The Internet, that beloved series of tubes, is not a thing you can “win.” Despite humanity’s competitive nature, there are no winners and losers, unless you’re playing Words With Friends or something. And yet, throughout the short course of our collective online history, everything from pets to vampiric actors have been announced as “winners” of the Internet.
The popular phrase compares the Internet to a video game and is used to congratulate a person who does something funny/worthwhile on the web. According to the Internet’s foremost meme academic text, Know Your Meme, the term originated in 2004 on SomethingAwful’s FYAD forum, though it may also have come from a 2002 IRC chatroom. The phrase spread from there, cropping up on 4chan before landing its own Urban Dictionary entry in 2006.
Now it’s regularly employed in blog posts and news stories for stuff as innocuous as cute baby videos. Below, a short list of things that have won the Internet, because recognizing we have a “wins the Internet” problem is the first step to recovery.
1. Joe Biden
3. Nicolas Cage
4. This cat
13. Louis CK