Since the rise of NFTs, memes today mean money. We’ve explored some of the most notable meme NFT sales to date and built a nifty meme NFT calculator so you can see how much your favourite memes are worth!
NFT is the acronym of the year, having garnered attention from crypto enthusiasts, artists, designers and, erm, Maroon 5, just to name a few.
Known as ‘non-fungible tokens’ in full, NFTs are a form of digital property – essentially a unit of data stored on a blockchain – that guarantees the uniqueness of a digital asset. Traders bid for the ownership of these items, which can be anything, from a song, to a piece of art, or even everyone’s favourite subset of the internet: memes.
Meme NFTs have really taken off in 2021. As wealthy collectors seek to get their hands on a piece of internet history, the creators of iconic viral content are looking to cash in by flogging their original creations.
Several popular memes have sold in the last few months, while others are set for auction. Let’s explore meme NFT sales so far, before we introduce you to our meme NFT calculator where you can work out how much your favourite memes are worth!
The hype around NFT sales and their wild prices got us thinking: how exactly do we price them?
We explored some of the memes sold so far to determine the potential value of other content out there on the web. To get a better understanding, we explored a range of factors from views and age to origin and reuse.
From the list of memes that have sold, there wasn’t much of a clear pattern. As with many collectibles, age usually adds value (like with antiques), but given that memes are fairly new, age probably won’t influence price too much just yet.
One thing that does seem to add value is media attention and general hype. ‘Doge’, the inspiration for the joke-turned-legit crypto ‘Dogecoin’, has recently sold as an NFT for a whopping $4 million. While this is a popular meme, the recent hysteria around Dogecoin seems to have played a part in skyrocketing its value.
Following this, we decided to calculate the ‘estimated value’ of memes using the number of views they had compared to their NFT sale price. We used meme haven knowyourmeme.com to gather the info we needed (namely the number of views) to work out a value per view for each meme. We divided the totals to find the average value per view of all the memes that sold. (Still with us?) This would then serve as our calculation for estimating the potential value of unsold memes.
Out of the most popular unsold memes, Something Awful’s ‘Slender Man’ is estimated to be worth the most if sold in auction. Since its creation in 2009, the ‘Slender Man’ meme has been instilling fear in children around the world, even getting its own game and film, so it’s unsurprising this previous media frenzy is now dominating memes too.
|Slender Man||14879030||2009||Something Awful||$1,173,096.77|
|Navy Seal Copypasta||13998713||2010||OperatorChan||$1,103,690.56|
|Flipping Tables||5888282||2011||Osakan Manzai Comedy Routines||$464,245.63|
|Dolan||5459572||2010||Kuvalauta / Finnish Imageboard||$430,445.15|
|Yao Ming Face||5424423||2010||$427,673.92|
|"Y U No" Guy||4922778||2010||Tumblr||$388,123.08|
|Woman Yelling at a Cat||4695801||2019||$370,227.69|
|I Took an Arrow in the Knee||4649379||2011||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||$366,567.68|
|The Mandela Effect||4381870||2010||Mandela Effect||$345,476.66|
|Pepe the Frog||4289508||2008||Boy's Club||$338,194.63|
|Good Guy Greg||4198733||2011||4chan||$331,037.72|
|Look of Disapproval||4174808||2006||The Kannadan Language||$329,151.41|
|You Know I Had to Do It to Em||4045780||2017||$318,978.55|
|NO. Rage Face||3926526||2010||Cheat Engine Forums||$309,576.29|
|"Not Bad" Obama Face||3854704||2011||$303,913.68|
|Press F to Pay Respects||3293273||2014||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||$259,649.18|
|Harambe the Gorilla||3059533||2016||News||$241,220.58|
|Do You Even Lift?||2840543||2011||BodyBuilding.com||$223,954.91|
|You Are Already Dead||2812873||1983||First of The North Star (TV)||$221,773.34|
|Annoying Facebook Girl||2713455||2010||4chan||$213,935.00|
|The Most Interesting Man in the World||2639123||2007||TV Ad||$208,074.50|
|Xzibit Yo Dawg||2620096||2007||4chan||$206,574.36|
|Challenge Accepted||2574122||2010||How I Met Your Mother||$202,949.67|
|Hide The Pain Harold||2497890||2011||Facepunch||$196,939.36|
|To Be Fair, You Have To Have a Very High IQ to Understand Rick and Morty||2359706||2017||$186,044.62|
|Joseph Ducreux / Archaic Rap||2332474||2009||Image Macro||$183,897.59|
|OMG Rage Face||2263748||2010||unknown||$178,479.07|
|If You Know What I Mean||2245379||2012||9gag||$177,030.82|
|I Know That Feel Bro||2240296||2010||Krautchan||$176,630.06|
|Cash Me Ousside Howbow Dah||2230027||2017||Dr. Phil||$175,820.43|
|Socially Awkward Penguin||2170409||2009||4chan||$171,120.01|
|Nope! Chuck Testa||2158116||2011||YouTube||$170,150.80|
|First World Problems||2146435||2011||unknown||$169,229.85|
|Not Sure If||2132963||2011||Futurama||$168,167.68|
|One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor||2088398||2001||Lord of the Rings||$164,654.08|
|Are You Serious Face / Seriously?||2074905||2011||$163,590.26|
|Cool Story, Bro||2002129||2008||unknown||$157,852.43|
|All the Things||1939419||2010||Exploitable||$152,908.23|
|Fight Club 5/7 Movie||1887809||2015||Imgur||$148,839.18|
|Raise Your Dongers||1864359||2012||Twitch||$146,990.33|
|Mocking Spongebob||1829993||2017||SpongeBob Squarepants||$144,280.84|
|Serbia Strong / Remove Kebab||1823444||1992||unknown||$143,764.50|
|I Hope Senpai Will Notice Me||1804403||2012||unknown||$142,263.26|
|The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise||1801907||2005||Star Wars||$142,066.47|
|Lord Marquaad E||1777771||2018||Tumblr||$140,163.53|
|Fus Ro Dah||1733629||2011||unknown||$136,683.28|
|Delete System32||1727804||2000||Windows 2000||$136,224.02|
|Aww Yea Guy||1722576||2010||$135,811.83|
|Musically Oblivious 8th Grader||1703424||2009||Tumblr||$134,301.85|
|He Protec but He Also Attac||1664491||2017||$131,232.28|
|U WOT M8||1652603||2012||British Forums||$130,295.00|
|It's Over 9000!||1647986||2006||Dragon Ball Z||$129,930.99|
|The Cake Is a Lie||1632265||2007||Portal||$128,691.51|
|But That's None of My Business||1624603||2014||$128,087.42|
|I Don't Want to Live on This Planet Anymore||1588064||2010||Futurama||$125,206.60|
|SOON||1556837||2007||I Can Has Cheezburger||$122,744.59|
|Tree Fiddy||1545384||1999||South Park||$121,841.61|
|Yes, This is Dog||1534036||2011||Tumblr||$120,946.91|
|Don't Talk To Me Or My Son Ever Again||1520286||2014||Tumblr||$119,862.83|
|This Is Fine||1483697||2016||Gunshow||$116,978.07|
|I See What You Did There||1479727||1996||unknown||$116,665.06|
|My Body Is Ready||1467857||2007||E3||$115,729.20|
|That Escalated Quickly||1450804||2004||Anchorman||$114,384.71|
|Son, I Am Disappoint||1442075||2008||4chan||$113,696.49|
|Chubby Bubbles Girl||1424833||2009||4chan||$112,337.09|
|Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams||1423367||2005||Loose Change||$112,221.51|
|Shut Up And Take My Money||1413723||2010||Futurama||$111,461.16|
|I Have No Idea What I'm Doing||1403309||2011||Tumblr||$110,640.09|
Closely following in second place is ‘Navy Seal Copypasta’, the original forum comment created to poke fun at the ‘internet tough guys’ and ‘keyboard warriors.’
Completing the top 3 is ‘Lenny Face’, the perfect reaction to almost any message. Its earliest recorded sighting was on a Finnish image board, Ylilauta in November 2012. With over 13 million views, this meme could fetch as much as $1,000,000 if it goes up for auction.
Looking at the NFTs that have already sold, there isn’t a clear indicator that will tell us how much a meme will be worth. The sale prices have varied massively, and it seems to depend on the amount of media attention in the build-up to auction.
Just take Doge for instance, the most valuable meme to date. All the hype around Dogecoin increased the original meme’s popularity ahead of its auction, where it sold for $4 million (far more than its expected value of $1,081,000).
Second on the list is Disaster Girl, which sold for $473,000 in April. The photograph, taken by Dave Roth of his daughter, Zoe, went viral in 2008 and the family decided to cash in this year.
The third is Overly Attached Girlfriend, which recently sold for a cool $411,000. YouTuber Laina Morris sold the original version of the meme, which features a snapshot from a video she uploaded to her channel in 2012.
So as an investment, meme NFTs aren’t the safest bet, just because their value is hard to predict and added antique value is hard to judge too.
Even some of the cornerstones of meme culture, like Bad Luck Brian and Scumbag Steve, sold for far less than their popularity would suggest they are worth. The former sold for $47,000, while the latter sold for $70,810, which was $213k and $302k less than their expected values, respectively. On the other hand, Disaster Girl sold in April for $473,000, which was a huge $338,000 more than its expected value based on popularity.
Actually, it’s difficult to value any digital art – a fact acknowledged by TechBullion, who said that this makes NFTs “an especially dangerous venture.”
Unlike artwork, where age has a bearing on value, it’s not clear how the ‘originality’ of a meme will affect the price.
Ultimately, it is a classic example of the value being set by the buyer. Any given meme is worth whatever the purchaser is willing to pay for it.
Be cautious when looking at meme NFTs as an investment as they are probably safer viewed as collectables rather than a potential money maker – unless, of course, you’re the original seller.
Discover how much your favourite memes are potentially worth using our meme NFT price calculator. Or, if you have some content of your own, use the calculator to see how many views you might need to reach your desired profit.
We began by finding the memes with the most views on ‘KnowYourMeme’. It studied the memes that had already sold as NFTs and compared the prices each had sold for.
Using previous meme NFT sales, we calculated their cost per view to find an average cost per view across all the memes sold. This figure was used to calculate the estimated values of all the other most viewed memes on the web.
The calculator tool uses this same formula to show the number of views needed for a meme to reach a certain value.
Estimated worth according to Eurotrader’s NFT calculator.
Currency exchange rates correct as of 01/09/2021.
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