20 German Memes for a Good Laugh in German
Do you like funny memes? Do you have a treasured meme collection? Do your friends come to you when they need a dank meme to lift their spirits?
Whether you’re a meme expert or a meme novice, this German memes article is for you.
Memes, believe it or not, are a great language learning tool. They are small pieces of authentic language that reference culture and current events in a funny, accessible way.
So let’s take a look at some funny German memes and get to learning, shall we?
Table of contents
- 1. Deutsche Bahn: Caught Off Guard?
- 2. The Clown from It and Its German Debut
- 3. Dora: What’s She Staring At?
- 4. The Joys and Struggles of Online Learning
- 5. German Memes: Trash?
- 6. Chili Pepper, A Nighttime Snack
- 7. A Bad Grade at School
- 8. When Your Stomach is Not Happy
- 9. Left Hand, No Photos, Please
- 10. Lifehacks
- 11. I Don’t Want a Hangover
- 11. The German Articles: Agents of Chaos
- 12. Die oder Das Nutella?
- 13. Deutsche Ordnung
- 14. Internet Speed
- 15. Christian Lindner: Fan of the Free Market
- 16. DIY Firecrackers
- 17. Teachers with Illegible Handwriting
- 18. Can You Take Criticism?
- 19. Scary, Scarier – and Scariest
- 20. I Hereby Declare This Discussion as Over
- Share These German Memes to Get Others Laughing
“Winter: brings regular cold weather with frost, snow, and wind each year
The Deutsche Bahn each year:”
This meme is making fun of the Deutsche Bahn, the company that operates long-distance trains within Germany. Especially in recent years, the Deutsche Bahn has experienced issues with delays and cancellations due to heavy snow and wind.
If you want to learn more about the Deutsche Bahn auf Deutsch, you can take a look at this Der Spiegel article in German. It talks about why bad weather impacts the trains.
You could also read this hilarious article from Germany’s version of The Onion, Der Postillon. It satirically claims that the Deutsche Bahn should become a casino since the arrival of a train is “purely based on chance.”
Or, of course, you can keep reading this article to enjoy some more funny German memes.
2. The Clown from It and Its German Debut
If you’ve spent time on YouTube looking for German content, you may already be familiar with Galileo. Galileo is a TV program that releases short documentary features. Some topics include what flight attendants do in a day or how budget supermarkets have such low prices.
Here, this meme pokes fun at Galileo’s filming techniques through a comparison to the film IT. (As a Stephen King fan, this meme is coming right for me.)
In a grammatical sense, one thing that stands out is the use of man. This man is different from Mann, the word for “man” in German. Man with one “n” is used as a general subject.
In English, this usage might translate as “you actually can’t film down here” or “one cannot film down here.”
Translation: “How Dora stares when she’s asked where the mountain that she’s one meter away from is”
One interesting thing about this meme is the capitalization of “sie.”
“Sie” in German can mean either “you (formal),” “she,” or “they.” When it is used as “you (formal),” it is always capitalized, no matter where it appears within the sentence.
The “sie” in this meme, however, is “she,” which you can tell from the verb conjugation (hat, not haben). For this reason, its capitalization is technically incorrect. This is a good reminder that even native speakers make “mistakes” sometimes when they write, which is good news for language learners!
I also would like to point out my love for Tyler the Creator (the person pictured) and how much I love that he’s in the meme. (chef’s kiss)
“Students don’t have to go to school anymore because of corona
They still have to do assignments though”
This meme, interestingly enough, features US President Joe Biden.
“Arbeitsaufträge machen“ means something like “Aufgaben machen,“ or to do school tasks. This meme is saying that, although kids don’t have to go to school, they still have to do schoolwork. (What a bummer!)
One thing to point out grammatically is the use of the accusative case after “in.” “In” is a bit tricky because it’s one of several so-called two-way prepositions. Two-way prepositions sometimes take the accusative case, and sometimes take the dative case.
So here, where “in die Schule” is referring to going to school, the accusative is used. The cool thing about this is that, since the accusative indicates motion, the verb “gehen” (to go) is not necessary to include in the sentence!
To learn more about German prepositions and cases, including these tricky two-way prepositions, check here.
“Random person: German memes are trash
Me: Meme is meme”
If you’ve been paying attention to this article, clearly German memes are not trash, or inferior to English memes.
A meme is a meme, after all.
Translation: “When you get hungry at night but you grab the chili pepper instead of the carrot by accident”
Here you can see the German equivalent of “accidentally” or “by accident,” aus Versehen.
I don’t know how much I relate to this meme, but it is funny in its own way.
Translation: “When your parents have to sign a bad grade of yours”
A Spongebob meme? You’ve already caught my attention.
“me the whole day having eaten nothing
Here you can see that the German word for “nothing,” nichts, is written as nix. This is a popular abbreviation that you may see in other memes or even in a text conversation!
Translation: “No, left hand! Stop photographing me!”
This poor young woman was just trying to pretend that someone else was taking her picture, but her angle wasn’t quite right.
If only she had moved the camera a little to the other side…
Translation: “when you change the date of the homework so the teacher doesn’t notice that you did it so late.”
This is a classic trick. I mean, who can’t relate? This is how memes unite people across countries and languages.
Here the German meme prefers the general subject man, but in English, “you” sounds better.
One can also see German’s tendency to put the verb at the end of the clause: because wenn comes at the beginning, the verb ändert comes after Hausaufgaben.
As you can see in this German meme, this popular Kermit meme format from a couple years ago also comes in German.
Good Kermit, who “doesn’t want a hangover”, struggles with Evil Kermit, who insists on “just ‘one’ beer.” We all know how that night ends!
Because Kater, literally “cat” but also used for “hangover”, is a masculine noun and in the accusative case, we add -en to kein.
Do you find German articles tricky? Well, you’re not alone – the people who make German memes think so too!
The three articles, der, die, and das, are represented in the picture by fluffy birds. They respond to “ich,” who says that German is easy.
They say lass es uns vermasseln, or basically, “let’s mess things up.”
If German articles are giving you a headache, check out this page to get things straight!
Oh, this one is super juicy, speaking of articles…
This meme presents das Nutella and die Nutella in a staring match.
If you thought articles couldn’t be more complicated, think again – sometimes, German speakers themselves don’t know what the right article for a noun is!
According to the Duden website, the gender of many brand or product names is not fixed.
Some people choose the feminine form, because Nutella ends in ella, a feminine ending in the original Italian. Others choose the neuter, since it is often used for foreign words.
What a mess!
So, if you choose to speak of Nutella in German, do so at your own risk. You may encounter some strong opinions!
“Pool: opens at 9
Germans at 5:30: Come Brigitte, the choice of seats is not very big”
Germans often get a reputation for loving Ordnung, or order. People say they always come on time and have a gift for detail. This meme pokes a bit of fun at that, showing someone leaving at 5:30 am to get to a pool that opens at 9.
The same internet when an ad comes:”
Internet in German is a neuter noun. Because it comes in the nominative case in both of these two examples, an -es is added to both langsam (slow) and selb (same).
Translation: “I came, I saw and I did not govern, because the market already had done it and I saw that it was good.”
The first part of this meme plays on the German equivalent of veni vidi vici. In English, we say “I came, I saw, I conquered,” while in German it’s “ich kam, ich sah, ich siegte.”
The man in this picture is Christian Lindner, the Chairman of the Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei, or FDP). He is known for his opposition to tax increases and government spending. The meme here satirizes his free-market views.
Translation: “Germans making their own firecrackers today”
For the New Year, or Silvester in German, local governments in Germany may limit the number of fireworks a person can buy. For this reason, people may make their own, as shown in this picture.
“Teacher: just write it down from the board
My teacher’s handwriting:”
Have you ever had a teacher whose handwriting was totally illegible? This person certainly has.
The person whose name is in the picture, Olaf Scholz, is the current Prime Minister of Germany. He took over from Angela Merkel in December 2021.
“Me: Criticism is super, keep it coming!
Also me when someone criticizes me:”
A lot of us can probably relate to the fact that it’s easier to say we take criticism well than to actually take criticism well.
Translation: “Serial killers, horror movie monster, people who have a picture of themselves as their background”
Personally, I find this meme hilarious. What does it mean to have a picture of yourself as your background? I guess that’s what self-love is.
The person in this photo is Ronald Pofalla, a German politician from the center-right Christian Democratic Union party.
In 2003, he was criticized for his connections to the US National Security Agency, which had been spying on German citizens. During the investigation, he “declared the discussion as over,” which the meme here is parodying.
I hope you enjoyed learning about German memes!
If this article has changed your life and you desperately need more German memes, be sure to check out these pages:
Online, you can check out kekememes or just search deutsche memes on Google.