2015 is almost over. New Year’s Eve is a breath away. And, just like every year, moments before the ball drops, everyone in the world, from Times Square to Tokyo, will have one burning, unanswered question. Look closely at the lovers and strangers sharing midnight kisses, and you may notice they’re whispering: “Memes. Memes! What will the Internet memes of the future be?”
But not you. For Verizon has charged me with using my world-renowned powers of prediction to divine what 2016’s greatest memes will be. Read on, so when your paramour whispers his or her question at midnight, you’ll be able to whisper back: “A cat on a hoverboard.”
1. A cat on a hoverboard.
Okay, I kind of gave this one away. You’ve seen cats on leashes, and you’ve seen cats on pizza. You’ve seen Keyboard Cats, and Nyan Cats, and Ceiling Cats, and LOLcats. But you haven’t seen a cat on a hoverboard, and by “hoverboard” I mean those gyroscopic motorized skateboard things on Vine and in the recent Missy Elliott video. In 2016, you’re going to see it. You’re welcome.
2. Square-dancing videos.
The “Whip” is old hat and the “Nae Nae” is a no-no. Get ready for an onslaught of apple-cheeked millennials to do-si-do into your heart and your newsfeed. Allemande left!
3. The piranha challenge.
Your friends and acquaintances soon will be immersing their extremities into piranha buckets for as long as they can stand the ferocious chewing of dozens of carnivorous fish. It may seem foolish, but it’s for a good cause: raising awareness of porphyria, a rare disease that gives you purple poop.
4. The next phase of Internet arguments.
In 2015, a curious photo of a dress had half the world saying it was blue and black, and the other, white and gold. With the new year will come new controversy, and this time (as you’ve probably already guessed), it will be about Niels Bohr’s “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics: the theory that atoms don’t exist in specific places at specific times. Roughly half of Internet users will take Bohr’s side, while the other half will argue for Albert Einstein’s view that the universe is deterministic, and any state of a particle’s position is entirely contingent on its prior states. You might lose some friends over this one!
5. Choreographed divorces.
You’ve seen the elaborate, intensely rehearsed dance videos shot at weddings, right? Well, statistically, 50% of those marriages will end in divorce, which provides an opportunity for another 15 minutes of fame. Pretty soon we’ll be watching jilted, teary divorcees doing the “cabbage patch” to “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”
6. “What are those?”
Unfortunately, this is still going to be a thing. Fingers crossed it’ll go away in 2017.
There. Now you know what’s going to be big on the Internet next year, so you can stop wasting time worrying about it and focus on holiday shopping. With some of the extra time you just saved, you can visit a Verizon store for great deals. You’ll be able to check off a whole bunch of items on your gift list, all in one trip. Get #holidone with Verizon. If that’s not a meme yet, it certainly should be.
Tony Carnevale is a senior writer for Studio@Gawker.
Illustrations by Jake Inferrera.