Do memes Have to be Images? (Can They Exist Without Them?)

Do memes need images to be funny and engaging? This is a question that has been debated for some time now, and the answer is not so clear-cut. While it is true that many of the most popular memes out there are accompanied by hilarious images, there are also examples of successful ones that do not rely on visuals. So, what makes a good meme, regardless of its form? Let’s take a closer look.

Do memes have to be images?

Do Memes Have to Be Images?

No, memes do not have to be images. While image-based memes are certainly the most popular type, there is no rule that they must be pictures.

In fact, some of the most successful memes have been text-based. For example, the “Goodnight sweet prince” meme became hugely popular on social media, even though it was just a phrase written on a black background. Similarly, the “I’m not a feminist, but” meme went viral without any accompanying image.

So, what makes a good meme, regardless of its form? Let’s take a closer look.

What Makes a Good Meme?

There is no one answer to this question, as what makes a good meme depends on the individual taste of the person viewing it. However, there are certain elements that tend to make memes more successful than others. For one, a good meme is usually timely and relevant to current events.

This helps to ensure that it resonates with as many people as possible. Additionally, a good meme is often clever, funny, or otherwise entertaining. This is what helps it to spread quickly and gain traction online.

What Is Not a Meme?

Before we can answer the question of what makes a good meme, we need to first establish what does not constitute a meme. There are a few things that people often mistake for memes when in reality, they are not. These include:

  • An Internet fad: A fad is defined as “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities.” In other words, a fad is simply something that is popular for a brief period of time, often for no reason at all. While memes can go viral and become extremely popular, they are not simply fleeting trends. There is usually some level of creativity or clever humor involved in a successful meme.
  • A viral video: A video that becomes popular online is not necessarily a meme. For a video to be considered a meme, it must have been edited or altered in some way that makes it funny or clever. Simply being popular is not enough.
  • A piece of pop culture: A piece of pop culture can be anything from a movie to a catchphrase. Just because something is popular does not make it a meme. For example, the phrase “I’m lovin’ it” from McDonald’s is not a meme, but the image of Michael Jordan crying that accompanies it is.

Now that we’ve established what is not a meme, let’s take a look at what makes a good one.

What Qualifies as A Meme?

A meme is typically defined as an image, video, or piece of text that is copied and spread rapidly online, often with slight variations.

They are often funny or clever in nature and can be used to convey a variety of messages. For example, the “Gonna Tell My Kids” meme format became popular on social media a few years ago and has been used to communicate everything from serious social commentary to silly jokes.

While most memes do contain some sort of visual element, they don’t necessarily need one to be successful. For instance, the ” Woman Yelling at a Cat ” meme became popular in early 2019 and went viral without ever having an accompanying image.

The text-based “Goodnight Sweet Prince” meme also circulated widely online and was even printed in newspapers after the death of actor Robin Williams.

So, what makes a good meme? Ultimately, it comes down to a combination of factors, including its relatability, cleverness, and overall appeal. A great meme will make people laugh, think, or both, and will have a broad enough appeal to be shared widely.

Do Memes Need Images to Be Funny?

While many popular memes do contain images, it is not necessary for a meme to be funny. There are plenty of examples of text-based memes that are just as clever and engaging as those with visuals.

What is important is that the meme is relatable and has a broad appeal. So, whether you’re using images or not, as long as your meme is funny and clever, it has a good chance of being successful.

Do Videos Count as Memes?

The answer is a resounding yes! Videos can absolutely be considered memes.

In fact, some of the most popular memes out there are videos. The challenge with videos is that they often require more context to be understood, which is why many video-based memes rely on captioning or subtitles to help explain the joke.

One of the most popular video memes of all time is the Nyan Cat meme. This cute little animation features a flying cat with a rainbow trail behind it. The audio track for the video is an 8-bit remix of the pop song “Tokyo Rose” by Japanese composer Yasunori Mitsuda.

The Nyan Cat video was uploaded to YouTube in April 2011, and it quickly went viral. It has been viewed over 150 million times and spawned countless spin-offs and parodies. There are even Nyan Cat plush toys and apparel.

What’s an Example of A Meme?

A meme is an idea or behavior that spreads from person to person. Beliefs, fads, stories, and phrases are examples of memes. Memes used to spread in localized cultures or social groups in the past.

One example of a meme is “Gangnam Style.” This is a reference to a Korean pop song and dance that became popular in 2012. The song and dance were parodied and copied by people all over the world, resulting in the spread of the meme. Other examples of memes include the ” Harlem Shake,” “ice bucket challenge,” and ” planking.”

Memes can be positive or negative. They can be serious or silly. Some memes are created to make people laugh while others are designed to spread an important message. No matter their purpose, memes have the potential to reach a large audience and make an impact.


Do memes have to be images? The answer is no. While image-based memes are certainly the most popular type, there is no rule that they must be pictures. In fact, some of the most successful memes have been text-based.