Here, we profile some NFT meme examples and explain where they take inspiration from.
Memes are viral ideas that become more valuable the more people use them. They are remixes and derivatives of old and contemporary ideas. Richard Dawkins coined the term MEME in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. He described memes as “ideas that spread from brain to brain”
Merriam-Webster defines memes as “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online, especially through social media.”
Memes are a key part of internet culture. So it’s no surprise that the concepts and artworks behind many traditional memes also appear in the NFT space. A good meme is memorable, catchy, and instantly recognizable, much like a successful NFT.
1. Doge NFT
The surprised Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu is one of the most used photos in the world. When Japanese teacher Atsuko Atsuko took a photo in 2010 of her dog, the internet loved the accidental expression of the dog that later became a sensation as the face of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which even Elon Musk supported.
Doge NFT was sold for over 4 million dollars as ERC-721 non-fungible token making it the highest-priced NFT on our list. Today, the Doge NFT is fractionalized on Fractional.Art and represented by billions of ERC-20 tokens, so users on the Ethereum blockchain can own the DOG token for less than $1.
2. Charlie Bit My Finger NFT
The viral video depicting two brothers, Charly and Harry, was an internet sensation in 2007, and the original video on YouTube has over 900 million views. People loved the emotions, careless fun, and facial expressions made in 56 seconds so much that it was one of the most viewed videos ever posted.
The Charlie Bit My Finger NFT created from the popular video sold for over $760,000 in an online auction.
After the NFT was sold, the original YouTube video was removed, but there are still copies if you need a reminder of this iconic moment. Although the boys are grown up now, the entire family was influenced by the funny video so much that they have pursued internet fame ever since.
3. Leave Britney Alone NFT
“Leave Britney Alone” is one of the first viral videos on YouTube, with over 2 million views in less than 24 hours. The creator Chris Crocker posted it on MySpace in 2007, defending the fragile mental state of Britney Spears.
Crocker began selling on the NFT marketplace Foundation on April 9th, with a beginning price of 10 Ethereum, or $23,729.20. Based on the auction history, it appears that two persons engaged in a bidding battle over the next week. The deal was completed on April 12th, with the NFT selling for a price of 18.6942 ETH, which is about $44,477.61, and the buyer’s name was not made public.
4. Nyan Cat NFT
Chris Torres created Nyan cat in 2011, depicting a pop tart cat with a rainbow shooting from its behind.
Chris found the inspiration in his real cat, Marty, a Russian blue. He used Adobe Fireworks, a now-discontinued application similar to Flash that he claimed crashed regularly, to create Nyan Cat. It did, however, present a problem to him in maintaining the typical pixelated style.
This fun GIF and meme was sold as NFT in February of 2021 for over half a million dollars. Nyan Cat is one of the best examples of small pieces of art that are NFTs today.
5. Disaster Girl NFT
One more unique expression that a girl named Zoe Roth made with a fire burning in the background became a meme in 2005. Even though the actual scene was a firefighter practice, the smirk within the burning chaos earned her the nickname “Disaster Girl.”
When the amateur photographer or mom put the image online after winning a photography contest in 2008, it quickly went viral.
The NFT of the Disaster Girl sold in April of 2021 was one of the most expensive memes on the market, and the profit of over half a million went to charities and student loans. Roth’s family retained the copyright and will receive 10 percent of future sales.
6. Side-Eyeing Chloe NFT
This unimpressed girl named Chloe Clem became famous in 2013, and in 2021, this sensation of a meme became a pricey NFT. Many people adored the facial expression she made when her mother mentioned Disneyland. It’s the ultimate “Yeah… No” face.
The NFT was sold to 3F Music for over $70,000, and the meme is still very popular and used on all social media platforms.
7. Success Kid NFT
If you need a dose of optimism, determination, and support, the “Success Kid” meme is the perfect meme and NFT for you. Like most competitors on our list, the photo was created by accident when, in 2007, Laney Griner from Jacksonville, Florida, took her then 11-month son, Sam, to the beach.
Success Kid has a fist full of sand and determination in his eyes that made him loved by millions and used to meme any kind of success, going viral on MySpace and Reddit.
The photo became so popular that even a politician from Iowa used it in a campaign fund-raising ad. This image misuse was retributed, and the beloved and determined kid had a bright future in the NFT world.
“Success Kid” was released to the public in 2007, and the NFT was made and sold for 15.00 ETH on Foundation App.
8. Grumpy Cat NFT
Cats always dominate the internet, and Grumpy cat is no exception. There are many cool cats online. Many favored this meme for the grumpy look and overall tired face.
The owner Tabatha Bundesen loved the expression her cat made so much that she took many photos and posted them online in 2012. It’s a little-known fact that Grumpy and Nyan cats were created almost one year apart.
The cat got a waxwork figure at Madame Tussaud’s — the first cat to receive such an honor. In 2019, Grumpy cat aka Tardar Sauce died after contracting a urinary tract infection. Grumpy Cat NFT was immortalized on the blockchain in 2021 and sold for over $100,000.
9. Bad Luck Brian NFT
The expression on Brian’s face might be happy, but the meme went viral as a synonym for being without luck in certain situations. The photo was posted as a joke to Reddit in 2012. It was taken from a school yearbook by Ian Davies about his friend Kyle Craven.
The duo planned the whole setup, including the red face and the obnoxious smile, but the principal in the school made him take another photo. However, the online version we all know today will forever be a perfect example of a nerdy bad luck guy.
The “Bad Luck Brian” NFT was minted in March of 2021, and the two friends earned over $62,000.
10. Overly Attached Girlfriend NFT
Laina Morris posted the original video of OAG or Overly Attached Girlfriend for Justin Bieber’s fan contest in June 2012. The entire video was meant as a prank, but the famous creator Laina’s stare in the video has since become known as “Overly Attached Girlfriend”. In April of 2021, the original video was removed from YouTube and sold as NFT for over $590,000.
11. Scumbag Steve NFT
The creator Blake Boston and his mother, who took the photo, might get a bad rap for the “Scumbag Steve” look that went viral in 2011 on MySpace, but the fun meme was sold as NFT in 2021 for over $57,000 at the time.
Blake is today a happy father of two boys, but he will forever be remembered for his mother’s accidental photo that day and the unique outfit that made him famous.
in 2016, Pepe the Frog appeared as the NFT project RarePepes on Counterparty – an open-source protocol built on top of Bitcoin. A type of collectible card project, it predated the popularity of Ethereum NFTs.
Various artists collaborated to create the Pepe cards between 2016 and 2018, creating 1,774 NFTs comprising a series of 36. The first card pays homage to Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin creator. Three hundred of these Nakamoto Cards exist. Holding way grants the owner access to the 300 Club.
In 2021 one of these NFTS, PEPENOPOULOS, 2016, sold for $3.6 million at a Sotheby’s auction. Satoshi Nakamoto (a Pepe inspired by the Bitcoin creator) and a Pepeair (A Michael Jordan-inspired Pepe) sold for $240,000 and $520,000.
At a January 2018 auction held in New York City, a Homer Simpson Rare Pepe famously sold for $39,000. It was the first digital art auction ever. Many criticized the buyer, Peter Kell, for such an expensive purchase. However, Kell had the last laugh when he sold the Homer Pepe for $312,000 in 2021.
13. The Meme Cards
The Memes by 6529 is similar to the Rare Pepes NFT project. The Memes aims to create meme-based NFTs that raise the profile of NFTs and open decentralized web. It leans heavily into memes, clichés, and imagery from Web 3.0, including Pepe.
The project is a good example of an NFT meme with copying-fidelity. Its artists have used memes, including Pepe the frog, for several drops and releases, including Greedy Morning, Chained in the Sky, and Cope.
Ray Chan, a Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, is the CEO and creator of Memeland, which features three NFT collections: the Potatoz, the Captains, and You the Real MVP. According to Chan, Memeland is designed to foster creators’ growth rather than to generate a financial gain. Apart from his involvement in the NFT space, Chan is also renowned as the founder of 9GAG, a popular social media platform established in 2008 in Hong Kong that specializes in sharing viral memes.If you like this article, check out our guide to memes about NFTs.
If you like this article, check out our guide to memes about NFTs.