Ariana DeBose at the BAFTAs
Academy Award winning actress Ariana DeBose notoriously recapped 2022’s most memorable performances in her opening song-monologue at the The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), including a line referencing Angela Bassett‘s performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” by saying that she simply “did the thing.” This line and the vocal emphasis on DeBose placed on it were rapidly memed earlier this year.
things i need gypsy rose blanchard to catch up on:
– the titanic submarine fiasco
– "angela bassett did the thing"
– grimace shake and donatella grimacci
– the entire existence of gwyneth paltrow
– that tiktok dj who mashes up random songs https://t.co/EkvDk2scvO
— moving accts; dm for new one (@mobiustite) December 22, 2023
This has fully consumed my brain. I replay it every time it crosses my timeline. I search for it in quiet moments. I’ve seen it 84 times and it still titillates like new. I will sing it on my deathbed. Angela Bassett did the thing. It is all I know now. https://t.co/vHaGMt3sde
— Zach Kornfeld (@korndiddy) February 21, 2023
Society if Angela Bassett didn’t do the thing: pic.twitter.com/2iVXi8mwrE
— Peter Pecker ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿ (@aspicylad) April 19, 2023
Pedro Pascal Eating A Sandwich
The original video of actor Pedro Pascal eating a sandwich came from an interview with LadBible TV’s video series “Snack Wars” on YouTube. The interview aired following Pascal’s major mainstream breakthrough for his role as Joel Miller in HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama “The Last Of Us.” Pascal sat down with fellow actor Jon Favreau to compare Chilean and American snacks. The clip that TikTok users picked up on features Pascal trying one of Favreau’s favorite American snacks, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The clip initially began making the rounds when a TikTok user named Goose (@fiendish.goose) shared the clip and captioned it “Pedro Pascal’s mouse moment.” A “mouse moment” refers to another viral TikTok meme that features a clip of a mouse eating alone from the popular U.K. animated series “Creature Comforts,” which initially premiered in 2003. The show was made by the creators of another popular cartoon, “Wallace and Gromit.” The “Creature” scene and the Pedro sandwich moment are both dubbed over a slowed piano version of Austin Farwell’s track “New Home.”
A “mouse moment” often refers to a moment of loneliness or feeling small in the world, though some have turned the phenomenon into a satirical look at internet culture. The sandwich crunch heard around the world soundtracked by Farwell’s “New Home” has been dubbed over thousands of scenarios, from failed eyeliner attempts to small business marketing and getting secret tattoos.
Kevin Hart Reactions
Back in February, for a reason unbeknownst to many, comedian Kevin Hart found himself trending on X, formerly known as Twitter. For years, his most expressive photos have been utilized as a form of meme referred to as a “reaction pic”. The photos are often paired with humorous pop culture or satirical political references. The internet decided to return to the art of the Kevin Hart meme this year, for reasons that the comedian could not comprehend himself.
Hart eventually responded to the vast slew of memes surrounding him on X.
Can somebody tell me why I am trending ….I got endless memes being sent to my damn phone from a bunch of my dumbass friends 😂😂😂😂😂 WTF is going on???? 😂😂😂😂😂 Gotta admit that they are funny as hell tho https://t.co/XafyYyBlhm
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) February 27, 2023
Many found the sheer volume of creative images of Hart to be humorous in itself.
— Ess😵💫 (@e_ssenncee) February 27, 2023
me tryna come up with my own kevin hart meme pic.twitter.com/tk5WTVnSYq
— KP (@blinxbykp) February 27, 2023
me: “hey kevin hart, what number comes after 9??”
kevin hart: pic.twitter.com/NaKBcaVqll
— Epic Bowser Jolly Facts (@BowserFurry) February 25, 2023
Me knowing he’ll never find a bitch like me pic.twitter.com/rr0J5Mc5b4
— TAYBOOLIN (@ariesvillian) February 27, 2023
Pedro Pascal and Nicholas Cage
Actors Pedro Pascal and Nicholas Cage starred in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” in 2022. New fans of Pascal following his acclaimed performance in HBO’s “The Last Of Us” were quick to scour his filmography, and fall in love with the absurdist comedy of the film.
The film follows a fictionalized version of Cage desperate to revamp his career and deciding to attend his biggest fan’s 40th birthday party in Spain. The Spanish billionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pascal) is unwittingly at the center of a mob operation run by one of his family members, unbeknownst to Cage. One scene in particular in which the pair took psychedelic drugs and drive through the cliffs while Cage appears concerned at Pascal’s oblivion was memed across TikTok and set to the tune of Cass Elliot’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”
The video template was paired with all sorts of humorous captions.
Early promotion for Greta Gerwig‘s smash hit “Barbie” allowed for viewers to submit a photo of themselves to be featured in the same filter used on the cast posters. The filter read “This Barbie…” and allowed for users to choose their own captions. The casting for the film was announced via a poster format that depicted each cast member and their job in the Barbie world in which the film is set.
Some used the template to post empowering messages, and others crafted lighthearted memes. After all, Barbie can be anything.
BARBIE CALL ME pic.twitter.com/iUZJUBuidS
— MATTY MATHESON (@mattymatheson) April 4, 2023
Others took to X to share the template being placed over iconic TV show characters, musicians, and politicians.
srry can’t talk, addicted to making political Barbie posters💖 pic.twitter.com/WXyejv0P7a
— Annie Wu⸆⸉ (all socials: @annie_wu_22) (@Annie_Wu_22) April 4, 2023
Kevin James Shrug
A humorous promotional image of Kevin James in character on the set of “King of Queens” shrugging in a kitchen wearing a flannel shirt took over X timelines and TikTok, paired with a slew of comedic captions aimed towards a variety of audiences. The show starred James opposite Leah Remini as a married couple navigating the humorously awkward family dynamics of living with their in-laws. The show aired from 1998 to 2007.
him: you better not be Kevin James smirking when I get there
— Brianna ✨ (@bri_larson97) September 26, 2023
me in the pit during miz biz, looking at hayley williams, so she can bring me on stage pic.twitter.com/DFWn1u6lD0
— lex from paramore ❄️ (@callmelexis) September 27, 2023
The captions ranged from awkward dates, to Paramore concerts, and more. It remains unclear why this image and similar promotional images resurfaced online.
“My friend over there thinks you’re cute”
The friend: pic.twitter.com/Vb94Uwp3XO
— #CancelYoungSheldon (@KevinJamesFan) September 23, 2023
Eventually, James’ “King of Queens” costar Leah Remini responded to the memes, which coincidentally swept the internet on the show’s 25th anniversary.
I wanted to let you all know I'm seeing all of The King of Queens memes and tweets and I absolutely love them.
Thank you for 25 years of amazing memories!
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) September 26, 2023
Following Remini’s response, James hopped on the meme trend himself to promote his comedy tour.
Gearing up for my new Stand Up Tour… So glad I found this headshot… pic.twitter.com/4sL6346fhf
— Kevin James (@KevinJames) September 27, 2023
Grimace’s McDonald’s Birthday Shake
McDonald’s “Grimace” character, allegedly inspired by a personified taste bud, inspired a purple milkshake from the fast food giant this year. The shake was released to commemorate the character’s birthday. Somehow, TikTok users giving it a taste test started a dramatic trend in which users sipped the purple shake and fictitiously died. The absurd trend began when users began joking about the shake’s suspicious purple color. The trend rapidly spread among young users on the platform.
Users got creative about their peculiar deaths by Grimace shake. Some recreated famous television and movie deaths, while others are dialing up the humor.
the Beau is Afraid kid is cooking something on tiktok pic.twitter.com/TL0xKRahRQ
— daytona 🎄❄️ (@ColmaSatchel) June 26, 2023
Some believe that the beverage phenomenon inspired McDonald’s corporate to open CosMc’s, the new beverage franchise being tested in Illinois ahead of the new year.
TikTok users popularized “girl dinner,” meant to initially represent the oddly concocted meals that overworked young women in college and their 20s make to save time and stay on budget. After many initially shared their favorite girl dinner recipes, the term naturally transitioned into memeland in the internet’s vernacular.
real girl dinner
Some described celebrity crushes as their “girl dinner” and continue to do so. Elsewhere, some referred to certain pieces of media as “girl dinner.” The downside of the trend wound up being a select group of women having sleep as “girl dinner,” leading many to call out eating disorder culture on social media.
And this is in no way me trying to make light of people who do struggle with a ED, or promote “girl dinner” and not eating a well balanced meal either. Bc i know how people love to take everything anything the wrong way these days. #grwm #makeup #beauty #grwmmakeup #grwmroutine #girldinner
It’s a beautiful day to swoon over #PatrickDempsey at the VeniceFilmFestival. 🔥 (🎥: Getty)
“Wonka” stars Timotheé Chalamet and was met with widely positive reviews upon its recent release. The film details the origin story of the Willy Wonka made popular by the late Gene Wilder in 1971, with Johnny Depp following suit in 2005. Both films closely followed the original children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, which was written by Roald Dahl in 1964.
she Everlasting Gobbin on my knob but i wont Stopper pic.twitter.com/mwhNcHBj29
— coca (@clawdez) July 13, 2023
A moment from early trailers in which Chalamet whimsically delivers the line, “quiet up and listen down–no scratch that, reverse it,” was quickly memed online, in part due to the surprising change in tone for the actor, who is known for his dramatic roles.
so quiet up and listen down. no scratch that reverse it pic.twitter.com/NbwtAoeL4b
— bira (@johnwaterscunt) August 7, 2023
quiet up and listen down pic.twitter.com/4uVZlWmivU
— 🌻 (@thinkharrison_) July 17, 2023
Gag City memes emerged ahead of the release of rapper Nicki Minaj‘s recent album release of “Pink Friday 2”. The term “gag city” has been associated with her rap abilities, as “gag” has become a slang term made popular by the LGBTQ+ community meant to mean “impressed” or “floored.” Minaj even named her deluxe version of “Pink Friday 2” the “Gag City deluxe edition.”
GAG city is so iconic 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/JkYyt24K8V
— (Fan account) (@nickisoicy) December 21, 2023
— cabria ・❥・PF2 (@ca6ria) December 20, 2023
I definitely graduated Gag City College pic.twitter.com/gZrp899MKk
— ˢᴸᴱᴱᶻᴱ𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘫 (@sleezeSTAN) December 22, 2023
Fans of Minaj made Gag City a reality on Roblox, and screenshots of the hot pink city rapidly circulated across social media paired with humorous captions. Others resurfaced some of Minaj’s most humorous moments and declared that the citizens of Gag City would behave the same way.
the mental hospital in gag city: pic.twitter.com/Vrb65w79nJ
— HoezDrmz🕷️ (@HoezDrmz2) December 26, 2023
George Santos Cameos
Disgraced New York 3rd district congressman George Santos was at last expelled from congress following a lengthy investigation that found that not only had he fabricated most of his resumé, but that he also mismanaged campaign funds. He was caught spending them on OnlyFans subscriptions and Sephora purchases. Santos first made waves as the first openly gay GOP candidate to win an election for the position.
The New York Times first found that Santos lied about his educational background, which included a Summa Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree from Baruch College, and an MBA from New York University. Santos reportedly also lied about his work experience, including his positions at several major firms on Wall Street.
on one hand, let's maybe not give known grifter george santos hundreds of thousands of dollars of cameo money. on the other hand, i will watch every single video that i scroll past like they're daily affirmations. there IS no such thing as diva down! it's always diva up!
— morgan sung (@morgan_sung) December 7, 2023
Now, as Santos continues to sell his image on Cameo, charging hundreds of dollars for personalized video messages, an important cultural conversation emerges–the extent of which Gen Z should be laughing at the preposterousness of it all. One Cameo in particular, in which Santos says “there is no diva down, there is only diva up” is now cemented in the internet canon.
Diva up: George santos becomes the first person ever elected to Congress to say "slay the boots house down" pic.twitter.com/YB71YHqCMM
— memes (@OrganizerMemes) December 7, 2023
Santos was most recently grilled by comedian Ziwe on her YouTube channel.
Needless to say, 2023 was the year of memes for kings, queens, and divas alike.