If a meme is lucky it might live about a month so before fading out of our minds when an exciting new inside joke catches our eye.
However, from Doge to the dab, some of the internet’s best memes have met premature demises, all thanks to a single tweet that completely missed the mark.
Though no meme can ever really “die” per se, once they’ve reached the ultimate level of mortal embarrassment, what’s the point? Memes simply aren’t as fun once the shark’s been jumped.
Here are 9 times desperate politicians and brands attempting to be cool jumped on our favorite internet memes and managed to kill them off with one single tweet.
1. Eclipse memes
Cause of death: Donald Trump
Leave it to the president of the United States to take the fun out of August’s total solar eclipse. In the days leading up to the rare phenomenon, the internet was reveling in memes about those exclusive eclipse glasses, but Donald Trump quickly killed the joy when he tried to make the eclipse about politics.
Trump retweeted a meme of himself “eclipsing” the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, which naturally people saw as both scientifically flawed and racist.
Just like that, people threw in the towel and moved on from the eclipse. #ThanksTrump.
Cause of death: Olive Garden
In a shameless attempt to further promote what are already the most-overhyped breadsticks on the planet, back in 2014 Olive Garden decided to label its breadsticks the ultimate “bae.”
The word was once solely used to describe a romantic interest. But then people began using “bae” as an adjective to describe beloved foods and drinks and though many other brands — from Jamba Juice and Burger King to AT&T — began tweeting the term, Olive Garden unleashing the gag-worthy PR slogan, “You can’t spell breadsticks without ‘bae,'” is what crossed the line.
Cause of death: Words With Friends
Final nail in coffin: Hillary Clinton
Covfefe — the careless jumble of letters created by the clumsy Twitter fingers of President Trump — had its 15 minutes of fame and then some.
After covfefe jokes had been going strong for an entire day, Words With Friends — the forgotten mobile game invented in 2009 — decided to join in on the fun by adding the word to its dictionary.
Naturally the attempt killed the joyful trend, but later that evening Hillary Clinton decided to really make sure the meme was dead by tweeting her own covfefe joke.
Solid try but far too late — RSVP to the meme party earlier next time.
4. Zoom In
Cause of death: IHOP
With a simple photo of some pancakes, Denny’s gave the “Zoom In” meme a shot, guiding followers from the syrup to the corners of the image, only to reveal a totally pointless message in the butter: “has this distracted you from overwhelming existential dread lol.”
A pretty deep message from a diner, eh? Denny’s did meme correctly and with almost 200,000 likes, it’s clear this wasn’t such an awful attempt at meme-ing. But naturally IHOP got jealous and ruined the fun.
The following day the pancake house responded to Denny’s with a cocky tweet that completely abandoned the meme.
With less than 400 likes people were clearly unimpressed.
Cause of death: House GOP Representatives Thomas Massie and Steve Stockman
This may hurt some of you die-hard Shiba Inu lovers, but doge died a very long time ago.
Back in 2013 two GOP representatives —Kentucky’s Thomas Massie and Steve Stockman of Texas — tried (and epically failed) to make doge memes work to their political advantage.
Massie used the pup to attack congressional bipartisanship surrounding budget deals. 🙄
And Stockman used the meme to target John Cornyn, his Senate opponent. While Stockman did use fun text colors, his phrases like “oppose Ted Cruz” and “support Obamacare funding” weren’t even in the style of the meme and would definitely not be doge-approved.
Much fail. So embarrassment. Wow.
6. Dat boi
Cause of death: Jolly Rancher
According to Know Your Meme, the words “dat boi” first appeared on the scene back in 2014. But in 2016 the phrase became associated with that iconic frog riding a red unicycle and the memes really started rolling.
To stay hip, Jolly Rancher — the hard candy company that loves to hashtag it’s, uh, questionable slogan, “Keep On Sucking” — tried to make its own version of dat boi, but ohmygosh it was so bad.
The brand tweeted “Here come dat boi,” then immediately called itself out by writing, “Sucks when brands take your meme.”
Then, instead of the dat boi frog, Jolly Rancher shared a graphic of the an apple sitting atop a unicycle (in front of a library ???) with a goofy grin, saying, “Oh hai wuddup!” 😑
Keep on sucking, Jolly Rancher.
7. The dab
Cause of death: Paul Ryan
After the Speaker of the House shut down Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall’s son for trying to dab at the swearing in of the 115th Congress, the world poked fun at Ryan for being too uncool to ~get~ the dab.
Ryan — who thought the kid was going to sneeze — later admitted in a tweet that he “still doesn’t get what dabbing is,” but days later performed a dab of his own during his CNN Town Hall.
And that my friends, is how Jan. 12, 2017 came to be known as the day the dab died.
8. Emoji sheriff
Cause of death: Coca-Cola
When Twitter users began pretending to talk like they were in old Westerns and building odd little sheriffs out of emoji, Coca-Cola saw an opportunity to ruin the fun.
By then, many other delightful and well executed sheriffs — like the sheriff of nutrition, good dogs, train emoji, and more — had been created. But the multinational corporation’s odd “sheriff of refreshment” that encouraged people to “share a Coke” kind of missed the mark.
While it would have made sense for the meme to give a nod to refreshments — including relatable emoji like the glass of milk or wine — Coca-Cola decided to use a random AF assortment of people getting massages, a snowflake, and some islands.
Nope. Not how you do it.
9. You vs. the guy she told you not to worry about
Cause of death: Jimmy John’s
Jimmy John’s attempted to promote its “gourmet sandwiches” by putting a photo of a seriously stacked menu item beside one of two sad-looking pieces of white bread with like a slice of ham in between.
The pathetic excuse for the sandwich (the “you” of the meme) is supposed to show people how impressive the Jimmy John’s sub (the guy she tells you not to worry about) is. In reality it just reminded everyone how embarrassing brand promos are.
Well, guys. You tried.