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Obama, Olympics, '50 Shades of Grey,' more: Best/Worst Memes of 2012

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While 2011 was all about Ryan Gosling and Tim Tebow, 2012 was a ladies’ game. From Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney to Secretary of State Hillary and, yes, even those Hot Problems hot messes, it was girls who run the world… wide web. Though a few fellows managed to sneak in — and cats of course (this is the Internet, after all). Below, the best and worst of 2012.


5. Grumpy cat

While he’s doesn’t have the gotcha journalism skillz of Chris Hansen cat, I mean really… look at that face! He is almost as unimpressed as our number 1 memer of 2012…

4. “S— ____ say”

After the genre-creating “S— Girls Say” (which was actually posted in 2011), the new year opened the floodgates for a viral phenomenon. Gay guys, Liz Lemon, New York 1 anchor Pat Kiernan, and even Wookiees were getting in on the action. At the last, our own Adam B. Vary cried uncle. That’s such an EW writer thing to say.

3. Presidential memes

For most people, the 2012 presidential debates were a time to brush up on their candidates’ positions and decide whom to elect. For Internet types, it was a breeding ground for memes aplenty. Witness: Big Bird, binders of women, bayonets and horses, Laughing Joe Biden, You Didn’t Build That… and the list goes on and on.

2. Texts from Hillary

Like a true HBIC, Madame Secretary spent the year sending terse missives to everyone from Meryl Streep to Mark Zuckerberg. Was there any possibility those other two governmental wannabes could best her effortless zings? In her own words, “Not a chance, Mittens.”

1. Olympic memes

Many LOL-inducing moments cropped out of the London Games — including Mo Farah Running Away from Things and the very important question “Diving competition or gay porn?” — but gymnast McKayla Maroney took gold in memery. Ironically, the Photoshop frenzy began when the 16-year-old (who shared a team gold) was not impressed with her silver medal performance in the individual vault competition. To her credit, Maroney embraced the trend, posing for faux underwhelmed photos on the red carpet and with President Obama (it was an election year — POTUS was everywhere). No word on whether Queen Elizabeth was as amused as Maroney about her own meme. (We’re guessing no.)

NEXT: The five worst memes of 2012!