“meme” is essentially a term that refers to an idea, behavior or otherwise item of cultural significance, that spreads from person to person. Basically, a meme is just another aspect of the internet that causes us to waste time and get nothing done; that’s why we love them so much. Depending on your views on internet based memes, this may be awesome or a sad reality; but memes are becoming a significant method of interaction.
But they aren’t all wastes of time. Given the nearly never-ending amount of money now circulating the online world, advertising can now be found everywhere and meme creators have been making money off their ideas, videos and pictures for years. You though this is all fun and games? Check out the top 10 Internet memes – not to mention productive!
10. Kyle Craven – Bad Luck Brian
That hilarious photo of the awkward looking kid making a weird smile with captions depicting the worst luck in the history of man is popular by now. Kyle Craven originally dressed up and smiled that way as a gag, but years later, his friend posted the picture online and it went viral. After the popularity of the meme exploded, Craven enjoyed money from products such as t-shirts, ad campaigns and some YouTube videos and claims to have made around $20,000. .
9. Antoine Dodson – Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Wife!
For one young man and his family, a nice little pile of money results from a near tragedy. An intruder had broken into their home, and attempted to sexually assault his sister but when a news crew arrived on scene, an on-air tirade earned then 24-year old Antoine Dodson national renown. His catch-phrase, “hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife” was auto-tuned by the Gregory Brothers, selling over 200,000 copies on iTunes.
8. Keyboard Cat/Nyan Cat
Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are two very different memes, but both have and continue to earn money. When these two cats were used in a video game made by Warner Brothers, Schmidt and Chris Torres (Nyan Cat’s creator) sued the company. They won the lawsuit and have been paid an undisclosed amount of money.
7. Samwell – What What (In the Butt)
The highly suggestive video from back in 2007, “What What (In the Butt)”, earned singer Samwell some interesting recognition as an internet celebrity. The video was referenced in a brilliant South Park Episode, “Canada on Strike”. The notoriety has reportedly earned Samwell a steady stream of money since 2007.
6. Paul Vasquez – Double Rainbow
Back in 2010, Paul Vasquez, who also goes by the name “Bear”and “Yosemite Bear” posted a video of his reaction to seeing a double rainbow. He didn’t go completely berserk, but Vasquez was clearly in some higher level of awe. His video results in over forty million views on YouTube and a couple of television appearances.
5. Laina Morris – Overly Attached Girlfriend
After uploading a video to YouTube as part of a Justin Bieber related contest, in which she pretended to be a possessive, near-stalker girlfriend, Laina Morris achieved internet stardom in the form of an advice animal type meme on top of her YouTube channel. When she isn’t wide eyed and making jokes about GPS devices, Morris is actually a fairly normal girl, apart from being the face of unhealthy relationships.
4. David After Dentist
After a trip to the dentist, young David Devore acted a bit silly from the drugs, and since early 2009, the video taken by his father has practically been the basis for the Devore family’s second income. While they already made plenty of money through YouTube, there have also been plenty of licensing deals for the family.
3. Charlie Bit Me
A baby bit a toddler’s finger and the internet completely lost it. The video started slow but gradually built up several million views. The family has since earned a ton of money, and not just from the video and ad revenue itself, but also from ad campaigns with companies such as Google and Sprint, not to mention shirt sales
2. Tay Zonday – Chocolate Rain
Way back in 2007, the Tay Zonday’s video “Chocolate Rain”was extremely popular and went viral, earning him instant recognition, despite a lack of formal singing training and a simple recording system. Zonday’s song dealt with racial issues in the United States, but his celebrity career since has been much more lighthearted.
1. Tabetha Bundesen/Tardar Sauce – Grumpy Cat
Tardar Sauce’s (Grumpy Cat) delightful frowny face has become the go-to meme for anyone trying to express any negative emotion from slight displeasure to absolute rage. Her owner, Tabetha Bundesen, has been able to quit her day job, as ad campaigns for pet foods and a list of other companies have rolled in, along with book and movie deals.