With billions of GIFs posted to platforms like Twitter, Slack and Facebook every day, it’s hard to figure out which ones were the most popular in 2019.
Giphy, the online database with over 10 billion GIFs and stickers sent each day, revealed the 25 most viewed GIFs of 2019 that include famous faces like Lizzo, Keanu Reeves and Drake.
Tyler Menzel, head of editorial at Giphy, said top GIFs are ranked by how many views the short-form videos accrue on the platform over the course of the year. While there’s no common theme between the GIFs, Menzel noted that the Jonas Brothers were particularly popular this year—two Nick Jonas GIFs made the cut. He also saw a lot more positivity in what people were looking at, which is something he noticed was also a trend last year.
“It was nice that the GIFs weren’t all frustration and anger,” Menzel said. “There’s a lot of joy and silliness in there.”
When analyzing exactly which GIFs typically make the cut, Menzel said that a famous face “definitely helps, but it only takes you so far.” Sometimes a top GIF can be a celebrity like Cardi B capturing a relatable mood, and other times it isn’t.
“Every year we see smaller, independent GIF artists’ content make the cut, proving that mainstream recognition isn’t the primary qualifier compared to emotion and intent,” Menzel said of the Giphy artist community.
Beyond the database, Giphy has entertainment partners who cut their own GIFs, along with live partnerships with GIF-making pros who capture unforgettable moments from sporting events and awards shows. Menzel advises marketers who are interested in using GIFs to connect with consumers to find something people can directly relate to.
“We’ve observed time and time again that people are drawn to use GIFs of the shows or movies or brands they have a personal connection with,” he said. “They communicate to the people they love with the brands they love. This requires marketers to relearn the rules of engaging with users by connecting to them with genuine and relatable emotions and points of view—and we’re currently helping the world’s biggest brands do just that.”
Looking ahead to 2020, Giphy hopes to continue creating original content with celebrities and artists. But there’s one person Menzel and the rest of his team strive to have in their offices one day.
“We will not rest until a Giphy x Beyoncé original shoot takes place,” he said.
And when it comes to what Menzel thinks will be the next popular GIF in 2020, he first suggested it would probably be related to the U.S. presidential election, given the track record from 2016. But on second thought, there might be another frontrunner.
“Oh wait, there’s a new Minions movie coming out next year,” Menzel said. “Forget what I said, it’s gonna be Minions.”
Here’s the list of 2019’s most viewed GIFs, according to Giphy:
“And I Oop” by Jasmine Masters
Views: 419.1 million
Jasmine Masters, the drag queen who competed in Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, made an impact on the GIF world in 2019 with “And I Oop,” a moment captured in a YouTube video she uploaded in 2015 discussing friends who can’t handle their alcohol.
To celebrate her social success, Giphy is awarding Masters with a framed and custom animated trophy of “And I Oop.”
“Angry” from Shameless
Views: 382.1 million
While most of the top GIFs this year carry some sort of optimistic quality, “Angry” is pretty self-explanatory. It was taken from an episode of Showtime’s hit show Shameless and is an effective reaction GIF to send to friends and loved ones when you’re feeling frustrated.
“Say Hello” by Nick Jonas
Views: 289.1 million
This Nick Jonas GIF took one of the top three most viewed spots this year after he and the rest of the Jonas Brothers stopped by the Giphy offices to create a series of short-form content specifically for the platform. It’s simple. This particular GIF is an icebreaker to say, “Hi.”
“Happy” from Samm Henshaw
Views: 261.6 million
Singer Samm Henshaw’s “Happy” gives us a dose of nostalgia with this VCR-inspired moment from his music video for the song “Church.” With over 261 million views, it’s likely been used as a way to motivate others or to just reaffirm someone’s greatness.
“Great Job” from Bounce TV’s Last Call
Views: 259.6 million
For anyone who needs to let someone know they’re doing awesome, this “Great Job” GIF from Bounce TV’s Last Call does the trick. In its 2019 roundup of most viewed GIFs, Giphy said that users are constantly searching for a thumbs up GIF, and they’ve been gravitating toward this one the most.
“Happy Cheering” by Bluesbear
Views: 197.3 million
Bluesbear, a member of Giphy’s artist community, made it to the most viewed list with “Happy Cheering,” a motivational GIF for anyone who needs a cute push to make it through the day. According to Giphy, it’s quickly on its way to reaching 200 million views by the end of 2019.
“Thank you” from Keanu Reeves in Always Be My Maybe
Views: 195.4 million
Keanu Reeves’ appearance in Ali Wong’s romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe had the internet freaking out before and after the Netflix filmed dropped, so it’s only natural that one of his GIF-worthy moments racked up millions of views on Giphy.
“I Love You” by Mia Page
Views: 181.6 million
Like user Bluesbear, Mia Page happens to be part of Giphy’s artist community and her “I Love You” GIF made it to the most viewed list this year.
For Menzel, it’s “always exciting to see the Giphy artist community represented right alongside the most iconic brands in entertainment,” especially when it surpasses a million views from users around the world.
“An artist like Mia Page can create a GIF that captures people’s attention and have it live among giants like Friends or Netflix,” he said. “On another platform, that might be impossible. But on Giphy? If people like it, it gets seen.”
“No Way SMH” from The Kid Mero on Desus & Mero
Views: 179 million
The Kid Mero—one half of the Bodega Boys who host the popular late night talk show Desus & Mero on Showtime—is no stranger to becoming a GIF for rolling off his seat during a show or making an unforgettable facial expression.
His “No Way SMH” reaction GIF is just the right amount of attitude to use in response to something on Twitter or in a group chat.
“Happy Excited Dance” by Khalid
Views: 169.7 million
Khalid’s “Happy Excited Dance” GIF is a result of his music video “Young Dumb & Broke.” It’s a good vibes only kind of GIF you send to friends when you want to celebrate something.
“Whatever” from Friends
Views: 168.5 million
Friends celebrated its 25th anniversary in September, dropping a library of GIFs from the show including this “Whatever” GIF featuring character Phoebe Buffay.
“Jack Nicholson ‘Yes'” from Nick Kroll
Views: 162.3 million
Nick Kroll was one of the many celebrities who created content with Giphy this year. He recreated several popular GIFs like “And I Oop” and this iconic “Jack Nicholson ‘Yes'” that garnered over 162 million views.