In late August, worldwide searches for “memes” surpassed those for “Jesus” on Google, as Twitter user @Kuwaddo noticed. What prompted people to put their faith in funny or absurd internet ephemera over the purported Messiah? It’s hard to know for sure, but our guess would be that the U.S. presidential election had at least something to do with it.
WE DID IT PEOPLE.
WE FUCKING DID IT.
HOLY SHIT. pic.twitter.com/RgfAM2H9W2
— Quad (@Kuwaddo) October 25, 2016
Before we go any farther, we should define the terms involved, in case you also were thinking about Googling either word. Merriam-Webster describes a meme as “
Searches for memes in the U.S. actually passed those for Jesus in April, just as it was becoming clear that Donald Trump would become the GOP candidate for president. Internationally, memes passed Jesus in searches just a few weeks before the GOP and Democratic Conventions Was this because Americans and then the rest of the world collectively decided that when facing an election between two historically unpopular candidates, Dat Boi and Damn, Daniel represented humanities best hope for spiritual fulfillment and maintaining at least some sanity? Perhaps. Or maybe they just wanted to learn about Hillary stealing her look from Death Row Records.
Regardless, it seems unlikely memes will stay on top for long because Jesus–as he is wont to do–will probably rise again (on Google).
Until then, let’s go back and reexamine some of the memes that finally helped “meme” overtake “Jesus” on Google searches.
Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer
.@ppppolls Tom, please ask voters if Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer. These statistics deserve to be collected. It's been an open case for yrs
— alex gaspar (@Dadspar) February 25, 2016
We are finding many Floridians can not rule out the possibility, although few are convinced of guilt https://t.co/OPsWIl97Sy
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) February 25, 2016
Bernie or Hillary?
"an authentic Italian restaurant for the whole family!" pic.twitter.com/vl45Mt4PL5
— Sassy Sanders (@SassySenSanders) January 30, 2016
Haters Gonna Say It’s Fake
haters gonna say it's edited pic.twitter.com/GxGfXnJURl
— waveyting (@robertson_ldn) May 30, 2016
Haters are prolly gonna say its fake pic.twitter.com/JXsXJJvSJS
— agreeny (@andy_greenawalt) June 14, 2016
Sad Ben Affleck
Don’t Talk to Me or My Son Ever Again
don't ever talk to me or my son ever again pic.twitter.com/0oW6Ks0YQ5
— grantelope (@grantpedroza) March 10, 2016
don't talk to me or my son ever again pic.twitter.com/ER2e0xURWl
— Perfume Genius (@perfumegenius) March 13, 2016
And, of course, Harambe
Muhammad Ali first day in heaven pic.twitter.com/XdGY47z0zM
— shut up, mike (@shutupmikeginn) June 5, 2016