In honor of the GIF’s 30th birthday, our editors recount the reactions that make us burst out with laughter.
What did we do before we had GIFs on the Internet? For one, we didn’t argue about whether the word was pronounced with a soft or hard G. But we also didn’t have memes. We couldn’t react to our friends messages with our feelings in an appropriate manner. And we definitely didn’t have a better way to convey sarcasm. But did you know the GIF has been in your life probably longer than you think? Though the usage and ubiquity has changed over the past 30 years, on June 15, 1987, a group of CompuServe developers created the Graphical Interchange Format.
In celebration of the anniversary, Facebook announced it would introduce a GIF button for all comments, now available for all people on Facebook around the world.
We here at Real Simple wanted to get in on the celebration, too, so we came up with a list of our favorite GIFs. Whether used in celebration, annoyance, or just generally “meh” feelings, we couldn’t imagine life without pulling out a few of these GIFs.
“If only every day started with this much energy and enthusiasm, right? That would be just fabulous. After watching this gif more than 50 times, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to buy a shiny purple leotard, put springs in my athletic shoes, and drink 5 pots of coffee. Truly a life goal.” —Rebecca Longshore, social media manager
“[The first time I saw it] this GIF it had me laughing for almost an hour straight. It’s so ridiculous. The woman is so proud that her kitchen is a wreck. Gets me every time. Anytime I need a good laugh, I pull it out.” —Sarah Yang, lifestyle editor
“This GIF adds a little zing when my friends and I are poking fun at one another. And, besides, who doesn’t love Michael Kelso (from That 70s Show)?” —Nora Horvath, editorial assistant
“Lauren Conrad’s iconic crying moment on The Hills might have turned into an overused meme seen around the world, but it’s my go-to GIF because it’s applicable in a variety of situations. Whether Starbucks ran out of nonfat milk or there’s an actual crisis going on, it always makes light of troubling times.” —Tamara Kraus, home assistant
“This is the face you make when you take the last piece of cake, find out your favorite store is having a sale, or that you have free tickets to Hamilton—all wrapped up in one little gal.” —Alexandra Schonfeld, digital editorial intern
“This is my favorite GIF and I use it whenever something is very, very bad, like this strawberry.” —Wendy Granger, photo editor