From the Dancing Baby to the Honey Badger, behold a time line of some of the most widely shared photos, animations, and videos.
Dancing Baby (1996) (Pictured above)
Many consider this 3-D animation of a diaper-clad infant (which eventually found its way onto Ally McBeal) to be the first Internet meme.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us (1998)
After being adopted by gamers as a declaration of victory, this poorly translated line from the Sega game Zero Wing became an early Internet catchphrase.
Bert Is Evil (1998)
Photoshopped images depicting the grumpy yellow Muppet in the company of Adolf Hitler and the KKK confirmed the darkest childhood fears of many Sesame Street viewers.
It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!! (2002)
Another animation of a dancing creature—this time a banana with legs.
This ever-expanding collection of cat pictures overlaid with messages in deliberately broken, misspelled English established a new online lingua franca: LOLSpeak, or "kitty pidgin."
The Shining Recut as a
Family Flick (2006)
This trailer for a corny movie about fatherhood spawned a new Internet genre that has given us Mrs. Doubtfire as a creepy thriller and The Lord of the Rings as a gay love story.
Hitler Reacts (2006)
A climactic scene from the 2004 German film Downfall in which Hitler throws a tantrum has been resubtitled to reflect the Führer's displeasure over everything from Sarah Palin's resignation to Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift.
Advice Dog (2006)
For some reason, smiling puppy + color-wheel background + terrible ideas ("Hire clowns for funerals") = barrels of laughs.
2 Girls 1 Cup (2007)
About this, the less said the better.
You think you're going to watch a movie trailer or a funny home video, only to see it turn into one-hit-wonder Rick Astley's 1987 video "Never Gonna Give You Up": "You've been Rickrolled!"
Stuff White People Like (2008)
Yoga. Arrested Development. Barack Obama. As Homer Simpson would say, "It's funny 'cause it's true."
Double Rainbow (2010)
Paul "HungryBear" Vasquez's ecstatic home-video commentary about an unusual meteorological phenomenon over Yosemite National Park ("What does this mean?") landed him a Microsoft ad.
Shit Girls Say (2011)
Launched as a Twitter feed like Shit My Dad Says, it turned into a video series mimicking the mannerisms and lingo of the average American girl.
A photo from a rugby match inspired a global game in which people took self-portraits lying face-down in unlikely places (like on top of a tiger). Owling, Batmanning, horsemanning, and Tebowing followed.
Honey Badger (2011)
"Honey badger don't give a shit. It just takes what it wants. Whenever it's hungry, it just—ew, and it eats snakes? Oh my God, watch it dig. Look at that digging."
That's a Clown Question, Bro (2012)
Reminiscent of 2007's "Don't tase me, bro," this line by Washington Nationals rookie Bryce Harper instantly became an Internet catchphrase, a T-shirt slogan, and a way for Harry Reid to show he was hip.