Gone viral: The memes and videos that defined 2013

Such memes. Very viral. So Internet. Much wow.

Do you ever wonder what people 2000 years from now will think of our current society when they discover that we spent our days watching videos of angry-looking cats? I don't, and it's probably for the best. In any case, here are the biggest, best, bespoke memes that disrupted 2013.

I apologize in advance for all the lost productivity.

Harlem Shake: Now you see it...

I'm not going to lie: I hate the Harlem Shake meme. Hate hate hate. And apparently, the rest of the Internet got tired of it quickly, too. The meme swept the Internet in February of this year and was featured just about everywhere, but by April it was all but dead, hopefully never to rise again. Besides, it isn't even the original Harlem Shake: That was created back in 1981.

What does the goat say? GAAAAH!' of course.

As incomprehensible as the Harlem Shake was, "goats screaming like humans" is even more bewildering--but probably more amusing. And it's way more self-explanatory: Do a search for "goats screaming" and you'll get videos like this supercut and this compilation of goats inserted into music videos. And that's only the beginning.

The whole world knows what the fox says

Let's take a moment to address the questions that really matter. What is the meaning of life? How can we end the suffering of the poor and needy? What does the fox say?

No, really, what does it say? Apparently it's an important enough question--and a silly enough notion--that the eponymous music video is closing in on 300 million views. It is the work of Ylvis, two brothers who host a comedy show in Norway. Now, we actually know what the fox says, but as it turns out, the song wasn't too far off the mark.

It's raining space rocks

It's not every day that space rocks fall from the sky.

OK, actually, it is every day. But meteorites like the one that streaked through the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February don't come around that often. Thanks to the dashboard cameras that are ubiquitous in that country, the Internet got to see some incredible footage of the meteorite as it streaked overhead, as well as some of the damage it caused.


Oh, Miley. In the spirit of Bonnie Raitt, you sure gave the Internet something to talk about in 2013. From "Wrecking Ball" and the resulting parodies to twerking at the VMAs, Miley Cyrus, for better or for worse, had the Internet buzzing throughout the year. She was in the running for Time's Person of the Year honors, and "what is twerking" was one of Google's top search queries for 2013.

What do you have planned for 2014, Miley?

(Don't answer that.)

Best resignation letter ever

If you're going to quit your job, do it in style. Marina Shifrin worked at a company that focused on producing news videos. Concerned about a reduced focus on quality work, Marina decided to leave her job. But instead of handing her boss a traditional letter of resignation, Marina put hers in video form, complete with Kanye West and interpretive dance. Seventeen million views later, it's a YouTube sensation.

Jean-Claude Van Damme: Certified badass

Every now and then, something comes along that makes everyone go, "how the @#$% did they do that?" And this year, that honor goes to this fairly epic Volvo Trucks ad featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The video features Van Damme doing the splits while being supported by two big-rig trucks that are in motion. In reverse. Holy carp. The video has over 60 million views and counting as of this writing, and it's only about a month and a half old.

So meme, such Doge

After years and years of cats dominating the Internet, dog lovers were finally thrown a bone in 2013 with the emergence of the Doge meme. The meme typically features photos of Shiba Inu dogs with internal thoughts overlaid in brightly colored Comic Sans. And it's frickin' awesome. You might find yourself spontaneously speaking in doge. Such language. So words. Very thought. Wow.

Of course, Doge wasn't the only dog meme to capture the Internet's attention in 2013. Meet Menswear Dog, an unreasonably fashionable Shiba Inu who probably dresses better than you do. So fashion. Such trend. Also doge. Much wow.


But even though dogs may finally be getting some online love, I think we've established that the Internet is made of cats. Internet cats never go out of style, and their legend only grew in 2013.

Take a look at the meteroic rise of Grumpy Cat. This humble surly-looking feline otherwise known as Tardar Sauce went from mere meme and YouTube sensation to a cultural phenomenon. She made an appearance at SXSW, became a spokescat for Friskies, and even has her own line of coffee drinks. Come to think of it, Grumpy Cat kind of sold out in 2013. But that's okay--we still love her.

And then there's Lil Bub, the painfully adorable little kitteh that took the Web by storm in 2012, but continued to elicit d'awws from the masses in 2013. Take, for example, the fact that she got her own "talk show" back in June. And then when Lil Bub met Grumpy Cat in August, well, I think we're all a little surprised the Internet didn't just end right then and there.

So here's to you, Grumpy Cat and Princess Monster Truck and Chairman Meow and Lil Bub! Thank you, all you awkward cats of the Internet for making everything more fun and reducing productivity the world over. And a special thanks to the cat on the swing. You are my new Internet hero.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GooglevideosoftwareapplicationsPhoto / videomemes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Mediati

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?