The 4 most meme-worthy pop culture references of 2020

Infographic depicting four pop culture references from 2020
Nada Lamie/Staff

This December marks the 10th month of quarantine, and the isolated people of the world have not disappointed when it comes to entertainment. Four walls, constant blue light stimulation and living with family have a way of spawning unbeatable comedic content.

Here we have the Four Meme-men of the Apocalypse, the tetrad that kept the internet afloat these long months and hopefully signals the second coming of normal life in 2021.

“Tiger King”

First, let me provide some background music.

Though other documentaries such as “Megan Is Missing” later created a meme splash, nothing will compete with that blissful period of early quarantine when everyone was making whipped coffee, doing Chloe Ting’s two-week ab challenge and watching Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin duke it out over their differing views on wildcat conservation. Most memorably, Joe Exotic accuses Baskin of having killed her ex-husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997, and feeding his remains to her tigers. The “Tiger King” memes are as wide-ranging as memes come, but many seem to feature the extravagantly dressed Joe Exotic and his horseshoe-shaped beardstache.

X Æ A-12

Money gives you the right to do a lot of things. You can send a Tesla Roadster into space. Create a whole academy just for your kids. Sell flamethrowers. Attempt to colonize Mars. What you cannot do, however, is name your child X Æ A-12 (pronounced X-ash-A-12. I think. There might also be an “AI” or “Archangel” in there somewhere). Not without significant internet pushback. Memes compared the kid’s name to an uncrackable password, offered varying versions of the name’s pronunciation and pictured the child reacting to their name change. (California law doesn’t allow numbers in a name, so Elon Musk and Grimes renamed the kid “X Æ A-Xii.” That went over about as well as you think it did and spawned a whole new set of memes.) At least the kid will never have to worry about substitute teachers mispronouncing their name in school.

Da Vinky 

The Voros Twins, two Hungarian Canadian brothers with a shock of blond hair each and identical perpetual expressions of confusion, attempted a TikTok trivia filter in September. When asked, “Who painted the Mona Lisa?” the twins confidently answered, “Mona Lisa.” Funny enough in itself, but then the app provided its answer: Da Vinci, as in the very famous, arguably-a-household-name Leonardo da Vinci.

In perfect synchronization, we heard these blessed brothers ask, “Da Vinky?”

And a meme was born. What makes the Da Vinky meme truly special, however, is the twins themselves. They’re just genuinely happy to be making videos together and helping millions of people across the internet laugh. That’s a truly special bond. In fact, you might even say the Voros Twins are more than siblings. They’re best friends, too.

But that can’t be right … because …

“I ain’t never seen two pretty best friends. It’s always one of them gotta be ugly.”

Rickrolling didn’t have any competition until Jordan Scott, @jayrscottyy on TikTok, uploaded this hot take in early October. Much like the Da Vinky meme, “I ain’t never seen two pretty best friends” went viral for both the content and the creator. Scott, who delivers his opinion with a disturbing lack of blinking, quickly became a meme himself. People duetted his TikToks with emoji over their eyes and wondered if Scott and his uniquely light irises had been manufactured in a lab. As that died down, the “I ain’t never seen two pretty best friends” audio began to take over. Not only did best friend duos attempt to prove Scott wrong, but minutelong TikTok storytime videos and whole paragraphs of information would end with the infamous statement. Even now, months later, the two pretty best friends are inescapable. Click here for Scott’s full video.

Contact Anishi Patel at [email protected].