35 Spot-On Anti-Memes That Aim To Destroy The Whole Meme Concept

Any meme aficionado, whether self-confessed or in disguise, will know that there’s virtually not a single thing you couldn’t make a meme out of.

This is because memes are figurative reactions that combine both visual and textual in what we could call an unofficial language of the internet. From Mike Pence’s fly to Bernie’s mittens, from traffic jams to the year 2020, we’re talking literally everything has undergone a meme treatment.

So it’s only fair that memes would make memes out of themselves. Welcome to the world of anti-memes, a type of meta humor that mocks a variety of our all-time favorite internet memes. According to Know Your Meme, “their origin dates back to January 30th, 2009 with the web comic titled “Internet Anti-Memes & Non-Sensations,” featuring illustrations of various absurd and unlikely internet phenomena.”

Now the rest is history, and thanks to the subreddit r/AntiMeme dedicated to sharing some of the best meta memes on the internet, we have a solid collection of what happens when memes make fun of themselves.

#1 You Are Welcome

Image credits: onumero8

To find out about the complex world of internet memes and the significance they have in our culture, Bored Panda reached out to Bradley E. Wiggins, an associate professor and department head of Media Communications at Webster Vienna Private University. Bradley has been researching digital culture, new media, games and simulations, and intercultural communication throughout his career, including memes, so he was happy to share some very interesting insights on the topic.

When asked what it is about memes that makes them so appealing, Bradley said it’s “humor and the need for humor (perhaps from a need to escape society, critique it, express something otherwise not available to a person in other contexts).”

#2 Omg

Image credits: stefanILA

#3 Stay Hydrated Folks!

Image credits: MisterSisterFister12

#4 This Is A Big Brain Time Question

Image credits: onetrontorulethemall

“Acknowledgment of viral/virtual aspect of online communication as it is inherently highly visual and therefore (1) means people read less online and/or (2) people want or seek out visual abstracts of complicated subjects,” the professor explained and added that “perhaps most critically important to memes that address a politically or socio-culturally topic is the role of ideology.” Bradley also said that individuals who post such memes “may be reinforcing an identity that is essentially an extension of a given ideological practice.”

It turns out, different memes have very different roles. “Memes among far-right propagate hate and/or dis/misinformation willingly but along fairly clear ideological lines; memes can also demonstrate some literacy, for example, those COVID memes that might make fun of social distancing, masks, Zoom, etc. but not in a demeaning way. Rather the function of humor there is to ameliorate a stressful situation but also conveys ‘correct’ information, i.e. masks are useful, vaccines are important, social distancing is a necessary measure, etc.”

#5 Bird Puns

Image credits: TheGoodGuyGav

#6 No One

Image credits: Mist121

#7 A Little Bit Of Anti-Memes

Image credits: TheRealOle

The professor also explained that memes have become so powerful they have penetrated nearly all aspects of culture, yet at different levels and/or intensities. “For example, in the lead-up to what became the Jan 6 (attempted) insurrection at the US Capitol building, memes and related content posted to 4chan’s politics /pol/ board contained very clear indications of violent insurrectionist intent as early as Nov 2020.” Interestingly, “one can’t necessarily say that those memes were part of mainstream culture (as problematic a term as that may be),” Bradley added.

#8 Lucky My Mum Signed The Permission Slip

Image credits: joe_bobkins

#9 Electricity

Image credits: Tom_Browning

#10 A Little Bit Of Anti-Memes

Image credits: TheRealOle

When asked how the professor sees this new trending concept of anti-memes, Bradley said that it’s “somewhat problematic, but instead of nitpicking an argument based on a semantic issue,” he said that “this sub-genre of memes reminds me very much of the one-liner style of humor associated with Henny Youngman, for example.”

The professor continued: “His one-liners are renowned and offer the same kind of one-stop-shop for a quick gag. The droll wit within the sub-genre of anti-memes and Youngman’s humor seem at the very least to share a conceptual linkage. Some one-liners from Youngman include: ‘Take my wife… please!’ or ‘A doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn’t pay his bill, so he gave him another six months.’ Or another: ‘You have a nice personality, but not for a human being.’”

On the other hand, visually this sub-genre is not monolithic, argues Bradley. “Within the sub-genre are certainly categories where some may be much closer to the one-liner style whereas others (such as the Boys/Girls locker room or general wordplay) are simply attempts at intermemetic humor (memes that mock other memes and/or meme formats),” he explained.

#11 Deepression

Image credits: Meemsouprice

#12 Very Much Correct

Image credits: MartoGallegos

#13 A Little Bit Of Anti-Memes

Image credits: TheRealOle

Throughout his extensive body of study on memes, Bradley maintained that perhaps it is best to view memes as a new form of cultural art. “The most sensible link to a previous artform for me is Dadaism. The lesson to be gained from my comparison of Dada and internet memes is to propose that the use of dark and distanced irony is not necessarily unique to the current moment,” he explained.

“However, and with respect to the affordances provided by smart phones, tablets, apps, etc., the ability for large numbers of people to take part in such expressions is endemic to the modern age and unlike anything before or during the Dada and related movements.”

“In digital culture a tendency exists to discuss modern life through invocation and citation of the ironic, satirical, profane, dark and/or offensive humor, etc. in order to make sense of the world – just like the Dadaists and surrealists in the early 20th century,” the professor concluded.

#14 Blindness

Image credits: Dancing-Crab

#15 Much Better

Image credits: excel97

#16 Matt Matt

Image credits: felonyclown

Lina Survila, the editor-in-chief at “Abstract Stylist” magazine that focuses on internet culture, the digital age, and modern lifestyle, has confirmed that memes have become a huge part of our lives on social media. “As for now, this format has become such an everyday thing that internet users sure found a way to meme that too,” she said.

“There’s a meme for every situation you have been in. Now, it’s a cultural thing and a tool to reach millions, start a discussion, sell a product or simply have a good time laughing.” So no wonder many brands are joining the trend and use memes as part of their communication to costumes. “Marketing experts now know that a good idea can reach people without any budget, so they embraced the idea and jumped into the game,” Lina added.

#17 A Little Bit Of Anti-Memes

Image credits: TheRealOle

#18 Stay In School

Image credits: EffectLive97

#19 Colour Blindness

Image credits: jumaropa

#20 What A Rude Young Man

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#21 Can’t Be More Accurate Than This

Image credits: Pronnoy1

#22 Not A Single Soul

Image credits: corpuscavernosa

#23 This Is Fine

Image credits: thez1337

#24 Tut Tut Tat

Image credits: dvmebi

#25 England At Home

Image credits: unknown

#26 There Is No Escape

Image credits: Jojolaraflure

#27 Why Can’t They Tho

Image credits: aalibraheem

#28 Old But Gold

Image credits: Svagerman

#29 Time To Work

Image credits: EffectLive97

#30 My Friends Now Know What An Antimeme Is

Image credits: AzurePraXis

#31 Does It Count?

Image credits: starchboi666

#32 Stay Safe Guys

Image credits: bokaj7532

#33 Water

Image credits: expendabledago

#34 Hope This Wasn’t Done Before

Image credits: OriginalityRanOut

#35 Anti-Meme-Pics

Image credits: unknown

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