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From Gangnam Style to the Sloppy Swish, Angelina Jolie leg thrusts to Chris Brown neck tattoos, and grumpy cats to photogenic peeps, 2012 was a great year for memes.

On this Christmas Day, THG looks back at 12 of the best photos, videos, trends and topics that captured the Internet’s fascination (and creativity) over the past 12 months.

Here’s what was imitated, parodied and shared with a vengeance in 2012:

12. Stingray Photo Bomb. Best. Photo. Bomb. Ever.

The expression on the face of the aquatic resident of the waters off the Cayman Islands – and the terrified tourists he surprised – really says it all.


11. Chris Brown Neck Tattoos. After Chris Brown got a ridiculous neck tattoo (which many thought was a battered Rihanna), the Internet exploded with parodies.

Lindsay Lohan with a tattoo of herself smashed? Classic.

10. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy (and Girl). Whether they’re running a marathon or recovering from major surgery, some people are just too photogenic for words.

If you can pry yourself away from staring at them, let’s move on!

9. Grumpy Cat. This sourpuss cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, first scratched the Internet with delight in September, inspiring a whole series of images like this.

Felines aren’t known for being jovial, but wow. Cheer up, Grumpy Cat!

8. Ermahgerd. This absurd photograph of a vest-sporting girl holding Goosebumps books debuted in March and birthed a deluge of Ermahgerd talk (or “Berks” speak).

We don’t really get it either.

7. Eastwooding. Perhaps the most memorable moments of the Republican National Convention came not from Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, but from Clint Eastwood.

Not a good sign for the party’s prospects, but a terrific source of material for the web, which watched Clint berating an Invisible Obama in an empty chair and went nuts.

Overly Attached Girlfriend

6. Overly Attached Girlfriend. This wild-eyed chick and her parody of Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” just made everybody else’s clingy girlfriend seem really laid back.

Seriously. Stalker much?

5. Angelina Jolie Leg Thrust. The actress’ forced, exposed-leg pose was probably the most talked-about, and spoofed, moment of the Academy Awards.

We’re not sure if that says more about Ange or the Oscars.

4. Binders Full of Women. Mitt Romney made a strong run for the White House down the stretch, but his campaign was not without its verbal gaffes and head-scratchers.

There was the 47 percent video, sure, but the web really had fun with his debate quips, such as threatening to fire Big Bird or references to binders full of women in Mass.

Sloppy Swish

3. Gangnam Style / Sloppy Swish (tie). PSY’s hit song is the most-watched video in the history of YouTube, making it a lock for a top three spot on this countdown.

SNL’s “Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish” is an equally awesome, yet unheralded gem, however. Even if it is just a really stupid dance created by a crazy person.

2. Texts From Hillary Clinton. A photo of a badass-looking Hillary Clinton checking her phone inspired an entire Tumblr blog devoted to facetious texts from the Secretary of State.

Takes a lot to impress Hill. Not unlike another notable, albeit younger gal:

1. McKayla Is Not Impressed. By like anything. After winning a silver medal in the vault at the London Olympics, the American gymnast was a but underwhelmed.

Her momentary disappointment at losing out on gold gave way to one of 2012’s funniest memes, with McKayla’s “not impressed” smirk photoshopped across the web.

Ryan Gosling shirtless. The royal wedding. The Grand Canyon. Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima. Blah, blah, blah. Even the POTUS got in on the act!

How many of these do you remember? Did we leave any out? Share your comments below and tell us which is your favorite, and which (if any) we snubbed!