Internet Memes: Definitions, Examples, And Other Tomfoolery

An internet meme is quite simply something someone thought was funny and many others agreed with.

By the end of this topic you will know whats going on here

*average meme*

Just The Facts

  1. Much like pokemon there are many kinds of memes. Also,like pokemon, any meme may fall into multiple categories.
  2. There are 6 catagories of the meme, each more dangerous than the last.
  3. It's pronounced 'meem' fyi

Types of Memes

So the first sentence pretty much summed up what a meme is, but now you should be wondering "how do I tell between them?"

Don't worry, ive got you covered.

Memes break into 6 key categories. Self promotion, inadvertent celebrity, urban rumors/ hoaxes, advertising, Image editing, and finally references to pop culture.

Self Promotion
Self promotion as it's name suggests is a meme which originated as a way for the creator to gain popularity among the internet and to become an internet celebrity. Were unsure what is desirable about being an internet celebrity, but never the less people still strive for this status.

Inadvertent Celebrity
Virtually the opposite of self promotion an inadvertent celebrity is simply someone who did something hilarious/ pathetic and are being applauded at accordingly. This is significantly more common than self promotion.

Urban Rumors/ Hoaxes
These memes can be anything from false news to urban legends. These can be deliberate or false, thus most self promotion or inadvertent celebrity type memes can be attributed to this. At it's roots this type of meme is for self amusement rather than the amusement of a community.

*definitely real
Advertising and Marketing
This type of meme exists to, as it's name suggests, advertise. Many companies will make products using this technique in an effort to create a meme. They do this in hopes that people talk about it and it becomes known. Companies will do this because its essentially free advertising. This is the least common form of meme.

Image Editing
These are the most common and most popular memes. This can either be an image edited to be hilarious/ disturbing (usually both) or an image created solely for this purpose. These are the most popular memes due to the ease of creation and sharing. Furthermore a single image may be edited and re-edited multiple times. This is most often coupled with pop culture reference.

Pop Culture References
Pop culture references are the second most common type of meme (the first being image editing). A pop culture reference is simply anything that has happened recently worth noting.

Thankfully he's letting us finish

Examples and applications

So now you know how to spot a meme, but haven't had the proper experience to do it consistently and accurately.

Now were gonna practice spotting.

First though we must learn the steps of spotting a meme. Whilst most are fairly common sense it still is a good idea to know these throughout.

  1. Is it a video? You ask this because quite simply image edits are very uncommon in videos. If there is any digital text its an edit.
  2. is there a clear point or subject? Primarily advertising and urban rumors have these, whilst others do not.
  3. 2. extension. Quite bluntly is there any clear advertisement? If it isn't apparent it may be a hoax.
  4. Does it have a single individual involved? Primarily self promotion an inadvertent celebrity involve this. Their status in the video, ie if they lead it or if its staged then it is self promotion. Otherwise inadvertent celebrity, though this may not always be the case.

We will refer to these questions throughout the examples


Example 1: Flea Market Montgomery

Its a video with a clear point and has an advertisement in it.

This is (shockingly) advertising. Also this one was on tv so ... yeah.


Example 2: Star Wars Kid

It is a video, it appears not to have a clear point and centers around one person. The video appears to be staged though not intended to be released to the world. No attempt to gain fame from this was made, infamy however is another story. Thus it is Inadvertent celebrity.


Example 3: Miss South Carolina.

It is a video, does not appear to host a message, and centers around Miss South Carolina. She appears to be serious and the video is real thus this is inadvertent celebrity.


Example 4: Look at this Dog

It is an unedited picture, and has a clear message of a dog which first appears to be lost. There is no focus on advertisement thus is a hoax.


example 4: icanhascheezburger Anything here. Seriously anything.

Just to provide an example of an edited image. Its an image which is edited; 'nuff said.


example 5: Greatest freakout ever

This may surprise you but this is filed under hoax.

Its a video with a clear message and doesn't try to sell anything.


You have now been taught appropriate meme spotting and identification techniques.

Now go out there and make me proud

Or better yet make Joseph Stalin proud.