The History of Memes


This is an accurate representation of how memes have changed over the years.

Kyler Marotte, Senior Reporter

Do you know that the earliest memes dated back all the way to 1993? Now that sounds old, but that was only 26 years ago. Okay, so maybe it’s a bit old. But still, we have come a long way since the early internet memes, and that is what I’m going to talk about today.


The earliest memes were a bit simpler than modern day memes. They took a photo or drawing, and they added text, usually with the introduction on the top and the punchline at the bottom. One of the most memorable memes was Success Kid. In 2007 a meme was posted of a baby on a beach with a fistful of sand with a very determined face. Then people started using the picture and adding text that showed examples being really lucky or “Successful”. The Success kid meme actually raised so much money that the kid’s dad was able to afford a kidney transplant, and they are now living great lives. The first generation of memes was a time that nobody will forget, but now things get a lot weirder in terms of humor.


This is the transition between the normal picture and text memes and the memes that we now have today. People still had the old text and picture memes but were going for a more relatable joke, trying to make someone go, “yeah that definitely happened to me” or “exactly!”. One of the most popular “relatable memes” was the “Drake meme”, it had the famous singer Drake in panels. With the top panel with him in a pose that shows him rejecting the text beside him and the bottom one with him welcoming the text. Now comes the time when the text memes are still there but the humor changes, personally, I think it was a negative change.


Now we are in the memes that I don’t really like that much. This was a time when most memes were a combination of the first two memes I showed you, but there were some memes that were a bit questionable in terms of humor. There is a meme title called “Cursed images” which are just a bunch of images of thing that is either not supposed to be in the picture they are in, or some really disturbing images that just freak me out but apparently, people classify it as funny. I’m not sure how memes will turn out in the future but now memes are starting to improve like the new “Confused Tom” meme which has the famous character from Tom and Jerry with Tom the cat having a very confused face the people use to describe a number of situations.


In conclusion, I think memes were much better in the past, when they had humor and everyone wasn’t so depressing all the time. Luckily, memes have been improving in quality in 2019 and I think they might continue to improve.