Editor's Note: The article was originally published on 01 November, 2016. We are republishing the article to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the GIF.
Animated images in the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) are moving out of imageboards and forums, into social media and interpersonal conversations. These are some of the most popular GIFs, that are used for reactions, shibboleths, trolling and at times just for entertainment.
10. One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor
"One does not simply walk into Mordor" is a line said by Boromir from the movie Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. There are many variations of the meme, and is used in discussions to bring out the futility of a difficult to execute plan of actions with simple details. The meme can be easily adapted to fit different kinds of situations, to show the current course of action by someone is breathtakingly stupid.
Rickroll is a bait and switch gag where users pretend to post a link, usually a click bait of some form. The link directs to the YouTube video of the song Never Gonna Give You Up by singer Rick Astley. The video is used to troll deserving candidates, and there have been many creative rickrolls over time. Coming up with increasingly creative ways to Rickroll is one of the major occupations of the internet. The Shadow Brokers auction was Rickroll'd by a troll through a series of bitcoin transactions that could be tracked on the public Bitcoin Blockchain. The GIF allows users to execute the Rickroll instantly, without needing to link to the YouTube video.
7. I Regret Nothing
The "I Regret Nothing" is a GIF derived from a Dominos Pizza television commercial featuring a chicken in a disco. The GIF is used as a reaction to convey that a user is not embarrassed or ashamed by any posts or actions. The GIF at times accompanies an original post which is typically a form of content that most users would regret posting. The image is particularly popular on Tumblr. The phrase is used on other GIFs that feature spinning things, stupidity, or in the best case scenario, stupid spinning things.
6. Spinning Dancer
The Spinning Dancer is an optical illusion created in Flash by Japanese web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara. Everyone sees the silhouette illusion in a different way. For some people, the ballerina is rotating clockwise, while others see the figure moving in an anti-clockwise direction. At times, the dancing figure appears to suddenly change direction. There were rumours spread that the direction of the motion indicates whether the left or right hemisphere of the viewer's brain is more active, a notion that has no scientific basis.
5. Dramatic Chipmunk
The Dramatic Chipmunk is used as a reaction GIF during times of intense internet drama. The GIF has its origins in a five second video clip uploaded on YouTube, and the short duration makes it perfect in GIF form. The video is captioned "The best 5 second clip on the internet." Unfortunately, there is no dramatic background music in the GIF version. Although the video is titled "Dramatic Chipmunk," the animal in the video is actually a prairie dog, and not a chipmunk.
4. Mind = Blown
There are many viral GIFs for the Mind = Blown reaction, but this clip from the Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job is one of the most used ones. The GIF is typically posted as a reaction to informative posts that have mind boggling content. The Mind Blowing animation is overlaid with firecrackers and explosions of a cosmic scale.
Leekspin, also known as Loituma Girl is actually Orihime, a character from the Anime series Bleach, spinning a Leek while singing a song with gibberish lyrics. This meme has been around for ten years now, and is usually posted in hives of trolls for little reason other than the lulz. The .GIF is derived from a YouTube video uploaded by user Xyliex that went Viral.
2. Dancing Baby/ Baby Cha-Cha
The Dancing Baby is one of the oldest memes in the list, and was originally a GIF created as a technical demonstration to show the movie to GIF conversion process, and the compression capabilities of the GIF image file format. The Dancing Baby famously appeared in the TV Series Ally McBeal. The Dancing Baby GIF is not as popular now as it once was, the graphics are dated owing to a progress in 3D animation techniques. However, it was one of the most viral memes in its time.
1. Dancing Banana/ PBJT
The Dancing Banana has been a mainstay on imageboards and forums for over fifteen years. The meme originally started as a flash animation, where the banana danced to the song "Its Peanut Butter Jelly Time" by the Buckwheat Boys. The meme is also called PBJT because of its origins in the fan made music video. In its .gif form, it is used as an emoticon in conversations. The dancing banana is spammed in forums and chatboxes as a way of greeting, and when conversation topics are sparse.
If we missed anything out, or there is a particularly funny or viral GIF that you came across, please do post in the comment section below.