How to Cite a Meme

The meme is one of the funniest and weirdest trends to arise from digital images on the Internet. There are memes to make you laugh at almost anything, from funny cats to politicians to a successful kid. Though unconventional, if you choose cite a meme this guide can help!

The best way to cite a meme is to use a citation structure similar to what you would use for citing a digital image. Memes are, after all, digital images that have been slightly altered or edited.

To cite a meme properly, you must identify the following pieces of information:

  1. Title of meme. If it has no official title, create a short description of your own
  2. Title of the website where the meme was published
  3. URL of the website the meme was published
  4. Date the meme was published (if known)
  5. Date you accessed/retrieved the meme
  6. Publisher of the site

Annotated Meme

Basically, identify the website where the meme was posted. Then, cite the meme like you would if you found it through the original website where it was posted. Let’s review how to do this in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago/Turabian.

For our examples, let’s look at the meme “I Regret Nothing” found at http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.

Use the following structure to cite a meme in MLA 8:

Title of meme/image or your own description of the image and meme. Title of the Website where it was published, Publisher, Day Mo. Year it was published (if you know it). URL (remove http:// or https://).

Here’s how the above example would be cited in MLA format:

I regret nothing meme. Know Your Meme, Literally Media, 24 Feb. 2002, knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.

Use the following structure to cite a meme in APA:

Title of meme/image or your own description of the image [Digital image]. (Year Published). Retrieved from URL

Here’s how the above example would be cited in APA format:

I regret nothing [Digital image]. (2002). Retrieved from http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing

Use the following structure to cite a meme in Chicago/Turabian:

Title or description. Digital image. Website Title. Mo. Day, Year Published. Accessed Mo. Day, Year (only include if there is no publication date). URL.

Here’s how the above example would be cited in Chicago/Turabian:

I Regret Nothing. Digital image. Know Your Meme. Feb. 24, 2002. http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.

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About the Author

Ella Chochrek

Ella is a student at Washington University in St. Louis studying political science and psychology. Originally from Westchester, New York, Ella loves to write and edit. She is editor-in-chief of Wash. U.’s student newspaper, Student Life, and tutors students on Chegg.com, primarily helping with paper editing.