Was 2013 the best year on the internet? Arguments could be made to prove that yes, it was. This list is one of them. The harmless simplicity and stupidity of the Doge meme, the discomfort around Miley Cyrus’s post-Disney comeback, the absurdity of asking, “what does the fox say?”… they’re all here, as delightful as they were 10 years ago.

Sit back, relax, and reminisce about when the internet was more innocent and unspoiled.

1. Doge


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Wow. Much memories, such fun! In 2013, the public image of the humble Shiba Inu Kabosu was forever altered by the doge meme. A photo of the dog uploaded by its middle-aged Japanese owner was co-opted by the internet, sprinkled with grammatically incorrect two-word phrases — usually beginning with “such,” “much,” “so,” “very” — written in neon comic sans. In 2013, the /r/Doge and /r/dailydoge subreddits were created, searching “doge meme” on YouTube resulted in a web page written in comic sans, and the satirical Dogecoin cryptocurrency launched.

2. “Wrecking Ball”

In September 2013, she came in like a wrecking ball, sensually licking sledgehammers and crying delicate tears. Before the release of “Wrecking Ball,” Miley Cyrus had been known as a squeaky-clean Disney Channel kid, so the general public was overwhelmed by the “overtly erotic” imagery from the former child star. Parodies abounded, including a very faithful one from radio personality Greg James and a shorter clip that replaced Cyrus’s face with that of Nicholas Cage.

3. Twerking

Twerking originated in the New Orleans hip-hop dance scene long before 2013, but Miley Cyrus made it a nation-wide trend when she performed her version of the move at MTV’s Video Music Awards that year. That performance prompted millions to search the term online, so much so that it was the top Googled term of the year in the U.K. Now widely seen as cringey, Cyrus’s performance of a Black dance move and appropriation of Black bodies opened up a larger conversation around respect and ownership that continues today.

4. What does the fox say?

Norway has brought us many wonderful things: the aerosol spray can, the Scream, and the enduring question, “what does the fox say?” Penned and performed by comedy duo Ylvis, “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” was a fantastical talk show skit that became a real-life hit in Norway and beyond. The tune peaked at no. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spawned thousands of parodies, including a 2016 SNL skit featuring Kerry Washington answering the question, “what does my girl say?” It was also the theme for YouTube’s annual Rewind video

5. Harlem Shake

You may now know George Miller as musical artist Joji, but in 2013 he was making absurdist and as-offensive-as-possible YouTube videos under the name DizastaMusic. In February of that year, he uploaded a video called “Do the Harlem Shake” in which he and a handful of others hip-thrusted to Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” until the beat dropped, at which point they flailed like those inflatable tube dancers outside of car dealerships. It was easily replicable and spread quickly. People were doing the Harlem Shake on planes, underwater, and at work (an “Army Edition” now has 129 million views, more than twice that of the original video.) Ironically, while the song and trend purport to show people doing the “Harlem Shake,” neither spotlight the actual Harlem Shake dance that originated in Harlem in the 1980s.

6. Side-Eyeing Chloe

Lily Clem first went viral in 2011, when a video of her being surprised with a trip to Disneyland made her weep with joy in her family living room. Two years later, her parents surprised her again. This time, amid all the joyous shock and happy tears, the camera panned to her little sister Chloe who looked directly into the lens as if to say, “get a load of these weirdos.” 

Soon, little Chloe’s face was everywhere, plastered over celebrities and on billboards in Brazil. Buzzfeed called her “The Patron Saint of Tumblr,” after edits of her expression were shared widely on the site. Chloe is now 12 years old and in 2021, her parents sold her expression as an NFT for $76,377.50, noting the money would help “put her through college.” 

7. Started from the bottom

Drake has been a generous purveyor of memes since his Degrassi days but “Started from the Bottom” is one of his most timeless. In the music video for the song, he jumps out of a Bentley convertible to dance alongside it while it’s actively snowing, flexes on a private plane, bowls, boogies on a billboard, and parties in the Dominican Republic. Drake started from the bottom (this music video) and now he’s here (being memed over his flirty rap to 21 Savage on their 2022 collaboration “Rich Flex”).

8. Relatable Jennifer Lawrence


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In 2019, i-D posited that Lawrence’s “relatable celebrity defined the 2010s,” beginning with her “coronation as the internet’s best friend circa 2013.” That was the year that J.Law tripped, fumbled, and d’oh-ed her way into our hearts. Her small tumble on the stairs of the Dolby Theatre as she walked to claim her first Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook made headlines, and she ended up tripping on the red carpet again the next year. Whether Lawrence’s “relatability” is authentic or put on has been the subject of debate ever since, but it’s hard not to be charmed by it just the same.

9. Florida Man


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In 2013, absurd headlines like “Florida man stabs wife over hamburger” and “Florida man run over by van after dog pushes accelerator” led one Twitter user to make an account documenting the escapades of the “Florida Man.” The name made it sound like one dude was responsible for every wacky event, prompting NPR to call Florida Man the “world’s worst superhero.” And he’s still out there, making moves; in 2021, Buzzfeed published a list of the best Florida Man headlines of that year. That’s because Florida’s unique confluence of factors, like its mental health and addiction crises and flexible freedom of information laws, lead to more arrests and enable journalists to access detailed information about them.

10. You had one job


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KnowYourMeme puts this phrase’s origin in 2001, but Google search interest in it took off in February 2013 when hadonejob.com began collecting the best examples of the meme. It unites us all in exasperation and the relief of knowing “at least I’m not that bad at what I do.”

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