This wikiHow teaches you how to create basic memes online. Memes are visual representations of humor that are often based on current events, viral videos or images, and humor trends.
1Know what a meme is. A meme is an often humorous or satirical piece of content (e.g., a photo or a video) that has been shared with a large number of people. Memes are usually used for things like pairing a seemingly normal photo with absurd text, pairing a ridiculous photo with a witty caption, or adding new context to a piece of content.
- The word “meme” is short for “memetics”, which is a study of commonly repeated principles, philosophies, or content.
- Memes can comprise a wide range of content, so determining a specific category of meme can be difficult.
2Consider the different types of memes. While there are countless subcategories of memes, there are a few main overarching categories:
- Traditional (or “normie”) memes involve a stock photo or a screenshot from a movie, viral video, or magazine. These photos typically have text that fits the visual tone of the photo added to them.
- Dank memes involve absurd or out-of-context humor. Dank memes also often attempt to bring back a dead or dying meme by overusing it constantly.
3Understand meme humor. Since memes are often humorous takes on current events, meme humor can be insensitive or socially inappropriate. Meme humor is also often absurd or patently nonsensical, with the idea being that the ridiculous nature of the meme will lead to entertainment.
- One example of insensitive meme humor is the influx of memes regarding Harambe the gorilla after he was killed by Cincinnati Zoo staff.
- An example of absurd meme humor is the practice of using bass drops or distorted sound to emphasize a moment in a video.
4Research currently popular memes. In order to understand fully what kind of content qualifies as a meme, look up memes from your current year. You can also narrow the search by including the month.
- For example, typing memes January 2018 into a search engine would come up with memes regarding the “Ugandan Knuckles” VR Chat phenomenon, some Tide-related humor, and the U.S. government shutdown.
- You can also research currently popular videos and images if you want to try to predict the next upcoming meme.
5Reference other memes or viral videos in your memes. When making memes, referencing popular events, books, movies, video games, and so on will increase the comedic value of the memes.
- For example, many memes involving videos of accidents (e.g., bike crashes) will place a Call of Duty “Round-Winning Kill Cam” filter over the accident.
6Combine two attributes that clash with one another. Pairing a tame image with explicit text (or vice versa) sets up the meme for a bizarre, nonsensical presentation, which is often the nature of viral memes.
- For example, combining a still shot of Winnie the Pooh with profanity-laced humor is a good way to evoke an absurd tone.
Creating a Traditional Meme
2Select Create. This button is in the upper-left side of the page. Moving your mouse cursor onto it will prompt a drop-down menu to appear.
3Click Caption a Meme or Image. It’s in the drop-down menu. Doing so opens a page with meme templates.
4Select an image. Scroll through the popular meme templates in the upper-right side of the page until you find one that you want to use, then click it.
- You can also upload your own photo to meme by clicking Upload your own image in the upper-right corner of the page, clicking Upload image from your device, selecting an image, clicking Open, and clicking Upload.
- If you want to search for a specific meme, click the “Search all memes” text box on the right side of the page, type in the name of the meme (e.g., “Harambe”), click the yellow View All Meme Templates button when it appears, and select your preferred image.
5Enter a caption. In the provided text box(es) on the right side of the page, enter the caption(s) that you want to use for the image. Since captions are often position-sensitive, you may have to rearrange your captions’ text if it doesn’t suit your photo.
- For example, the traditional meme caption is horizontal text at the top and at the bottom of the meme image.
- Some memes, such as memes involving a button, will involve a caption box on the button itself.
6Click Generate Meme. It’s a blue button on the right side of the page. This will create your meme with your selected image and caption.
7Save the image. When the generated meme appears in the pop-up window, right-click it, then click the Save image option in the resulting drop-down menu. This will save the meme onto your computer.
Creating a Dank Meme
1Understand the driving principle behind dank memes. For a meme to be considered “dank”, it has to capitalize on absurd, uncomfortable, nonsensical, and/or dissonant concepts (for example, a dank meme might attempt to make you laugh about a tragedy).
- Dank memes also tend to reference old or dead memes and/or irrelevant viral content (e.g., a meme in 2018 referencing the death of Harambe).
2Find an image to serve as the meme’s base. This can be a screenshot of a conversation, an image from pop culture (e.g., a movie or a TV show), or literally anything else that you want to use as a platform.
- Try to find either an image that has current implications (e.g., an image of the Queen of the United Kingdom) or an image that has absolutely nothing to do with current events (e.g., a stock photo of a sunset).
3Open the image in an editing program. Microsoft Paint is widely used for dank memes on Windows computers—in fact, Microsoft Paint is a bit of a dank meme in and of itself—but Mac users will most likely have to use a service such as Pixlr (an online photo-editing program).
4Add text to the image. Unlike traditional memes, dank memes usually encourage text placement in odd, non-uniform areas of the photo.
- For example, you might put text near a person’s mouth if it’s something they’re supposed to be saying.
- Alternatively, many dank memes use text to label objects. A common dank meme trend involves something like taking an image of a person throwing a dangerous item at a threat and then labeling the person “me”, the threat “the doctor”, and the item “an apple a day” (or something similar).
- Most photo editors allow you to add text by clicking the “Text” button in the toolbar (typically an A-shaped icon) and then either clicking or clicking and dragging the cursor across the photo.
5Add other content to the image. For example, some dank memes involve taking a picture of an iconic scene and replacing one character’s face with the face of a public (or viral) figure.
- Dank memes are loosely categorized, so as long as the image is absurd or ridiculous in nature, it will qualify as a dank meme.
6Save your image. Once you’ve saved the image onto your computer, you’re free to upload it to your preferred social media or meme page.
- You might want to watermark your image with your username or signature to ensure that it remains associated with you.