Best Viral Memes of Summer 2021

Well, it’s official: summer is finally over and autumn is well and truly here 💔 With the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter, it’s easy to feel a little bummed out. But despair not – we’re reliving some of that summer fun with our favourite viral memes of Summer 2021! ☀️

Anakin and Padme meme

One of the most popular memes of the summer was the 4-panel Anakin and Padme meme, or “For the better, right?”, based on screenshots from the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The meme was first posted by Twitter user @starwarsposting on 21st April, but did not take off as a popular meme format until June:

Anakin: “I’m going to change the world.”
Padmé: “For the better, right?”
Anakin: (gazes in silence)
Padmé: “For the better, right?”

The dialogue in the original meme is never actually said in the depicted scene, or in the film at all, but does reference the overarching theme of Anakin’s progression to becoming the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

Since the beginning of June, hundreds of hilarious versions of the meme have sprouted up online, referencing different films, TV shows, and cultural moments. Here are a few that really made us laugh:

Mary Jane Defending Peter Parker meme

Another viral meme we loved this summer was the Mary Jane Defending Peter Parker meme, which emerged on 26th August when Twitter user @lillieswamp used this screenshot from the 2002 film Spider-Man as a reaction image.

By 30th August, the meme format had achieved viral popularity on Twitter, with several notable examples posted by users in the following days.

My Fall Plans vs the Delta Variant meme

The My Fall Plans / Delta Variant meme rose to popularity in August with news of the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, a variant of the virus that is more contagious than the original strain. The format humorously expresses disappointment that the Delta variant might ruin peoples’ plans for Autumn, often using pop culture references.
The first known iteration of the meme was posted on 8th August by Twitter user @jush_for_fun, using images of drag queens Shea Coulee and Sasha Velour from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, in reference to Sasha’s dramatic comeback in the final challenge of the season.

Over the next few days, the format saw increased usage as people used famous characters from film and television to represent “fall plans” and the thing that kills or harms them as “the delta variant”. Here’s a personal favourite, featuring Regina George from Mean Girls:

The French Dispatch Cast at Cannes meme

The French Dispatch Cast at Cannes meme started with a photo of actors Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray and director Wes Anderson at the Cannes Film Festival, promoting their film The French Dispatch. The photo shows the celebs in four very different outfits, leading Twitter users to joke about them representing four connected but very different things.

The image was first posted online by GQ on 13th July and quickly spread around Twitter, with one of the earliest examples from @MrTimCallanan comparing the quartet to the four Tennis Major tournaments:

And, of course, we have to share a personal favourite as well that really made us laugh:

The Beach That Makes You Old meme

The Beach That Makes You Old meme became popular in July and references M. Night Shyamalan’s 2021 thriller film Old. The film follows a group of tourists that get trapped on a beach that rapidly ages them, and jokes about this phenomenon quickly began circulating on social media after the film’s premiere.

On 23rd July, the day of the film’s premiere, Twitter user @zachsilberberg posted the two first viral memes about the beach, referring to it as “the beach that makes you old”. The tweets gained over 710 retweets and 9,900 likes and 4,500 retweets and 70,500 likes in four days, respectively. We love the reference back to the Anakin and Padme meme from the previous month!

“Deleting Dating Apps” meme

Some of the best memes don’t involve any images at all, just a good ol’ simple text template that can easily be duplicated to produce new variations with altered meanings. The “deleting dating apps so I can find love the old fashioned way” meme is an excellent example of this, and is another one of our fave memes of the summer.

In this meme, the methods of finding love that people describe in parentheses are humorous and often reference pop culture, such as this brilliant Shrek version that went viral.

The format gained popularity after 6 June, after Twitter user @Alexgmurd tweeted “deleting my dating apps because i want to meet someone the old fashioned way (blacked out at a bar),” gaining over 16,000 retweets and 191,000 likes.

Kim K at the Met Gala meme

The highly-anticipated annual Met Gala took place on 13 September this year, once again treating us to stunning looks from some of our fave celebrities. The event is often affectionately referred to as “fashion’s biggest night out,” but Kim Kardashian’s outfit was somewhat, erm… questionable.

The reality star opted to cover her entire body and face in opaque black fabric, so of course the internet was quick to turn her into a meme. The most memed photo of her outfit was her standing next to her sister Kendall Jenner, whose outfit stood in direct contrast to Kim’s:

But we’re also a big fan of all the memes comparing her to the dementors from Harry Potter:

And thus, our definitive list of the best memes of Summer 2021 reaches its conclusion. We hope you’ve enjoyed reliving some of these funny viral moments with us – let’s hope there are plenty more to come in autumn!

Did you know that joining in with the latest viral memes is a great way to increase audience engagement with your brand? For more information on social media marketing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with DMT. We’d be more than happy to tell you about our Social Media Management services, as well as what we can offer in terms of Paid Social, PPC, Email Marketing, and more.