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From Yelling Goats to Doge: the top memes of 2013

2013 marked a strong year for memes, mostly thanks to the antics of Miley Cyrus and the internet’s healthy sense of humour. Below we’ve compiled what we consider to be the best of the best of 2013, but feel free to tell us what you would add to the list in the comments.

Fake Interpreter

Probably the boldest man of the year award goes to “sign language interpreter” Thami Jantjie, the man who stood next to the world’s most powerful people at Nelson Mandela’s funeral for hours on end and signed absolute gibberish. He might have offended deaf communities the world over, but he delighted the hearts of the internet, and the #fakeinterpreter meme was born, with hilarious Twitter parody accounts to boot.

Scarlett Johannson Falling Down

scarlett johannson falling down

Award-winning actress Scarlett Johannson can do no wrong, even when falling flat on her face. The original image of the starlett, Scarlett, gliding towards the asphalt during the filming of the science fiction film Under the Skin got the internet treatment and Scarlett in various places spread like wildfire.

Unflattering Beyonce

Superbowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers  - Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Everyone expected Beyonce’s halftime performance at the Superbowl to be entertaining, but not for the reasons it ended up being so. A series of unflattering, and that’s a euphemism, photos did their rounds on the web, depicting Beyonce striking a pose not out-of-place at the Olympics’ weight lifting championships.

unflattering beyonce olympics


Who doesn’t like twerking? I’m twerking right now while writing this article… and taking a selfie while I’m at it. Excuse me, I need to finish my twerking.

What does the Fox say

Whether you loved it, or hated it, there is no doubt that you now know exactly what the Fox does say. The original video has notched up over 300-million YouTube views and has spurred myriad re-enactments and parodies around the world, even on hit shows like SNL.

Harlem Shake

Who doesn’t like the Harlem Shake? I’m Harlem Shaking right now while writing this article… taking a selfie while I’m at it. Excuse me, I need to finish my Harlem Shake.

Wrecking Ball

“I came in like a Wrecking Ball” has become an anthem for one generation, and a warning for another. You’ve got to hand it to Miley though, she knows how to get the internet going like no one else at the moment. Forget the original, risqué, video, our award for best rendition goes to none other than the great contemporary artist, Nic Cage.



It’s difficult to put Doge into words, to pinpoint what it is that is so entertaining about a Shiba Inu Dog with or without random words scattered around him? No seriously… can someone please explain Doge to me… please.

doge hipster

Yelling Goat

Taylor Swift is an international success, mostly thanks to her good looks, vocal talent and ‘good gal’ demeanour. Her 2013 single ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ was best known for its gritty storyline and catchy chorus. However, not as catchy as the internet’s favourite version: the Yelling Goat rendition — which kicked off a surge of remixes featuring singing goats..

Author | Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter

Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter
Ronan Steyn has a love for all things technology, with a particular focus on startups, gadgets and games. When not writing the good write, he can be found making films or purveying the latest gadget, game or film. At night he attempts an MA in Screenwriting at UCT. A... More
  • LZKR

    Thank god that shitty Harlem Shake is dead. It was so stupid and pointless.

    Also, Miley Cyrus is the 4th worst thing to happen to music, along with Justin Bieber and friends.

  • G33k N4sty

    I think what annoys me the most about Miley Cyrus is how low-brow media coverage is. A girl built like a 12 year-old boy can slut up and convert herself into a national sensation. It’s like no one is stopping to think and say “wait, she’s not that talented and she’s not a sex symbol. Pass.”

  • poot

    for fucks sake @lzkr:disqus

  • asdfasdf


  • Fennec Besixdouze

    Exactly one of these is actually a meme.

    Also you completely failed at the origin of the unflattering Beyonce photos. Essential to their popularity was that Beyonce’s publicist tried to get the photos taken down by threatening legal action. Before that nobody really cared, but as soon as someone tries to take something off the internet you can guarantee the internet is going to put it absolutely everywhere.

  • Rainbo_Dash

    You seem to misunderstand what a meme is. Just because it isn’t a picture template that anyone can edit does not mean something isn’t a meme. A meme is simply a piece of information/media that is passed around a culture which possesses a certain meaning or understanding for those that are part of that culture.

    So yes, doge, wrecking ball, Harlem shake, ect. are all memes. Not just doge.