What combination of subtle factors makes a meme go viral—and what makes a proto-meme die an excruciating, lonely death in a dusty internet corner? (BREAKING: INTERNET HAS CORNERS.) While there’s almost no way to know what will collectively unhinge us like a sugar-high kindergarten classroom (and what won’t), it is possible to see where a goodhearted little meme might have, you know, gone astray. A few rejected memes that didn’t quite make the cut:
Badly restored 1970s concrete building
Admittedly a little less sensational than Ecce Homo, the well-intentioned yet slipshod renovation of the local community college library fails to capture much attention.
Unlike their adorable canine counterparts, cats have no sense of right and wrong, so shame has precisely no effect on them. Meme dead on arrival.
The Manhattan Shake
One person makes plans to go to a new restaurant, and when the music breaks, everybody within a 30-block radius is already at the restaurant and the line is too long to get in and then the restaurant closes down forever for unknown reasons. (We blame the ravenous and underoxygenated UGA men’s swim and dive teams.)
Ridiculously Photogenic Guy photobomb
First the squirrel did it. Then the stingray turned up. And then, in a sordid turn of events, Zeddie Little, the unreasonably handsome marathoner—sensing his freshly scrubbed face fading from the limelight—began wandering nature preserves and public waterparks, falling-down drunk, bobbing uninvited into people’s photos. Major fail. And yet…and yet our heart still pines for him. Damn you, RPG!!!
Beyonce looking hot
When unflattering photos of Beyonce circulated like hell/wildfire following the Superbowl this year, they took our collective imagination by storm because, though we love her unconditionally, evidently we were THAT TIRED of Beyonce looking so relentlessly hot—we just didn’t know it. Predictably, the photos-of-Beyonce-looking-relentlessly-hot-as-per-usual meme is still struggling for traction.
ACTUALLY NAILED IT (no really, it’s perfect)
From cosmetics to baked goods to daring nail art and crafty home improvement projects, photos of hilarious failures blithely proclaiming success never disappoint. Photos of stunningly perfected craft and baking projects that ACTUALLY NAILED IT, on the other hand, never caught on. We don’t care how beautiful your tiger kitten-shaped cupcakes turned out, Ridiculously Photogenic Guy. Really, we can’t. We just can’t.
What's your favorite meme? We're partial to any that feature Ryan Gosling. What's the saddest, most-likely-to-be-rejected meme you can think of?