VOTE: Once and for all, which was 2020’s best meme?

I am once again asking you to choose the best meme of the year

In 2020, memes were our collective coping mechanism. Without going into unnecessary detail, a lot of bad stuff happened and we’ll all be glad to see the back of it. But throughout the year, whatever number the lockdown of the month had after it, the memes were there.

Sometimes they took the grim outside world and allowed us to mock it until the existential dread subsided (see: Stop the Count, nature is healing), others were so beautifully deranged that they allowed you to stop using the part of your brain which thinks about bad things (see: Da Vinky, everything is cake), but they were always good.

That’s probably the main thing here: this dumpster fire of a year was a sensational one for memes. Given everybody had a screen time of 20 hours for months at a time, that’s hardly surprising, but it is at least reassuring. However, despite them all being really quite good, the rules of the jungle dictate one must be crowned winner.

And so I’m asking you: please vote for the best meme of 2020. If a meme isn’t on this list, it’s because I don’t think it’s worthy. Sorry.

Always has been

Two astronauts looking at the earth from space. One, in amazement, realises a trick has been played on him from the start. “Wait, it’s all cake” he says. Behind him, the other astronaut, holding a gun to his head, decides he knows too much. Before he ties up the loose end, he gives him a parting shot: “Always has been.”

Simple, really. Always has been.

2020 memes

An environment so toxic

A 2020 meme so good they made it go viral twice, the classic Jane Lynch meme worked two ways. Either you could simply caption it with a reference to someone who had created a toxic environment, or just scribble out letters until the caption said something funny.

Da Vinky

By the point in the year when this meme surfaced, we were all pretty much ready to lose our shit at two guys pronouncing Da Vinci like “Da Vinky”. Haha man say funny word now please let me see my friends.

How it started vs how it’s going

Look, 2020 started okay and it’s going…well, it’s nearly gone so that’s something. And there’s a meme for that. This one became a bit of a brand-magnet, so maybe mark it down for that.

Nature is healing, we are the virus

Sure, cities got a bit cleaner during the first lockdown. But it was the hoax post claiming dolphins had returned to Venice which really hit go on the 2020 lockdown meme everyone could participate in.

Cultural reset

As ever, this meme actually had serious origins – actress Rose McGowan coined the phrase in reference to the #MeToo movement. And yet, there we were, posting our Mamma Mia clips.

Gossip Girl memes

Go piss girl. It does not get better than that.


On one hand, genuinely quite alarming that the President of the United States wanted them to just…stop counting votes. On the other, the fact he actually tweeted this is deeply hilarious.

Robert Pattinson in the kitchen

He looks so startled. He’s dressed so badly. 2020 was a good year for Pattinson – so good that this weird pic of him lingering in a kitchen only enhanced his profile.

2020 memes

I am once again asking for your financial support

Whereas most runs for president are financed by a few wealthy donors, Bernie managed to harness people power in his – ultimately doomed – bid for the Democratic nomination. Most of his donations were small, individual contributions. Why do you care? Because that’s how we get to the point where Bernie films a video and utters the immortal line: “I am once again asking for your financial support”.

2020 memes

Kim K’s private island

Honestly just one of the deeply tone-deaf things of the year. Eat the rich, but only after we’ve had our fun making memes about Kim’s private island.

Mentally I’m here

Simple. Escapist, but can also be used as a micro-cry for help. A yelp for help.

Everything is cake

All Tasty had to say was “These Are All Cakes” and we were all spun out. Any everyday item could be, in fact, a cake.

We interviewed Tuba Geckil, the artist behind the cakes in the original video, who told us she’s been training for 12 years to create realistic cakes, and even competes in international competitions. “No one did work like this before”, she said, humbly.

I know a spot

Everyone thinks they know that utterly unique place nobody else knows. But usually, we’re all thinking of the same spot. This meme let us unleash our niche local knowledge to mock people who got notions of being in the know. And that’s great.

“If we abolish the police who will solve the crimes?”

2020 saw longstanding calls to defund and abolish the police became mainstream slogans. And you know what happens to mainstream slogans.

While people were debating whether abolish the police literally meant abolish the police, those of us with smooth meme brains were out here celebrating our favourite fictional crime fighters.

My plans vs 2020

2020 really did go and fuck everything up, didn’t it.

And I took that personally

Netflix’s The Last Dance was a heralded look at Michael Jordan’s career and his attempt to retire on a high by winning a second “three-peat”. It was also a glimpse into the psychology of staying at the top, revealing just how badly Jordan reacted to the smallest slight. Things got so weird that he admitted to making up an insult from a rival player just so he could get fired up for a game.

All embodied by the perfect sequel to crying Jordan: “And I took that personally”.

I am never going to financially recover from this

Perhaps Joe Exotic inspired all the rugby shmullets. We may never know the exact chain of cultural influence. What we do know is that during lockdown number one, when we were all hooked on Tiger King, Mr Exotic’s ridiculous reaction to tragedy inspired a million 2020 memes.

Tom Nook memes

If you could get your hands on a Switch this year, it was all about Animal Crossing. Although not actually that fun (sorry), the game is at least very soothing, and subjects you to the tyrannical rule of one Tom Nook. Capitalist overlord or friendly animal? You decide.

2020 memes

Weird meta meme crossovers

Lock people inside for long enough, and eventually the 2020 memes start blending into one.

Dancing pallbearers

In a way, aren’t we all just trying to dance a little while being transported to the grave?

Vote now for the best meme of 2020:

Related stories recommended by this writer:

From Davinky to Doggface: It’s time to vote for the most iconic TikTok video of 2020

I tried to go viral on TikTok in just one week and here’s what happened

We found MC Monty from the ‘I was sitting in the gaff and I had no f***ing clue’ TikTok