10 of the Top Memes of 2023

With 2023 coming to a close, so too does the amount of memes 2023 has provided. Here on IWSMT, I’ve avoided a bunch of the meme trends simply because I felt they “didn’t match” IWSMT’s audience that much, even if I could have posted them for the sake of easy views & numbers. Though for this list, I’ll mention memes that I haven’t really shared here! If you want a list devoted to any of these genres, I’ll happily do so! Additionally, take note that there are lots of great meme formats from 2023 that haven’t made this list. In the end, there’s been a lot of meme formats this year with lots of use and longevity, and I really chose these 10 arbitrarily. If you have a favorite that didn’t make this list, be sure to let me know! But without any other further ado, let’s take a peek at the top memes of 2023!

Barbie Movie Memes

With the release (and massive success) of the Barbie movie this year, Barbie memes rose up beside them. Covering a wide range of formats, such as “my job is desk”, “This Barbie is/has X” poster memes, and more – there’s no doubt the effect that Barbie had on memes this year. So much so that technically, it indulged itself into two different meme categories.

Spy Balloon Memes

Earlier on this year, headlines erupted with news of a Chinese Spy Balloon over U.S. territory being shot down. It was memed on hard, from mocking the U.S. not catching it earlier, the fact that it was a frieking balloon, and other such things! Definitely one of the most entertaining news pieces in my head from this year.

King’s Coronation Memes

Due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year, the King finally arose. The Return of the King didn’t come in LOTR fashion, though, but rather boring traditional fashion. Either way, the internet came together to make fun of the King and the celebration in a beautiful collaborative effort.

Travis Kelce & Taylor Swift Memes

Even if her music isn’t your thing, you can’t deny the strong effect that Taylor Swift has on…everything that she touches. She even slightly raises the GDP of a country she tours in. So naturally when it came out that she was dating Travis Kelce of the NFL, all the swifties came together to watch the NFL, boosting its numbers higher than ever before. This phenomenon was memed on from several different angles, and continues to be so!

Barbenheimer Memes

Yes, this is technically another Barbie meme slot, but there was a tangible difference between Barbie and Barbenheimer memes, so that’s why this is here. People found themselves amused at the juxtaposition of the Barbie Movie and Oppenheimer Movie being released on the same day, and what started as jokes about seeing both movies back-to-back in the theatre soon exploded into a whole host of different memes and a massive wave of jokes and movie tickets! So much so that an official “Barbenheimer” movie was announced, though it will probably fail, since Hollywood usually takes the worst things from internet phenomena.

Boston Cop Slide Memes

Sometimes, people getting hurt is funny. But what’s hilarious is a cop somehow hitting warp speed on a slide and launching out the other end, unconscious! Well the man involved is okay now, I’m sure his pride will never recover. The internet went abuzz about the clip, questioning his insane speed and even fitting in the bumps to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

Girl Math Memes & Girl Dinner Memes

These two are combined since they ride the backs of each other and have a similar premise: girls making light of certain situations by making sound logic illogically, especially to play into tropes that misogynists put them in, mocking them.

Kevin James Memes

For seemingly no reason, Kevin James’ old headshot exploded on the internet as funny tweets with it came rolling in. Whether it was someone making an entertaining joke about being sly or otherwise, I personally saw this face more times in the course of the Fall than I saw his face in all of The Kings of Queens combined.

That Person is Not Real Memes

This is more of a personal pick for me. Though the original video did explode and everyone made fun of it, the usage of the meme was more limited in its potential and couldn’t be used as widely. But even this specific meme above brings such a wide smile to my face every time I see it that it just had to make the list for me.

Donald Trump Mugshot Memes

Regardless of how you feel about our infamous ex-president, one thing is irrefutable: his mugshot is super hilarious. He looks like my Dutch Grandfather being told that there’s no more oliebollen left. Just such a grumpybum!