They say a picture is worth a thousand words… case in point: memes.
Over the past decade, these “units of cultural information spread by imitation” have become a mainstay in our day-to-day communications. They allow us to reproduce and share phenomena, ideas and images in ways that deeply resonate. And they’re just plain fun.
So as a design platform, we thought: let’s make it easier to apply the descriptive power of these iconic images to anything — by turning them into meme icons!
Cue: a free download link for over 20 of the most iconic memes and reaction images, in icon form. Plus, a quick summary and hypothetical application for each…
Click to jump ahead:
- 20+ meme icons [free download + instructions]
- Every meme in the icon pack, explained
- Make your communications ICONic with these irresistible icon memes
20+ meme icons [free download + instructions]
Instantly recognizable and designed to blend seamlessly with any visual elements by employing minimal lines and flat colors, these icons are your key to meme-ingful communications.
So, without further ado, here’s your download link for all 22 meme icons in PNG, EPS and SVG format:
Again, these meme icons are 100% free to download, use and publish at your discretion! But if you’re so inclined, we’d very much appreciate you listing us as a source and linking to this page. That way, we can spread the lols further. And marvel at your creative applications.
Of course, we couldn’t forget about our own platform. If you’re a Venngage user, know all these icons are preloaded into our visual editor, searchable and ready to be applied to your own designs at a moment’s notice.
(Not a Venngager yet? Sign up for free and get access to thousands of professionally designed, easy-to-edit templates you can customize — and memeify — without any design experience required.)
Okay, let’s talk specifics…
Every meme in the icon pack, explained
Odds are you know a thing or two about these iconic images. But for clarity’s sake (and mainly because I’ll jump at every opportunity to talk shop), I’m going to walk through each meme icon included in this pack.
Keep scrolling for a quick summary of each meme’s history, how they’ve evolved and a hypothetical situation where these meme icons would speak volumes.
This Is Fine Dog Icon
Living in denial. Acceptance in the face of a hopeless situation. This Is Fine Dog does it all.
Borne from two image panels of K.C. Green’s webcomic series, Gunshow, This Is Fine Dog rose to international prominence after US political discourse made this meme into a statement. Case in point: the GOP’s official Twitter account tweeted it, and a North Carolina Senator referenced it in a speech.
You’re giving a presentation on climate change. You have a slide about the government’s response at large.
Surprised Pikachu Icon
I see your obvious set-up leading to a predictable outcome. And I raise you my astonishment!
That’s the vibe Surprised Pikachu brings, anyway. This iconic still was taken from the first season of Pokemon, and became a trending reaction after a Tumblr user posted a scenario featuring the image.
You’re a professor creating a slideshow about cheating. Your main takeaway? Cheaters will be caught cheating.
Awkward Look Monkey Puppet Icon
Feeling awkward? So does this puppet. This icon is based on a photoshopped frame from the Spanish language dub of the Japanese TV show Ōkiku naru Ko.
Over Slack, someone asks, “Who did this?”. You did this. Your coworker knows you did this. Awkward Look Monkey Puppet Icon has entered the chat.
Patrick Star I Have Three Dollars Icon
Patrick Star’s relevance transcends all. Originating from a Spongebob episode that aired in 2002, this meme is used to react to costly scenarios or items.
You’re providing a high-level overview of your financial budget for this quarter. You didn’t perform well last quarter… or the quarter before that.
Handsome Squidward Icon
Have you ever seen a squid look so good, it sends an entire town into pandemonium?
Well, you better believe it. Because Bikini Bottom’s resident grump, Squidward Tentacles, causes precisely this reaction in a 2007 episode. His arresting features have inspired many-a-meme, TikTok filter and YouTube video since. (Squilliam Fancyson could never.)
You need a showstopper of a social media graphic. Good news: this icon is so chiseled and so handsome, people can’t help but stare…
Norton the Mailman Smirking (Spongebob) Icon
Norton the Mailman may have been a background character in the Spongebob Squarepants series, but his presence has since made waves.
This smug smirk was shown in a Season 4 still that’s exploded in popularity as a standalone reaction and image macros.
Your company wants to provide a free design resource people will understand, enjoy and share. You love memes, and you love inundating coworkers with them. Suddenly, you have the perfect idea for a free design resource.
Sad Frog (Pepe) Icon
Also known as the “Feels Bad Man” meme, the original Sad Frog artwork is based on Matt Furie’s drawing of Pepe the frog, denoting feelings of disappointment or failure.
You’re creating an infographic about the appropriation of popular memes by right wing extremists. (Note: the internet has since reclaimed Pepe.)
Ralph Wiggum Diving Through Window Icon
Ah, Ralph Wiggum. The fan-favorite goo ball of Matt Groening’s famed franchise, who just so happens to be thrown through the Simpson family’s window one fateful episode.
This meme represents a sudden action, or an immediacy of response.
You’re preparing a competitive analysis for your team to review. The day before your presentation, a major player comes out with a new product. What better way to illustrate this than Ralph Wiggum?
Homer Simpson Back Into the Bushes Icon
Commonly used as a reaction GIF denoting embarrassment and/or purposeful concealment, Homer Simpson Backs Into The Bushes first rose to prominence when Tumblr was big. (Okay, so the platform is still around, but come on — 2010 to 2012 Tumblr just hit different.)
In 2019, the hit series even referenced its popularity: Lisa texts Homer the GIF.
Your company is brainstorming how to use various social channels in new ways. Over Slack, someone suggests you need a brand ambassador for TikTok. You would sooner perish than star in a TikTok.
Kermit Sipping Tea / But That’s None of My Business Icon
Have a salty, sardonic comment to share? Then this sarcastic meme is for you.
Kermit Sipping Tea first originated in 2014 during the heyday of Muppet memes, spreading rapidly over Instagram before Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube too.
On social media, your competitor is being criticized en masse. You share examples of what’s being said with colleagues… not that it’s any of your business…
Polite Cat Icon
Polite Cat, also known as “He Looks Very Polite”, refers to a reaction image of a cat looking very… polite. His image has surfaced across various memes since the photo first appeared in 2018.
Any situation that would benefit from the addition of a cute cat (read: most situations).
Crying Cat Icon
There are a multitude of teary-eyed cats that have taken the internet by storm, ever since this original image appeared on an anonymous meme generator in 2014.
Who cares if they’re photoshopped? They’re relatable.
You’re feline sad. You happen to be looking for the perfect reaction to use over Slack.
The facepalm, AKA the motion of placing your palm to your face in cringe, is an internet shorthand used to denote embarrassment or regret over one’s actions — either your own or someone else’s.
One of the most famous, widely-used variations comes from a Star Trek still of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, pictured here.
While corresponding with a customer, your colleague attaches the wrong file. Cringe ensues. Management follows up with a lighthearted memo on how to avoid similar situations.
An internet slang term for dogs (although most closely associated with the Shiba Inu breed, and this image in particular), Doge truly encompasses the evolving nature of memes.
First there was Polite Doge. Then there was absurdist humor Doge. Then Ironic Doge. Then Dogecoin. (Don’t get me started.)
Anyhoo, Doge continues to prevail — no essential meaning needed.
Your company allows dogs at work. You add this Doge icon to the Employee Handbook, so new hires know this place is pretty ruff.
Is This a Pigeon Icon
Expressing utter confusion or mistaken beliefs? Make use of this. It references a memorable quote from the 1990s Japanese anime series The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird, when a character asks whether a butterfly is a pigeon.
You’re creating a mind map addressing common misconceptions re: the affordability of most “affordable housing”.
Baby Yoda Drinking Soup Icon
Remember Baby Yoda? Remember when Baby Yoda was everywhere?
After Disney+ premiered The Mandalorian, the internet went nuts with the image of the green Jedi master in his infancy.
And while Baby Yoda Drinking Soup first emerged as a counterpart to the Kermit Sipping Tea meme on Twitter, several circumstances warrant the use of this friendly little guy…
You work in the HR department of a company that offers a lunch stipend. Look no further to illustrate this perk.
Crying Kim Kardashian Icon
We all know the Kardashian family has been fodder for many-a-meme. This particular reaction image comes from a 2012 episode of Kim & Kourtney Take New York, wherein Kim “ugly cries” about her now-ex.
It’s used as an exaggerated response.
Any situation where an exaggerated ugly cry is warranted (read: most situations. Just kidding. Kind of.)
Crying Michael Jordan Icon
Crying Michael Jordan is a photoshopped cutout stemming from Michael Jordan’s 2009 induction speech to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Look, I’m not going to pretend I know much about sports — however, I do know it’s commonly used by sports fans online to convey sadness over certain defeats.
You’re reacting to an announcement of a company-wide softball tournament. You know full well your hand-eye coordination is abysmal.
Roll Safe Icon
The Roll Safe meme features a still of character Reece Simpson (a.k.a. “Roll Safe”) from Hood Documentary, a web series. It typically pokes fun at bad judgment or instances of hidden genius.
You’re creating a poster for a social media management event. The caption? “You can’t be a good social media manager if you’re not social.”
Salt Bae Icon
Salt Bae is the nickname of a Turkish butcher, whose infamously flamboyant seasoning moves went viral in 2017. He evoke glamor, finesse or pizazz.
You’ve made a slide recognizing team members who helped take a product launch to the next level.
Hide the Pain Harold Icon
Questionable stock photo lovers, rejoice!
Hide the Pain Harold is one such image that was co-opted by memers, after folks found his face to perfectly express those relatable feelings of hidden pain and discomfort.
You’re creating a progress report. Notably absent: the “progress” in question.
Leonardo Dicaprio Icon
This jovial still was taken from Dicaprio’s performance in Django Unchained, and has been widely spread since 2017. Although used in a variety ways, it’s a particularly good vehicle for a Dad joke.
You’re creating an invitation for your annual holiday party. The party is going to sleigh — and everyone needs to know.
Woman Yelling Icon / Cat Being Yelled at Icon
Last but not least, a story for the ages told through two memes.
First combined in 2019, after a Twitter user paired The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills screen cap with Smudge, the salad-hating cat, these images quickly became an internet sensation for their comedic prowess. And it’s easy to see why: together, these two are versatile as they are iconic.
They’re typically used to contrast an assertion with a retort, or a situation with a foil.
You’re designing custom mugs to give to friends. Two of them just love to bicker.
Make your communications ICONic with these irresistible meme icons
There you have it! I hope you download and enjoy these 20+ free meme icons our design team dreamed up. Feel free to add them to any of your communications, visual assets, design files and documents that need some contemporary flair.
You meme business, after all.