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2021 brings funny messages, memes to social media

A couple paused to take in the lights in the park across from the Boston Harbor Garage on New Year's Eve.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Goodbye riddance, hello 2021.

Although social media is typically filled with posts saying farewell to the past year, this New Year’s looked a little different. While the typical “Happy New Year!” post could be seen, others used the moment to be serious — or use humor — to reflect upon the difficulties of 2020.

The posts ranged from inspirational messages, to serious reflections, and funny memes.

“For the most of us, we’re happy to see 2021 come in, even in the midst of this pandemic,” said Rev. Miniard Culpepper, senior pastor at Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Dorchester.

Culpepper sent an animated New Year message to friends filled with hope and humor. Dancing numerical figures spelled out 2020 -- with the final digit in the shape of the coronavirus.


The first three digits angrily try to push the virus out of their lineup, but fail. Then along comes a proud dancing “1,” which gives the virus the stink eye.

The virus responds with a taunt -- putting its thumbs to its ears and waving its fingers. The “1″ responds by sticking a vaccine into the virus.

Culpepper said similar messages are just perfect to celebrate the promise of a new year on social media.

“This year, celebration was mostly a social media celebration — you just didn’t have a large group gathering, the restaurants weren’t open, the bars weren’t open,” Culpepper said, whose church broadcasted a “Watch Night” service on New Year’s Eve. “I think people celebrated as much as they could in their own way.”

Posts across social media reflected a similar tone. Some users, including politicians, posted about the difficulties of 2020 and having hope for 2021.

“I have been so inspired by how the people of Boston have come together and supported one another,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a message posted to Twitter. “It has made me proud to be mayor, and more importantly, a Bostonian.”


“After a year that has tested us in unimaginable ways, we’ve seen how people from all walks of life have stepped up to create change to make things better,” former President Barack Obama tweeted. “Here’s to ringing in 2021 with optimism for what’s to come and a belief that our best days are still ahead.”

And then came the memes. In posts garnering thousands of likes, several Twitter users mentioned how 2021 could be similar to 2020.

“2020 bout to come back tomorrow wearing a fake mustache,” wrote Twitter user @bigsharkguy.

Some used popular TV shows and video games to get their message about 2020 across. Twitter user @DuganAmanda compared the two years using the Red Room from the TV show “Twin Peaks.”

Twitter user @greatbitarcade expressed their grief with 2020 using “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” character Isabelle a la the style of the This is Fine meme.

Some just wanted to forget 2020 existed at all.

Another user tweeted about bringing “energy” to get money for the new year.

One user made their message simple: “Goodbye 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

And, despite the jokes, others made posts to push others to keep going after a difficult year.


“Frog is proud of you making it to the new year,” user @itskleine wrote, including drawings of a frog with inspirational messages.

Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @breannekovatch.