The 22 Funniest Memes of 2023 You Can’t Help but Laugh At

Laugh your way through the rest of 2023 with the best memes that circulated the internet this year

We have access to hilarious content everywhere these days, from streaming services to TikTok, but there’s one comedic form that just hits different: funny memes. While dog and cat memes never get old, the best memes attach themselves to a timely cultural moment. And when those memes get it right, they tend to uncover a universal truth, and we have to laugh (and share) because they are so spot on.

The past year may have been a little tame by the standards of the last few years, but that certainly doesn’t mean the memes were any less funny or insightful. The highlights ranged from Barbie and Oppenheimer (and their cultural love child, Barbenheimer) to Taylor Swift’s new romance and the soaring price of eggs. Some were wholesome memes … others, not so much. Here’s a list of our favorite funny memes of 2023.

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Why is it called a meme?

A meme is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online, especially through social media.” Before internet memes became popular in the 21st century, British scientist Richard Dawkins used the term meme in his book The Selfish Gene in 1976. He defined it as “a unit of cultural transmission.” The term has since evolved to describe the internet memes we know today.

What makes a meme?

Memes are typically composed of funny images and text, which are often used as a form of social or political commentary. Sometimes, a meme will generate hundreds of different interpretations as it gets passed around, usually via social media, text and email, as people put their own personal spins on a popular meme template (such as the Drake Hotline Bling and Distracted Boyfriend formats).

Is a GIF a meme?

No, a GIF is not a meme, but they are closely related. A GIF is basically an image file that moves, like a short clip from a movie. The clip is then played on a loop that can be shared on the internet. GIFs differ from memes in their movement (memes are usually static), and unlike memes, GIFs don’t usually make a comment on a social or political issue.

How to make memes

With so many hilarious memes circulating the internet, you may have thought about taking a stab at creating your own. There are various meme apps and tools you can use, such as Canva (which has its own built-in meme generator), Imgur and even Photoshop. And who knows, your new meme creations could go viral, just like the ones below.

Where can I find original memes?

Original memes are all over the internet. Just check any social media site, and you’ll practically trip over them. You can find them on the image-making sites we noted above too. Reader’s Digest also happens to have more than 700 memes for all your meme-ing needs. Want to make your crush blush? Try one of these flirty memes. Have a dark side? These dark humor memes will be right up your alley. And if you want to check out what the big cultural moments of 2023 have been so far, just look below!

The best memes of 2023

Barbie took the summer by storm and really made us think about our lives

The blockbuster generated all sorts of memes, from ones about fashion to feminism to Weird Barbie. There are so many popular memes to choose from, but we’re partial to this crying Barbie meme about expectations. (Editor’s note: Feel free to swap out the decade for your own, and it will still be accurate—probably even more so!)

And Barbie is the gift that keeps giving …

… for Halloween and beyond.

Barbenheimer also blew up

Barbie and Oppenheimer premiered on the same day in July, and this unique mashup prompted us to think about the very distinct, very opposite personalities these two movies targeted. Could these real-life Santa Monica beach houses illustrate this concept any more perfectly?

Elon Musk killed Twitter and introduced X

The best memes practically wrote themselves … and even Sesame Street got in on the ribbing. Another favorite we have to mention? Big Bird thanking his lucky stars that he could still tweet since he was a bird.

We all met a mysterious new AI friend

Last spring, Snapchat launched its My AI feature, and we were all a little confused. But we had a field day asking it questions!

King Charles looked positively miserable

Isn’t it good to be the king? We’re guessing yes, even if the best memes of King Charles III at his coronation in May made it seem as if it didn’t quite live up to the hype. We get it, Charles—adulting isn’t easy!

Succession came to a tragic end

The series finale of Succession wasn’t exactly funny, which is why the internet needed some memes to cheer it up. And there’s nothing like a little dark humor to put a funny spin on a morbid plot point.

Taylor Swift broke Ticketmaster … or maybe it was us

Nope, on second thought, it was definitely you, Ticketmaster. Fun fact if you’re not a Swiftie: This funny meme alludes to Taylor Swift’s song “Anti-Hero,” and it seemed tailor-made for this moment!

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce became fall’s “it” couple

Don’t even pretend you didn’t watch those Chiefs games.

We realized the future wasn’t all that futuristic

Yeah, we’re not quite there yet. What do you think we’ll have in 2053? Any chance flying cars will finally be a thing?

We all tried to stay out of the fray

Just because this isn’t an election year doesn’t mean people aren’t bickering. So if you find yourself in an argument online or over text, this is the best meme to end any argument. Conversation over!

A high-profile mug shot infiltrated the internet

It doesn’t matter which side of the political aisle you’re on—Trump’s mug shot was made for memes.

We realized overthinking could be a problem

Ever think about something so hard your head feels like it’s going to burst into flames? These extra-hard riddles might get you close.

The internet tried to hurt Gen X

The ’80s were actually 40 years ago. (Sob!)

Grocery shopping got really eggs-pensive

They’re eggs. EGGS! Thank goodness for inflation memes like this, because if we didn’t laugh, we’d definitely cry about our dwindling bank accounts.

Apple’s new feature gave us pause

Are they really sure they want to go there? And are we?

Big red boots were a thing

The art collective company MSCHF’s big red Astro Boy boots took over the internet early in the year—and they went perfectly with this meme inspired by a line in The Devil Wears Prada. We’re just wondering what outfit these revamped Smurf boots would even go with.

Real menus came back

QR codes are here to stay, but we still love to kick it old-school sometimes. And it’s really nice not to have to zoom in on our phones just to see the appetizers.

Streaming services stopped giving us freebies

They know we’ll forget we gave them our credit card number … and then keep forgetting to cancel.

COVID-19 didn’t disappear, but we looked at it a little differently

But do you really know you had COVID only once, or did you just not test for it?

Cocaine Bear at the Oscars was surprisingly relatable

But we’ll still ignore our overflowing inbox for now, thank you very much.

Selena Gomez showed us how to celebrate

Nothing wrong with taking a minute to chill after accomplishing a goal! This one also doubles as a funny work meme, so send it to your office bestie, pat yourselves on the back and take a well-deserved break to search for more of the best memes of 2023.

Additional reporting by Kelly Kuehn and Emma Taubenfeld.


Bellamy Richardson
Bellamy Richardson is currently a senior at Williams College and interned for People magazine last summer. She has also covered arts and culture for various publications based in the Berkshires and served as managing editor of her college newspaper.