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2016 Meme Economy Report

2016 has been a tumultuous year for the Meme Economy with many losers and winners in the meme market. This report will give investors an overview of the years biggest meme shakeups, as well as a sneak peak into 2017.

All Meme Report information comes from Reddit, Twitter, and Know Your Meme.

2016 Winners

Evil Kermit

Meteoric is a term I’m going to be using a lot in this report, especially when I talk about the big winner of 2016: Evil Kermit. Kermit has been a popular buy on the market for some time, but I’ve never seen such a jump in popularity as I have with Evil Kermit.
Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 9.58.57 PM

Propagated by #blacktwitter and r/BlackPeopleTwitter, Evil Kermit exploded in early November and appears to remain steady moving into 2017.

Election Memes

A byproduct of the times, but a winner nonetheless. Election memes broke out at the start of election season and, of course, peaked in November. An unexpected topic in this year’s election meme cycle was Republican nominee Jeb Bush, a definite winner this year with Democratic Primary runner-up Bernie Sanders a close second.

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.00.16 PM

While election memes cannot survive the winter, expect to see plenty of government memes in the coming months after the United States collectively decided to elect a meme president.

Arthur’s Fist

Beginning as a reaction image to Harambe, Arthur’s Fist soon grew into a meme of its own. Being the perfect reaction image to many real world events, Arthur’s Fist was also a first adopter of the popular “Combination Memes” movement.

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.01.20 PM


You can’t talk about the Meme Economy in 2016 without talking about Harambe. The young Cincinnati gorilla Harambe, after being killed in May, exploded into not just a meme, but a cultural icon of a generation. Harambe Will Rise Again, Harambe Lives, and Dicks Out For Harambe all became the battle cries of millennials and and Generation Z’ers.

The Harambe meme began to die down in August, but soon achieved a resurgence when the Cincinnati Zoo asked for the memes to stop. Harambe is still incredibly popular, gaining 11,000 votes in the U.S. Presidential Election. While Harambe content is expected to die facedown like he did in 2017, the Harambe will never be forgotten.

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.03.18 PM

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.03.37 PM


2016 Losers

Damn Daniel

Damn Daniel, from the start, had two things going against it: First, it reached peak popularity in late February. A slow part of a slow month. Second, Damn Daniel had no staying power as a meme, barely able to remain relevant on YouTube. Video memes rarely succeed and Damn Daniel is just another example of a failed experiment.

Persuadable Bouncer

First gaining popularity on Facebook, Persuadable Bouncer was destined to fail. It took too long to grow into other, more popular markets and only gained a few hundred likes after finally moving to Twitter in August. A strong contender that fell victim to poor expansion strategies.

Screen Shot 2016-12-27 at 10.04.55 PM

Yeah Boy

Another video meme, My Longest Yeah Boy Ever, showed a strong opening in March, receiving almost 2000 upvotes prior to being archived.

However, the meme moved to slow, gaining its first popular remix in May with the release of a 10-hour loop. While popular, the new video marked the peak of the meme’s popularity, and Yeah Boy quickly fell from the Meme Economy lexicon.

Joe Biden

Featuring one of the most beloved vice-presidents in American history, Joe Biden memes exploded early November when people realized Joe Biden wasn’t going to be Vice-President anymore. Content quickly peaked and stagnated after election day.

biden memes

A definite loss both in the Meme Economy and the United States government.

2016 Meme Economy Surprises

Nut Button

An unexpected contender in the 2016 market, Nut Button displayed a meteoric rise with a very slow downward trickle. A combination of clever wordplay, a sturdy meme format, and bad photoshop, Nut Button was projected to fail due to its lewd construct, but it proved too big to fail.

nut button


Deus Vult

A hardcore history meme, Deus Vult has shown a strong presence in the grassroots meme community. Remaining popular throughout the latter half of the year on r/dankmemes, Deus Vult is looking to expand into the profitable Twitter market. Trebuchet memes have smoothed the road a bit, but only time will tell if the memestream community accepts it.

deus vult


A classic meme turned president, Pepe had a very rocky year. Pepe content skyrocketed in almost every market after it was declared a hate symbol. Only time will tell if Pepe can recover in the broader market.

pepe the frog

Doggo Memes to Pupper Memes

In an unprecedented change, it seems the popular Doggo format is transitioning into a new brand targeted at younger markets. Wholesome Pupper memes have exploded across Twitter and Reddit, garnering more popularity that previous Doggo and even Doge memes. It seems the new PR strategy is working, while Doggo and Doge memes remain strong.

dogger pupper memes

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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    Mike HawkJan 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    This is the most disgusting article I have ever read. I can’t believe that anyone would ever connect their name to it.