15 People Who Don’t Understand How Memes Work

As a person who spends most of their time on the internet (for both pleasure and profit, thank you very much), I am, as one might expect, rather intimately acquainted with the business of memes. You know, like, the ones about Drake. The ones not about Drake. I have also seen ones about Harambe, unfortunately, though I would prefer to not talk about that  right now.

Now, I would never “meme-splain” anything to anyone–this being, perhaps, the corniest conflation of words to ever exist, first of all–because people who try to get all pedantic with memes are generally not people who radiate a ton of light and life, but spending so much time on the internet has also taught me that most people don’t really understand how memes work. And that’s okay! You don’t have to understand memes to be a valuable member of society! Also, just because I know about memes, this does not mean that I actually understand them!  I don’t think anyone truly understands memes, really, except for a select few people who were born between 1997-2001 and run popular Vine channels and/or intersectional feminism meme accounts on Instagram. Memes are descriptive, not prescriptive–meaning that there is no “right” and “wrong” but rather a shifting set of ways that they are used–and thus, anyone who assumes that they are right and other people are wrong when it comes to memes will be wrong themselves soon enough.

But there are some (adorable, usually) examples of people who don’t get memes at all. Check them out here: 

1. See? Adorable:


2. Uh, pause. Not adorable:



3. Heh:



4. Honestly? Facebook memes are very much where it’s at:



5. Especially if you like extremely NSFW Garfield and/or Minions memes:



6. And ones that encourage you to delete your FAcebook account? I don’t know:



7. I don’t even want to mention the “alt right” here, but…who could ignore this, honestly:


8. Of course, many people have capitalized upon the inherently hilarious aesthetic of bad memes in order to create memes that seem like they were done by someone who doesn’t know what they were doing–but, in fact, do:



9. Meaning that it is difficult to identify a truly “bad” meme:

Putting this meme to the test


10. And one that just mimics a bad meme:

this is a really bad meme but I've had this photo saved in my phone for way too long

A photo posted by shannon (@sensualmemes) on


11. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, though, in many ways, this has led to my favorite type of meme–“wholesome” memes:


12. As well as the cringeworthy usage of memes. In the political arena:


13. Unfortunately:


14. Even in the wrong hands, memes are a powerful force. Be careful with them!



15. Anyway. Here’s a palate cleanser:


What do you think about these “memes?” Which ones were your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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  • Dylan Williford

    Wait, please tell me you didn’t mean it when you said “Facebook memes are very much where it’s at”. Facebook is where memes go to be slaughtered like cattle.