Viral quiz of the year: how well do you know the memes of 2020?

Why was nature healing? What was with all the cake? And who needs a career in ‘cyber’? Check whether you spent way too much time on the internet this year with our quiz

In January, a scene from Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story in which Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson fight about their failing marriage became the go-to template for expressing disagreement online. What, in their loquacious, highly actorly row, did Driver’s character identify as his real betrayal of his wife?

He slept with another woman

He enjoyed a joke with another woman

He valued his career above his wife’s

He did not want to move to Los Angeles

A video of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gave birth in February to a new meme in which people amended his statement, “I am once again asking for …” to make their own requests. What was Sanders asking in the original clip?

Your financial support

You to vote out Trump

Billionaires to pay more tax

Elizabeth Warren’s support

In March, rap-rock titans Rage Against the Machine tweeted an important exception to the anti-state sentiment of their song Killing in the Name, saying: “On this occasion, it’s best you do what they tell ya.” What was the government instruction?

Maintain a minimum distance of two metres

Follow the food pyramid

Wear a seatbelt

Wash your hands with soap

In April, images to show “nature is healing” in the absence of people went viral on social media as a heartwarming upside of lockdown. Unfortunately, nearly all of them were fake news. Which one wasn’t?

Swans and dolphins returned to the Venetian canals

Elephants broke into a village in Yunan province to gorge on corn

Mountain goats ran riot through a Welsh town

A family of boars roamed the quiet streets of Bergamo

In May, original prankster Elon Musk and self-described ego-death survivor Grimes claimed to have named their baby daughter X Æ A-12 – for the couple’s favourite unknown variable, the elven spelling of Ai (meaning “love and/or artificial intelligence”) and their favourite aircraft. How, for the Ai of god, is it pronounced?

“X, A, I”


“Ki-Ai-L”, like “Kyle”

No one knows. Not even her parents

In a viral interview with GQ, the actor Robert Pattinson shared his ambitious concept for “a pasta which you can hold in your hand”. He dubbed it piccolini cuscino, or little pillow. How might one go about making it?

Microwave cooked penne, cornflakes, cheese slices, sugar and sauce; spoon into a hollowed-out burger bun

Fill a muffin tray with spaghetti, tinned chopped tomatoes and cheese; bake for 20 minutes

Stuff a giant gnocchi with cheese

Make a loaded pasta bake and serve in slices

In July, a video of hyper-realistic cakes – made to resemble a banana, a coconut, a loo roll and a shoe – went viral with the caption: “These are all cakes.” For weeks afterwards, nothing you saw on the internet could be trusted to definitely not be cake. But who was especially enraged by the “Is it a cake?” meme?

Anti-obesity campaigners who calculated the cakes’ average calories

An artisan cronut-maker who said they had lost business as a result

An online community of people who really hate fondant

The writer of a viral opinion piece who blamed the meme for his trust issues

In August, the actor Reese Witherspoon made a meme representing each month of this harrowing year with one of her roles. If January was perky, polished Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, which character summed up Witherspoon’s state of mind from June to September?

Elena Richardson in Little Fires Everywhere, out for revenge

Madeline Mackenzie mid-breakdown in Big Little Lies

Grimy-faced Cheryl Strayed, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Wild

Elizabeth in Just Like Heaven, who is literally a ghost

In September, a video of a man blissfully longboarding along a highway, set to Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams, went viral on TikTok. What beverage was he chugging as he went?

La Croix

Cranberry juice

Fiji Water


In October, a UK government advertisement suggesting people working in the creative industries might like to retrain was scrapped after being roundly derided online. According to the tagline, whose next job could be “in cyber” (they just don’t know it yet)?

Fatima the ballerina

Padma the poet

Nadia the painter

Varsha the actor

10 and above.

100%! Let these memes be the only memories you take from 2020.

7 and above.

All that time online this year has paid off for you.

0 and above.

What did you DO all year? It’s like you weren’t even on the internet at all!

4 and above.

Say what you will about 2020, but some of the memes were OK, weren’t they.

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