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‘Coffin Dance’ to ‘Binod’, the memes that ruled social media in 2020

Top memes of 2020: In a year that most people found themselves spending more time on social media some memes resonated on social media worldwide.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2020 11:20:01 am
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In a year that many people spent at home glued to their devices thanks to a virus, there were many popular memes on social media that struck a chord worldwide.

World War III memes

Tensions between Iran and the US escalated at the start of 2020, with the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Major General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike. Iran responded with a stern warning. And people dealt with their anxiety with war-related memes.

Coronavirus, lockdown and associated woes

As lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 forced people across nations to stay in their homes, memes became about the problems of being at home. There were plenty of memes as people tried to cope, from those that dealt with #WorkFromHome woes to the race for a vaccine.


In India, what began with memes and jokes on the Janata Curfew in March, became about #ThaaliBajao and #9baje9minute.

There were memes about the extensions of the lockdowns, the various ‘home remedies’ and bizarre claims by politicians.

When public channels began airing mythological epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, there were memes about memorable scenes from the shows.

US Elections

The US Presidential election was one of the most talked about subjects on social media and there were memes on various aspects. The chaotic debates, an errant fly and claims of voter fraud were among the subjects that inspired plenty of memes.

After the results came in, there were memes about Trump refusing to leave and his lawyer Rudy Guilani’s ‘dye streaks’ at a press conference.

Coffin Dance memes

Among the most popular memes of the year was the one involving the dancing Ghanian pallbearers.

The meme – that has a video of the pallbearers set to a 2010 EDM track titled Astonomia – was from 2017, but it was easily the most popular this year. There were plenty of cases in which the meme was recreated in the real world to spread awareness messages. In Google’s global Year in Search 2020 the meme was the Most Popular Dance.

Binod memes

‘What is Binod?’ was one of the most searched phrases in India thanks to a recurring comment on YouTube videos. The comment inspired a YouTube video, which in turn made it one of the most popular memes in the country.

The meme inspired versions from the official handles of police forces and brands.

‘Rasode mein kaun tha’ memes

A song titled ‘Rashi Thi’ by Yashraj Mukhate – which was based on a scene from a Hindi serial – inspired a number of memes and spoofs on social media.

TikTok ban

In 2020, the Indian government banned over 100 Chinese apps as border tensions with China escalated. Among them was the wildly popular short video app TikTok, and there were plenty of memes mourning its departure from Indian phones.

PUBG ban

It wasn’t just TikTok. Even popular mobile game PUBG was banned.

Actor Akshay Kumar announced the launch of an Indian alternative — titled FAU-G — and netizens responded to the development with plenty of memes.

‘X Æ A-Xii’ memes

The choice of name for Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s son made waves on social media. His child with partner Grimes in May, had among the most unique names seen in recent times and inspired plenty of memes.

Everything is Cake memes

It started with a video of cakes made by a chef, but prompted existential questions about whether ‘everything is cake’.

My plan vs 2020 memes

Using popular TV and film references, people spoke of how they expected 2020 to go and how it had actually played out.

The ‘Mentally, I’m here’ memes were also popular as people imagined a reality outside of the one they were stuck with.

Nature is healing memes

As people stayed home, one popular theory was that ‘nature is healing’ but given the reality of the situation there were plenty of memes.

Monolith memes

The mystery behind the blink-and-miss appearance of the metallic structures at locations across the world intrigued people. They also inspired memes and fun photoshop battles.

How it started meme

The meme was used by many to celebrate how a simple start led to something beautiful.

Vibing cat meme

The meme, which has a ‘dancing’ cat superimposed on a video of a street musician singing and playing a drum, was among the most popular memes of the year. Turkish street musician Bilal Göregen has since come up with other performances, but this one remains his most popular.

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