The best memes of 2024 (so far)


illustration of people looking at memes in an art gallery

Memes are becoming an increasingly rare breed on the internet. (Thanks, Elon.)

You see, though Elon Musk — Tesla billionaire and head of X Twitter — might consider himself a meme lord, he’s done more than anyone to kill the genre. Musk has fractured the user base from Twitter’s halcyon posting days and has generally made the platform less usable, unreliable, more prone to conspiracy, and a less enjoyable place to hang out online.

So, in turn, we get fewer good memes. Back in the day, Twitter was the source for all the memes that would eventually spread to Instagram and beyond. TikTok has filled that void to some degree, but it is, by definition, a less centralized platform because of its addictive and incredibly algorithmic FYP.

Still, there are good memes out there. We’ve collected some of the funniest, best, and most prevalent memes from the year thus far — since we are somehow already halfway through 2024.

The smoking duck

A duck smoking a joint? Sure, why not?

Yes, a cartoon duck smoking has been one of the biggest memes of 2024. As Mashable’s Elena Cavender wrote, it has often been posted with resonant song lyrics or alongside moments of vindication. It makes sense. The duck looks, for lack of a better description, very chill and content. It’s nodding and enjoying itself — as if it’s saying, “I told you so.”

Of course, the meme only grew from there. But it has been a top-tier meme of 2024.

Dune: Part Two memes. Lots of them.

Dune: Part Two has been the year’s biggest movie. Therefore, it has inspired lots of memes. Perhaps chief among them were the Lisan al Gaib jokes. This is a mild spoiler, but that was the term given to Paul Atreides in his…let’s say, ill-conceived…quest to become a savior. Stilgar, the Fremen character played by Javier Bardem, would yell that out every time Paul did something impressive. And the internet quickly turned it into a meme.

There were other Dune jokes, including lots about that (odd) popcorn bucket, but the Lisan Al Gaib meme stuck around.

Remember Josh wine?

It might’ve been the most unlikely meme of the year: Josh Cellars wine. It was pretty simple, however. A guy on X bragged about buying Josh wine, and people found the name hilarious online.

So, yes, that was a thing. And you know what…it is funny that there is a wine called Josh. It just is. And it was a good meme.

“Mama, kudos for saying that”

A meme emerged from a mantra from the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. That mantra (and meme) was, “Mama, kudos for saying that.”

It was a perfect, flippant quip that became a meme.

The quote got inserted into famous film and TV scenes because it’s so silly and wonderful. It takes a big moment and makes it hilariously glib.

Tinashe gets nasty, and we’re all matching freaks.

This is new, but Tinashe’s catchy song “Nasty” has created great memes about folks finding (or wanting) a person who matches their freak.

It’s a great meme because it’s hilarious to point out the people who’ve had their freak matched.

Hot dog yells! Yes, that was a thing.

There was a period on TikTok when folks would ask someone to share how they would yell out to sell hotdogs in a stadium. Honestly, it seems some people missed out on their true calling. It’s as if a whole world of folks had been waiting to be asked that question.

Ayo Edebiri is Irish??

OK, no, the actress from The Bear is not Irish. But she is hilarious and did start a meme about herself by randomly claiming Irishness. The internet, and Ireland itself, ran with it.

A golfer got arrested, and the internet had jokes.

Scottie Scheffler is the best golfer in the world and is currently on a run of winning unseen since Tiger Woods’ peak. At the PGA Championship in Louisville, however, he was arrested by a police officer seemingly overzealous in his pursuit of upholding traffic patterns. The internet responded with great memes because Scheffler is about the most milquetoast man in existence and the last person you’d expect to be embroiled in such a situation.

By the way, the charges were dropped.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became a meme, which could mean nothing.

It’s a long-held internet tradition that folks would ship the famous actors and best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. TikTok got in on the action this year, primarily relying on the phrase “which could mean nothing.” That phrase was lifted from an old Lainey Gossip headline about Damon not wearing his wedding ring while hanging out with Affleck. People now use “which could mean nothing” to suggest the two are in romantic love heavily. Fancams and compilations of the two A-listers have been accompanied by “which could mean nothing.

Those TikTok memes traveled elsewhere online, as these things tend to do.

Sure, 2024 hasn’t been the best year for memes. But it has been pretty good, and the year is just halfway through — the internet has six more months to produce meme excellence.

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