After the disaster that was 2020, we had high hopes for 2021. Little did we know we would be in lockdown for a big chunk of it… It’s been a rocky road, filled with many highs and many, many lows, but we’ve certainly all made up for it with all of the hilarious memes that have come out of the year. 

In honour of the meme centric millennials and Gen Z’ers we’ve all become, we’ve taken a look back at some of the best memes to come out of the year. Enjoy!

The stuck Suez Canal boat…

If there was one thing that got us through Spring in lockdown, it was the arrival of the Suez Canal meme. Back in March, a giant container ship somehow found itself quite literally stuck between the width of the canal. It’s worth remembering that the ship was the size and length of four football pitches and had to manage to worm its way out of the very wedged situation. Either way, it made way for some great memes. 

Bernie Sanders and his mittens…

Starting off 2021 strong was Bernie Sanders and his adorable cosy mittens. Everyone was interested in seeing ‘who wore it best’ at Biden’s inauguration but for us, it was Bernie. 

Clad in his green, snowboard brand, Burton puffer coat, disposable mask and handmade mittens, it was Bernie that everyone was talking about. And the memes soon began trickling in. We’ve seen him go on to become what the FT describes as a ‘knit-fluencer’ and so many brands and independent stores have gone on to put his folded knee pose on everything from t-shirts and jumpers to Christmas tree baubles. 

Was it a fashion statement? Nope, turns out he was just cold.

When the ocean caught fire…

If there’s ever anything going to make us feel more hopeless about the damaging effects of climate change, it’s when the ocean catches fire. And it did just that back in July… The surface of the sea caught ‘ablaze’ following a gas leak from some pipeline and Twitter had some thoughts…

The surface of the sea caught ‘ablaze’ following a gas leak from some pipeline.

Kim K’s questionable Met Gala look

Money might not be able to buy happiness but it can certainly buy you a Dementor costume… 

Kim K rocked up at the Met Gala 2021 in a look that suspiciously could pass as a character from Harry Potter. Dressed in head to toe black, with an outfit that covered every inch of Kim’s body, social media users were quick with their responses labelling her look a dedication to Harry Potter’s Dementors.

The Harry & Meghan x Oprah saga

March 2021 saw Harry and Meghan spill all on the royal family to none other than Oprah. For the first ever time, we saw them open up about what happened behind closed doors, and the special episode wasn’t short on the details. Naturally, memes came rolling in. We picked out our favourites here.

Matt Hancock’s affair…

Of course we could have included hundreds of memes about the Government and the Coronavirus, but it felt more natural to include Matt Hancock’s affair that leaked and resulted in him leaving as health secretary. Can’t remember it? Just watch Munya Chawawa’s parody for a refresher. 

Don’t worry about the vaccine if you’ve…

These tweets first erupted towards the end of 2020 but they quickly leaked into 2021 when the rollout of the vaccines sped up. And there have been some hilarious ones, from things like ‘if you used to play in one of these [a ball pit at your local leisure centre], then you shouldn’t worry about the vaccine’ to this one ‘some of you haven’t washed that reusable mask since you bought it back in April [2020] & you’re worried what’s in the vaccine.’

Oh no, our table, it’s broken

Originally airing on the ABC show, America's Funniest Home Videos back in 2016, this hilarious video resurfaced in 2021 and become one of the most memorable TikTok memes of the year.

That time when Insta, Facebook & WhatsApp went down…

Ah yes, we all remember the time when everyone’s boss, mum and uncle Brian freaked out about Facebook, WhatsApp and Insta going down. It felt like forever but it was literally just one evening. Anyway, it resulted in some great memes.

My Fall Plans vs the Delta variant → My Christmas Plans vs the Omicron variant

It’s been a rough year and the various new strains of Corona haven’t made it easier. Autumn brought with it the surge of Delta variant and a mass of memes, and now with the Omicron variant rife, this meme has resurfaced but this time with Christmas plans ruined. Because what do we do best when we’re sad and angry? Meme.


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