. 2

    Distracted Boyfriend

    Antonio Guillem
    A stock photo of a man turning his head to look at another woman while his girlfriend looks on disapprovingly. It became a popular meme in 2017.
    The 'Distracted Boyfriend' is a popular GIF image that has become widely used as a meme. It features a scene from a stock photo titled 'Man Looking at Other Woman,' which depicts a man walking with his girlfriend while turning his head to look at another woman passing by him. The image captures a moment of infidelity and has been widely used to represent various situations of distraction or unfaithfulness.
    • Origin: Created in 2015
    • Format: GIF
    • Resolution: 600x401 pixels
    • Colors: 256 colors
    • Aspect Ratio: 3:2
    Distracted Boyfriend in other rankings
  3. 3

    Grumpy Cat

    Tabatha Bundesen
    A cat with a permanently grumpy expression that became a popular meme in 2012.
    Grumpy Cat is a famous cat meme known for its permanently grumpy facial expression. The meme features a photo of a cat with a displeased and sour expression, often accompanied by funny and sarcastic captions.
    • Breed: Mixed breed (domestic short-haired)
    • Real name: Tardar Sauce
    • Date of Birth: April 4, 2012
    • Gender: Female
    • Fur color: Gray and white
    Grumpy Cat in other rankings
  4. 4
    The act of tricking someone into clicking a link that leads to a video of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." It became a popular meme in 2007.
    Rickrolling is a popular Internet prank that involves tricking someone into clicking a hyperlink that leads them to the music video for the song 'Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley. This prank gained widespread recognition in the mid-2000s and has since become a meme on the Internet.
    • Origin: Started on the imageboard website 4chan in 2007
    • Music Video: 'Never Gonna Give You Up' released in 1987
    • Viral Status: One of the most successful and well-known Internet memes
    • Meme Format: Embedding the video's hyperlink in deceptive or misleading ways
    • Prank Variations: Used to misdirect users to the video without their consent
  5. 5
    Harlem Shake
    Christopher Clabaugh · Public domain

    Harlem Shake

    Filthy Frank (George Miller)
    A dance craze that became a popular meme in 2013. It involved a group of people dancing to the song "Harlem Shake" by Baauer.
    The Harlem Shake is a viral internet meme that became extremely popular in early 2013. It involves a short video where a group of people dance to the song 'Harlem Shake' by Baauer. The video typically starts with one person (often wearing a mask or helmet) dancing alone while others in the background go about their daily activities. Then, when the beat drops, the video cuts to a chaotic scene where everyone starts dancing in silly and exaggerated ways.
    • Origin: Created by Filthy Frank as part of a comedy skit in 2013
    • Song: 'Harlem Shake' by Baauer
    • Duration: Typically around 30 seconds
    • Format: Short video clip
    • Internet Popularity: Went viral in early 2013, with thousands of videos being uploaded
    Harlem Shake in other rankings
  6. 6

    Bad Luck Brian

    Kyle Craven
    A photo of a high school student with a goofy expression and a caption describing his misfortunes. It became a popular meme in 2012.
    Bad Luck Brian is a popular internet meme that features a photo of a young man named Kyle Craven. The meme is known for its humorous captions that describe exceptionally unlucky or awkward situations that Brian finds himself in.
    • Origin: Started as a school yearbook photo of Kyle Craven in 2007
    • Image: Features a headshot of Kyle Craven with a goofy expression and crooked smile
    • Caption Style: Typically consists of two lines of text, with the top line setting up a scenario and the bottom line delivering a humorous twist or punchline
    • Theme: Centers around bad luck, awkwardness, and unfortunate situations
    • Humor Style: Relies on irony and unexpected outcomes to generate comedic effect
  7. 7
    A screenshot of the character Arthur from the children's TV show "Arthur" clenching his fist. It became a popular meme in 2016.
    Arthur Fist in other rankings
  8. 8
    A stick figure with a screaming face and the caption "Y U No" expressing frustration. It became a popular meme in 2010.
    The 'Y U No Guy' is a popular internet meme that features a stick-figure drawing of a man with a wide-open mouth, furrowed brows, and outstretched hands in a questioning gesture. The figure expresses frustration, disbelief, or mocking incredulity. It is typically accompanied by the caption 'Y U No' followed by a humorous or sarcastic statement.
    • Origin: The 'Y U No Guy' meme first appeared on the internet in 2010 on the image-sharing website 4chan.
    • Expression: The stick-figure character has exaggerated facial features, showcasing a combination of confusion, frustration, and helplessness.
    • Caption: The caption 'Y U No' is a simplified form of 'Why You No,' which is a deliberately incorrect grammar mimicking broken English commonly used in memes.
    • Popularity: The 'Y U No Guy' quickly gained popularity and became widely shared on various meme websites as well as social media platforms.
    • Versatility: The meme is versatile and can be adapted to various humorous scenarios, allowing users to create their own captions to express frustration or disbelief.
  9. 9

    Success Kid

    Laney Griner
    A photo of a toddler with a clenched fist and a determined expression. It became a popular meme in 2007.
    Success Kid is a popular internet meme featuring a photo of a baby holding up a clenched fist with a determined expression on his face. The meme is typically used to express moments of triumph, accomplishment, or unexpected success in various situations.
    • Origination: June 2007
    • Photograph Subject: Sammy Griner (Laney Griner's son)
    • Photographer: Laney Griner (Sammy's mother)
    • Age of Sammy in the Photo: 11 months
    • Expression: Determined
    Success Kid in other rankings
  10. 10

    Nyan Cat

    Chris Torres
    A pixelated cat with a Pop-Tart body flying through space leaving a rainbow trail. It became a popular meme in 2011.
    Nyan Cat is an internet meme featuring a cartoon cat with a Pop-Tart for a body, flying through space, leaving a rainbow trail behind it. The meme became popular in 2011 and is often associated with catchy music in the background. It gained significant attention due to its quirky and absurd nature.
    • Year of creation: 2011
    • Main medium: Animated GIF
    • Popularity peak: 2011-2012
    • Music: Composed by Daniwell-P/Momone Momo
    • Featured on: YouTube, Reddit, and various internet forums
    Nyan Cat in other rankings

Missing your favorite meme?


Ranking factors for popular meme

  1. Virality
    The extent to which the meme has been shared, liked, and commented on across various social media platforms. This indicates how much it resonated with people and how widely it has been circulated.
  2. Longevity
    The time duration for which the meme remains popular and continues to be shared and referenced. Some memes may have a short burst of popularity, while others may remain relevant for years.
  3. Cultural impact
    The extent to which the meme has influenced popular culture, language, and even other memes. A truly popular meme might inspire new variations or become a recognizable reference in everyday conversations.
  4. Universality
    How well the meme resonates with diverse audiences across different age groups, cultures, and languages. The more relatable and universally understood the meme is, the more popular it is likely to become.
  5. Adaptability
    The ability for the meme to be easily modified or adapted to different contexts and situations. Popular memes often have versatile formats that allow users to create their own versions and iterations.
  6. Humor
    The entertainment value of the meme is important in determining its popularity. Memes that make people laugh, smile, or provoke an emotional response are more likely to be shared and remembered.
  7. Originality
    While many memes build on existing formats or ideas, a truly popular meme might introduce a unique concept or twist that sets it apart from others and makes it memorable.
  8. Relevance
    A meme that is timely and reflects current events or trends is more likely to resonate with a wide audience and gain popularity.
  9. Ease of creation
    Memes that are easy to create and share, typically using simple image or video editing tools, are more likely to spread and become popular.
  10. Aesthetic appeal
    Memes with visually appealing images or design elements are more likely to catch attention and be shared by users.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular meme of all time. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Meme is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 206 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Meme once every 24 hours. The rank of each Meme is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular meme of all time

In the world of internet culture, memes have become a ubiquitous part of our online vernacular. From the earliest days of message boards to the explosive popularity of social media, memes have served as a way to express humor, commentary, and even political ideologies. With so many memes circulating on the internet, it can be hard to determine which one reigns supreme as the most popular meme of all time. However, through the use of online polls and rankings, we can begin to get a sense of which memes have truly stood the test of time and captured the hearts and minds of internet users around the world. So, what is the most popular meme of all time? Let's dive in and find out!

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