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Top 10 Memes Inspired By Music

VO: Matt Campbell

Script written by Allen-Michael Harber

Not even music is safe from the depths of the Internet. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Memes Inspired By Music.  For this list, we’re looking at the memes that have found their roots in the world of music.

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Top 10 Memes Inspired By Music

Not even music is safe from the depths of the Internet. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Memes Inspired By Music.  
For this list, we’re looking at the memes that have found their roots in the world of music.

#10: Numa Numa

Ah the younger days of viral videos, where it was harder to get noticed because YouTube wasn’t a big thing yet. “Numa Numa,” as it’s known, is actually the song “Dragostea Din Tei” by the Moldovan pop-group O-Zone. This song originally came to prominence when a video of Gary Brolsma mouthing the lyrics and dancing was released on Newgrounds. The video has become an icon of internet culture, and the song… well, it still makes us get up and pump our arms every time it’s played.

#9: Bananaphone

Sometimes a meme just needs to be simple to be amazing. “Bananaphone” is a children’s song that’s about - you guessed it - a bananaphone. Within three minutes, the singer Raffi creates many puns and situations around the use of phone that just happens to also be a banana. This is a rare meme where you can express the meaning in any way, from songs, to mash-ups, to a picture. The bananaphone just has to be alluded to in some way. And as the song says, this meme is very ap-peel-ling. Get it?

#8: Katy Perry’s Left Shark

This meme isn’t inspired so much by a song, but the performance of one. During the halftime show at Super Bowl 49, Katy Perry performed her song “Teenage Dream” with two backup dancers dressed up as sharks. The left shark, gave what was considered by many to be a lackluster performance and became a trending topic immediately after the game. Everybody quickly jumped on the bandwagon, including Snoop Dogg who jokingly tweeted that he was the shark. Buzzfeed also ran a survey asking which of the halftime sharks their readers were. What’s next, a Left Shark sitcom?

#7: Mom’s Spaghetti

As delicious as home cooked spaghetti may be, this is not the image that Eminem was trying to convey. Taken from Eminem’s Academy Award winning song from “8 Mile,” what was meant to be a throwaway line has become a phenomenon of its own. The sheer absurdity of Eminem referencing a warm, hearty plate of spaghetti in a song about overcoming obstacles made this a meme that the Internet just couldn’t pass up. While the mental image might be hilarious, it doesn’t exactly put you in the mood for Italian food.

#6: Fabulous Secret Powers/He-Man Sings

“By the power of Grayskull!” Fabulous Secret Powers is a music video that has Prince Adam, or He-Man, singing a rendition of “What’s Up?” by 90’s alt-rock band 4 Non Blondes in a high pitched voice. The video also features He-Man dancing and singing with other characters from the show. Different parts of the video have also been used by trolls to put He-Man in suggestive situations. It additionally inspired another He-Man video where a different user had Skeletor and other major characters sing a rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. When did “He-Man” turn into a singing competition?

#5: Thom Yorke Dance Remixes

You know that saying, “dance like nobody's watching?” Well as it turns out, everyone was watching when Radiohead lead singer did some interesting dances in the video for “Lotus Flower.” In fact, thanks to this meme, Thom Yorke can get groovy to all your favorite songs. He can dance to modern hits like Desiigner’s “Panda” or even classics like Beethoven’s 5th. He’s got some pretty good moves, so let’s hope one day we see him on “Dancing With the Stars” in the near future.

#4: I Should Buy a Boat Cat

Björk is a prime example of a singer who has been able to change with the times. She’s finding new ways to stay relevant and which includes unintentionally creating a new Internet meme. In her song “Triumph of the Heart” where she ditches her cat-husband to go partying, there is a scene where a cat in a suit is reading a newspaper. This scene was turned into an image macro with the cat contemplating buying a boat. Whenever this image is used, it has the cat either having an epiphany or having a secret desire, such as “I Should Write a Book”. Sometimes a second picture is added showing the cat actually doing the thing he wanted to do.

#3: Hotline Bling

It seems like every time Drake releases a new song or album he takes the Internet by storm, such is the case with his Views album cover. The biggest hit off this album of course was “Hotline Bling,” which quickly spawned parodies  and remixes galore. And as Thom Yorke also demonstrated, if you have any dancing in your video, it’s probably going to be turned into a meme as well. Interestingly enough, even a certain presidential candidate helped parody the video on “Saturday Night Live”. Let’s just leave the dancing to Drake.

#2: Sandstorm

You know that song you love but you don’t know the name of? Odds are it’s called “Sandstorm” by Darude. The ultimate pump-up jam, this techno song has found new life in the Internet age through gaming communities such as League of Legends. People have done covers of the song on different instruments, created non-existent lyrics or even created their own derivative memes using the song. So if you’re ever looking for something to spice up your Internet video, sprinkle a little Darude and there you go.
Before we reveal our top pick here are a few Honorable Mentions.
Call Me Maybe                                                                                  
Epic Sax Guy                                                                         
Wake Me Up (Wake Me Up Inside)                                               

#1: Rickroll

This entry is a little ironic, as you were probably expecting this to be number one, but this is a meme about popping up unexpectedly. It’s pretty easy to rickroll anyone. All you have to do is send them a link to a video or web page and BAM - it’s Rick Astley! It’s pretty much the oldest Internet trick in the book, but to this day it’s still pretty effective. Rick Astley has even got in on the joke such as the time he rickrolled everyone during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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