Gemma Styles | Contributing writer | Saturday, 12 December 2015

Gemma Styles 13 Dec

Gemma Styles: The Memes That Got Me Through 2015

The Debrief: Here's how I survived the murky world of the Internet in 2015, one meme at a time

Photograph by Matilda Hill-Jenkins

It’s December, there’s tinsel stuck willy-nilly all over everything and the year is almost over. This weekend, I’m taking a look back at 2015 and the memes that helped me survive this year online.

1. The dress


No conversation about 2015 memes would be complete without a discussion of THAT dress – so let’s get this over with at number one. I have never seen anything closer to mass hysteria than the ten minutes after the dress hit my office earlier this year. The mind-boggling, infuriating, squint-inducing phenomenon was both a cementer of friendships and a red flag for conflict. White and gold or blue and black. At the time I was a staunch and unmovable gold and white supporter – but revisiting the picture at the end of the year I can actually see both at the same time. Can I count this as a sign of personal growth this year? Whatever, I can see the Matrix. 

2. Bork

I don’t even know if you can count this as a meme anywhere except in my own life – but this is one of my favourite images of all time. The word bork can be seamlessly integrated into any conversation about anything and makes for a great word substitute. Also it’s just funny. For bork’s sake, what more reason is there?

3. Sounds Fake… But Okay

For anyone struggling at adulting – this is the meme for you. Easily one of my favourites of the year, it thrives mainly on tumblr and involves a true statement being doubted by someone else. Often imagined (by me) as a twenty-something person utterly incredulous to the ways of life and the universe, this will save you when people around are off doing crazy sensible shit. You got up at 6am to go to the greengrocer, did some yoga, went for a 5 mile run then showered and went to work? Okay… that sounds fake but… okay.

We might not be organised but at least we know internet stuff therefore are young and cool. So there.


4. Left shark

Ohhhhh left shark. With your weary expression and utter contempt for anything resembling the correct dance routine, you are the living embodiment of me when I have a complete meltdown. Sometimes everything goes a bit wrong, you don’t know what you’re doing, and you just have to keep on dancing and muddle through. Maybe you can’t remember where to find the spreadsheet you need at work, or you’re just pretending to know how to use your spiralizer (very 2015), but – at least you’re not left shark. Keep on keeping on, friend.



5. Sure, Jan.

With a brilliant re-emergence this year, last but not least is Marcia Brady’s perfectly scathing ‘sure’ at poor Jan’s “boyfriend”, George Glass. If you haven’t seen this video from the Brady Bunch movie sequel then I suggest you Google it right now. Online, this meme spread like wildfire, whipped out at anyone spouting nonsense, bragging or generally making unsubstantiated claims. I’m rooting for Jan as the underdog in this story but she brought this one on herself. A one size fits all retort suitable for cynical use at home, work or sküle. 


Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Gemma Styles: It's 2015 And Feminism's Still A Dirty Word On The Internet 

Gemma Styles: My Phone Holds All My Secrets - Why Would I Want Anybody Else Reading It? 

Is Our Love Affair With iPhones Coming To An End? 

Follow Gemma on Twitter @GemmaAnneStyles 

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