Laughter by, of, from internet: 2019, the year of memes

Last Updated 30 December 2019, 16:52 IST

The good, bad and even the indifferent translated to funny, funnier and funniest in 2019 with netizens using contemporary events to sharpen their humour skills on social media, sparing nobody and nothing.

From Priyanka Chopra’s wild frizzy hair at the Met and a Pakistani cricket fan ranting about his team losing to India to an amateur paraglider panicking in the air and a comment by the prime minister, everything was up for comment -- and some fun.

The humour played out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the relatively new and fast-growing TikTok, which rated comedy as one of the top five genres explored on its platform this year.

Comic creativity saw many forms. The laughter began in January itself with the dialogues of "Gully Boy" and "Uri: The Surgical Strike" providing fodder for meme content.

There was this poser on multiple platforms: "When you look up your common cold symptoms on the internet". To which Google replies, "Mar Jayega Tu", from a dialogue by Alia Bhatt's character in "Gully Boy".

And there was this post shared by Mumbai Police's Twitter handle to drive home a point about cybersecurity. "What are the chances of my weak password getting hacked?" The response is a GIF of actor Vicky Kaushal from "Uri..." saying, "High Sir".

The laughter rolled out along with the red carpet when Priyanka Chopra sashayed across the Met Gala in a shimmering dress, a wild mop of curly hair and a spiky silver crown.

Some called the look inspired by The Mad Hatter, while others compared it with that of the Red Queen.

Many on Twitter picked on her hairstyle. There was one meme that said, "For total shockproof life, use Havells MCBs", and another that went "My hair after travelling in a rickshaw from Andheri to Bandra".

Not one to shy away from challenges, social media users showed no respite on trending challenges too.

The #10-Year Challenge, for instance, also called the 'How Hard Did Aging Hit You', involved posting a photo of yourself in 2009 next to a photo of yourself in 2019. It saw tens of thousands of people posting their before and after pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and was soon taken over by meme masters.

Taking a jibe at the weak financial status of the common man, one user posted a picture of the empty wallet in 2009 and 2019, another showed a family playing with their kids in 2009 and playing with their mobile in 2019.

The year also had its share of ordinary people turning into overnight stars.

These included Vipin Sahu, whose hilarious video of paragliding became an instant hit among viewers. The panic-stricken Sahu offers his instructor Rs 500 to get him back on land before abusing himself for deciding to go paragliding.

Pakistani national Momin Saqib took the internet by storm with his rant against his team for losing to India in the World Cup, getting even non-cricket fans interested in the game.

"Last night they were having burger and pizzas. These people should be asked to leave cricket and do wrestling," he said much to the delight of many.

The Maharashtra political drama also unleashed a meme fest.

Many trolled politicians across party lines for their desperate attempts at government formation.

Some labelled it the best "season of Game of Thrones" or "suspense thriller" of our times and many used Bollywood films songs and dialogues to comment on the three-day tenure of the Devendra Fadnavis-Ajit Pawar team.

"Devendra Fadnavis resigns as the CM of Maharashtra. Shiv Sena: Mere Soye Armaano ko wake up kar diya," went one tweet, referring to a song from Ranbir Kapoor starrer "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil ".

Another used a "Munna Bhai" reference. "Big News: Ajit Pawar resigns before floor test. People: Bhai, yeh toh shuru hote hi khatam ho gaya".

Rahul Gandhi's decision to resign as Congress president after the 2019 election result and the Congress Working Committee rejecting it also gave the internet material for hilarious memes.

"Biggest loss for BJP so far. #BJP would be worried like hell right now," tweeted one user.

"#Rahul Gandhi Puts his resignation before Rahul gandhi but Rahul Gandhi didn't accepted Rahul Gandhi's Resignation and said #IStandWithRahulGandhi," posted another.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's suggestion in an interview to a news channel that clouds and rain could prevent Pakistani radars from detecting Indian fighter jets during the Balakot air strike led to some Twitter humour too.

A few posts recalled BJP's alliance with the Badal family -- Prakash and Sukhbir from Akali Dal -- in relation to their attempt to "escape radar" and others wondered whether rain or cloudy day helped Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi escape.

"The weather was not good on the day of airstrikes. There was a thought that crept in the minds of the experts that day of strike should be changed. However, I suggested that the clouds can actually help our planes escape the radars," the prime minister had said.

Recently, a photograph of Modi waiting to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse sparked a flurry of memes.

When a Twitter user informed the PM of the picture "becoming a meme", his response won hearts on the social media platform.

"Most welcome .... enjoy," he tweeted with a smile emoticon.

(Published 30 December 2019, 16:51 IST)

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