Know Your Meme

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Name: Know Your Meme
Owner/Maintainer: Literally Media Ltd. (currently)
Dates: November 25, 2007 – present
Type: encyclopedia
Fandom: meme
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Know Your Meme is a website which uses wiki software focusing in the documentation of memes, viral videos, catchphrases, and other internet phenomena. Know Your Meme includes sections for confirmed, submitted, deadpooled (rejected or incompletely documented), researching, and popular memes.

Originally produced by Rocketboom, the encyclopedia was acquired in March 2011 by Cheezburger Network,[1] which, in 2016, was acquired by Literally Media.


The Know Your Meme project started in September 2007 as a recurring segment inside of the Rocketboom video series and a wiki destination site to support the documentation of Internet memes. Created by Kenyatta Cheese, Elspeth Rountree, Jamie Wilkinson and Andrew Baron, "meme experts" in white lab coats used a scientific laboratory metaphor for analyzing and deconstructing the top memes of the day; anyone with an account could use the website to explore and contribute to meme research. At the end of 2008, after more than a year of growth, Rocketboom released an expanded database with Jamie Wilkinson as the lead developer. As of January 2017, the database contained more than 2,700 entries of "confirmed" memes.

Name origin

According to Rocketboom's founder, the site and its name originated from an office joke about how everyone talked too much about memes:

Since pretty much every other word out of our mouths those days was “meme”, Kenyatta turned to me and blurted out “Know Your Meme!”, and then proceeded to provide context for the history of “Know Your _[fill in the blank]____”, especially with regards to World War II propaganda. For me, it seemed like it would be a perfect mechanism to explicate memes. As we were developing the idea further, Kenyatta also brought up the idea of the white lab coat and by this point, boom, I added it to my list of script segment ideas.

On September 4th, I surprised Kenyatta by telling him I had written a Know Your Meme segment into a Rocketboom episode. Joanne was wearing a white lab coat, I directed and shot, and Joe edited. At the time, Kenyatta was focused on shaping up the editing department and took over the edit from Joe at the end of the night, and then I directed it to completion.[2]

Andrew Michael Baron


The site has been accused of profiting from the work of others and capitalizing on the fandom culture. In mid-December 2010, the group Anonymous declared that Rocketboom profited from something that was supposed to be free, so they were going to hack the site.[3]

Links & Resources


  1. ^ Marc Hustvedt (2011-03-28). "'Know Your Meme' Acquired By Cheezburger in Seven-Figure Deal". tubefilter. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03.
  2. ^ Andrew Michael Baron (2012-12-06). "The History of Know Your Meme". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
  3. ^ Lucian Constantin (2010-12-03). "Anonymous Declares Online War on Know Your Meme". softpedia. Archived from the original on 2022-11-03.