The Best Memes of 2023, So Far

Everything from Rihanna's Super Bowl to Jonathan Majors' Oscars face and Pedro Pascal's interviews have made our list of the best memes and viral moments of the year, so far.


There’s nothing like an entertaining meme trend to get us through the day. 

Every year, a new collection of memes flood our social media timelines, and the first half of 2023 has been no exception. These memes are conversation starters and some are instant classics that stand the test of time, becoming fixtures in the pop culture lexicon. 

This year has frankly been a bit slower than usual, but there were still a lot of noteworthy memes. They were inspired by significant cultural moments like Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance, fashion moments like the MSCHF’s big red boots, classic TV shows like The Office, Pedro Pascal interviews that made the rounds, and more. 

Rihanna’s Super Bowl appearance was one of the most-watched halftime performances ever, so it only made sense that the internet ran with clips from the show and reshared it with relatable text that fits into almost any situation. But that’s just one scenario that brought us memes and videos that gave us plenty of laughs.

Below, we have provided the backstory to these 10 memes to help you insert them into your group chat when the joke seems fitting. Check out Complex's choices for the best and funniest memes of 2023, so far. 

10. The price of eggs

How I look at people without eggs in their cart at the grocery store

— Los 🚭 (@CarlosSpacetime) January 17, 2023
Twitter: @CarlosSpacetime
Best uses: Tiger King, People Who Own Chickens

If you visited the grocery store earlier this year, you might’ve been up in arms about the increasing price of eggs. In some markets, egg prices began to creep up from $4 a dozen to $10. To make light of the situation, users on social media poked fun at the inflation. Some joked that an Easter egg hunt was canceled for the year due to the shortage. 

One meme showed a couple eating at a dinner date with many eggs on the table. The caption for the post read, “Take me somewhere expensive.” Luckily, the price of eggs has slowly returned to normal, and things are all good in the world again. We can all now continue to make our omelets in peace at a reasonable price. —Dayna Haffenden

9. "What are you doing? Nothing."

Best uses: Self-Checkout, Soda in a Water Cup

Those of a certain age might recognize TV personality Beetlejuice from his time on The Howard Stern Show. For younger generations, Beetlejuice is now known mostly for his virality as he has been used in memes before the one that took off this year. In the original video clip, someone asks Beetlejuice what he’s doing and he says, “Nothing. Me? Just hanging around” in the most innocent way imaginable. 

That, of course, became a highly used template and sound on TikTok that has prompted millions of different uses. Those words can be applied to so many downright hilarious scenarios of someone getting caught doing something they are not supposed to be doing, which in some way, we can all likely relate to. —Karla Rodriguez

8. Barbie takes over

Me at a social event #Barbie

— Olivia Truffaut-Wong (@iWatchiAm) May 25, 2023
Twitter: @iWatchiAm
Best uses: Unfinished Projects, Barbie vs. Oppenheimer

While Barbie isn’t hitting the big screen until July 21, fans have already made memes from still shots of the trailer. In one meme, Margot Robbie is holding her hands up between two men as she contemplates two pressing ideas. On one hand, she’s faced with an unfinished project, and on the other, she’s thinking about her next impulsive project. The meme is perfect because it relates to people who are creatively overwhelmed, thinking about what needs to be done, and what’s the next move. Barbie gets it. 

But that was just one iteration of the memes the Barbie movie has already inspired. Another clip from the film’s trailer where she asks, “Do you guys ever think about dying?” also made the rounds, proving even before its release that the Greta Gerwig film is bound to be a treasure chest for meme lovers. —Dayna Haffenden

7. The Big Red Boots

“Are you wearing the-“
“The MSCHF big red boots? Yes I am”

— @ncsweet_ (@ncsweet_) February 9, 2023
Twitter: @ncsweet_
Best uses: Boots from Dora the Explorer, Astro Boy Boots

Earlier this year, MSCHF unveiled the big red boots that took the internet by storm for their unique and odd design. The jokes indeed followed suit, with many poking fun at their enormous size. In a press release, the brand commented on the size of the footwear and the impact it might have on others. 

“Big Red Boots are REALLY not shaped like feet, but they are EXTREMELY shaped like boots,” the initial MSCHF press release read. “If you kick someone in these boots they go BOING!” Despite the jokes the shoes caused, a handful of celebrities were spotted rocking the footwear unironically, including Fivio Foreign, Ciara, Coi Leray, and more. And even the Complex team took them out for a spin. —Dayna Haffenden

6. Shannon Sharpe and his sweater

5. Kevin Hart is always relatable

when i’m cheating on a test and the teacher look my way

— Jdab (@JDabz87) February 27, 2023
Twitter: @JDabz87
Best uses: Sneaking Into VIP, Kevin Investigating the Trend

Toward the end of February, several Kevin Hart fans decided that the comedian has a ton of pictures throughout the years that are meme-worthy and could fit an array of scenarios. The trend randomly flooded social media, and even prompted a response from Hart. “I got endless memes being sent to my damn phone from a bunch of my dumbass friends. … WTF is going on????” Hart said, before adding that the content was “funny as hell.” 

Luckily, Hart figured out that the memes weren’t a dig at him but a testament to how he has almost every relatable facial reaction known to man. —Dayna Haffenden

4. Rihanna's Super Bowl performance

Best uses: Super Smash Bros. stage, Rihanna's Baby

After Rihanna took the stage at the Super Bowl in February dressed in all red, the memes began to pour in. Fans immediately used the clip of the singer walking down a podium as one of her dancers followed behind her on their hands and knees. Most people used the meme to joke about how their dog follows them out of the house, an ex who won’t move on, or the relationship between a parent and young child who wants to play around the entire day. 

It’s hard to not laugh at these jokes. They are irresistible and the icing on the cake is that Rihanna sings live in the clip, something fans have been waiting to hear since she took a break from music after her 2016 critically acclaimed album, Anti. —Dayna Haffenden

3. Jonathan Majors' face

Me watching them put extra gravy on my oxtails:

— The Nostalgia Queen (@Snow_Blacck) March 15, 2023
Twitter: @Snow_Blacck
Best uses: Waiter With the Cheese Grater, When You Smell Good

Due to recent events, the inclusion of this Jonathan Majors meme can seem a little controversial. But even after all that we reportedly know about the actor, it still doesn’t take away from how incredible this meme of him at the Oscars was. The actor was spotted on stage staring at something with a particular look of desire (or approval) on his face and his hands crossed in front of him, which made for a perfect reaction to a plethora of different scenarios that people came up with. 

It has so many uses and versions, and each one was better than the last. It’s one of my favorite memes of the year and while it had its big moment following the award show, it will surely be on rotation for years to come. —Karla Rodriguez

2. Michael Scott and his speaker

Best uses: Getting Access to the Aux, Shower Concerts

Memes have evolved from simple tweets to TikTok templates that get millions of shares and then go on to be shared across various platforms. That happened with a scene from Season 5 of The Office, which found new life on the video platform earlier this year. In the episode titled "Cafe Disco," Michael Scott starts playing “Everybody Dance Now” through a stereo speaker for all to hear. 

That moment then was used online with different songs and different scenarios of people blasting their song of choice with a caption describing whatever situation they placed the TV character in. Michael Scott is iconic so seeing him resurface again in pop culture in any capacity is always a delight. —Karla Rodriguez

1. Pedro Pascal goes viral

Best uses: Ignoring the Groceries in the Fridge, Eating Snacks After Crying

Pedro Pascal is the internet’s favorite. There are fan pages dedicated to following his every move and clips of his interviews are quick to go viral. One moment in particular from earlier this year was from a LADbible segment of him comparing American vs. Chilean snacks and it took over TikTok. In the clip, Pascal is casually eating a tiny sandwich and the added exaggerated chewing sounds became a go-to template for jokes and videos on the app with people sharing funny jokes about eating and snacking, even in the most inappropriate situations. —Karla Rodriguez

Latest in Pop Culture