Over the past 15 years, memes have gone from being repetitive niche jokes shared by small online communities to an integral part of presidential campaigns. Despite this more mainstream acceptance of meme culture, the internet’s insatiable hunger for content has led to memes having a much shorter lifespan than they once did. Jokes that previously could have sustained for months, if not years, now live and die within the span of a few days, forever banished to the annals of the web alongside Ikea Monkey and Dat Boi.
But now there is a burgeoning community on Reddit where you can revisit all those dumb macro images and videos you used to post on the message boards. r/antiquememes is one of many subreddits dedicated to asking the all-important question, “Hey, remember this thing?,” but its users are particularly interested in memes that have a heavy layer of dust on them.
Philosoraptor, Bad Luck Brian, and the Charlie Bit My Finger kid now reside here with countless other memes in this digital nursing home, just waiting for their old fans to come and sit by their side while they reminisce about how many likes and shares they used to get.
By looking back on these once popular, supposedly humorous images, we’re reminded of the fast-changing, ephemeral nature of the internet. What may seem like the funniest thing in your feed today, will probably be embarrassing to even think about a few years down the line. That’s why it’s important to stay on the safe side and just assume everything online is always very dumb.