The UK's Favourite Memes

September 18, 2017 - 3 minute read

Memes are pretty much as old as the internet itself, with many breaking out into mainstream culture, being referenced on TV and talked about at work.

Some are just a flash in the pan, while others have endured over years and years, popping up again and again in different forms and contexts.

But which are the UK’s favourite memes? To find out, we took 8 of the biggest ever image memes, and 8 of the biggest ever video memes, and asked 250 people across the UK to vote for their favourites in each category

Here are the results.

Grumpy Cat takes the top spot

With 23.1% of the popular vote, The Grumpy Cat meme won comfortably - the second most popular meme - success kid - had just a 15.8% share of the vote. Coming in third was ‘Overly Attached Girlfriend’, just pipping ‘First World Problems’ by 0.4% of the vote. 

The least popular image meme was ‘Good Guy Greg’ - it seems that nice guys really do finish last.

Will winning the popular vote make Grumpy Cat happier? Given she’s already amassed a £64 million fortune, we’re not sure this will tip the balance, but you never know...


Grumpy cat was a particular favourite amongst those who live in the South-East - a massive 42.9% picked it as their favourite meme.

The meme obviously resonated with cat owners too - people with a cat in their household chose this meme as their favourite with a sizeable 31.6% of the vote.

But, the cat was notably unpopular among students. Only 5.7% of students picked it as their favourite; they opted instead for the Overly Attached Girlfriend meme, which scored 25.7% of their vote. Interestingly, men prefer this meme by only 2 percentage points more than women, which implies that, despite being based on gender, the humour appeals to both male and female audiences.

The First World Problems meme is divisive. No one in the South-West voted for it, but 25% of the North-East voted for it. In general, this meme is more popular with men and people in employment.

Here are the results in full.

Pasted image at 2017_09_18 11_52 AM.png

Charlie bit my finger, and won the popular vote

The winner in the video meme category is ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’, with 31%, more than double the number of votes for the 2nd place video which was ‘Rick Rolling’ (gaining 14.9%).

In third place was ‘Nyan Cat’, while ‘Chocolate Rain’ came in last place.

It’s not too surprising that the Charlie video took top spot, with over 853 million views it remains one of the most popular YouTube videos of all time having once held the record for most viewed video.

Not seen it yet? Watch the 56 second clip before it hits a billion views!


What’s striking about the results is the popularity of ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ amongst women - 61.3% of whom voted for it.

By comparison, the second favourite, which amassed only 14.9% of the vote, was voted for by 58.3% of men.

Star Wars Kid has 66.7% of the vote among men, and amongst people who live in London, it ranked second most popular - Londoners contributed to 57.1% of this vote.

Here are the results in full.

Pasted image at 2017_09_18 11_50 AM.png

In conclusion

Surprise and novelty are the two core attributes for almost all the most popular memes, which are prerequisites for humour. 

So if you want your next image or video to go viral, focus on those elements, and maybe the internet will do the rest.

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