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Website: Know Your Meme
Meet the cast.

Know Your Meme is an internet series created by the Rocketboom Institute for Internet Studies, in which resident scientists Kenyatta Cheese (aka Yatta), Elspeth Jane (aka Ellie Rountree), and now-retired Jamie Wilkinson (aka Jamie Dubs) tackle on to provide general history of internet memes as well as to try and explain what exactly makes them memetic.

Older episodes were made Just for Fun and all the research was done by the KYM staff themselves. But over time, the Know Your Meme website was created and most of the research is now done there. On the site, anyone can submit a basic meme article (akin to That Other Wiki), which, if the subject is deemed notable, is subsequently researched and expanded. Later on, the site was bought by the Cheezburger Network.

The website is over here.

Confirmed memes on Know Your Meme that also have a TV Tropes Page:

Know Your Meme Provides examples of:

  • April Fools' Day:
    • On April 1st 2012, you could "buy" memes. Supposedly with real money, but the next day both orders and bills were canceled
    • On April 1st, 2013, the site claimed that the main tubular system was down and that the database could only process memes that predated the Internet. All confirmed memes were still available under a separate "Deadpooled" section.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never try to force a meme on Know Your Meme.
    • Anything from 9gag. Many of the commenters frequent its rivals 4chan and Reddit and it shows. Even Reddit is starting to get this treatment, though.
    • Advice Animals, with a few exceptions.
    • "Know Your Meme is for DOCUMENTING memes, not creating them!"
    • Twitter hashtags, mainly due to being perceived as useless and over abundant.
  • The Cameo: "Weird Al" Yankovic appears in one episode to explain how auto-tune gained memetic status.
  • Cringe Comedy: The Cringeworthy gallery collects images of examples of this.
    • Currently blocked due to users using it to attack others.
  • Fist Pump: "Success Kid" pumps his little fist, celebrating his achievement.
  • Forced Meme: As with above, you get these every now and then.
  • For Science!: The Numa Numa Dance episode starts with one of the researchers saying this.
  • Hot (Internet) Scientist: If the comments section of the videos is to be believed, Elspeth Jane fits this trope.
  • Internet Counterattack: The site ended up getting embroiled in one when Hot Topic decided to start selling Rage Guy shirts. /b/tards quickly came up with the very politically incorrect "Race Guy" and made a page for it trying to paint Hot Topic themselves as racist. The page has since been cleaned up, though you'll still see Trolls in the comments claiming that "Race Guy isn't a spin off, Rage Guy was racist to begin with, and the people at Hot Topic are sickos for making money off of racism!"
  • It Will Never Catch On: Many of the comments that were posted on the Bad Luck Brian entry when the meme was first taking off were of this nature.
    • Conspiracy Keanu as well. Just check out the disparity between the first and second top voted pictures.
  • Kangaroo Court: The journey to getting a meme confirmed can go from smooth to very skewed. For example, the Nope! Chuck Testa page has gotten boatloads of research, over 1,000,000 views, 10,000,000 views for the commercial itself on Youtube, and its own video from the site admins, but went unconfirmed for three months anyway because of its recent release.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The general attitude towards the Cringeworthy page and the rather messy history behind it.
  • Mascot: Deadpool has become the site's unofficial one, since the term for rejecting false memes is "deadpooled".
    • Shaped Like Itself: Deadpool's page is deadpooled. The humor of this has not gone unnoticed.
      • Deadpool's page has been listed as "Researching" despite still being Deadpool, and it even has a pretty nice new page header made by Marvel execs themselves. It would seem even the site admins noticed as well.
  • One of Us: Several users on the site frequent TV Tropes. Often, when submissions match up to article names here, the users will be quick to point this out. Often, this is used as an argument for (or against) confirmation.
  • Scoring Points: "+1 confirm", "+1 wait", or "+1 deadpool" are the commenters' terms for approval, hesitance, and rejection of an article. Note though, that these points don't actually do anything. They're just the commenters' way of voicing their opinion. Sometimes they'll be even something nonsensical, like "+1 potato".
  • Memetic Mutation: The website helps people know their memes. That should be quite obvious. (There are lots of other places where people can go to know their memes, but this is one of the few SFW ones.)invoked
    • Deadpool could be considered a site-exclusive one.
      • Also, Super Robo Jesus. The users love it when this trends, but they make the moments special by not forcing it to happen.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: An article trends based on the amount of users commenting on it. If the article is something horrific or disgusting, users will complain about the article trending... by commenting on it, therefore keeping the article trending. This is sometimes lampshaded.
  • Self-Demonstrating Article: Many of the videos about a meme would also demonstrate the meme in question.
  • Serious Business: Memes. Especially Internet memes. Because Internet is Serious Business.
  • Shown Their Work: As the result of trope above, Memes are RESEARCHED AND CATEGORIZED!
  • The Grand List of Forum and Community Laws: The community-based Know Your Meme RPG (still in development).
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: The KYM community tends to be this towards 4chan, simply wanting to be loved by them.


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alternative title(s): Know Your Meme
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