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'Gangnam Style' And Other Best Memes Of 2012 Say Something About Us

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No big surprise here:

"Gangnam Style" is the No. 1 meme of 2012, according to the memeologists at Know Your Meme.

After all, Korean pop singer PSY's catchy tune and the video for it "spawned hundreds of parodies and copycat dance videos on YouTube and surpassed Justin Bieber's single 'Baby' as the most watched video on YouTube," as Know Your Meme writes.

Friday, there was word that "Gangnam Style" is the first video to pass 1 billion on YouTube.

But there was competition for Know Your Meme's No. 1 spot, of course. The rest of its Top 10 for 2012:

-- No. 10: @#$% People Say.

-- No. 9: What People Think I Do.

-- No. 8: Overly Attached Girlfriend.

-- No. 7: Ehrmagerd.

-- No. 6: Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.

-- No. 5: Somebody That I Used to Know.

-- No. 4: Kony 2012.

-- No. 3: Call Me Maybe.

-- No. 2: Grumpy Cat.

There were also many other memes that might have made that list, but could be on yours. They include "McKayla is not impressed" — the photos that seemed to pop up everywhere after American gymnast McKayla Maroney struck a less-than-pleased pose after she won a silver medal at the London Olympics.

Even President Obama got in on that meme.

On the next Weekend Edition Sunday, there's a conversation scheduled between NPR's Rachel Martin and Know Your Meme's Don Caldwell (who Two-Way readers might recall we spoke with about 2011's best memes).

Caldwell tells Rachel that the best memes "say something about the person who's sharing them" — such as "What People Think I Do."

They're just "little posters," he says, "that were used to say something about how certain people saw a job or expertise and it was compared to how the person saw their own job or expertise, and the often mundane reality of what it actually was. ... People would share that because it was saying something about themselves."

Much more from their conservation, as we said, is due on Weekend Edition Sunday. We'll add the broadcast version to the top of this post when it's ready.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


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