2020 hasn't been smooth sailing for most of us, for several reasons — from deadly wildfires to all the stars we’ve lost, and of course, the on-going pandemic. Thankfully, amid the madness, one Internet asset kept many of us sane: Stellar Memes. 

Here are some of the best memes, tweets and TikTok videos that had us laughing through the tears, stress, and anxiety: 

1. ‘Parasite’ Director Bong Joon-ho Oscar Moments

At the beginning of the year, Korean film ‘Parasite’ swept the awards circuit, and director Bong Joon-ho became the best part of awards season. 

He had the most wholesome reactions, and the Internet adored his proud daddy energy.

Another endearing, meme-able moment was when he made two Oscar statuettes kiss.

@e_alexjung’s tweet garnered over 235,900 likes and
39,300 retweets in a day.

2. Tiger King Broke the Internet

Netflix released the strange, spiralling docuseries just when the world needed it; the perfect cure for quarantine boredom. The show was a breakthrough hit and with its popularity, of course, came some quality memes that provided some much-needed moments of levity amidst our daily assault of reality.

3. Nature is Healing, We Are the Virus.

With humans around the world trapped behind closed doors to halt the spread of the virus, we finally got to see reports of nature bouncing back, flourishing in a humanless world. Sadly, that wasn’t true, and in the face of such a devastating letdown, a new meme was born:

Internet users got creative, showing increasingly ridiculous shots of the "natural world" returning to cities.

4. Ready for Zoom?

There's nothing quite as 2020 as Zoom-related memes. It became an essential tool in the world overnight as everyone got used to new meeting routines.

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From “Sorry, I was on mute” to getting ready for zoom meetings, the Internet had fun with their new realities.

Even Netflix started meme-ing and got its favourite characters onboard.

5. The Realities of Social Distancing

With new routines, came new rules. Memes were used to address social distancing measures while sneaking in a chuckle.

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Local bloggers put their comedic spin on a local tune, calling on everyone to practise social distancing.



Even Singapore’s beloved chicken rice followed the 1M social distancing guidelines.

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6. Hannah Montana Leaves

Uncertain times made it difficult to plan ahead, so the Internet reverted to nostalgia. A Twitter account, for example, dug deep into our childhoods, sharing a major throwback video from Hannah Montana. The video got the meme treatment it so rightfully deserved and hung around for quite some time. 

It just worked on so many levels.

It hit home when Singapore reopened after six weeks of lockdown.

7. Everything Is Cake

As the world baked their way through the pandemic, something sweet caught everyone by surprise. It all started when Buzzfeed Tasty shared a video of seemingly ordinary items like a Croc shoe, a roll of toilet paper, or a bar of soap that all turned out to be various cake creations.

Viewers found these carefully designed desserts equally delightful and unsettling. A social media dialogue on what should, and should not, be made of cake quickly ensured.

There’s a reason why this viral trend tickled our brains. As Rolf Nelsen, a professor at Wheaton College, explained, “We're fascinated by the quality of the illusion — and there's the strange dissonance brought on by perceiving things in two ways.”

8. How It Started / How It’s Going

By the third quarter of 2020, memes started taking on a life of their own. Even though the  “how it started vs how it’s going” originated as a template for celebrating one relationship, how it has changed over time, the Internet soon found several other uses for it. The format had great versatility for users to make political and social commentary across a broad range of topics, becoming the all-purpose meme for 2020.

The meme started in late September in a cutesy relationship-goals type post from a Twitterer who goes by @vjllanelles

Like many memes we’ve seen earlier in the year, this meme effortlessly encapsulates the challenging year we had. That said, the meme isn’t all bad. Some users created this meme to tell a story of success instead of despair.

9. I Ain't Never Seen Two Pretty Best Friends

Like many other memes that became iconic on the platform, the ‘two pretty best friends’ soundbite has since become a staple on TikTok. TikTok creator Jordan Scott, AKA @jayrscottyy coined the phrase in a controversial video, earning 48 million views to date.

@jayrscottyy

why y’all never choose another equal to be y’all best friend?? I hate when the ugly one call the pretty 1 “twin” if ur best friend bad as u tag her rn

♬ original sound - Jordan Scott 🦋

People were initially confused and offended, with some calling it out as misogynistic. However, the video quickly rose in popularity with people squeezing the line into any and every possible context.

@sutherlandphys

🧪😷

♬ original sound - Jordan Scott 🦋

A quick cruise through the #iaintneverseentwoprettybestfriends hashtag also unearths another manifestation of the meme: Rickrolling — a bait-and-switch that shows up when the viewer least expects it. Creators either add the phrase right at the end of the video or use it as a punchline for elaborate scenarios.   

@justinthelightguy

Wait till the end 😂 #fyp #foryou #iaintneverseentwoprettybestfriends #love #xyzba #sick #art #christmas2020 #cute #funny #happy #meme

♬ original sound - justin 🤟🤟

10. Spotify Wrapped 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

And so it goes: Another year, another Spotify Wrapped here to expose us all, leaving some listeners feeling slightly embarrassed about what they’ve been blasting while stuck in this hellscape year.

2020 saw the meme reach new heights. Internet users created memes for all sorts of reasons; some made memes to lift spirits; some made memes to spread important information; some made memes to communicate. 

Today’s memes are more than just jokes we share online; they now document real-life, the good, the bad & ugly, the funny, and not-so-funny. 

Memes offer mutual commiseration, moral support and a little ray of sunshine, especially during a year like no other. So, long live the memes and may they forever reign.