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What is a dank meme? It’s an acronym for “dark, funny, and nonsensical”. But what exactly makes a dank meme? What makes a meme dank? According to KnowYourMeme, the term originated in the mid-2010s but has been increasingly used on social media over the past few years. So let’s get started.
What Makes a Meme Dank?
A dank meme is a meme that’s dark, absurd, and funny. Since it’s dark and absurd, the humor comes from juxtaposition – using two different elements together that don’t make sense, like a picture of a cute animal combined with a reference to death.
A dank meme is also nonsensical. Some of the most popular types of dank memes are “non-sequiturs,” which are things that don’t logically follow from one to another. Dank memes often throw in shout-outs to other memes, and they’re frequently irreverent and poke fun at current events or social media.
Dank memes are also often visually appealing, with well-designed images, catchy or interesting fonts, and well-chosen colors. A dank meme’s aesthetics are as important as its humor.
Why Are Dank Memes on The Rise?
Dank memes are on the rise for a number of reasons.
First, the Internet has made it easier for people to share their memes with the world. You don’t have to be on a TV or radio show to get your thoughts and ideas out there. You can share them on social media, or through blogging sites like Tumblr, WordPress or Blogger.
Another reason dank memes are on the rise is that there’s a more general cultural shift toward irreverence and away from PC attitudes. This is especially true among younger Internet users, who are less sensitive to cultural and social taboos and more likely to want to push the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable.
Aesthetics Matter: Background and Design
A dank meme is an aesthetic experience as much as it is a humorous one.
The background, choice of font, and color palette are as important as the content itself. Dank memes have their own unique aesthetic, which is often a mish-mash of design elements, logos, funny phrases and memes, and pop culture references.
This is particularly true of dank memes that are image macros. The design of an image macro is as important as the words, if not more so – particularly if it’s a photoshopped image.
Dark Humor Is Key
Dank memes are often dark, they poke fun at serious and taboo topics, like death, sex, mental health, and race.
They’re irreverent. Dank memes often make fun of social media, current events, and Internet culture. They’re nonsensical, and they throw in shout-outs to other memes. They’re frequently also culturally insensitive, particularly when they’re making fun of other cultures, countries, or people.
A dank meme is edgy, transgressive, and pushes the boundaries of social acceptability. It might be offensive to certain groups or people, but it’s amusing enough to make it worth it. Dank memes are also often vulgar, crass, and full of profanity and foul language.
Nonsense, Non-Sequiturs and Shoutouts
Dank memes are often nonsensical.
They don’t follow a logical or rational progression, nor do they make any sense. They are simply a mash-up of ideas and images thrown together – often references to other memes, current events, or other pop culture icons. Dank memes often throw in shout-outs to other memes, sometimes even ones that are over 10 years old.
It’s as if these memes are having a conversation with each other, a call and response, an inside joke. A dank meme might also make fun of another meme or a meme trend, like funny, ridiculous claims about social media or the Internet. For example, in 2017, there was a trend of memes making fun of people who claim that the Internet is “killing language.”
A dank meme is the modern-day version of an inside joke. It’s dark, funny, and nonsensical. It’s edgy, irreverent, and pushes the boundaries of social acceptability. It’s something that’s funny and entertaining enough that it’s worth offending people with.
A dank meme is something that people who are “in the know” will get and laugh at, while people who aren’t in the know will just scratch their heads and wonder what’s so funny. The more obscure and nonsensical a dank meme is, the danker it is.