The 50 Funniest Memes of All Time
If it wasn't for funny memes—you know: quips and images that exist solely for easy entertainment—Facebook wouldn't be entertaining enough to steal so much of your time. Instagram, too, would be little more than selfies and stylized pictures of food. And Twitter? Don't even get us started. In short, the internet would be a joyless void of constant news alerts, questionably reliable research, and self-aggrandizing social media posts without some of the internet's funniest memes.
Fortunately, that's a nightmare you don't have to imagine, thanks to the fact that funny memes are everywhere—and not going out of style anytime soon. Herein, we've gathered the funniest memes of all time. Don't worry: We've kept it all SFW. Because if there's one ironclad rule of the internet, it's this: Never hunt for memes on the bad part.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of aspects of our lives went virtual. And that includes legal proceedings. The danger of conducting business over Zoom, as this lawyer discovered, is that it's far too easy to accidentally put a filter over your face that you don't know how to remove. The result? Pure comedy.
In typical fashion, Senator Bernie Sanders dressed practically for the January inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The internet instantly fell in love with his posture, his utilitarian coat, and especially his mittens, and the meme factory was in business once again. Even stars like Ryan Reynolds got in on the fun.
Call it an in-person meme. In April of 2021, people of all ages and backgrounds gathered in Lincoln, Nebraska to duke it out (safely), all because they have one thing in common: They're all named Josh. Per NPR, the idea for the Josh Fight came to organizer Josh Swain early in lockdown and blew up thanks to social media. The winner? A four-year-old Josh who was carried on the shoulders of his name brethren after it was all over.
Taking care of even minor tasks can give off the same vibes as Frodo finally completing his mission to destroy the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as this relatable meme illustrates.
Why is it so easy to recall every detail of your most embarrassing moments compared to your proudest? Maybe our brains just have it out for us.
There was a period in 2020 where videos like the one above had all of us suspicious that the most un-cake-like objects might secretly be cake. What's even real anymore??
The Philadelphia Flyers endearingly chaotic mascot Gritty took his place in pop culture almost immediately after being unveiled by the organization. He's become a symbol not just of the hockey team but also of cheerful anarchy in all its forms. Here's to you, Gritty.
Like all great memes, this formal Bugs Bunny meme developed and changed over time. At first, it was used to wish all members of certain groups or demographics "a very pleasant evening," but now it can be used to say pretty much anything.
The Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance gave us this incredibly useful screenshot, which can be weaponized anytime something someone else does hits a little too close to home.
This jokester wolf can't make his gags work with his kids, but his peers love 'em. And is that not the definition of a dad joke?
Baby Yoda, the unofficial name for "The Child" from the Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, was the biggest and cutest meme star of 2019. He's had a lot of gif-worthy moments, but this adorable image of him sipping soup takes the cake.
I'm late with this meme because I didn't have breakfast yet from r/memes
You don't need to know the anime series this screenshot was taken from to appreciate the meme. In the original iteration, the man (who's apparently an android in the show) mistakes a butterfly for a pigeon, so this format works for anyone who's ever tried to fit a square peg (coffee) into a round hole (a balanced breakfast).
Invest in Tom Hanks' Golden Globes face. from r/MemeEconomy
Tom Hanks is a national treasure, and his contributions to the culture include a near flawless meme template. If you ever just don't have the words, his reaction to an iffy joke at the Golden Globes says it all.
The truth behind Winona's reaction from r/gifs
Speaking of memorable award show moments, Stranger Things star Winona Ryder went through a full face journey during costar David Harbour's acceptance speech at the SAG Awards. Her animated expressions inspired some talented internet artists.
"Woman yelling at cat eating food" from r/dankmemes
The woman in question is Bravo Housewife Taylor Armstrong, and no, she didn't really scream at an innocent cat. But internet magic was made when someone put this screenshot side-by-side with a pet named Smudge who does not enjoy a vegetarian diet.
From a confused cat to one who knows exactly what he's doing. Keyboard cat stunned the internet with his musical prowess and is permanently busting out some sweet tunes in our memories.
Years after it first aired, a crying scene from the '90s teen drama Dawson's Creek became a vehicle for nostalgic feels and just generally overreacting to things. Even better, the man who gave us Crying Dawson, actor James Van DerBeek, is enough of a good sport about it that he fake-wept again to give us an updated version for our meme files.
This is fine, toilet paper edition. from r/CoronavirusMemes
Sometimes you have to ignore how bad things are getting just to get on with your day. That's the story of the "This Is Fine" dog, who's usually sitting in a burning room and sipping coffee (and originated in a comic strip called Gun Show). He's adaptable to many situations, including the strange circumstances of the pandemic, as seen above.
Success Kid – put 5 dollars in my pocket pulled out ten from u/chadmace
Success Kid is for celebrating all those little wins that can give your day a serious lift. So keep going—this little guy is cheering you on!
It's the phone call we'd all love to get. This pup is just so glad to have you on the line!
Ha Ha Ha… from r/badjokeeel
The Bad Joke Eel specializes in—you guessed it—bad jokes. Like so many great memes, there's really no logical explanation for why this one if funny. But bad jokes are even better—or, er, worse—when they're being told to you by a wide-eyed eel.
Crying Wesley Snipes from r/memes
It's so hard to say goodbye to those songs you used to love.
This screenshot of Wesley Snipes in his 1991 film New Jack City has been used in countless memes. This version will resonate the most with anyone who appreciates the art of a great mixtape.
The Most Interesting Man in the World Meme from r/dead_meme
The world's most interesting man is confident enough to make a joke like this.
Adapted from a Dos Equis ad campaign featuring this cosmopolitan guy, this meme format is still in vogue.
Ermahgerd Vermpers from r/memes
The Ermahgerd Girl is good for any time you need to hearken back to the most embarrassing days of early adolescence. She's excited about everything, and don't you kind of miss that version of you?
More business cat!! from r/AdviceAnimals
Need to make a work joke? It's Business Cat to the rescue, assuming you can squeeze a cat pun in there somehow.
Awkward Moment Seal from r/memes
This little guy is the cutest possible meme to accompany all of life's horrible awkward moments. If you want to cringe until you literally implode, the Awkward Moment Seal has got your back.
much improve. so amaze. wow from r/doge
If you love dogs, you'll love the one and only Doge. This shiba inu-inspired meme is all about celebrating the good boys and rare puppers in your life. It's no wnder he went viral—who could resist this face?
If the guy in this meme looks familiar, that's because it's professional basketball player Nick Young, most recently of the Denver Nuggets. Whenever someone says something too absurd for words, you can just send them this meme—they'll get the hint.
change my mind memes up and rising. from r/MemeEconomy
Political commentator Steven Crowder set down at a table with a sign challenging people to change his mind, and a fresh meme was born. If you have an unpopular opinion you love defending, this is the meme for you.
Drake did not hold back on the moves in the video for his song "Hotline Bling." And thus, he inadvertently created the perfect meme for expressing that you like one thing much better than another.
Cats will be cats from r/IfIFitsISits
The If It Fits, I Sits meme is great for anyone who likes to look at pictures of cats in vessels that can barely contain them—which is to say, it's great for everyone. Even the largest cats, as you can see, are subject to this rule.
Eat more fruits from r/classicalartmemes
Classical art memes prove that some human behaviors transcend the borders of time. Those venerated artists memorialized in museums across the world had a sense of humor too, as their meme-ready work shows.
Distracted Boyfriend, AKA Man Looking at Other Woman, is the result of a ridiculous stock photo that took the internet by storm. The meme is pretty self-explanatory: Whatever is distracting you—and shouldn't be—is "the other woman" in the photo.
Congratulations, you played yourself from r/funny
Sometimes the best way to make a meme is to come up with the most literal, obvious caption possible and then present it like you're brilliant. Case in point: This DJ Khaled meme, which will forever be a classic.
Fry, from the animated cult classic Futurama, is never sure what's right and what's wrong. But when the joke's this good, the answer is both are correct.
Fathers, can you relate to this? It's a condescending Wonka meme template meme. from r/OVER30REDDIT
Condescending Wonka is good to pull out whenever somebody is getting a little too big for their britches. It's also good to pull out whenever you want to see Gene Wilder smiling.
ouch. from r/BikiniBottomTwitter
There are no memes on the internet with the same long-term appeal as SpongeBob memes. They are timeless and ageless, just like the guy who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
I made a shitty grumpy cat meme to pay respects from r/dankmemes
The world needs a Grumpy Cat to be our mascot every Monday, because Garfield doesn't hate Mondays quite enough for the modern worker.
Drunk Baby from r/memes
The Drunk Baby meme is a hilarious reminder that all kids are like tiny, drunk adults. And they don't even have to be embarrassed the next morning!
My contribution to Arthur's fist from r/memes
Whenever something makes you mad, you can use the Arthur's Fist meme to properly express your emotions. Singer John Legend, who's been mocked by his own wife for his resemblance to the PBS character, even recreated this one.
Karate Kyle from r/masterforgiveme
Good old Karate Kyle loves his vengeance. Fortunately, he looks fairly incapable of exacting revenge of any caliber.
Haven't seen Chemistry Cat in awhile… from r/AdviceAnimals
Chemistry Cat is the science nerd equivalent of Business Cat. So if you're wanting to take your puns out of the office and into the lab, he's your kitty.
First world problems from r/memes
Every time you get upset at Whole Foods because they don't have your favorite unsweetened iced yerba mate, another First World Problems meme is born.
Never forget from r/evilkermit
Every light side has a dark side—even Kermit, as evidenced by this series of funny memes. Fun fact: Evil Kermit is actually a character called Constantine from the movie Muppets Most Wanted.
Baby Insanity Wolf lives on the edge [fixed] from r/AdviceAnimals
Actual Insanity Wolf offers extremely violent advice. But Baby Insanity Wolf does things so small that only the person who creates the meme has any idea it even happened.
Hmmmm?? from r/Philosoraptor
All jokes aside, Philosoraptor asks some pretty compelling questions. Maybe the dinosaurs would still be around if all of their big existential queries were answered.
This pic is handy any time you can think of a joke that demands a Wednesday punchline.
Me every night [Picture] (x-post from r/BlackpeopleTwitter) from r/teenagers
The Kardashians have spread themselves all over the internet, so it comes as no surprise that they are the source of many hilarious memes. This one, with Kim Kardashian staring blankly, is useful any time you're really not interested in something someone else wants you to say or do.
Does anyone else think of Shots, when you see this meme from r/imaginedragons
Principal Skinner's temporary moment of self-doubt is great to have on hand for that one friend on Facebook who disagrees with everyone.
Hipster Dog needs to find his bone. from r/AdviceAnimals
Hipster Dog stopped liking everything you like before you even heard of it. Hipster dog is always three steps ahead of the mainstream.
31 Great Memes That Defined 2016
The Kermit "but that's none of my business" meme has been around since at least 2014, but it got new life in June when Good Morning America mistakenly (and hilariously) referred to him as "tea lizard."
Naturally, the good folks of the internet had a field day of calling out GMA — mainly for not knowing who the fuck Kermit is, but also for apparently THINKING. HE'S. A. LIZARD.
UPDATE: It has come to our attention that the history of “tea lizard” is a bit more complicated than previously thought.
About six months before GMA’s tweet, Twitter user @trillballins tweeted a joke about “tea lizard.” He, and many of his followers, tweeted jokes about “tea lizard.” The joke didn’t exactly reach meme proportions, largely staying within his followers.
GMA's social media editor Jeff Lowe told BuzzFeed News that, in fact, he knew exactly what he was doing when he tweeted "tea lizard" and that everyone thinking GMA got it wrong actually got trolled by the morning television show.
But, an insider at ABC told Mediaite that the social media team there actually wasn't aware of the "tea lizard" joke beforehand. They found it when they searched “crying Jordan” while looking for memes to include in the tweet, saw @trillballins tweet, and that’s when they found out about “tea lizard."
Life shouldn't be boring. Comedy and humor not only help us get through difficult times in our lives, but they can also be a great source for words, sayings, and sarcastic memes to remind you to live life unapologetically.
They say laughter is the best medicine, right? Well, turns out, it can also be the best inspiration, too.
From our favorite comedians and writers to every corner of the internet, there are plenty of hilarious and sarcastic memes for you to find inspiration.
Another great thing about humor is that it can be used for every type of life scenario even if you don't understand it. From work situations to relationships, funny memes make life a little more bearable. A good dose of humor can be a great kick in the butt to remind us of our worth and keep us positive through tough times.
Pick a funny meme about life and look at it whenever you're feeling down. Comedic memes feel less like a lecture and more like something our friends would say to us.
So, if you're in the market for some fabulous life inspiration, these funny sarcastic memes are right up your alley.
It's all about embracing who you are and how you want to live your life, and, sometimes, a sense of humor can go a long way.
1. "Today I asked a kindergartner if Friday was his favorite day of the week and his response was, 'I don't know. I don't know a lot of things. I'm confused all the time.'"
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2. "Me clicking on 'I have read terms and conditions.'"
3. "Friend: You need to watch this show. Me: I'll put it on my list. The list:"
4. "Me when I have responsibilities and stuff to but my bed is very comfy."
5. "Me thinking look friendly and I actually look like this."
6. Me and my bestie waiting for our Uber Eats order to get here."
7. "Selects the best songs and gets into the shower for a quick bath. Spotify plays 3 ads. Me-"
8. "Me: making list of all the bad decisions I ever took."
9. "When someone asks 'how's work?' Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever."
10. "Me thinking about my life."
11. "When you're an adult but you feel like a kid faking their way through life."
12. "When everything is going wrong in your life but you're used to it."
13. "Me activating my personality switch based on which friend I'm hanging out with."
14. "Mom: 'You need some sun. Go show your face to the world.' Me:"
15. "I have no idea what I am doing."
16. "Me spending money on myself vs. me spending money on my boo:"
17. "Me trying to not tell people what their gifts are."
18. "When you're having a mental breakdown and start crying but you still manage to laugh at memes at the same time."
19. "I've got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I'm stressing about for absolutely no reason."
20. "When you try to leave work a little early, but your boss reminds you that you have 7 hrs left."
21. "Not sure if it's Tuesday or just a second Monday."
22. "The sudden urge to get my life together. Me just trying to sleep at 3 am."
23. "When you were having a good time but suddenly life hits."
24. "My life in one picture."
25. "When your earphones are broken and it works only in a special position."
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26. "Me all day. Me at night."
27. "Me as my life goes downhill:"
28. "Me when I have to ask my friend to return the money he borrowed from me. Why do I feel guilty?"
29. "Acting professionally while I have no idea what I'm doing."
30. "Me: no, I don't need anything from the store but thank you. My man: 'shows up with no treats for snackies' Me:"
31. "#1 people can't be trusted."
32. "Me and my best friend laughing at the most stupid things for no reason."
33. "Remember when a series of unfortunate events was a book and not your life."
34. "When you order 12 things at once on amazon but only get one shipping notification. Oh, yeah. It's all coming together."
35. "Me stopping myself from saying something really rude in an argument."
36. "When your workplace is in chaos but your shift is over."
37. "Me: Honestly, it's not like things can really get any worse, so there's that. Life:"
38. "'Your package is out for delivery.' Me:"
39. "'Are you okay?' Me"
40. "Me showing my husband where the thing he couldn't find is, after telling him where it's at 20 times."
41. "The cheese I spilled in the bottom of my oven watching me bake more stuff instead of cleaning it out."
42. "Me solving my problems be like:"
43. "When I think about my life for more than 10 seconds."
44. "Me at 5 pm all tucked into bed thinking it's midnight."
45. "Happiness, My life."
46. "When someone starts an argument with me about something I know a lot about."
47. "Microwave, the plate, the food."
48. "Me, younger, full of hope and potential. Me now:"
49. "My alarm: 7:00a, 7:15a, 7:45a, 8:00a. Me:"
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50. "When your alphabet soup is password protected..."
51. "This is you after a rough week. You deserve it champ."
52. "Thinking about life while waiting for the toast to cook."
53. "When you didn't get enough sleep and every little thing is annoying you."
54. "IDK what emotion this is but I relate."
55. "Seeing people happy and enjoying their life without any worry."
56. "Me laying in bed at 3 am when I realize I should've said something else in an argument I had in 2011."
57. "Me, life."
58. "When ur depressed and someone says 'you should go outside.'"
59. "Me, on the weekends. If you need anything at all, too bad."
60. "When everything is going wrong in your life but you're used to it."
61. "Anxiety: 'What if this happens?' Me: 'But it won't.' Anxiety: But what if it does?' Me: 'You got me there.'"
62. "Alexa, delete my belly."
63. "When someone replies to your meme with another meme. Finally, someone who speaks English."
64. "When she asks you to do something, then 15 minutes later you see her doing it instead."
65. "Do yall even know my name?"
66. "Basically how I'm handling life."
67. "When your shampoo says 'repair damage' but you're still broken on the inside."
68. "Me: I need to talk about this in therapy. Me in therapy:"
69. "When everyone is serious and you're trying not to laugh."
70. "Organising trips with my friends like... In terms of money, we have no money."
71. "It's all fun and games until your oversized shirts start fitting."
72. "Therapist: 'You need to let people in.' Me: 'It's not locked."
73. "Me googling a phone number instead of answering it."
74. "Me texting my friends after weeks of disassociating like nothing even happened."
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75. "Me when someone sees me in my 'ain't nobody gonna see me' outfit."
76. "The sudden urge to get my life together. Me just trying to sleep at 3 am."
77. "Me about to text someone vs. me realizing if they wanted to talk they would've texted me."
78. "Me Calling my mom to complain about my day."
79. "My life. Some happy moments with strangers. My life."
80. "Stop complaining about your life. There are people out there dating your ex."
81. "What UPS & FedEx see when I open the door for my package."
82. "When your mom says 'wtf are you wearing' and you thought you looked good as hell."
83. "If my sleep schedule was a person."
84. "Nobody: Me attending my online classes."
85. "When you accidentally open that text you've been avoiding."
86. "Life is a journey, you never know where it will take you. My journey:"
87. "When you try and enjoy life for a second."
88. "Hotel desk: 'Our check out time is 12:00.' Me at 11:59:"
89. "Talking to myself at 3 am be like:"
90. "Am I the only one who sends a text saying 'Are we still on?' In an attempt to cancel a meet."
91. "Me trying to handle my life."
92. "Me realizing how pretty my eyes are after I've cried them out."
93. "When a good person enters your life in a bad moment."
94. "She's not high maintenance. You're just low effort."
95. "Me: looking out the window in the morning to see what season we doing today."
96. "Mom: my daughter would never do that, she is responsible and makes smart decisions. Me:"
97. "Me shopping for the 50th time in a single day. My bank account:"
98. "Me in Quarantine vs the story I'll tell my grand kids."
99. "When someone asks me for the food."
RELATED: 50 Best Funny Quotes & Sayings About Life To Help You Stay Positive
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and Michigan native who covers trending topics, pop culture and astrology.
Coronavirus memes are spreading as the disease travels across the world — here's what they look like and why creators say they're important
- As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and the realities of the pandemic set in, people are turning to the internet for some relief.
- Coronavirus-themed memes and TikTok videos are providing comic relief and distraction amid times of uncertainty.
- A search for "coronavirus" on any social media platform yields Purell memes, hamster videos, and "The Office" fan fiction, among other content.
- Creators say that using humor and art is critical in bringing people together and soothing global panic.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, sickening over 163,000 people and killing over 6,000 across 146 countries, people are turning to the internet for some levity.
Between coronavirus test and Purell shortages, business and university closures, and the implementation of stringent safety measures, anxious individuals are in need of distraction from the chaos. They appear to have found a solution in coronavirus memes and videos.
A search for "coronavirus" on any social media platform yields thousands of memes seeking the humor in a tense and frightening time.
Some people are fighting feelings of isolation with "work from home" memes.
As more and more workers are confined to their homes in the wake of imposed quarantines and office shutdowns, "work from home" memes have taken over the internet.
Animator Jazmine Valickis shared her "working from home lewk" on Twitter, immediately racking up over 1,000 likes.
While she never intended the graphic to be a response to the coronavirus outbreak, the work from home aesthetic resonated with people online.
"We call this the corona staycation look," one commenter wrote.
Valickis told Insider that online content like her graphics can play an important role in calming widespread anxiety.
"I think using art and humour right now probably is one of the most comforting things in times like this, at least for me," she said. "It normalizes the situation we're in without really ignoring the concern."
Ultimately, she hopes her art and humor can offer comfort during uncertain times.
"I just want them to feel like things are going to be ok, with no matter what's going on, because that's why I draw these things for myself," she explained, "so I can feel like things will be ok, and they will!"
Freelance Illustrator Daniel Fishel also took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the new "working from home" trend.
"Using memes or GIFs can help us express how we're feeling when words fail us," he told Insider. "We can post about COVID19 using words: 'I'm upset, but it'll be ok,' or we could post a GIF of a person trying to vacuum fire instead."
While other Twitter users may not be equally convinced that things will "be ok," they are finding the humor in home-quarantine situations.
Others are adding levity to the discourse with fake conspiracy theory content.
College student Sam Thullesen had the perfect idea for TikTok video when he discovered that COVID-19 was the official name of the illness caused by the coronavirus. He immediately recalled a scene from Pixar's "Monsters Inc." in which an emergency situation was referred to as a "23-19."
"I thought if I could find a way to make 'COVID' equal the number 23, then that would be a great idea for a TikTok that may potentially get some views," he told Insider.
Thullesen was correct; his video, in which he says he's "totally figured out" the novel coronavirus has been viewed 7.5 million times.
The clip, which has received 1.4 million likes, has served purposes beyond self-promotion on TikTok.
"I think in times like this, memes, videos, etc. can help to make light of the situation," Thullesen said. "I do feel that some of these memes can cross the line and become inappropriate, but when used right can help to ease people's minds and help them put things into perspective."
Purell memes are calling out item shortages and corporate greed.
As a hand sanitizer and disinfectant shortages plague shoppers, people online are providing some perspective with Purell and Lysol-themed memes.
A post shared by Flamingo Feels (@flamingofeels)
People are also using humor to comment on the implications of the high demand and inflated prices.
The most popular hand sanitizer memes, however, are comparing celebrities to various brands of the disinfectant.
Chris Evans stan account @buttsandevans posted a series of memes featuring the "Captain America" star as a variety of colorful hand sanitizers.
In under a week, the thread accrued over 8,000 likes.
The account's creator said the memes are providing an important service in times of stress.
"I feel like it's actually a pretty good thing, something we need, with all the negativity going around," she told Insider. "I've had so many people quote it and say that it actually made their day."
Jennifer Lopez, Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, and Ariana Grande have also received the hand sanitizer meme treatment.
"Stan twitter likes to have a lot of humor in scary times. We are a huge group of fans of Harry's from all over the world so we're going through this together and humor can always make people feel less anxious," Lora, the Harry stan behind memes, told Insider. "So I thought my thread could make someone laugh, involve Harry, and spread awareness to keep hands clean."
Some people are creating informational (and adorable) health content.
Izzie Feehrer, who runs the TikTok account Hamstarz, decided to make her own video addressing the coronavirus outbreak after seeing too many TikToks that were simply inciting panic or being entirely dismissive of the pandemic.
The clip, which has been viewed 3 million times, features Feehrer's hamsters demonstrating the recommended prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the video, the furry star (named Little) acts out handwashing, using tissues, and staying home — all filmed in Feehrer's dollhouse.
Feehrer hoped her post would strike a healthy balance that she felt other TikTok videos were missing.
"I wanted to make a video that shared real advice from the CDC so that it would be informative, but I also knew that by using my hamsters it would be lighthearted and people would actually watch it and enjoy watching," she told Insider.
The college student added that creating coronavirus-themed content is acceptable as long as creators are posting accurate information and spreading positivity.
"People need that right now, and even kids need that. A good amount of my followers are young and they have anxiety about it too," she said. "I was hoping people would listen to the video and take a deep breath!"
Ultimately, Feehrer hopes that using social media and humor during a time of uncertainty can bring people together and offer comfort.
"It is not about ignoring the crisis but supporting each other through it, in whatever way we can," she said.
Of course, there's a subset of coronavirus content imagining how the pandemic would play out on an episode of "The Office."
Nashville-based pastor Daniel Burnell was sitting on his couch at home when he started imagining how funny a coronavirus-themed episode of "The Office" would have been.
"I caught myself laughing at my own scenarios so I thought that maybe somebody else would think it's funny too," he told Insider.
From there, "The Office: Coronavirus" was born. The original tweet, imagining how each office worker would react to the pandemic, has received nearly 467,000 likes.
"I think that humor is just as much a part of our humanity as anxiety and fear," Burnell said. "Creating and laughing together distracts the mind and comforts the soul."
The best part of his viral fame, he says, is that other people contributed to the "episode" online.
After Burnell's wife shared the tweet to the Dunder Mifflin subreddit, the storylines took off.
"Jim and Pam try to convince Dwight that Jim has it and at first Dwight doesn't care but when he sees Jim coughing and sneeze alone in the break-room, Dwight quarantines the rest of the office by locking them all in, even overnight," one Redditor added.
Fans of "The Office" weren't the only ones to take notice of the tweet — castmembers even caught wind of the new episode.
Brian Baumgartner, known to his fans as Kevin from "The Office," posted the tweet to Instagram and expressed gratitude for the distraction.
"Sometimes not only the best but the ONLY medicine is to laugh," he captioned the post. "At the end of a day which brought so much bad and depressing news – this made me feel a little bit better."
Burnell isn't the only one drawing from the show. Other "Office"-themed tweets are surfacing, most featuring Dwight Schrute's disaster preparedness.
Some content attempts to balance urgency and pop culture.
Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo, who frequently uses his work to raise awareness about social issues, decided to use his talents to spread information about curbing the spread of the illness.
After seeing the emergency situation evolve in his hometown of Milan — with schools closing, shops shuttering, and hospitals collapsing under the demand for care — he decided to make informational graphics using pop icons.
"In this case, I made this series to react to an urgency, a way to alert all the people who live outside of Italy and who still do not realize the seriousness of the epidemic," he told Insider.
However, balancing pop culture, humor, and urgency is an art in itself.
"The humor about this emergency must be subtle, intelligent, thoughtful and must make you reflect," Palombo said. "And I think it's time for some deep reflection."
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2020 is still far from over but a lot of people think that it’s one of the worst years in recent modern history. So much so that they’re using humor to cope with just how bad things got. People are posting hilarious jokes about 2020 that a lot of us can relate to, and Bored Panda has collected some of the best ones.
Scroll down, upvote your fave 2020 jokes, and share how you’re dealing with all the stress this year, dear Pandas. When you’re done enjoying this list, have a look through our earlier post about people making “my plans vs. 2020” memes.
This year has been a huge challenge so far: Brexit shenanigans ensued, we nearly had WW3, Australia was on fire, the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world, and racial tensions over police brutality in the US reached a breaking point. It’s been rough. But people find that a bit of humor helps keep their spirits up in difficult times. Bored Panda reached out to speak about 2020 memes with comedy writer and comedian Ariane Sherine. Scroll down for our interview with her.
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Comedy writer Ariane told us that her fave jokes this year are "definitely" the "my plans vs. 2020" meme. "It just sums up the craziness of this year so perfectly."
She believes that people will still mention 2020 occasionally in the future. "2016 was also a bad year and people still talk about it. But it  will ll slowly fade from memory and be mentioned less and less."
Ariane thinks that the bad news will continue in 2020. "Sadly, I expect we’ll see second waves of coronavirus deaths. I’d love to see a vaccine but I’m not sure that’s going to happen this year."
Some of the 2020 jokes are related to us thinking about how we and future generations will look back at this year. While other social media users are joking about how we’re still not even halfway through the year and there are probably lots of messed up things waiting for us in the near future. Like alien invasions and zombie plagues. Or something more serious but just as scary.
Staying positive in 2020 when negative things keep hitting us over and over (and over…) again is easier said than done. However, small changes that you make to your lifestyle can have huge effects.
Like taking some time off from social media and the news, brewing yourself a steaming mug of tea, and sitting down with a good book. We all need to recharge; following the news is important but doing it nonstop will lead to burnout and, eventually, apathy.
Getting plenty of movement, some sunshine, lots of rest, and having a good diet are also very important. The world’s always much grimmer when we’re exhausted.
On the other hand, when we’re full of energy, we have all the tools that we need to change the world into a better place. 2020 is far from over but is it going to be like the first half of the year or can we turn this year around? That’s for each and every one of us Pandas to decide.
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50 famous memes and what they mean
Merriam-Webster defines “meme” as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” or “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.” That definition hasn't been around forever—it hasn't even been around for five years. The dictionary editors officially added the entry along with “emoji” and “clickbait” to the formal dictionary in May 2015.
Memes have always come with an air of mystery, intriguing and confusing even the most computer literate. Where did they come from? More importantly, what do they mean? Even modern science is hopping on the meme train. A team of scientific researchers from University College London, Cyprus University of Technology, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and King's College London came together in September 2018 to research the internet's most popular memes. Apart from assembling a definitive list of the world's favorite memes, the academic study also explored the influences (both positive and negative) that memes have on different communities. Some memes are created just for fun by creative or bored internet users, but others are made with the explicit intention of going viral to promote political ideas.
With the infinite number of memes scattered across the internet, it's hard to keep track. Just when you've grasped the meaning of one hilarious meme, it has already become old news and replaced by something equally as enigmatic. Online forums like Tumblr, Twitter, 4chan, and Reddit are responsible for a majority of meme infections, and with the constant posting and sharing, finding the source of an original meme is easier said than done. Stacker hunted through internet resources, pop culture publications, and databases like Know Your Meme to find 50 different memes and what they mean. While the almost self-replicating nature of these vague symbols can get exhausting, memes in their essence can also bring people closer together—as long as they have internet access.
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Danganronpamemer // imgflp
In 2017, when a number of posters on Tumblr and 4chan started bragging about their brain sizes, it quickly turned into a meme. Photos of different sized brains are paired with “smart” sounding words until they expand into a fully enlightened stage. One of the first manifestations of the “expanding brain” meme came from the who-whom-whomst progression of words that seemingly makes one sound smarter.
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Young Thug at computer
Back in 2018 a photo surfaced of the rappers Young Thug and Lil Durk staring at a computer screen while working on new music in the studio. The internet quickly began finding humorous (and fabricated) explanations for what the two were so intently concentrating on, everything from the rappers planning an elaborate heist to playing old school games like minesweeper.
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First World problems
While the “First World” terminology has been around for a while, the hashtag #firstworldproblems reached its peak in popularity on Twitter in 2011 after Buzzfeed posted a series of memes about problems experienced by privileged people from wealthy countries. The meme almost always depicts an attractive person looking sad, with a caption explaining his or her First World frustrations.
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Change my mind
After Steven Crowder, a conservative podcaster, posted a photo of himself in 2018 sitting at a desk with a sign saying “Male privilege is a myth: Change my mind,” it was almost too easy for the internet to begin making fun of him with memes of their own. Memes ranged from simply changing the words on the sign to elaborate photoshops.
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Drake has been the subject of several different memes throughout his long career. His 2015 single “Hotline Bling” was one of the biggest songs of the year, and when the music video came out featuring Drake dancing in a brightly lit cube structure the memes began to accumulate even more. Since then the internet has memed everything from his Twitter posts to school portraits.
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Is this a...?
The “is this a pigeon” meme first rose to popularity in 2011 after Tumblr posted a photo from a Japanese animated show of an android mistaking a butterfly for a pigeon. Most of the memes derived from the photo use the subjects to express modern confusions or paranoia.
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Real name Google searches
“Real name Google searches” is a meme that gained popularity in 2018 using the generic google template to depict made-up names for popular celebrities (usually those who go by aliases). According to Know Your Meme, it first appeared showing the rapper Lil Pump's name as “Lilliam Pumpernickel” and only got more ridiculous from there.
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“Futurama Fry” is one of the most relatable memes on the web. One popular meme, which began in 2011, shows the character Fry from the animated show “Futurama” with eyes narrowed thinking about contradicting questions usually referring to modern times or sarcasm. Another is a generic photo with the same character holding cash yelling “shut up and take my money,” used for when someone finds the description of a product on the internet particularly appealing.
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Weird flex but OK
The phrase “weird flex but OK” is used when someone brags about something that others would find awkward or just plain irrelevant. The phrase began showing up on the internet in 2017 and has continued to be used in response to awkward boasts. One of the most popular uses of the meme was during the recent Brett Kavanaugh hearings after he used his high school virginity as an argument.
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Evieliam // Wikimedia Commons
This is fine
Taken out of a 2013 webcomic strip called “On Fire,” this image showing a human-like dog enjoying his coffee while his house is burning down has seemingly become more and more relatable every year. The image is rarely altered, simply attached to troubling or hard-to-grasp news.
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Unsplash / Bence Boros and Twitter / @joshwillhall
Jokes about “big brother watching” are old, but in early 2018 the internet was more paranoid than ever before thanks to the internet-fueled idea of FBI agents watching people through their webcams. The memes aren't always critical, either; most of them depict the agents either protecting or being friendly with their subjects.
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The iconic green puppet has stolen the hearts of millions on the “Muppet Show” since the 1950s, but the internet meme sensation didn't begin until 2014. Most notable memes include Kermit sipping on some tea with passive aggressive text followed by “but that's none of my business,” as well as another with a hooded Kermit formatted to show good vs. evil thoughts.
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From “I need dis” to “Nyan Cat,” there really isn't one subject that emcompasses the internet's love of memes better than cats. Since the early 2000s when “Keyboard Cat” first made an appearance on YouTube, people have been posting funny images of felines paired with hilarious text.
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Also known as the “squat and squint” meme, the photo showing a squinting woman staring at something in the distance actually came from an outtake of a Instagram shot that went viral in March 2018. Since then, the picture has been applied to any circumstance that the poster finds unbelievable.
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A Star is Born
When the first trailer for the highly anticipated movie starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga came out in 2018, excited fans took screenshots and made them into memes. The most popular ones came from funny adaptations of Cooper's line “I just wanted to take another look at you” and Gaga's belted solo from the song “Shallow.”
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AndreDThompson // Twitter
Also known as “evil Patrick” or “savage Patrick,” this meme takes a still of the character Patrick from “Spongebob Squarepants” with a menacing look in his eyes from a 1999 episode. Twitter got a hold of it around February 2018 and started using the image along with an explanation of bad behavior or motives.
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PaulFaire/TheThings // TheThings.com
By age 35...
Following a 2018 MarketWatch article that implied an unrealistic amount of savings one should have in their 30s, people on Twitter began responding to the article by sharing all the other things you should ideally have by age 35 (from the hilariously true to the ridiculous). Advice on avocado toast, Pokemon, and drawers full of miscellaneous chargers followed.
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Don't say it
The “don't say it” meme details the relatable conversations people have between themselves and their brains, from bringing up awkward conversations topics to resisting “that's what she said” jokes. The first tweet with the meme showed up in 2010, but later resurfaced in 2017 and showed an inner struggle between whether or not to start a conversation with a taxi driver.
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MILOSLAVvonRANDA // WW Interweb
The 1987 film “Predator” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers contained within it what could be the manliest handshake of all time, and in 2007 it began gaining traction on YouTube. After multiple videos and fan art paying tribute to the handshake became popular in the following years, object labeling memes using the handshake as a background to agreements began to arise in 2018.
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There have been several memes revolving around the tech entrepreneur Elon Musk throughout the years, especially following his Twitter request for “dank memes” in October 2018. One of the most popular Musk memes uses an image of the billionaire smoking during a podcast interview.
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“Mocking Spongebob” uses an image from a 2012 episode of Spongebob Squarepants to make fun of another person's opinion on the internet. The earliest uses of this meme came in 2017 on Twitter, quickly gaining traction and becoming one of the most popular (and effective) ways to insult someone online.
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In 2016 a British mockumentary starring actor Kayode Ewumi called “Hood Documentary” was uploaded onto YouTube by BBC. Soon after, people on the internet began using a screen-grabbed image of Ewumi pointing to his temple like he had a good idea to reversely joke about bad decisions and poor thinking.
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Kyle MacLachlan // Twitter
Thank u, next
When Ariana Grande released her single “Thank U, Next” about her ex-boyfriends in early 2019, fans quickly began creating memes out of the lyrics. Aside from just using the title phrase to demonstrate being over something and moving on, the internet also used the lyrics to compare three things that taught them love, patience, and pain to mimic the chorus.
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Let's get this bread
People on the internet use the “Let's get this bread” meme ironically (usually it is slang for earning money) to make fun of people or themselves for trying too hard to earn money. In 2018 the meme exploded into everything from mockeries of the gluten-intolerant to references to Olive Garden.
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A screen-grabbed image of Pikachu looking surprised from an episode of "Pokemon" caught the attention of Twitter in late 2018. For the next few months, the image blew up when people started using it as a meme for doing something with an obvious outcome.
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Warren Baker // The Blogging Baker
Condescending Willy Wonka
The meme uses an image of Gene Wilder's 1971 Willy Wonka character to say something patronizing or mock someone. First used on Gizmodo and Tumblr as early as 2011, the image has become a common condescending response online.
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Pink Diamond // Pinterest
Jason Momoa sneaking up on Henry Cavill
Jason Momoa and Henry Cavill began a friendship while filming “Justice League” in 2016, and when a photo was taken of Momoa sneaking up on Cavill on the red carpet the same year, it quickly went viral. On the last day of 2017, a Facebook account posted a meme using the image, labeling Momoa as “2018.” The meme gained popularity throughout the following months as people labeled the two as different things creeping up on each other.
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In yet another Spongebob Squarepants meme, “exhausted Spongebob” uses an image from a 1999 episode where the character is leaning against a rock, naked and out of breath. Twitter began using the screengrab as an attachment to tweets around March 2018 about being tired.
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Classical art memes
There is a lot of unique classical art out there, so of course the internet has to find the most hilarious and wacky pieces to turn into memes. While art-related videos and other online art parodies can be traced back to 2004, the more recognizable memes gained popularity starting in 2013.
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World's most interesting man
Most people will recognize the “world's most interesting man” (played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith) from the Dos Equis beer commercials that began in 2008. The meme usually uses the image of Goldsmith as a well-dressed gentleman with an adaptation of his catchphrase “I don't always X, but when I do, I Y” and began to gain popularity as early as 2010.
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Guy blinking nervously
One of the most popular memes of 2017, “guy blinking nervously” is usually used in GIF form to demonstrate bafflement and being caught unaware. The GIF initially came from a clip of a video producer when his co-worker said something inappropriate accidentally.
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Hard to swallow pills
The “hard to swallow pills” meme uses two stock photos from WikiHow that were first posted to the internet in August 2017. It didn't take long for a Redditor to photoshop the image of the pill bottle to read “hard to swallow pills” and use it as a meme to illustrate a difficult truth.
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Who would win?
The internet has taken the childhood game of “who would win” to a whole new level with this meme. Used to pose hypothetical battles between two opposing subjects, the “who would win” meme is said to have begun in 2014 when a 4chan user posted the meme using two video games as opponents.
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How I sleep knowing...
The classic rhetorical question “How do you sleep at night?” was the inspiration for this meme. The more modern rendition shows a picture of a person or animal sleeping soundly with different versions of the words: “How I sleep knowing...” This usually refers to something that most people feel guilty about or worry about (and therefore lose sleep over).
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Ever since the show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first aired in 2007, people fell in love with watching the family's antics. They have all been the subject of a huge number of memes, with some of the most popular ones using screen shots from the show (usually of a meltdown or overreaction).
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"Today" days old
“Today days old” is used as a response to any random realization. It first came from posts asking “How old were you when you realized X?” with someone responding: “I was today years old.” This can be a fact both well-known or more obscure.
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Pepe the frog is a fictional character that first appeared in a 2005 comic, and has gone through multiple transformations since then. Starting out as a positive meme known as “feel good frog” in 2008, Pepe was edited into a more sad or angry meme a few years later. By 2015, what was initially intended to symbolize a peaceful way of life by the artist became twisted by several hate groups causing the image to be added to the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols in 2016.
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Crying Michael Jordan
Taken from an image of the famous athlete's emotional speech during his 2009 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, this meme is usually used to convey a fan's disappointment when his particular team loses or performs poorly. The meme has been around since first appearing on MemeCrunch in 2012 and gained an official fan page on Tumblr in 2015. Jordan has reportedly found the entire fad pretty funny.
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*Slaps roof of car*
“Slaps roof of car” can be traced back to a 2014 tweet of a ridiculous car salesmen conversation overheard and started blowing up in 2018 after being paired with an illustrated stock image of a car salesman showing off a car. The meme has seen many photoshopped variations, but usually utilizes the phrase “This bad boy can fit so much X in it.”
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Awkward little girl
Also known as “Side Eyeing Chloe,” this meme can be used in pretty much any awkward situation. The original photo came from a video of a little girl giving an unimpressed and hesitant look after being told about a surprise trip to Disneyland in 2013.
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Krusty Krab vs. Chum Bucket
Just about every “Spongebob Squarepants” fan knows about the intense rivalry between the Krusty Krab and the Chum Bucket restaurants, but the former usually reigns supreme. The meme uses photoshopped images of both cartoon restaurants in order to project two rivals, such as sports teams and TV shows.
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Havokimin // College Humor
Elf on the shelf rhyming
The “Elf on the Shelf” tradition began when parents would put an elf doll in the mantle during the holiday season and tell their children that it was watching them be naughty or nice. Toward the end of 2017, it became popular to post images of funny things that rhyme sitting on top of other things that rhyme using the phrase “You've heard of elf on the shelf, now get ready for X.”
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One does not simply...
Fans of “Lord of the Rings” won't need an explanation for this meme. Actor Sean Bean played Boromir in the movies, and one of his famous lines, “One does not simply walk into Mordor,” became the inspiration for a meme that plays on the phrase. Bean himself even admitted to seeing a big influx of the memes online during a 2015 interview.
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I am a man/woman looking for....
After a 2017 tweet that posed a questionnaire using the classic dating template “I am a man/woman looking for a man/woman” about Carly Rae Jepsen, a meme was born. Since then, it has become popular to use the format to make funny declarations.
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One of the most popular memes of all time, “success kid” uses a 2007 photo taken of a little boy with a clenched fist and determined expression. It is almost always used to display small successful moments or “wins” that happen to someone throughout a normal day like getting an extra chicken nugget in a fast-food meal.
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Overly attached girlfriend
“Overly attached girlfriend” began in 2012 when a Redditor took a screenshot of an image he found comical from a video of a girl singing a rendition of Justin Bieber's song “Boyfriend.” It quickly began making its rounds on the internet, using captions portraying her as a stereotypical overly attached girlfriend.
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Donald Trump yelling at lawnmower boy
The internet just couldn't help itself after images surfaced of a little boy mowing the lawn at the White House completely ignoring Trump. The kid was apparently so focused on the job that he didn't notice Trump when he came out to greet him, forcing Trump to yell loudly over the sound of the lawnmower and making for some great meme fuel.
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Left exit 12
The “Left exit 12” meme uses a series of screen grabs from a 2013 YouTube video showing a car drifting dangerously into an exit ramp. People began photoshopping the exit sign (exit 12) to say comical things that one might swerve off the highway in order to get to.
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In her girlish imagination, a troll is such a. Nightmarish little man, about her waist height, with an ugly face, big evil eyes, protruding ugly ears, a toothy mouth and huge hands, dressed in some kind of rags, at the same time very dexterous, fast and strong, so there was almost no chance of running away from him, especially in the dark.
Growing up, Marina learned that the priest can not only be spanked or whipped, it turns out that they can also fuck in it, and some, oddly enough, for some reason even like it. She also learned that trolls don't really exist.