Screengrab via Imgur

It’s the 3rd anniversary of the day memes became ‘dank’

Blessings and dankness be upon you.

 

Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Published May 26, 2016   Updated Jan 27, 2021, 2:14 am CST

If you care at all about memes, then you know how important “dank” memes have become in the past few years. (If you don’t care about memes, please feel free to resume your normal Facebook stalking.)

May 26, 2016, is—according to meme academics—the third anniversary of the day that memes became dank. The world was forever changed.

Whence this dankness, you ask? As Know Your Meme has helpfully explained, “dank memes” most likely originated with a YouTube video posted on May 26, 2013, by fennthulhu—who was in fact mocking the tired, formulaic aspects of a then-popular meme, Success Kid.

Starting there, a dank new pattern emerged. Under the banner of dankness, we saw a new generation of memes that edged away from references and punchlines into anti-comedy, deliberately shitty graphic quality, dead horse beating, and willful attempts at obscurity. By one metric, the less people understand or invest in a meme, the danker that meme is.

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/RctWszQ embed]

The dankest memes, of course, pay homage to dank meme culture itself.

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/JVutq56 embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/WuuTCDr embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/jDGIAvW embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/5VsWpY2 embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/xSpfq embed]

But don’t get too caught up in which memes are dank and which aren’t. “Dankness” is, aside from an idiomatic measurement of marijuana’s potency, really just a state of mind. The point of “dank” meme life is that even terrible, “normie” memes can achieve dankness when filtered through enough layers of irony. Anything looks dank in the right light.

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/gallery/wkptwtL embed]

So go ahead, enjoy some dank memes. You don’t need to explain them. You don’t even need to “get” them. You’ll know them when you see them.

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/Jtl8AzU embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/3pYEEDG embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/XMtwMGc embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/11S9ue5 embed]

[Placeholder for http://imgur.com/t3f1sbP embed]

Welcome to the dank side.

Share this article
*First Published: May 26, 2016, 6:31 pm CDT

Miles Klee

Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions,  and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'

Miles Klee