The Week's Best Memes, Ranked

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In our recurring feature, Memes, Ranked, we not only rank the funniest memes on the internet each week, we also keep a running top 10 of the best memes of 2019. Skip to that here.

For the week of November 11, we have a handful of contenders: Keanu as a tumbleweed, Maclunkey, the "Payphone" exit and Claire Saffitz zoning out.

4. Keanu Tumblereeves

The meme: The trailer for "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run" dropped yesterday, and one of the best things about the trailer is that it's given us a glimpse of Keanu Reeves starring in the movie as a… tumbleweed. It's certainly a quirky cameo, and screenshots of Keanu from the trailer has instantly gained steam on the internet.

The examples:

Verdict: As memes go, there probably isn't a lot of room for this meme to grow beyond its current scope, but we're more than happy that Keanu Reeves' acting oeuvre now includes him starring as a tumbleweed in a Spongebob movie.

3. Maclunkey

The meme: Star Wars fans were shocked to discover on the Disney+ streaming service that the original film had been changed by George Lucas yet again — this time with the addition of a new line. During the scene where Harrison Ford's Han Solo shoots Greedo (a sequence with much notoriety, as it had previously been edited in the Special Edition rerelease to make Greedo shoot first), the green bounty hunter now utters the phrase "Maclunkey!" right before being gunned down. 

According to Entertainment Weekly, the phrase was first uttered in The Phantom Menace and means "This is the end of you."  When EW contacted a Lucasfilm representative, they confirmed the change.

"George Lucas signed off on the change back in 2012, prior to the company's acquisition by Disney. But this is seemingly the first time the new version has been publicly released." Fans had a field day with the edit, with jokes and other memes, mostly at Lucas's expense.

The examples:

Verdict: I have a good feeling about this! George Lucas's penchant to change his movies over and over again often enrages fans but this goofy addition is a hilarious bonus to the iconic film and gives us yet another reason to get a subscription to Disney's new streaming service. Also, "Maclunkey" is just a funny word.

2. The 'Payphone' Exit

The meme: Mid-activity fakeouts that end in everybody doing a sort of modified bunny hop in a line out of the room to the soundtrack of Maroon 5's "Payphone."

Examples: Sometimes this takes place on a basketball court:

Sometimes it's a whole bunch of people on a basketball court:

Sometimes it's in the middle of an actual game, much to the other team's surprise:

Sometimes it's gymnasts adding their own surprise twist:

And hey, sometimes you gotta do it out of a McDonald's:

Verdict: Some of these aren't executed quite as flawlessly as others, but who are we to nitpick? Gen Z is having more fun than anyone else right now, and we're benefitting from it. Keep at it, kids.

1. Claire Saffitz Zoning Out

The meme: A clip of Claire Saffitz, star of Bon Appétit's hit video series "Gourmet Makes" and a beloved member of the Bon Appétit Cinematic Universe, zoning out during one of the recent videos. It's quick and simple, and the perfect vehicle for some relatable memes.

The examples:

Verdict: It's fun, it's eminently relatable (who wouldn't want to zone out and forget about the terrible world for a bit?), and it features a beloved internet figure. It's not a world-destroying meme by any measure, but it's a very good meme of the week.

The 2019 Meme Power Ranking

Click each entry on the ranking to see when it debuted.

  1. OK Boomer
  2. Vibes
  3. Wholesome Buff Guys
  4. The Girl Drinking Kombucha Reaction GIF
  5. Claire Saffitz Zoning out
  6. Fucking Mint
  7. Untitled Goose Game
  8. If I Were
  9. The 'Payphone' Exit
  10. No One Can Have Both

Unranked Power Meme: What are we going to do with "Epstein Didn't Kill Himself"? It's been growing for a few weeks now and a sitting Congressman cryptically tweeted it out using an acrostic yesterday, but it just feels too grim to include it in these rankings. But it's not going anywhere, so we'll acknowledge it here.

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