The Best Political Memes of the Decade

We've Come a Long Way—From Auto-Tuned News to "Hair Force One."

Via ebaumsworld.

Political web memes really came into their own in the 2010 decade. They became more nuanced, more pointed, and in most cases, much funnier than they ever were before.

Here's a rundown of the best of the bunch from the years 2010 through 2018. We'll update the list as the decade continues to gift us with memes that mock our political system... and the clowns who occupy our nation's most powerful offices!

01
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2010: Auto-Tune the News

Via YouTube/ schmoyoho.

Auto-tuning videos isn't new (remember the Bedroom Intruder song?), but this was the year when the trend really took off. Weezer followed the trend and the result is this episode of "Auto-Tune The News."

02
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2010: Levi Johnston for Mayor

Via Adweek

Back in 2010, a bro named Levi Johnston had a short-lived flash of fame because he was Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol's babydaddy. Did you follow all that?

After Levi took it all off for a "Playgirl" photo spread, he decided to run for mayor of his hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. Naturally, the internet thought that was a terrible idea, and using those aforementioned "Playgirl" photos, they peppered the web with fake "Levi Johnston for Mayor" posters and videos.

03
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2010: "I Am Not a Witch"

Via Know Your Meme.

Christine O'Donnell is a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in Delaware in 2010. During her campaign, O'Donnell ran an ad in which the staunchly Christian, conservative candidate denied that she's actually a witch.

"I am not a witch," O'Donnell proclaimed... which is exactly something a witch would say, isn't it? Hmmm....

The original video that spawned the meme is here.

04
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2010: The Rent Is Too Damn High

Via Imgur.

Jimmy McMillan ran in the New York state gubernatorial election in 2010, and "The rent is too damn high" was one of his campaign slogans. These simple words inspired the "X is too damn high" meme, which lived on well after McMillan's campaign did.

05
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2011: Teabonics

Via Funnysigns.net.

Teabonics is a portmanteau from the words "Tea Party," as in the Tea Party movement, and "Ebonics," a kind of jargon spoken by African Americans. Teabonics refers to the spelling and grammar issues on Tea Party picket signs.

06
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2011: Occupy Wall Street

Via Quickmeme.

"We are the 99 percent!"

2011 saw ongoing protests in New York City and other places in America and Europe. These protesters hoped to highlight and fix inequality and reduce corporate lobbyists' influence on U.S. politics.

07
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2011: Pepperspray Cop

Via Know Your Meme.

At one Occupy Wall Street protest at University of California, Davis, a horrifying image of a U.C. Davis police officer pepper spraying a group of peacefully protesting college kids went viral. Georges Seurat's masterpiece "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" served as the perfect backdrop for Pepperspray Cop.

08
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2011: First World Problems

Via Runt of the Web.

The #FirstWorldProblems hashtag often circulates on Twitter. It's used to mock the privileged citizens whose problems are considered "easy" by most standards.

09
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2011: The Situation Room

Via Rolling Stone.

White House photographer Pete Souza captured this image of President Barack Obama and his staff in the Situation Room of the White House while getting updates on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

The iconic image was soon Photoshopped into a variety of different scenarios, each one funnier than the last.

10
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2012: Texts From Hillary

Via textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.

Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque took this now-famous picture of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she waited to fly off on a military jet.

While she waited to depart, Clinton was reading something on her cell phone while wearing a chic pair of shades. Friends Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe, both public relations agents in Washington, D.C., saw the image and created a popular Tumblr blog called Texts From Hillary Clinton. And a meme was born!

The bloggers even got a chance to meet Clinton, who admitted that she was a fan of the meme.

11
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2012: Clint Eastwood's Empty Chair

Via picsmine.com.

Hollywood legend and conservative politician Clint Eastwood appeared as a guest speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention on August 30, 2012. During his speech, Eastwood gave a bizarre rant against an invisible Barack Obama (or the empty chair he was imagining was Barack Obama, that is) that left viewers scratching their heads.

Before the broadcast was even over, Twitter parody accounts like @InvisibleObama had popped up to make fun of the strange incident. These days, the act of speaking to an empty chair is still referred to online as "Eastwooding."

12
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2012: Fired Big Bird

Via Reddit.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, candidate Mitt Romney stated that he hoped to reduce funding for PBS, even though he "liked Big Bird."

Suddenly, it was Mitt versus Big Bird... and hey, we grew up with Big Bird! We're not about to lie down and let some politician fire Big Bird!

Satires about Mitt's anti-"Sesame Street" remarks abounded, and the "Fire Big Bird" or "Mitt Romney Hates Big Bird" meme was born.

13
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2012: Relatable Romney

Via Quickmeme.

Speaking of ol' Mitt.... During one campaign speech, Romney tried his best to act like he could relate to the average Joe, even though he is a born and bred millionaire who's never worked a real job in his life.

He tried to relate to the little guy, he really did... he just didn't get it. He was totally out of touch, and everybody knew it!

The Relatable Romney meme came about after Romney was criticized for cutting jobs at the asset management company he managed. Thousands of people lost their jobs while Romney's net worth soared into the $250 million range.

14
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2012: Binders Full of Women

Via Know Your Meme.

Romney again? You betcha!

While answering audience questions during the second session of the 2012 presidential election debates, Romney used the phrase, "binders full of women," and everybody lost it.

The question came from undecided voter Katherine Fenton, who asked both candidates about pay inequality for women. Romney replied with a story that included this quote:

“And I said, ‘Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified? I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women."

Right after the words left his lips, Romney's "Binders full of women" went viral and launched parody blogs, Twitter accounts, and image macro memes.

15
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2013: Obama Skeet Shooting

Via Reddit.

During the never-ending gun debate, someone asked if Obama had ever shot a gun. He replied that he often enjoyed skeet shooting at Camp David, but nobody really believed him.

The White House then released an official photograph of Obama shooting skeet at Camp David. They released the image along with an advisory message telling people not to alter the image in anyway.

YEAH RIGHT!

Of course they altered it. A lot.

16
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2013: Rob Ford Smoking Crack

Via selfdeprecate.com.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford had a rather tough time of it in 2013. The drug-addicted politician was captured on cellphone video smoking crack cocaine out of a glass pipe, and his career never recovered.

17
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2013: Government Shutdown

Via reddit u/stedanko09.

When the Republicans and Democrats disagreed on the budget, the United States Federal Government ended up shutting down for some time. While many federal employees went without wages during the shutdown, those fools in Congress still got paid.

The people responded by making memes. The meanest, most barbed memes ever, to be precise.

18
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2013: Thanks, Obama

Via Quickmeme.

The sarcastic expression, "Thanks, Obama" has been around online since 2009, but it was in 2013 when the saying really reached its height. Obama was trying to get the Affordable Care Act (known both derisively and admiringly as Obamacare) up and running, so people were all too happy to blame all of their personal troubles and daily irritations on Obama's shoulders.

19
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2013: "Can You Hear Me Now?"

Via Pinterest/marjimullis.

This was the year when we found out for certain that the government is spying on us. Edward Snowden, an American IT guru who worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) leaked highly classified information about the government's prying eyes to the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Whether you think of Snowden as a patriot or a criminal depends on your political leanings, but everyone can agree that the NSA spying memes were funny stuff.

20
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2013: Black Lives Matter

Via imgflip.

After Trayvon Martin was murdered in 2013, there were countless protests when his killer George Zimmerman was acquitted. Three Brooklyn women coined the phrase "Black Lives Matter" to “affirm the lives of black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, Black undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.”

21
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2014: Kim Jong Un Lubricant

Via Imgur u/crazyfingers619.

Once upon a time, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un toured a lubricant factory and got really pumped over the gelatinous goo being produced there. The images of a gleeful looking Jong Un were released by the Korean Central News Agency, leading Redditors to crack open Photoshop and create some truly amusing "Kim Jong Un lubricant" memes.

22
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2014: Monsanto

Via Meme Generator.

Monsanto is an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation in St. Louis, Missouri. They're famous for buying up farms and land in order to produce their genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They're also famous for their ruthless business practices and toxic contamination of farmlands.

23
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2014: Not All Men

Via memegenerator.

Whenever women start complaining about the sexual harassment they suffer at work and other places, some white, privileged male has to chime in with the "not all men" argument.

24
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2014: Mike Pence Is Race Bannon

Via Know Your Meme.

Somewhere along the line, someone discovered that Republican Senator Mike Pence looks like the cartoon character Race Bannon from the 1960s animated television series "Jonny Quest."

Of course, after this discovery, they had to make memes with captions identifying Pence/Bannon as gay... just because Pence would hate that.

25
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2015: Republican Presidential Primary

Via Heavy.

As the presidential primary race heated up, candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz were at center stage. Then Donald Trump threw his hat into the race, and all hell broke loose!

There was plenty of fodder for the meme mill as these candidates routinely put their feet in their mouths. It would have been highly amusing if it hadn't also been so terrifying.

26
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2015: Kim Davis Marriage License

Via queerty.

Kim Davis made headlines in 2015 when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in compliance with the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. Davis, a county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, sparked a nationwide debate about her religious freedom while holding a public office.

Davis was eventually arrested for contempt of court, but not before becoming the face of the "do your job" meme.

27
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2015: I Stand With Ahmed

Via Twitter.

Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas, became the subject of national debate after he got arrested for bringing his science project to school. 

Basically, Ahmed made a digital clock, and when administrators saw it they thought he was a terrorist who was going to blow up the school. Because, obviously, right?

28
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2015: Confederate Flag Debate

Via Cafemom.

Ah, the old "Southern Cross." This is the flag that was flown in the South during the American Civil War, and some people still fly it today... even though they lost the war, and this flag kinda-sorta represents bad stuff like... when it used to be okay to own people.

The longstanding debate rages on today, with some saying it's part of our southern heritage, and others insisting that it symbolically demonstrates support of slavery.

29
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2015: Donald Trump's Wall

Via epicpix.

During the 2016 presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump would not shut up about building a wall to keep Mexicans from entering the U.S.

30
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2016: Melania's Plagiarism

Via ebaumsworld.

At the Republican National Convention, future first lady Melania Trump gave a speech that sounded a bit familiar to many viewers. As it turns out, much of the speech closely resembled the speech first lady Michelle Obama gave eight years prior. Oops.

31
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2016: Ted Cruz Is the Zodiac Killer

Via inverse.com.

When Republican Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race, many speculated that he was going to return to his original hobby of being a serial killer. Yup, people accused poor old Ted of secretly being the Zodiac Killer.

32
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2016: Bashing Trump/Tiny Hands Trump/Combover

Via Occupy Democrats.

There are a lot of things to mock Donald Trump for, and there's a meme for nearly every one of those things. Favorite targets include his small hands, his orange skin, and that terrible comb-over that just won't quit. 

33
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2016: Buddy Joe Biden

Via Twitter @Reverend_Scott.

Photos of President Obama chumming around with Vice President Joe Biden are a dime a dozen, so the good people of Twitter decided to make some jokes about their "bromance." The resulting Twitter memes are both heartwarming and hilarious!

34
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2016: Bernie for the Future

Via reddit.

People loved to Photoshop Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders into crazy situations during his run for president in 2016. This is just one of the many funny images of the Berner doing his thing. 

35
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2016: Hillary's Emails

Via jamesperloff.com.

The right wingers could always count on slinging the emails Hillary allegedly deleted from her servers in those lefties' faces... even though the argument was actually pretty lame.

Conversely, the phrase "But her emails!" is now used to make fun of the fact that the Trump campaign is a total mess. 

36
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2016: Bill Clinton's Balloons

Via Twitter @emmaladyrose.

After Hillary's speech at the Democratic National Convention, they released a ton of colorful balloons on the stage and in the crowd. Former President Bill Clinton was there, and from the pictures taken that night, it honestly looks like Bill has never seen balloons before in his life. He's downright delighted!

37
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2017: Thirsty Ivanka

Via Twitter @MatthewACherry.

During one of Ivanka's first (inexplicable) attendances in her father's cabinet, she met with hunky Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In nearly every photo, Ivanka is looking at Justin like she wants to jump his bones.

Same, girl. Same.

38
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2017: Trudeau Is Not Impressed

Via Twitter @charley_ck14.

During this same state visit, Trudeau sat down with Trump and made a face that told the world he wasn't altogether impressed with what he was hearing.

39
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2018: Michelle Obama Gives Great Side Eye

Via Twitter @jonnysun.

When Donald Trump arrived at the White House on January 20, 2017 to be sworn in as president, Melania handed Michelle Obama a Tiffany gift that Michelle had no idea what to do with. So Michelle made this face... and the world couldn't stop laughing.

40
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2017: Trump Draws

Via Twitter @TrumpDraws.

As soon as he took office, Trump began signing a number of executive orders. When he finishes signing, he has a strange habit of showing the finished document to the press. Soon, the "Trump Draws" meme appeared online.

41
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2017: Obamacare vs. GOP Replacement

Via Twitter @@jackiecarbajal.

Republicans wanted to repeal Obamacare right away, but they didn't have a real plan to replace it for those citizens who rely on it for their healthcare. When the Republicans released their American Healthcare Act, many thought it was a poor substitute for the Affordable Care Act put in place by Obama.

42
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2017: Tiny Trump

Twitter @@R3SISTNow.

Donald Trump lied about his height. He said he's 6'2", but he's actually shorter than that. So Twitter decided to eliminate all that "fake news" he's always talking about, and the Tiny Trump meme did just that.

43
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2018: Trump's Parade

Via amirite.com.

In spite of soaring national debt, Trump really wanted to have a military parade in Washington, D.C. that would cost taxpayers millions of dollars for basically nothing. The internet had a few thoughts.

44
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2018: Very Stable Genius

Via Pinterest/ future.space.aids.

After Trump literally called himself a "very stable genius" in a tweet, the interwebs had a field day!

45
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2018: Hair Force One

Via reddit.

While boarding Air Force One to head to his golf course one weekend, a gust of wind came along and exposed the shockingly-bald backside of Donald Trump's head. We've all speculated about what's happening with that bizarre hair of his, but this... this was something else. It was like that scene in Star Wars when you finally get a glimpse of Darth Vader's bald head.

Here's a gif of the moment so you can experience it for yourself.

46
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2018: Russian Collusion

Via imgflip.

As the FBI continues to investigate a possible interference in our election process, and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the Putin memes just keep on rolling.