Remember the early days of the internet? Dial up still echoed in our ears, MySpace was the social platform of choice and MSN was the equivalent of WhatsApp. If you look back on this time with fondness, you probably remember some of the earliest memes and domain names in existence.

And in case you didn’t already feel old today, infamous video meme Badger Badger Badger will be celebrating its 20th birthday on September 2nd this year. If you look back on these frolicking mammals with fondness, take a trip down memory lane with us and explore the era of long lost memes.

Badger Badger Badger

Age: 20 years old

Fast approaching its 20th birthday, Badger Badger Badger is an internet video meme that consists of badgers dancing to an electronic dance song. After three loops of multiple badgers and mushrooms, a snake slithers through a desert and the animation starts again. It may sound ridiculous – and it probably was – but it captured the attention of kids and tweens in the early internet days.

The original cartoon continues indefinitely, whereas the YouTube iterations sometimes only last a few minutes. Over the years, Badger Badger Badger has spawned numerous remixes and parodies, and remains a fond favourite of early 90s kids.

In honour of Badger’s 20th birthday, we got to speak to the creator, Mr Weebl, himself to find out the inspiration behind the dancing badgers, and his anniversary feelings:

My first memory of badgers is showing it to some guys I was working with on an advert. They looked slightly confused but I said "This is going to be huge" thinking it would get about 50K views. It got that on one Sunday.

The reason for badgers is based on Saturday Night by Whigfield, which has a duck quacking throughout. I decided that the tune needed an annoying squeak sound in the background. The lyrics were meant to be a placeholder, but much like The Riddle by Nik Kershaw, the placeholder became the actual thing.

The finished animation was first posted to on the 2nd of September 2003.

We found the post.

I've lost the link.

Mr Weebl – real name Jonti Picking – hails from the UK, so while the video may have gone live on the web at 11:59pm September 1st EDT, that actually translates to 3:59am September 2nd in UK time. So let’s be sure that this legend of the internet gets its birthday celebrated on the correct day!

Badger badger badger meme

Surprised owl

Age: 20 years old

If you enjoyed calling someone “Captain Obvious”, or have ever used the phrase “No s**t, Sherlock” – and you’re in your 30th decade – then chances are you’ve sent this meme over MSN. The greatness of this meme comes from its simplicity, its ease of use, and its ability to be used in a multitude of circumstances, the O RLY owl was the sickest burn of its time.

Surprised owl meme


Age: 19 years old

There have been many Spongebob memes over the years, including his many beloved iterations. In episode SB-129, Squidward heads back in time to the prehistoric era, and discovers that his annoying neighbour is exactly the same, just a little more caveman. SpongeGar – with his long canines, square loincloth and surprised expression – there was no more fitting response to the strange situations you can find online.

Spongegar meme


Age: 16 years old

If you know a millennial, then there’s a good chance you know exactly what it means to be ‘Rickrolled’. For the uninitiated, Rickroll is a good old bait-and-switch meme where an unsuspecting URL instead takes you to the music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. After more than 15 years of tricking people around the world, the official YouTube video has garnered before than 1.5 billion views. In 2008, the meme reached its peak, by being tweeted by the White House’s official account, and when YouTube turned every link on their homepage into a Rickroll in honour of April Fools Day.

Rick Roll meme


Age: 15 years old

Drawn on Microsoft Paint back in 2008, if you can believe it, to mock trolls. Unfortunately the image itself was hijacked by trolls and became very widely used, often alongside the phrase “U mad, bro?”. Originating on 4chan, Trollface quickly jumped to Reddit and Urban Dictionary, before making its way to Imgur and Facebook.

Trollface meme


Age: 13 years old

Many people have pondered what man’s best friend might be thinking, and this unassuming Shiba Inu dog allowed our imagination to come to life. The Doge meme was overlaid with Comic Sans to relay the dog’s inner thoughts, often utilising poor grammar and spelling. Whether you Photoshopped Kabosu – the pooch’s name – used as a response or a standalone meme, Doge certainly made his mark on the world. After all, what other meme do you know that inspired its own cryptocurrency?

Doge meme

Nyan Cat

Age: 12 years old

The internet is a wonderful place. And it’s the only place an 8-bit rainbow cat travelling through space would be watched by more than 150 million people. Not only was Nyan Cat a YouTube sensation, but it crossed mediums easily with live recreations, video games, classical music covers, and fan art. Certainly one of the most popular of early MySpace and Bebo days.

Nyan cat meme