The Best Memes of 2022, Explained

30 of the year's funniest, weirdest and most chaotic viral internet videos, images and jokes

December 22, 2022 10:32 am
A roundup of the best memes of 2022, including the Will Smith slap, Spirit Halloween costumes, Adam Levine's sexts and weird AI generators
It's Morbin' Time.

However 2022 shook out for you, you should find some solace in knowing that it’s almost over. But before we say au revoir to the year for good, as is tradition, we must first take a stroll through the best memes of 2022.

Between celebs (allegedly) spitting on each other to a bunch of famous dudes cheating on their wives, 2022 has been a helluva year for viral moments, and thereupon, hilarious memes. So let’s get to it. Here are the year’s 30 best memes, in no particular order.


One of the most enjoyable things to come out of 2022? Wordle. The five-letter world game had the internet captivated, and for the early months of 2022, it was the reason your Twitter feed was bombarded with green and yellow tiles. The New York Times acquired the game from its creator Josh Wardle at the end of January and for a minute many Wordleheads (including myself) wondered if the game got harder. Turns out they had not, and maybe we just needed to brush up on our vocab. 

Harry Styles Spitting on Chris Pine

The press run for Olivia Wilde’s film Don’t Worry Darling was a revolving door of drama. There were costar feuds, leaked text messages and “special salad dressing” that caused Jason Sudeikis to lie under a car. But the biggest scandal came from the mouth of Harry Styles, Wilde’s then-boyfriend and lead in her sophomore film. Or did it? That was what the internet was desperately trying to figure out after a video from the premiere of DWD at the Venice Film Festival showed what appeared to be Styles spitting on his costar Chris Pine. According to Pine’s reps, however, there was no spit shared, it was just “an online illusion.” Boring!

The White Lotus

No spoilers! But the second season of the hit HBO series was lousy with memorable moments — particularly Jennifer Coolidge uttering the now-iconic line “These gays, they’re trying to murder me.”

Spirit Halloween

This October, we were served a surfeit of on-trend and culturally relevant Halloween costumes, courtesy of everyone’s favorite seasonal retail chain, Spirit Halloween. 

“A Negroni…Sbagliato…With Prosecco in It”

House of the Dragon’s Emma D’Arcy set the internet ablaze by revealing their cocktail of choice: a Negroni…Sbagliato…with prosecco in it. Millions of people found the clip of them discussing said drink rather enticing. Perhaps it was due to D’Arcy’s delivery of the phrase; perhaps it was the fact that, hey, said cocktail does sound delicious. Perhaps it was both. What we do know is we’ll be having one this New Year’s Eve.

Girl Yelling in Guy’s Ear at Music Festival 

Finally, a Bro Explaining meme for the girls. This photo of a woman fervently screaming in some dude’s ear was used by many Twitter users, including politicians and the Brooklyn Public Library, to share some knowledge they’re particularly impassioned about. 

2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Final

Messi completed football, Mbappé carried the entire French team on his back…and then had to be awkwardly consoled by Macron. It was an electric, stressful and historic World Cup final, to say the least. Though, getting served weirdly heartwarming Taylor Swift x Messi edits on TikTok was maybe our favorite part. 

Bitch, You Better Be Joking

Fans of the gritty high school drama will know every Sunday night was an opportunity to meme the absolute hell out of Euphoria. And it’s difficult to highlight just one iconic moment from the show, but Maddy’s “Bitch, you better be joking” quickly became an internet-favorite meme template. 

Kamala Harris Being Unhinged

The vice president has had a few kooky moments go viral this year, but in general, she just appears to be having herself a good time. Between her singing “Wheels on the Bus,” talking about loving yellow school buses and Venn diagrams, we’re not exactly sure what is going on with the VP — but she seems happy!

Elon Musk’s Twitter Acquisition

Ugh. Let’s keep this brief. After acquiring Twitter at the end of October for $44 billion, Elon Musk has made himself the social media platform’s main character of the day ever since. He’s laid-off half of Twitter’s staff, suspended journalists, publicly attacked Twitter’s former head and Trust and Safety to the extent they had to flee their home and enacted — then rescinded — major policy changes that have boggled the minds of even his most loyal fanboys…among a lot of other things. In turn, he’s lost Twitter advertisers and Tesla stock has been down bad astronomically. Musk’s turbulent time as CEO has even the billionaire himself questioning whether he should step down from the job, and he explicitly asked people to weigh in last Sunday in a Twitter poll. The poll confirmed that most users want him gone, and like most of Musk’s reign, the incident spurred memes about who should become Twitter’s next CEO

Crypto Crash

Woooow. Who could’ve predicted it? Turns out fake money is, in fact, not real. 2022 was a rough year for crypto bros and those celebrities who got paid millions to hawk crypto to us normies, and now could possibly be sued for doing so. The crypto market began collapsing around May, but by November the breakdown had cemented with the crash of FTX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. 

The Green M&M Redesign

Early this year they de-sluttified the Green M&M. A horrible way to kick off 2022, Mars Wrigley swapped her signature white go-go boots for some basic white sneakers. We’re all for inclusivity but can we please just let the Green M&M be hot!?


We honored Nicole Kidman’s important AMC prayer at our backyard movie night! (Screening Clue.)

♬ original sound – Emerson Collins

Nicole Kidman AMC Ad

We come to this place for magic. We come to AMC theaters to love, to cry, to care. Because we need that, all of us. That indescribable feeling you get when the lights begin to dim. And we go somewhere we’ve never been before. Not just entertained but somehow reborn, together. Dazzling images on a huge silver screen. Sound that I can feel. Somehow heartbreak feels good in a place like this. Our heroes feel like the best part of us, and stories feel perfect and powerful. Because here, they are.

We Need an American Girl Doll Who

Representation matters. And this year, internet users took it upon themselves to create dolls with some, uh, more relatable personalities and modern-day experiences than those of traditional American Girl dolls. We need an American Girl doll who takes her Prozac and loves the Rainforest Cafe, goddamnit!


You can read a more thorough breakdown of the summer’s Morbius memes here. But essentially, Marvel’s worst movie was ripe for meme fodder, causing an influx of jokes about the terrible film, including the creation of the viral and completely made-up catchphrase “It’s Morbin’ Time.” The immense social media attention tricked Sony into releasing the box office failure into more theaters where it…bombed again

The Will Smith Slap

Crazy to believe the slap heard round the world happened this year. You probably remember where you were when actor Will Smith physically assaulted comedian Chris Rock on the Oscars stage after Rock made a bad joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia — either watching the actual awards or scrolling through Twitter for updates. Like the incident itself, the online discourse went from 0 to 100 real quick. Should Will Smith have slapped Chris Rock? No. Could he have killed him as Judd Apatow suggested in a now-deleted tweet? No. It was all a bit overblown, but regrettably, for us (and Smith), the incident (and the memes) dominated the news cycle for weeks. But hey, the Oscars got the excitement they wanted


Zoolander memes? So hot right now. For whatever reason, clips from Zoolander (2001) and Zoolander 2 (2016), starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, have spiked on TikTok in recent weeks, making them one of the last widespread memes of 2022. 

Julia Fox

In a way, 2022 was Julia Fox’s year. Between her Carbone dates with Kanye, thick black, Black Swan-esque eyeshadow (that she did herself) and kooky ensembles, it was hard to escape the Uncut Gems actress’s presence online — especially because she’s a bit of a meme queen. When being interviewed on the popular podcast Call Her Daddy, Fox’s pronunciation of Uncut Gems as Uncuh Jahmz inspired endless impersonations from TikTok users. 

$8 Verification

One of Musk’s first changes on Twitter after becoming the app’s new CEO was to the site’s verification process. For $8 a month, users could subscribe to something called Twitter Blue, which, among other perks, would allow users to have a “Verified” blue check mark next to their name. And like everyone warned it would, Twitter Blue became a very easy avenue for users to impersonate official accounts. While there were so many glorious tweets, the most notable had to be from a fake Eli Lilly account that proclaimed “insulin is free” and sent the real pharmaceutical company, and its stock, into a tizzy. 

Dr. Oz Getting Relentlessly Roasted

What is an election without memes? Leading up to the 2022 midterms, Democratic PA Senate candidate John Fetterman used memes to his benefit. When it came to trolling his opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Fetterman’s social media accounts were relentless in dunking on the Republican nominee. They even created a website called “” that hosted videos of Oz promoting weight-loss myths and saying he lives in New Jersey. Of course, it wasn’t too difficult to roast Oz, who was calling supermarket veggie trays “crudités” and doing photo-ops at Philly cheesesteak tourist traps. Anyway, the meme brigade seemed to help Fetterman, who beat Oz to become the next senator of Pennsylvania. 

Weird AI Generations

It’s been a year of freaky AI developments that remind you your job will be obsolete in two years. But the funniest and least threatening creations had to be from DALL-E, a neural network that uses artificial intelligence to create impressively vivid and accurate images from text captions. And there’s an entire Twitter account dedicated to them

Try Guys Cheating Scandal

Ned Fulmer, a popular YouTuber and member of the internet group the Try Guys, got caught cheating on his wife with an employee in late September. Users on the subreddit r/TryGuys noticed that Fulmer had been absent from videos, podcasts and posts on their social media account for about a month, then began speculating he was actively being edited out of content. Theories ran wild on TikTok and Twitter, and then blurry photos of Fulmer at an NYC nightclub making out with a woman cropped up. It was a messy, messy affair, and eventually, Fulmer, his wife and the remaining three members of the group put out separate statements confirming the cheating scandal and announcing Fulmer had been fired.

She’s/He’s a 10 But…

You know when you find someone attractive but they’ve got an ick that throws you off? This meme, which flooded TikTok and Twitter feeds this year, is the embodiment of that sensation. They’re a 10 but they have a peculiar quality that drops their rating down to a 6. 

This You?

Not everyone was celebrating Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan that would forgive debt for millions of Americans when it was announced this August. Criticism of the measure came largely from conservatives who argued the government’s debt forgiveness was unfair. Soon, however, the replies under those critical tweets began to fill with screenshots of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans those same critics had received from the government during the pandemic. Accompanying those screenshots was a succinct yet powerful seven-letter phrase: “This you?” 

Adam Levine’s Sexts

2022 marked a year when a bunch of famous men got caught cheating on their wives. The next cheater on our list is Maroon 5 frontman and historically horrible dude Adam Levine. Instagram model Sumner Stroh claimed in a video posted to TikTok that she had been having a year-long affair with the singer. More women then began to come forward with screenshots of some extremely embarrassing Instagram DM sexts they had been sent by Levine, in which the singer speculates that he “may need to see the booty” of one woman. As one Twitter user pointed out, the drama was relatively boring, but knowing Adam Levine’s sext game is like that of a teenage boy made for some funny jokes. 

Stop Normalizing the Grind

An anti-hustle culture meme that will oftentimes invoke peaceful illustrations from children’s books, like Frog and Toad riding a tandem bike or the calming bedroom scape from Goodnight Moon, in an attempt to deglamorize working ourselves to death every day, and instead promote quainter, more restful activities. 

Dark Brandon

Derived from popular right-wing political memes DarkMAGA and “Let’s go Brandon,” Dark Brandon is Joe Biden’s alter ego and a meme now used by Dems to celebrate the Biden administration’s successes. Gaining popularity this past summer, the memes depict Biden’s edgier alter ego with glowing, pupil-less eyes and employ the president’s more iconic phrases like “No Malarkey.” 


Oh you’re taking your 3 bad a** kids to Disney with your cheating husband, Linda?That’s cute……I’m going to Bora Bora 🏝️ #corporatebaddie #corporatelife #softlife #softlifebaddie #hardlifelinda #workhumor #disney #familtvacation #borabora #theratsdontrunthiscity #vacationmode #tiktokamirr #amirhenley

♬ original sound – Random Memes and Stuff

The Rats Don’t Run This City, We Do

A snippet from a New York City press conference addressing the city’s rat problem became a viral sound on TikTok this past fall. Coined by the city’s new sanitation commissioner, Jessica Tisch, the phrase “The rats are absolutely going to hate this announcement, but the rats don’t run this city, we do” was used to denote a victory over someone else, in unapologetic, bad bitch fashion. 

Taylor Swift x Ticketmaster

For all you lucky sons of bitches who have absolutely zero interest in Miss Taylor Swift, you likely did not experience firsthand the bloodbath that was trying to buy tickets for her much-anticipated Eras Tour this past November. However, you definitely got an earful from Swifties on TikTok and Twitter about how Ticketmaster severely botched the singer’s presale. Due to “historic demand” the site was ill-equipped to deal with, hopeful buyers experienced site crashes, high ticket prices, hour-long wait times and horrible customer service that left most without tickets. The disastrous event led many Swifties and non-Swifties alike to rally against the monopoly, even prompting the government to look into the company’s unchecked power

The Death of Queen Elizabeth II

While it was a somber day for the British royal family and people in the U.K., September 8 marked an incredible day on the internet. So much so that when Twitter’s future was up in the air after the Elon acquisition, users fondly recalled how funny the site was when Queen Elizabeth II died. The death of Her Majesty prompted awkward responses from brands, embarrassingly sincere messages from some, and many, many darkly hilarious reactions from, well, the rest of us who weren’t super put out by the 96-year-old monarch’s passing. For many, the long-standing reign of the queen prompted conversations about the British monarchy’s legacy, one marred with racism, slavery and colonialism. And it’s why Black, Brown and Irish Twitter showed no mercy for Queen Elizabeth, blessing our feeds with some extremely funny memes. 

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.