Let’s talk about memes, or as your parents pronounce them, “me-mes.” Sure, they are fun to send to your friends when you’re feeling some type of way (see: that moment when you realized you spent all of your money on Taco Bell at 2 a.m). But they are also excellent tools for flirting right around the time you and a crush are trying to decide whether your love for obscure internet humor is mutual or not. Because we all know that once that perfect meme is sent, the fireworks really begin. These seven stellar meme formats are just the things to take your connection from URL to IRL.
1. The Icebreaker
Let’s say you find yourself at a stalemate when deciding whether to make the first move. What better way to flex your internet skills than sending your crush a meme that reflects a moment in pop culture that has everyone buzzing (think “Bird Box” and “Game of Thrones”). It tells them that you’re up to date on the latest trends and that there won’t be an awkward silence on your first date when they inevitably ask for you about the latest viral phenomenon.
2. The Risk-Taker
Think of this as the antonym of the icebreaker. Instead of a relatable meme, you shoot your shot with the most obscure dank meme in existence hoping that your crush is just as weird as you. Warning: There’s pretty much a 50/50 chance this will work but when it does, the sparks will fly.
3. The Reminiscer
The common through line through all memes is relatability, and nothing is more relatable than the collective experience of growing up in the late ’90s and early ’00s (’sup, Carson Daly?). Think about it: You could be the one to remind your crush of a simpler time when Gelly Roll pens ruled the world while creating a connection that lasts longer than the ink in one of those bad boys.
4. The Self-Deprecator
Don’t let anyone tell you self-deprecation isn’t sexy. There’s nothing more genuine — and people like people who keep it real — than someone who is willing to admit their insecurities and straight-up own that shit. So go forth and let your crush know that you strongly believe eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is a totally reasonable thing to do on a Friday night when you’re home alone.
5. The Animal Whisperer
Animal memes are basically the cheat codes of getting your crush’s (and for that matter, anyone else’s) attention. Truly, what kind of person is going to ignore a funny picture of a puppy? I’ll tell you what kind: the worst kind. The kind you want to weed out. So go forth and fire off those adorable kitten videos that you already watched 4,000 times.
6. The Parent Joke
Whether it’s a dad joke or a mom joke, we can all agree that parents are a great source of unintentional humor (sorry, Mom and Dad). I mean, what’s more relatable than showing your parents how the Wi-Fi works every time you visit home? Being able to connect with your crush over those “Parents Just Don’t Understand” moments is certain to bring you closer together.
7. The Starter Pack
They say to save the best for last, and this is no exception. The crème de la crème of meme formats is sure to get your crush’s attention faster than you can double-tap an IG post. The starter pack combines all the things that make a meme great: relatability, nostalgia, and humor. Now go forth a prosper, you newly crowned meme-lord.