Chinese Media Compiles Top 10 Internet Memes for 2014

From Phoenix Online:

A look back at the top 10 online buzzwords of 2014

According to a Xian Evening News report at the end of 2014, during this year there were many new online buzzwords that entered our lives. Here we will summarize the top 10 online catchphrases of 2014, in no particular order. Come and see which phrase was your favorite!


“Cherish what you have at the moment.”

Origin: At the end of March in 2014, Wen Zhang responded to the “infidelity gate” and admitted to cheating. 3 minutes later, [his wife] Ma Yili wrote the response on Sina Weibo “Love is easy, marriage is hard, cherish what you have at the moment”. Thus, “Cherish what you have at the moment” became a popular catchphrase.


“Does your family know?”

Origin: This originated from a netizen reading news in an internet cafe: “you are so unrefined, does your family [parents] know?” Soon this phrase became a popular online catchphrase, its viral potential gave many netizens countless inspirations to ridicule.


“The scene is so beautiful I dare not look.”

Origin: This song lyric came from Jolin Tsai’s “Prague Square”, it was used by netizens to describe absurd things or events, most often during instances of scoffing and self-mockery.


“Meng Meng Da”

Origin: Meng Meng Da evolved from the online meme Me Me Da, it mean you should take your medicine. Meng Meng Da is to make yourself “moe” (cute/adorable).

Note: the phrase also has origins to the anime Beyond the Boundary Idol Trial! where the phrase “I forgot to take medicine today, I feel Meng Meng Da” originated.

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“Now I’m all out of sorts”

Origin: This originated in a thread on Tianya asking for help, wherein the description contained “Now I’m all out of sorts”. It was then widely used to express a loss for words, helplessness, and unbearableness.


“Also drunk”

Origin: This clever response came from the character Longhu Chong in Jing Yong’s “The smiling, proud wanderer”. The jokester Linghu Chong once satirized other people’s ass-kissing by saying “when I see toady people like that, I feel uncomfortable all over, swaying from side to side as if I was drunk.” Later a bunch of League of Legends players took a liking to the phrase. No matter how good or bad the opposing team is, everyone would say “wow, this guy’s skills, I’m also drunk.” [This phrase] mainly serves to express helplessness, gloominess, and a loss for words. Oftentimes it refers to incomprehensible things, the inability to communicate or mock. It can be replaced by phrases such as “speechless”, “incomprehensible”, and “unable to mock”.


“I only want to quietly live as a beautiful man”

Origin: In the first episode of the second season of the web series 《万万没想到》 Never Would Have Thought (wan wan mei xiang dao), Tang Seng played by “Professor Yi Xiaoxing” repeatedly utters the phrase: “I only want to quietly live as a beautiful man”.

Note: Never Would Have Thought is China’s most popular webseries.


“Buy Buy Buy”

Origin: This makes fun of a conversation between online personality Wang Sicong and his dad Wang Jianlin: Wang Sicong: Dad, this… Wang Jianlin: Buy buy buy! Wang Sicong: Dad, this… Wang Jianlin: Buy buy buy!

Note: Wang Jianlin is a Chinese billionaire notable for his purchase of AMC and potential acquisition of the MGM film studio. This phrase is also used to make fun of impulse buying seen during Single’s Day. We’ve translated this internet meme before here.

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“Now here comes the question”

Origin: When the internet meme “Which school has the best excavator skills? Go to Shandong and find Lanxiang” was at its height, netizens added the phrase “now here comes the question” before the question “which school has the best excavator skills?”, which can also be followed with other questions.


“Have money, stubborn like that”

Origin: A while back, a person named Old Liu knew he was being scammed but still chose to wire money to the crinminals. When reporters interviewed him, he said he knew he had been scammed by the time he was tricked out of 70,000 yuan, but at the time he thought the police wouldn’t do anything about it [at such a small sum], and also wanted to see just how much the criminals could take from he. After this news aired, netizens jeered [with the phrase]: “have money, stubborn like that”.

Comments on Phoenix Online:

凤凰网网友: 半裸半掩

Rub it, rub it, my skating shoes.

凤凰网网友: _郑权彬

Which school has the best excavator skills?

凤凰网网友: 杨俊波

Tuhao, let us be friends.

凤凰网网友: 媚妹美妆商城

What grudge do we have?

凤凰网网友: 李新共

There’s also: Wanna go out?

凤凰网网友: 企图潜水的猫

Spicy sticks

凤凰网网友: 老连诗画

All garbage expressions [internet memes].

凤凰网网友: 何娜娜121

I’m not well-read [educated], so don’t trick/bully me.

凤凰网网友: 邪恶泡泡o

No zuo no die.

凤凰网网友: 好自在

Crackdown on tigers.

凤凰网网友: 奶奶扣

I want the whole world to know that this fish pond was bought by me…

Does none of this make any sense? Regular readers of chinaSMACK will have run into a few of these in our past translations, and perhaps recognize them. Others we never got a chance to cover, partly because we missed them and partly because we only have enough manpower to cover one or maybe two things a day. We’d like to cover more as well as produce some content that more directly explains some of the more enduring internet memes on the Chinese internet along with their significance, but we can’t without our readers’ help. Please consider becoming a patron of chinaSMACK through Patreon, so we have the resources (and freedom) to provide you more coverage and insights into China’s internet space. Thank you.

Written by Joe

Joe is a documentary producer and journalist based in Shanghai

  • Joey

    The last one. What the hell?

  • ClausRasmussen

    Sometimes I wonder which is the most challenging task: Learn to speak Chinese, read Chinese, or understand Chinese humor?

    • donscarletti

      To know enough about Chinese humour to know why it is supposed to be funny is easiest.

      To learn to read enough Chinese to chat on QQ is fairly next easiest.

      To learn to speak enough Chinese to ask about the weather and basic conversation is the next.

      To learn to speak Chinese well enough to discuss any topic is the next easiest after that.

      Then it is to read enough Chinese to read through a novel.

      Finally, to appreciate Chinese humour enough to actually enjoy it is the hardest of all.

      • Don’t Believe the Hype

        “Finally, to appreciate Chinese humour enough to actually enjoy it is the hardest of all. Who knows how long it will take”

        Easy, either hit yourself over the head with a shovel or forget everything you thought was funny since the 2nd grade

    • Kai

      Challenges with speaking Chinese:
      – Understanding grammar and syntax.
      – Physically producing the right tones.

      Challenges with reading Chinese:
      – Understanding grammar and syntax.
      – Memorizing ideograms/pictographs and their corresponding meanings.

      Challenges with understanding Chinese humor:
      – The same as understanding anyone’s humor. It’s almost always completely subjective and relative, where what’s funny to some isn’t or isn’t so funny to others, usually because of differences in environmental (“cultural”) contexts than anything “genetic”.

    • w

      not all are these are meant to be funny anyways. just online phrases

  • Kellar

    I… don’t understand any of these.

  • Paulos

    I don’t know. I think sometimes the internet is just the internet:

  • Sam

    I think the Chinese have a good sense of humor, the best out of the Asian nations IMO. They aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves, their country and government. Although I must say they are pretty bad at taking a joke or seeing humor about their country/government when it comes from abroad.

    The ones I find most funny are the memes they basically use to get around the censors, err river crabs, of the CCP. The CCP probably loathes this phenomenon but they bring it upon themselves a lot of the time.

    • Kai

      Yep, hence the recent government campaign against puns.


      Ugh, sorry, that wasn’t much of a pun.

      • Sam

        Was there really a government campaign? Haha, that would be awesome if so.

        • Kai
          • Sam

            Hahaha, that’s great…. and utterly unsurprising. Although I guess I shouldn’t make light of it, it’s ridiculous that the Chinese have a government that even has the power to crack down on puns, let alone that they waste the time and energy doing it.

            Interesting that puns and wordplay are such a part of the Chinese language/culture, I can certainly see it now.