The 1990s was a decade like no other. From grunge music to oversized clothing, the era left an indelible mark on popular culture. One aspect that has endured is memes – humorous images, videos, or pieces of text that spread rapidly online. In honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most iconic ’90s memes that still tickle our funny bones today.
1. Grumpy Cat
Long before internet fame was a thing, Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, became an unlikely sensation. Her scowling face adorned countless memes, symbolizing displeasure and annoyance. Despite her passing in 2019, Grumpy Cat’s legacy lives on, reminding us that even the grouchiest of felines can bring joy to millions.
2. Success Kid
Also known as “I Hope You Get a Chance to Live Like This Someday,” the Success Kid meme features a young boy with a determined expression, clenching his fist and standing with legs apart. Its versatility has made it a timeless classic, used to express determination, ambition, and triumph over adversity.
3. Pepe the Frog
Pepe the Frog, created by artist Matt Furie, began as a harmless cartoon character. However, it took on a life of its own during the 2016 US presidential election, becoming associated with various political ideologies and controversies. Despite its tumultuous history, Pepe remains an integral part of meme culture, symbolizing both humor and divisiveness.
4. Distracted Boyfriend
Stock photos rarely get the recognition they deserve, but the Distracted Boyfriend meme changed that. Featuring a man looking longingly at another woman while his oblivious girlfriend or wife looks away, it perfectly encapsulates the idea of being distracted by something more appealing. Who knew a generic image could become such a relatable and hilarious commentary on human nature?
5. Overly Attached Girlfriend
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies the Overly Attached Girlfriend, whose unsettling gaze and creepy smile have haunted the internet for years. Originally a parody of pop star Justin Bieber’s song “Boyfriend,” this meme has transcended its musical roots, representing the extremes of obsessive behavior and serving as a cautionary tale about the perils of excessive attachment.
6. Scumbag Steve
Scumbag Steve, also known as “Steve Urkel,” is a nod to the nerdy, bespectacled character from the hit TV show Family Matters. This meme pokes fun at questionable fashion choices, poor decision-making, and general awkwardness. With his signature “Did I do that?” catchphrase, Scumbag Steve has solidified his place as a retro icon, evoking nostalgia for a simpler time.
7. All Your Base Are Belong to Us
In 1992, video game Zero Wing introduced a phrase that would go on to become one of the earliest internet memes: “All your base are belong to us.” Its absurdity and Engrish charm captured the hearts of gamers worldwide, spawning countless variations and parodies. Even two decades later, this catchphrase retains its status as a beloved piece of gaming history and meme culture.
Doge, the adorable Shiba Inu with a misspelting problem, rose to prominence in 2013. With its endearing expression and broken English, Doge has become synonymous with cuteness and internet lingo. Whether expressing excitement or skepticism, Doge’s memes never fail to brighten up our days and provide a much-needed dose of whimsy.
These memes serve as a reminder that laughter knows no expiration date. Though the ’90s may seem like ancient history, their impact on popular culture persists through the viral content that brings us together. So, grab your jelly bracelets, put on your favorite Spice Girls album, and