We’ve podcasted previously about Early Internetting, but didn’t get around to touching on the memes of those days. Before cats came captioned and animals in general could give you solid advice, early memes provided all of our laughs.
7 – Ate My Balls
The Ate My Balls meme was created by Nehal Patel and consisted simply of speech bubbles superimposed (via MS Paint) over photos of celebrities (most commonly Mr. T) proclaiming their love of eating testicles. Is it mature? No. Did you still giggle at the time these hit the ‘Net in 1996 because you were 13? Yeah, of course you did.
6 – YTMND
“You’re the man now, dog” was actually a line they made Sean Connery say in the film Finding Forrester. Wut.
YTMND is a website that consists of a tiled background of Sean Connery with his famous phrase over top of it in a nod to the Microsoft Word Art of the past. Connery’s audio clip plays in the background in an endless loop.
Over the years YTMND has expanded and has a ton of amusing features within the site. Just don’t forget they pretty much all play audio.
5 – All Your Base
Maybe you haven’t really forgotten about All Your Base because you sometimes find yourself sneaking it into everyday conversation. Like when you ask your pal to put on a movie and say, “Somebody set us up the TV.” Or, while smashing a spider, you may be known to scream, “You have no chance to survive make your time!” But we don’t know anyone like that…
In any case, the All Your Base clips come from the 1991 video game Zero Wing. The English translation of the Japanese original was um, not exactly top notch with phrases like “With the cooperation of Federation Forces, all your bases now belong to us,” becoming “All your base are belong to us”. The Engrish translation of Zero Wing proves that you should probably not rely on AltaVista’s Bable Fish translator and pony up the cash for a professional.
4 – Dancing Baby a.k.a. Oogachaka Baby
This meme shows exactly how dark the dark days of Early Internetting truly were. We were fascinated by this 3D-rendered baby dancing to Blue Swede’s “Hooked On A Feeling”. This was a thing. I had friends that liked this thing. Please note: we are no longer friends. It’s for the best. Would this have gained such notoriety if it wasn’t featured on Ally McBeal? It doesn’t matter, we can’t go back in time and un-have this meme.
3 – Peanut Butter Jelly Time
I’m sorry to have brought this up because now you have “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” stuck in your head. Forever. Nothing more than a dancing banana all too happy about life set to a peppy song that doesn’t make much sense, this meme somehow managed to catch on and even made it to Family Guy. The animation was created by Ryan Gancenia Etrata using a song from The Buckwheat Boyz. It’s basic, but it still has more views on YouTube than you ever will.
2 – Mahir Çağrı (a.k.a. “I kiss you”)
I used to be into Amused.com (at least I think that was the site, and going to Amused.com now doesn’t have anything and the almightly Way Back Machine isn’t providing any help right now), which was a great time waster back in the day. One of the things I found via Amused was Mahir Çağrı’s personal website. You see, before social media, we had to make our own personal sites and Mahir, well, he was quite the ladies man according to his own little neck of the Internet. I can’t sit here and type anything else about Mahir– his magical website is something that needs to be experienced.
1 – Hampster Dance
In the late 90s, you were still likely on dial-up but that didn’t stop you from spending an hour loading up nearly 400 hamster gifs and a background midi file (remember when like all sites had that? I’m so glad that’s not a thing anymore). Hampster Dance creator Deidre LaCarte was in a competition with a couple pals to see who could create a site and get the most traffic. Unless one of the others created PornHub, I think it’s safe to say Deidre won.
In 2000, a “Hampster Dance” song was released. And to show you how weird Canada was (is), the song went to #1. Hampster Dance was so notorious that years later, in 2012, Hallmark turned it into a Keepsake Ornament. Is this real life?
YTMND preserved the original site if you really want to subject yourself to it.