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Giphy’s 2019 List of Top 25 GIFs Is Full of Positivity

From a shrugging Lizzo to a thankful Keanu Reeves

A nonchalant Lizzo and Sandra Oh eating popcorn were just some of the most viewed GIFs on Giphy in 2019. Sources: Giphy

GIF Ahead

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.

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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.

If Menzel had to pick a favorite GIF from 2019, he said it would have to be an original one Kroll shot with the company with text that says, “Happy Birthday. Instead of a real gift I got you this GIF.”

“After working at Giphy for six years, I’ve sent a lot of birthday gifs,” Menzel said. “It’s nice to have one that really owns up to my laziness.”

“Dog Yes” from TikTok

Views: 158.9 million

TikTok hit complete mainstream success in 2019, so of course a video featuring this dog confidently nodding yes into a camera found its way to the top with almost 160 million views.

At the end of July, Giphy announced its partnership to bring GIFs to TikTok by allowing users on that platform to add trending GIFs to videos as stickers, and according to Menzel, it’s been a success to help “power the ability for those users to uniquely express themselves.”

“Awkward” from The Jonas Brothers

Views: 151.5 million

The second most popular Nick Jonas GIF of the year is just what users are looking for when they want to get out of a sticky situation via text.

Since this was also filmed at Giphy, Menzel hopes the Jonas Brothers will come back for a third shoot in the future.

“Kit Harington Wink” from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Views: 146.5 million

While promoting the final season of Game of Thrones earlier this year, Kit Harington stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and gave the GIF world a few frames of him winking that will either entice or creep out users.

“Meme Scroll” from the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards

Views: 146.3 milllion

Lil Nas X was one of the breakout stars of 2019, and when he accepted his MTV Video Music Award, he knew it needed to be GIF-worthy. Users can refer to his “Meme Scroll” GIF whether they need to list all of their first world problems.

“Killing Eve Popcorn” from BBC America

Views: 144.3 million

Killing Eve was also a breakout hit this year. A shot of star Sandra Oh eating popcorn is just the GIF most people need when they’re binge-watching the BBC America show.

“Xavier Woods ‘Nope'” from WWE

Views: 140.7 million

If you’re running out of response GIFs to say “No,” look no further than this one from WWE wrestler Xavier Woods. His on-camera reaction received 140 million views.

“Drake ‘Unimpressed'” from Apple Music

Views: 136 million

If you’ve seen Drake’s “No Guidance” music video, then you can practically hear this GIF of him sarcastically reacting to Chris Brown’s dancing. This is your go-to GIF for a hint of sarcasm.

“Fun Love” by pigx3

Views: 135.1 million

Pigx3’s popular “Fun Love” GIF is the epitome of kawaii culture in Japan and the 135.1 million views of this particular GIF shows that the country’s “culture of cuteness” expands across the globe.

“Excited” by Preity G Zinta

Views: 134.4 million

This year, Preity G Zinta became the first Bollywood actress in the industry to work with Giphy on an exclusive reaction pack of GIFs. Her “Excited” GIF is one of many users on the platform discovered this year.

“Happy High Heels” by Hilbrand Bos Illustrator

Views: 133.9 million

Hilbrand Bos Illustrator’s GIF of a woman dancing in high heels with the word weekend written out in excitement is the ultimate way to celebrate a Friday afternoon in the office.

“Lizzo ‘Whatever'” from the MTV Movie & TV Awards

Views: 133.4 million

It wouldn’t be 2019 without a Lizzo mention. This take on the “Whatever” GIF is yet another option for users to have a nonchalant reaction to what’s going on around them.

“Disgusted” by HiHo Kids

Views: 133 million

The HiHo Kids, a group of kids who film reaction videos for a YouTube channel with over 3 million subscribers, may not be known to most people, but a GIF of a young girl looking disgusted was viewed 133 million times.

Although this particular GIF didn’t go viral this year, Menzel said GIFs like that “enjoy a very healthy life as part of people’s daily communication.”

“That little kid might not have been a viral moment, but is there any GIF better to send when you’re thinking ‘yuck?'” Menzel said. “Those yucks add up.”

“Excited Ilana Glazer” from Broad City

Views: 130.7 million

It seems fitting that Broad City made the list of most viewed GIFs, since the show ended this year. While there are plenty of Ilana Glazer GIFs out there to choose from, this is a solid option.


@DiannaMcD
@tiffmoustakas tiffany.moustakas@adweek.com Tiffany Moustakas is the associate web editor at Adweek.
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