Barbenheimer, AI Pope: 12 memes that had the UAE in splits in 2023

Some of them were based on major news stories that took the world by storm

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Meher Dhanjal

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Published: Wed 27 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 27 Dec 2023, 10:27 AM

This year, the internet showed up once again creating iconic memes. While major events like the Titan sub implosion had everyone in a choke hold, other viral videos like Prayag Mishra's 'Pookie Nation' won hearts.

Gen Z really 'popped off' this year too, bringing words like rizz and girlboss into the dictionary.

Now that the year is coming to an end, let's look back at some of the most viral memes in 2023.

1. Chinese 'spy balloon'

In early 2023, a Chinese balloon was spotted floating over the US. The balloon, which was eventually shot down, was memorialised as a meme.

2. Barbie

The Barbie movie created an immense hype before and during its release this year. From phrases like 'She's everything. He's just Ken' and 'I'm Kenough' to complete poster overhauls and film screengrabs, the internet did not stop.

Here are some hilarious memes:

3. King Charles coronation

The coronation of King Charles divided opinions on the internet. However, one thing most could agree on were the memes that were being made.

4. Barbenheimer

If the film itself wasn't enough, Barbie and Oppenheimer fans then came together for 'Barbenheimer'. This franken-word was created when fans found out that both films were releasing on the same day – essentially competing with one another.

However, the trend was built on the idea that viewers would head to the theatre to watch both films, mostly on the same day. The conflicting themes of the movies made the memes hilarious.

Netizens ran wild with creativity. Here are some brilliant ones:

5. Looking like a wow

'So beautiful, so elegant, just looking like a wow': This sentence, that was initially used to market some clothes by the owner of an Indian store, took off after netizens found the phrasing hilarious. Soon, a song was made using the woman's voice that created an unstoppable trend online.

6. Roman empire

If you've been on TikTok recently, you would've heard girls asking their boyfriends, husbands and fathers how often they think of the Roman Empire. Incredibly, all of them seem to have the same answer: 'Pretty often' or 'almost everyday'.

The trend began with a Swedish woman Saskia Cort asking her followers what they think about – which is when she realised that most men think about the Roman Empire quite a bit.

This then led to other girls asking the men in their lives how often they think of the historical event. It finally got picked up by news outlets in the Scandinavian country, which made it a global rage.

@emmaskehan2.0 Youtube just isnt what it use to be - I swear I spend 20 minutes just trying to find something to watch #fyp #youtube #notthesame #endofanera #romanempire #youtubedownfall #xyzbca ♬ Margaret - Lana Del Rey

7. Girl dinner, girl math

Now, if you use social media a fair bit, it is highly possible that you may have come across the phrases 'girl math' and 'girl dinner'.

Girl dinner is no ordinary meal – it could range from a block of cheese and some crackers to half an apple and a glass of OJ; the options are unlimited. This low-effort snack is called 'girl dinner' because women on the internet realised that very often they would put together several snacks for dinner after a long day.

@let_diogenes Bom demais pqp 🌽🌽🌽 #letdiogenes #girldinner ♬ original sound - karma carr

These snacks are a way for women to let go of their responsibilities and just have a relaxed night in.

Girl math, on the other hand, breaks down costs of things to justify a purchase. So, if one were to buy a shirt for Dh150 but wear it more than 150 times – it is 'free'. This is because the top would be worn more number of times than the price of the article.

Explanations vary by meme, but here are some good examples:

8. AI Pope

Ever thought the Pope had drip? If not, you should take a look at this AI-generated picture that shows the Pope dressed in a puffer jacket. Netizens were initially struggling to figure out if the image was real or AI-generated, which added to the buzz.

9. Trump indictment

While the former US president's actual indictment brought in a flurry of memes, what really took off online was his mugshot.

Here are some great memes from his indictment:

10. Pedro Pascal sandwich

A YouTube video of Pedro Pascal tasting different foods was discovered by memers. Even though, this short clip of him munching on a sandwich is quite ordinary, it quickly went viral.

The actor has been meme'd several times before and is no stranger to the world of going viral.

@junolifestyle

♬ New Home by Austin Farwell - GetBy

11. Twitter rebrand

Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter gave memers several opportunities to capitalise on. However, his rebranding of Twitter was perhaps the most memorable event during the takeover journey.

12. Spotify Wrapped

Of course, the legendary Spotify Wrapped had to make the cut for this list. Everyone using the music-streaming app eagerly waits for their top five 'most listened to' tracks and artists at the end of every year.

This year, the Wrapped template was also being used by people to mention other things that they did or the way they felt in 2023. Take a look at some of them below:

These were some of the most memorable memes this year. Some of them were based on major news stories that took the world by storm. It's now time for a new year of hilarious memes.

"And, with that, the 2023 season comes to an end. Good night."

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