The Best Memes Of 2024, So Far (2024)

The Best Memes Of 2024, So Far (1)

Complex Original

Overly sexualized popcorn buckets. Topless figures in front of earth-connecting portals. A sentient baby that longs for the Four Seasons Orlando hotel. This, my friends, is 2024.

It’s been only six months, but this year has already provided us with an enormous amount of wild moments to look back on–and even crazier memes to help tell their stories.

We’ve witnessed Denis Villenueve’s Dune: Part Two take over the global box office and conversations online, inspiring several meme formats that dominated the timelines for weeks. The accompanying popcorn bucket (which made the list) also inspired a “popcorn bucket war” with Ryan Reynolds and his Deadpool franchise. And when two massive IPs are fighting over who can make the most out-of-pocket popcorn bucket, you know we’ve made it.

Whether it's a rise in boredom, a new cultural renaissance occurring in today’s technologically-savvy youth culture, or just insane WTF moments to capitalize on, there’s been an endless supply of awesome memes made this year.

Below, we helped provide the backstory to 10 of the best memes to help get yourself familiar with them next time you encounter one on your timeline. Here are Complex’s choices for the best and funniest memes of 2024, so far.

10. Global Eclipse

On April 8 of this year, everyone on the planet had a shared experience with the solar eclipse. "Don't look directly at the eclipse, or you could go blind." That it needed to be said so many times, in so many different ways, by so many experts and government officials, is a dark-humored reminder that we live in a post-intellectual society, where one man's "common sense" is as valid as another man's expertise. A lot of the eclipse memes were based around this sort of nervous, compulsive energy. "We need to get the glasses. If we can't get the glasses, we can't look. But can we resist looking? We can't go blind from just a peek, can we? Can we? Can we?"

As a preventative measure, the local news interviewed two boomers who lost their eyesight back in '62 during a partial solar eclipse. At their worst, eclipse memes fed into paranoid conspiracy theories. In ancient times, eclipses were harbingers of misfortune and evil. Today, there are terminally online people who still believe this, owing to their rigorous "research." YouTube and Wikipedia are not the most reliable sources.— Kevin Wong

9. NYC Earthquake

New Yorkers are used to crazy sh*t. Things don’t really faze us. Giant rats? Walk past them. Angry strangers? Whatever. It’s nothing new. But a 4.8 earthquake? Nah. Absolutely not. The East Coast in general isn’t entirely familiar with things on the Richter scale. In fact, the last major earthquake to affect the greater NYC area happened over 80 years ago in the 1940s. So it was no surprise that New Yorkers reacted in the most New York way possible to the natural phenomenon: with hilarious memes.

Of course, natural disasters aren’t anything to joke about, but as with any big event in the Big Apple, people didn’t know how to act. There were images of subtle damage like chairs being toppled in the aftermath, hilarious dating jokes, and everything in between. A day the city will never forget, and a major W for New Yorkers online that day. — Jacob Kramer

8. Stanley Cup Mugs

The Stanley Cup craze of 2024 was like something out of an alternate universe. Normally, I am the senior social media strategist for our sneakers vertical, so I am no stranger to seeing consumers line up and rush stores for high profile releases. But usually, the lines are for a pair of collaborative Air Jordans or maybe even a PlayStation 5 or something better than a literal cup. But that’s the world we live in now, people are willing to do just about anything to get their hands on something that other people can’t have.

I mean you can literally buy a Stanley Cup on StockX with some of them flipping for like $200. The cups took over the internet and everyone’s for you pages for about a month with actual videos of the chaos and memes that included people dressing up crazed cup collectors and much more hilarity. — Ben Felderstein

7. Sydney Sweeney on Hot Ones

me high as sh*t staring at the taco bell menu

— Caitie (@hammlittle) January 27, 2024

Twitter: @hammlittle

Sydney Sweeney’s ascension in modern pop culture over the past couple of years should take nobody by surprise. Aside from her involvement in major projects like Euphoria and her rom-com hit Anyone But You with Glen Powell, Sweeney has shown an impressive ability to go viral, either by design or not. So when it was announced that she’d appear on Hot Ones, it was natural that the internet would react appropriately.

Shortly after the episode went live, the timelines were flooded with one specific screenshot of Sweeney looking jolly and full of spirit. Though probably hallucinating from the levels of spice, fans were using the image to get off hilarious posts about admiring the simple things in life, like your significant other, and the absolute absurdities of it, like staring at the Taco Bell menu high as f*ck. It’s the simple things, really. Hot Ones always provides incredible, meme-able moments in its episodes, and Sweeney’s stint on the show helped curate the timelines in the weeks that followed. — Jacob Kramer

6. 'Dune: Part Two' Popcorn Bucket

You you already know what I’m gonna be Dune 2 it

— 7/11 Truther (@DaveMcNamee3000) January 26, 2024

Twitter: @DaveMcNamee3000

It wasn’t funny… until it was. The viral Dune: Part Two popcorn bucket took the internet by storm when it was first unveiled in Feb., and it was completely unintentional. The designers were, surely, just trying to make a piece of art that resembled the giant sandworm in the movie. What they got, though—or what fans might’ve taken notice of—was anything but a giant popcorn bucket.

Fans online were quick to associate the kernel eating device as something more akin to, well, a straight up sex toy. Jokes were flying about the “extra experience” fans would get in theaters with the contraption, and sh*t got spicy… or extra buttery? Either way, it’s amazing to see something go viral that was never meant to do so in the first place. The memes that are born out of those happen-chance instances are the ones that live on forever. It had a moment early in the year, even inspiring Ryan Reynolds to insert himself into the “popcorn bucket war” conversation with his Deadpool franchise. — Jacob Kramer

5. Koba in Every Movie

The best of "Koba should be in every movie" memes 🧵

1. Heat (1995)

— ChunkyDickster (@Vahni_7) May 10, 2024

Twitter: @Vahni_7

For as much hand-wringing as there is about the recent box office performance of certain movies, it’s especially nice to see films find a second or third life later on down the line. Case-in-point: the 2010s Planet of the Apes franchise and the sudden emergence of Koba. After having a smaller role in Rise in the Planet of the Apes, the Toby Kebbell-voiced and motion-captured character becomes the primary antagonist of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where he makes quite an impression. Perhaps that’s the reason why this one-off tweet from X user joe bro took off like a house on fire right around the release of the new Apes film last month, as fans found new ways to insert the character into a litany of different titles.

The execution felt a lot like the recurring project from user Jaythechou, who photoshops Paddington the Bear into different movies. However, the difference between Paddington and Koba is that one is a delight, and the other is a murderous monkey. It’s always interesting to see what catches on in corners of the Internet, but even the most diehard sections of Film Twitter fans couldn’t have imagined Koba taking over in the way he did. — William Goodman

4. Four Seasons Orlando Baby

Who wants to leave work and enjoy the weather with patio drinks

— cesar 🍉 (@WhatsUpGuysItsC) May 20, 2024

Twitter: @WhatsUpGuysItsC

A late-entry into this mid-year’s best memes list, the Four Seasons Orlando Baby had to make the cut. It was, by all means, a “normal video.” Until you recognize that the small child in question is way too conscious for her own good (she hasn’t found out about taxes yet). The video, posted to TikTok by her mom @sobrizzle, currently sits at over 69M views and 8M likes. It quickly found its way to other platforms, namely X, where users had a field day with the clip.

The one-year-old child, aptly named Kate Wise, is indeed wise beyond her years, displaying an insane level of awareness that caught people by surprise. The simple “me” response was enough to inspire a wave of memes, with people putting their own spin on things. Who wants to enjoy a co*cktail on the beach? ME!— Jacob Kramer

3. "If I Send You This, That Means..."

If I send you this just know I Hate You

— Maybe: Jacoby (@Getthebagcoach) May 5, 2024

Twitter: @Getthebagcoach

Who doesn’t love a good copy-paste meme? It can be used by anyone, in literally any context. That’s what we got this year with the “If I send you this, that means…” meme. The trend itself found legs on Twitter/X, after users were sharing the tweet with different images expressing a range of emotions—from happy to unfazed to everything in between.

Its origins are unclear, but the format found its way to several major moments: with the Drake and Kendrick beef; the NBA playoffs; Madame Web; sh*t, even random, hilarious life interactions were getting their shine. The format of the meme itself has infinite potential, and we’re sure to be seeing this format live on for a while. — Jacob Kramer

2. Dublin-NYC Portal

LMAOOO people are laying flowers at the portal after it was closed

— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) May 16, 2024

Twitter: @kirawontmiss

In May 2024, media artist Benediktas Gylys installed two circular portals—one in Dublin, Ireland, and one in the Flatiron District of New York City—and connected them to one another with a digital live feed. From an artistic perspective, this was a statement of unity—a symbolic, utopian application of technology to unify people rather than isolate them into subdivisions. From a cultural perspective, it's an auspicious pairing. Irish immigrants settled in New York during the Great Famine, and played a key role in shaping the city's culture beginning in the 1850's. This was a meeting of two cities with common, familial ground.

The people, however, didn't give a good God damn about any of this. Dubliners held up videos of 9/11 and paid tribute to Pop Smoke. New Yorkers held up potato photos. Multiple people broadcasted p*rn and flashed the portal, including OnlyFans model Ava Louise, who said, "I thought the people of Dublin deserved to see my two New York homegrown potatoes."

After several of these stunts went viral, the portal shut down briefly, before reopening with additional security features. But that hasn't stopped the Internet from editing new portal blasphemies. This is why we can't have nice things. — Kevin Wong

1. Stilgar


My grandparents when I change HDMI1 to HDMI2

— BLURAYANGEL 🦇 (@blurayangel) March 3, 2024

Twitter: @blurayangel

Ask any reader of Frank Herbert’s Dune and they’d tell you that an adaptation of the source material was always going to face an uphill battle of sorts. The famously dense book has its acolytes, sure, but prior adaptations of the novel never quite dominated the culture in the way that Denis Villeneuve’s modern adaptation has. No film this year has reached the level of water cooler chatter in the way Dune: Part Two has, putting it in a position to rival Barbie and Oppenheimer in terms of its cultural impact. It’s even more fascinating that Stilgar himself has become the face of this year’s best meme.

As portrayed by Javier Bardem, Stilgar’s belief in Paul (Timothee Chalamet) is first played for jokes before seeing prophecy become reality. His declarations are manifested, adding to its serious ending, but also makes for incredible meme fodder when someone’s offhanded joke becomes real online. Bardem’s delivery of “Lisan al Gaib!” is permanently etched into my mind; the way in which it all sounds like one continuous word instead of three distinct ones brings a smile to my face no matter how many times I watch the clip back. It’s burned into my memory in the way the best memes are, remaining downright hilarious in every single possible context. Long live the fighters, sure—but long live the Stilgar memes, too. — William Goodman

The Best Memes Of 2024, So Far (2024)


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