The Most Successful Meme: A Ranking of Memes That Achieved Widespread Popularity

Choose the meme you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 07:55
Step right into the ultimate showdown of meme royalty on StrawPoll, where we present the quest for the most successful meme of all time! Thousands have spoken, and now it's your turn to make your voice heard. Will it be the iconic Pepe, the lovable Doge, or the notorious Distracted Boyfriend? Dive in, cast your vote, and decide the fate of meme-dom. But wait - think we missed one? Fear not, meme connoisseur! You have the power to suggest a missing contender and shake up the rankings. So come on, join the meme revolution, and help us crown the true ruler of the internet's most beloved creations!

What Is the Most Successful Meme?

  1. 1

    Pepe the Frog

    Matt Furie
    This frog became an internet sensation and has been used to represent a variety of emotions and ideas. It has also been involved in controversy due to its association with alt-right and white supremacist groups.
    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
    This meme involves a stock photo of a man looking at another woman while his girlfriend looks on in disapproval. It has been used to represent infidelity and distraction.
    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
    This meme involves a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants with a distorted face and text written in alternating uppercase and lowercase letters. It has been used to mock and ridicule others.
    The 'Mocking SpongeBob' meme template features an image of SpongeBob SquarePants with a distorted face, while the caption is written in alternating uppercase and lowercase letters. This meme is commonly used to mock or imitate someone's statement in a sarcastic or mocking tone.
    • Image: Depicts SpongeBob SquarePants with a distorted face.
    • Caption Style: Alternating uppercase and lowercase letters.
    • Expression: Can be used to mock or imitate someone's statement.
    • Tone: Sarcastic or mocking.
    • Popularity: One of the most popular meme templates.
    Mocking SpongeBob in other rankings
  4. 4
    This meme involves a screenshot of Drake from his music video for "Hotline Bling." It has been used to represent a range of emotions, from happiness to disappointment.
    The 'Drake Hotline Bling' meme template is based on a still image taken from the music video of the song 'Hotline Bling' by Canadian rapper Drake. The image features two side-by-side frames of Drake, where in one frame he appears happy and excited, and in the other frame he appears disappointed or unimpressed. The meme is typically used to represent situations where a person is torn or conflicted between two opposing choices or options.
    • Year of creation: 2015
    • Image source: Music video of 'Hotline Bling' by Drake
    • Main image: Two side-by-side frames of Drake
    • Expression in frame 1: Happy and excited
    • Expression in frame 2: Disappointed or unimpressed
    Drake Hotline Bling in other rankings
  5. 5
    This meme involves a screenshot from the children's show Arthur, in which the title character clenches his fist in anger. It has been used to represent frustration and anger.
    Arthur Fist in other rankings
  6. 6
    This meme involves a gorilla named Harambe who was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo. It has been used to represent mourning and outrage, as well as humor.
  7. 7
    This meme involves a variation of the "Arthur Fist" meme, with Arthur holding a gun. It has been used to represent aggression and violence.
    Arthur's Fist Holding Gun is a popular internet meme derived from a scene in the children's animated television show Arthur. The meme features a screenshot from an episode where the character Arthur clenches his fist in frustration, but the image has been modified to show him holding a variety of different weapons, such as guns or swords.
    • Origin: Taken from the television show Arthur
    • Modification: Image manipulated to show Arthur holding different weapons
    • First appearance: Around 2016
    • Purpose: Expressing frustration, anger, or intensity
    • Versatility: Can be combined with various captions and other memes
  8. 8
    This meme involves a picture of a woman yelling at a cat sitting at a table. It has been used to represent argumentative situations and conflicts.
    Woman Yelling at a Cat refers to a viral meme featuring a picture of a blonde woman yelling aggressively at a confused looking white cat sitting at a dinner table. It quickly gained popularity in late 2019 and has since become one of the most recognizable and widely used meme templates on the internet.
    • Photographer: Antonio Guillem
    • Origin: Late 2019
    • Woman in the photo: Taylor Armstrong
    • Cat's name: Smudge
    • Genre: Meme
    Woman Yelling at a Cat in other rankings
  9. 9

    This Is Fine

    KC Green
    This meme involves a comic strip of a dog sitting in a room on fire, saying "This is fine." It has been used to represent situations in which everything is going wrong, but the person is trying to remain calm.
    The 'This Is Fine' meme features an image of a cartoon dog sitting in a room engulfed in flames while calmly stating, 'This is fine.' The meme is used to convey a sense of acceptance or resignation in the face of chaos or unfortunate situations.
    • Origin: Originally a comic titled 'On Fire' by KC Green in 2013
    • Virality: Popularized as a meme on social media platforms around 2016
    • Symbolism: Depicts the dog's nonchalant attitude towards dire circumstances
    • Relatability: Resonates with people facing stressful or chaotic situations
    • Versatility: Can be adapted to various contexts by inserting different captions
  10. 10

    Grumpy Cat

    Tabatha Bundesen
    This meme involves a picture of a cat with a permanently grumpy expression. It has been used to represent displeasure and dissatisfaction.
    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

Missing your favorite meme?


Ranking factors for successful meme

  1. Creativity and Originality
    Memes that are unique and creative tend to stand out and gain more attention. These memes are often created by someone who is very creative and can think outside the box.
  2. Memetic Components
    Successful memes have specific memetic components that make them more sticky, easily distributed, and more contagious. These factors include virality, cultural relevance, and memetic mutations.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful meme. 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!


  • 169 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 successful meme

Memes have become an integral part of internet culture, and they have been responsible for making us laugh, cry, and even rage. Memes have the power to unite people from all walks of life, and they have become a language of their own. The most successful memes are those that are instantly recognizable and have the ability to go viral within seconds of being shared. From the famous "Doge" to the "Crying Jordan" meme, the most successful memes have become part of our daily lives and have left a lasting impact on the internet. Whether you love them or hate them, memes are here to stay, and they will continue to shape the way we communicate online.

Share this article