The world may be opening back up a little at a time, but we still spend much of our lives on the internet these days, churning around in the crucible of our own making, every now and then watching as certain in-jokes and niche posts become the backbone to the latest meme craze. We canceled and un-canceled West Elm Caleb. We planned our outfits for going to class at Euphoria High. We had Julia Fox’s pronunciation of Uncut Gems bouncing around in our heads for weeks. Here at Thrillist Entertainment, we’ve compiled the very best, funniest, and straight-up weirdest memes the internet has graced us with this year. We’ll be updating this list accordingly, so be sure to check back during the rest of the year if you want your Very Online humor to stay relevant.
12. Hey, it’s Che Diaz
Do you know where you were when the fabric of the universe changed ever so slightly? It was in December 2021, when actor Sara Ramirez introduced themself on the Sex and the City reboot …And Just Like That as Carrie’s podcast boss, the non-binary queer comedian, Che Diaz, who would end up altering the course of so many of our lives. Che was an instant meme, not only because the show was woefully trying to backbend to rectify SATC‘s lack of diversity, but also because maybe they didn’t understand quite how to. But Ramirez’s innate swagger gave Che something that was impossible to deny, but still highly dunkable. In Episode 5, when Miranda is caring for Carrie after hip surgery-Che swings by with a bottle of tequila and the new catchphrase echoed around the internet: “Hey, It’s Che Diaz.” Immediately the memes started putting Che inScream and The Shining, Ramirez got in on the fun, and even today Che Diaz’s legacy still reverberates. When is Season 2 again? –Kerensa Cadenas
If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably been inundated with the sight of green and yellow squares, bookended by people asking everyone to please stop posting those damn green and yellow squares. When the daily word game Wordle became a sensation in December, participants quickly learned they could post an image that displays their results, turning a cute solitary pastime into more of a viral competition. It’s a thinkpiece-spawning phenomenon, at once harmless and annoying. On the one hand, who wants to log on and scroll through a bunch of contextless boxes? On the other, is it really hurting anyone if some internet addicts get a kick out of sharing the highs and lows of a fad that will surely fade, no matter how many millions of dollars The New York Timespaid to acquire Worlde? Whatever side you fall on, rest assured it has provided a hilariously simplistic way for Andy Cohen to demand world peace. –Matthew Jacobs
10. West Elm Caleb
Early this year, a bunch of TikTok ladies found out that the same straight 6’4″ New York City man, a designer for West Elm, from dating apps was using the exact same moves-notably, love bombing with constant texts and indie playlists-before ghosting them. In another era, West Elm Caleb’s patterns would have just been chalked up as sleazy dude behavior, but because we are in 2022, the girlies took him to task for being a lazy scumbag, birthing the short-lived meme saga of a tall furniture designer run off of the internet. –Leanne Butkovic
9. Smash or pass
Those TikTok filters that showed you “Which X Character Are You” gained a new meaning when users discovered the phrase “smash or pass” from a completely separate trend that had people “accidentally” revealing whether or not they had a crush on someone or something. “Smash or pass” really took off, though, when TikTok users started using it in conjunction with a Disney character filter (and eventually filters from many other properties, including Pokémon), going through the options and saying which characters they’d “smash,” or “pass.” We all know what it means. The trend gets really funny when people try to justify their knee-jerk reactions, desperately explaining to the internet why they have a crush on an animated candle. –Emma Stefansky
8. Never ask a woman/man
As the online archivists at Know Your Meme point out, this three-panel meme has been around for a long time, using cheap-looking art to warn you away from asking an individual or a group of people about a particularly tricky or sensitive topic because they are likely to lie to you. But it reappeared on Twitter and Instagram in early 2022, especially as a way to relitigate celebrity controversies and misdeeds of the past. It’s a text-heavy meme, one that requires a good deal of set-up before it gets to the punchline. Many take on a slightly smug, know-it-all tone, but the best ones tend to put an ironic twist on the format or point you to some obscure bit of trivia you either forgot about or didn’t know. For example, I learned quite a bit about the “the third Nolan brother” after seeing this one and doing some googling. Any meme that sends you down a research rabbit hole can’t be all bad. –Dan Jackson
7. The Green M&M
The latest casualty of corporate feminism was the Green M&M-specifically, the Green M&M’s sex appeal, dressed as she was in robust eyelash extensions, lipstick, and high-heeled booties. Bizarre? Yes. Iconic? Also yes. Now, gone are the lashes and gone are the booties, replaced with lace-up sneakers and a wooden puppet pose. Weirdly, the loss of the Green M&M’s femme fatale aesthetic was something both sides agreed on for once, with horny dudes lamenting the loss of a candy sex symbols and feminists everywhere seeing yet another naked corporate gesture while the gender pay gap remains as wide as ever. For a day or two, a piece of candy not being sexy anymore brought us all together, and it also brought us the funniest thing a Conservative news host has ever done: Tucker Carlson’s dramatic chyron “DEPRESSED, NON-BINARY CANDY IS ALL WE DESERVE.” –ES
6. Julia Fox
For some of us, Julia Fox became a star when she screamed “Howard” in Uncut Gems. For the rest of the world, she got stratospheric in the early days of 2022 when she began a very public, very short-lived relationship with Kanye West. Their bizarre courtship, which involved lots of leather and blogs for Interview, also spawned at least two memes. The first was “goblin mode,” based on a fake headline where Fox was inaccurately quoted to say the tryst ended because Ye was not happy when she went “goblin mode.” Fox never said this but the term “goblin mode” was so randomly funny it gained traction. But that was nothing compared to “Unka Jamz.” Appearing on the podcast Call Her Daddy, Fox was asked whether she was Ye’s muse. She responded “a little.” The follow up: “What is a muse? I mean, I was Josh Safdie’s muse when he wrote Uncut Gems.” But she didn’t exactly say “Uncut Gems.” It was more like “Unkaht Jaaaaeamz.” Thus, spawned a TikTok phenomenon. And what was Fox’s excuse? She was high. –Esther Zuckerman
5. Elmo and Rocco
Who knew that a good chunk of the internet would be obsessing over a 2004 clip of Sesame Street in early 2022? Elmo sure didn’t, but it reignited his beef with Zoey’s pet rock Rocco, thanks to someone reposting an old clip of the show in which he literally cannot with his friend’s love for her rock. People couldn’t handle how hostile the sweet, little monster was being in the video, inspiring many tweets calling it one of the greatest rivalries of all time, and eventually shots were fired by Elmo himself on his official Twitter. Few beefs ever make for memes this good. –Sadie Bell
4. Kramer, what’s going on in there?
Now that Seinfeld is available to stream on Netflix, it’s back in the cultural consciousness more than two decades after it aired its final episode. That means everyone’s posting, and when everyone posts about the same thing, we get memes. Seinfeld is no stranger to getting memed, but one particular format had social media in a vice grip earlier this year: Jerry Seinfeld, standing in the door to his neighbor Kramer’s apartment, asks, “What is going on in there?” and Kramer, awash in the colored light from his apartment, has some answer according to whatever movie or TV scene the post is referencing. –ES
3. Nepotism babies
By now, most of us should realize that a lot of young Hollywood has some sort of connections-whether their parents are literal A-listers, they have an uncle who’s a producer, or whatever. And yet, not everybody knows this, and for some reason Gen Zers tend to get really worked up when they discover another person is a “nepotism baby” (even though they also tend to be obsessed with the luxurious lifestyles and fashions of other nepotism babies). When one surprised zoomer realized Euphoria star Maude Apatow is, in fact, filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann’s daughter, a bunch of other people dunked on their naivety by posting essentially the same thing with photos of other very obvious neo babes. Zoë Kravitz? Shocking! The Queen of England? No freaking way! –SB
2. Me, an empath
It’s not that the phrase “me, an empath” is a new way to introduce a joke-it first started bubbling up around 2016-but the latest revival of the meme format dumbs the concept of an empath down to its absolute stupidest, funniest, and sociopathic iteration that it feels spawned straight out of the Gen Z braintrust. Your partner is yelling at you? Me, an empath: I can sense they’re mad about something. The world around us is on fire? Joe Biden, an empath: Sensing some heightened tension around these parts. Only empaths understand this. –LB
1. Euphoria High
Just before Euphoria wrapped up its second season, Twitter announced that the HBO teen drama was the most tweeted about show in the decade so far. That should come as no surprise, considering how much the over-the-top, stylized series is basically one big class in making meme-able content-which might just be one of the few course offerings at what fans dubbed as Euphoria High. With a show where more kids do hard drugs and spiral into pits of despair once a week than turn in their homework on time, it invited bountiful memes wondering what these kids were learning, who their teachers and other classmates were, and thousands of excellent TikToks of people showing off their Euphoria High dress code-approved ensembles. Even if Season 2 derailed by the end, it was always appointment viewing for the memes alone. –SBWant more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.