Museum-Worthy Memes: A Collection Of Hilarious Memes Inspired By Classical Art

By Stuart W

Classical paintings and artworks have always been a source of joy and inspiration for many people. They provide a small window into centuries gone by, and often when you look at them closely, there are small details that are just so funny!

By zooming in on these details, be it a funny expression on a face or conventions and fashion statements that don’t exist anymore, a meme artist can subvert them. Memes are popular across the sprawl of the internet, and they work by skewing a relatable situation or idea with an ironic or sometimes just hilarious image.

Many of the ones we’ve brought to you today are some of the funniest memes you’ll come across. The bonus is they’re all set around classic art! So, get comfortable as we take you through a virtual exhibition unlike any other.

All memes are courtesy of Classical D*mn on Instagram

Am I the drama?

Hitting the sweet spot between humor and relatability, this meme is – if you’ll excuse the pun – a classic. We see three elegant ladies sitting around drinking tea and putting the world to rights – and it is absolutely not their fault!

Image source: By Charles Haigh-Wood – Heritage Auctions / wiki commons / Public Domain

Its cheeky caption perfectly sums up the kinds of conversations that send shivers down men’s spines the world over! Memes work because they take an image and subvert its original meaning. They also impart humor that works because it plays against our expectations.

Getting out of a toxic relationship

It feels like freedom and weightlessness. It’s even better when you have friends who lift you up, in this case, quite literally! The charm of this particular meme lies in its classic styling and the obvious depiction of the feeling expressed in the caption.

Image source: Francisco de Goya / wiki commons / Public Domain,

There’s something quite innocent and wholesome about this one. It shows how your friends can hold you up in times of crisis. People break up all the time, and a meme with a universal appeal will always be a winner.

Stay away

While we enjoy the humor in the words used in this one, it is the expressions on the characters’ faces that really elevate it to a top-tier meme. The gentleman looks pensive, almost worried, and clutches meekly at his sword.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The lady, on the other hand, is concentrating solely on her needlework. The interplay between these two characters is what makes this one work so well. Additionally, the tension, as well as the awkward silence you can almost feel, is what lends humor to the meme.

‘I like your name…’

What better target to lampoon than a toxic, letching slimeball? This guy looks like a pretty shifty character with his dastardly villain mustache. To make things worse, he seems to be grabbing her shoulder as he delivers his creepy line.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The way she cuts him down with a single arch line s nothing short of perfection. You might think she’s holding a handkerchief close to her face, seemingly drying her tears, but on closer inspection, she seems to be subtly smiling mockingly!

Yes, you’re the drama

Rather than have a complete image or scene over which to superimpose some top-quality wordplay that grabs you with its relatability, the author of this meme chose to zoom in on a pair of eyes and have the text separate.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

These cleaner-style memes can convey meaning with a higher sense of clarity than ones that are overly cluttered with text bubbles. We enjoy both types, but these ones certainly have a special place in our hearts. Plus, isn’t it just funny how true this is?

Life is Short

The internet can be an excellent source of knowledge, but social media is increasingly becoming something of a battleground. You log in and check your socials, and you’re immediately bombarded with a torrent of hostility from all angles! Sometimes you can’t help but ask, ” Who hurt you?!”

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

This meme plays upon the idea of social media as a place full of random and unrelenting arguments that some people find impossible to resist. The ironic advice offered here certainly manages to be both astutely observed and effortlessly funny.

When You’re at the top of the hierarchy

Elizabeth the First is one of the most iconic women in history. With her instantly recognizable hairstyle, pale skin, and elaborate fashion sense, she is the definition of a strong and assertive female. That’s why she remains iconic to this day.

Image source: Formerly attributed to George Gower / wiki commons / Public Domain,

By taking the image of an icon like Elizabeth and superimposing positive affirmations onto it, we can re-imagine her as a modern-day figure of female empowerment. If we had it all together, we’d ensure the whole world knew it too!

Long Time no see…

Playing on the character of the annoyingly persistent guy who just doesn’t get it, this meme has gotten a lot of popularity over the last few years. As guys like these start to lose their power, they become figures you can poke fun at.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

This is an example of how a meme can not only be humorous but also convey a more profound commentary on society and the issues that exist in the present day. Ask any girl; they all have that one guy in their lives!

The perils of adulthood

This is one of our favorites since it taps into the feeling that every young adult experiences when they realize that they are now operating in the world without the parental safety net that has, up until recently, been with them every step. 

Image source: unknown author / wiki commons / Public domain

This guy’s helpless look of blank terror is hilarious. Sometimes a meme that earns the status of ‘instant classic’ will come along, and something tells us this would fit into that category nicely. Hands down one of our favorite memes!

Monday blues

Be honest, who can’t relate to this one? We’ve all had those weekends that went just a bit too far. That extra beer or glass of wine — it never crosses your mind then that it’s not clever. You only come to acknowledge that much later.

Image source: classical d*mn/ig

This meme works so well because it’s super relatable, and the image chosen is both creepy and funny. The juxtaposition between these two opposite reactions aptly describes how awful you look on those terrible mornings and how you feel inside.

Bring them back!

This one will undoubtedly hit people of a certain age bracket hard. Sometimes it feels really difficult to look back at the final decade of the twentieth century without looking through rose-tinted glasses. And the thing is, it never seems like it was that long ago! 

Image source: Fritz von Uhde – National Museum in Warsaw / wiki commons / Public Domain,

But when you stop and think about it, the ’90s were thirty years ago! We’re not sure about you, but we still think of the ’70s as being thirty years ago. Oh well, to the ’90s babies, don’t let the pressure get to you; life is just about to get good!

After a Whole Day…

We bet that stretch feels real good! Especially after a busy day of lying on the couch as you binge that new show on Netflix. You know that feeling when you’ve been sitting or lying in the same position for so long that everything goes a bit stiff and numb?

Image source: John Everett Millais – Art Renewal Center Museum / wiki commons / Public Domain

Well, this meme perfectly captures that feeling. Once again, we see that the more relatable the subject is, the bigger the laugh a meme can generate. Now someone just needs to make one about the legends who binge all night and still get up to go to work or class!

For the cat lovers

Now, there’s something rather strange about this painting. When we first saw it, we wondered exactly what was happening here. But with every bizarre image out there, the urge to turn it into a meme has proven to be too strong to resist.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

Cats have been a prime source of entertainment on the internet since its dawn. From Youtube videos to memes, there is just something inherently irresistible about them. But despite our unconditional love for them, cats only ever want things on their own terms! Could that be why we can’t resist them?

Answered prayers

Taking old classical paintings, particularly ones that are biblical, and putting a contemporary spin on them is, undoubtedly, an excellent way to gain an easy laugh. This meme artist obviously knows what they are doing because we can’t seem to get enough.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The humor in this one stems from the look on Jesus’ face. He must be wondering to himself, “How did I end up here? Am I not the son of an all-powerful God?” Anyway, maybe that’s what’s really happening up there after you reject a nice person sent your way because you find them boring!

Introverts assemble!

It can be difficult to be an introvert, especially in the age of the internet, where you’re surrounded by notifications of big events happening all around you. But being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t have a sense of humor!

Image source: Caspar David Friedrich / wiki commons / Public Domain

This forlorn-looking fellow is staring off across a wild and whipping landscape with his back to us. He’s content being alone but also really craves the company of someone special. We can only hope they’ll reply to his unsent message sooner rather than later!

Haters gon’ hate

So, you’ve been working on some personal stuff, and there has been a lot on your plate, but now you think you’ve finally got it all sorted out. You’ve turned the corner and are starting to feel a bit better about yourself.

Image source: By Raja Ravi Varma / wiki commons / Public Domain

Only for someone to come along and tell you that you look exhausted! Great! We have all had our sense of calm and optimism punctured by some throwaway comment before, and that is why this is such a good meme.

A real conundrum

The image on this meme alone is enough to make us chuckle. There is so much going on on her face, and the very style prompts a gentle giggle. Among the many scenarios you can associate with it, the one conveyed with this caption seems quite apt.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

Again this is a meme that finds its humor by conveying something that is relatable to everyone. Those of us who love to snack can go a bit overboard sometimes, especially when we are going through something. We don’t know about you, but finishing strong sounds more like us!

Introverts and their party tricks?

Another one for the introverts in the house! Some people are bonafide party animals, but others are most certainly not. This meme is for the people in the latter camp. Those who would much rather sit alone and read a good book.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

By tapping into the hangups of a certain group of people, this meme quickly became a favorite because the truth is, sometimes people can make you feel bad for not being a party person. So, the only way to deal with them is to deliver awesome one-liners like this one!

You thought I was feeling you?

This meme plays upon and makes fun of the arrogant guy who thinks he’s definitely gotten to you. The assumption conveyed by his speech bubble is nicely undercut by the cutting response of the lady who effortlessly puts him in his place.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

There is definitely a power to be found in humor, and internet memes are the perfect embodiment of this type of soft power. By mocking a problematic character, the meme artist gives people a chance to reassert dominance in cool yet unexpected ways.


We are as guilty of this as the next person. Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy snacking? Savory or sweet, the temptation to head to the fridge or cupboard is often overpoweringly strong. This meme strikes the heart of this tasty problem.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

No matter how hard you try to resist, sometimes snacking is the answer, and the only way to avoid it is by not buying any of those delicious snacks. And that’s when a meme such as this one becomes so relevant!

What friends are for

There is something inherently funny about recreating a work of art with your friends. These guys are clearly having a great time, and their recreation is pretty spot-on! It is somehow made even more funny by the fact that they’re all so in character.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

You know you have an awesome group of mates when you make it into meme status. This is something these guys will be able to look back on and share with their children and grandchildren for many years to come.

A principled man

This one is for all the happily married couples out there! Such wholesome humor based on the stereotypes associated with a stale marriage – something that’s also very relatable. Again the classic painting style adds a specific element of unique charm to the meme.

Image source: Simon Glücklich / wiki commons / Public Domain,

The funny thing about this one is that you can almost hear the voices of the characters and the exact tone in which they would be saying the lines. This is precisely the kind of meme that catches on, gains traction, and before you know it, it’s everywhere!

The curse of dating French men

The French and the guillotine have a long and well-documented history together, and although the infamous instrument of execution is no longer in use, the connection remains as vivid as ever in the collective consciousness of the internet. This is an excellent example.

Image source: After Charles Monnet / wiki commons / Public Domain,

The ironic humor in this meme relies on a vague understanding of the French monarchy and, specifically, the execution of Marie-Antoinette, who met her demise by guillotine in 1793. This event is so well known that even if you only know a little of French history, you probably know about it.

Worst date ever!

These days Netflix and Chill is a well-known euphemism that we are sure we need not explain. This meme takes that as a starting point and winds it back a couple of hundred years to its poetic equivalent. Frankly, we’d take Netflix any day!

Image source: Walter Dendy Sadler / wiki commons / Public Domain

The closeup image of the lady’s face tells us everything we need to know about how she feels after being compelled to sit through a reading of poetry. The guy had probably just said it was one poem, but he got carried away, and now they are sixteen poems in! What a terrible fate.

The pain of missing someone

Perhaps she’s being a little bit harsh with her method of conveying her feelings, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t know what she meant. It can be quite painful to miss that special somebody in your life, and sometimes you just want to let them know.

Image source: By Raja Ravi Varma / wiki commons / Public Domain

The sadness on her face adds humor to the thoughts she is daydreaming about. Another layer of witty charm is in the actual words she is thinking about. So much violence for such an innocent face! Whoever it is she’s missing better hurry back before she thinks of something worse!

Coffee or Tea?

If you are going to someone’s house and they say, “Tea or coffee?” You automatically assume that this is an offer and not a multiple-choice quiz! This meme subverts that expectation and makes us laugh out loud by making it something completely different.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The way the meme is presented makes it look as if the two ladies on the left are sharing a joke at the third’s expense. It might seem a bit mean, but it is definitely funny, which is the definition of an excellent meme.

The quiet one

In the age of social media and heightened social anxiety, a lot of people just tend to opt out of all the drama and kerfuffles. It seems that everywhere you turn, there is some sort of drama going on. This might make you slightly anti-social.

Image source: Edward Hopper / wiki commons / Public Domain

And that is the crux of the matter in this meme. Although the subject of this painting might appear to be lonely, the caption in the meme implies that loneliness is preferable to the constant drama around her. We’re definitely trying this one out.

Just being honest

This is a pretty brutal putdown, and that makes it even funnier in our book. “Do you feel anything for me?” is the line said by the guy. You can already imagine the hopeful tone it’s asked in. Poor guy!

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

Jane’s withering reply indicates that she does indeed feel something for this dandy-looking character – pity! Sometimes the blunter a meme is, the funnier it becomes, and that is certainly the case in this example. She’s just not that into you!

The thrill of true crime

One of the key components of modern popular culture is the rise and prevalence of true crime documentaries made famous by the giants of internet streaming services like Netflix. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of them available right now.

Image source: Carolus-Duran / wiki commons Public Domain | Unknown author – FileGustave Courbet – Le Désespéré / wiki commons / Public Domain,

This meme plays on the fact that this new way of consuming fear as entertainment has superseded the thrill of horror movies which viewers turned to for their kick of adrenaline and shock. There’s certainly an ethical and psychological debate to be had, but regardless, this is a very accurate meme.

The real-life OGs

The COVID pandemic has, in many ways, been the defining event of this era. Its worldwide impact and the sheer scale of the resulting consequences is something that we probably will not see again in our lifetimes. At least, hopefully.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

An event of that magnitude is always going to be a hot topic for meme artists, and this example proves that very point. By taking something everyone is familiar with, the artist made something that will resonate long and hard with lots of people.

A painting within a painting within a…

This meme stands out because of its trippy, surreal imagery. It is one of those pics that play with the mind in a way that is both amusing and confusing to the viewer. We love art pieces like these that make you say, “Huh?”

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

We really like the style of this one. It is a cross between whimsical and hyper-detailed, and the effect is really quite something. Some memes are popular because of their excellent artistry, and this is most definitely one of those.

Mind blown

The expression on this guy’s face is hilarious, but the fact that the caption describes the feelings of a little kid just takes it to the next level. The shock of seeing the faint outline of the moon during the day was definitely something that stuck with us.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

We’re not sure exactly what was going on in the original painting where this cropped image was taken from, but even without context, the look of genuine shock on the character’s face really is quite amusing. It’s the definition of being mindblown.

Procrastination Vs. Genius

This one is slightly different in as much as the meme artist has embellished the image with the pixelated sunglasses that have become shorthand for ‘cool as a cucumber.’ By incorporating them onto the famous composer, a laugh is guaranteed.

Image source: Barbara Krafft – Deutsch, Otto Erich (1965) / wiki commons / Public Domain

Most people have experienced the inertia of procrastination. By playing upon this fact, the meme makes a gentle dig at the viewer and gives us something we are all able to relate to. Of course, the difference is that Mozart was a genius.

What are we having for dinner?

The struggle is real! This one speaks of a universal truth every couple has dealt with. You are not truly in a relationship until you find yourself arguing with your partner over who decided what you’re both having for dinner.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The look of pained resignation on these two is especially funny. By the looks of it, the gentleman on the right has turned to drink what we highly suspect is a glass of absinthe! Exaggeration and relatability are the keys to this one.

It’s a trap!

Almost everybody is familiar with the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. By adding the ‘body shaming’ angle to the wolf’s speech, the meme artist brought updated that old story with twenty-first-century sensibilities. We wonder if that made the little girl shut up and escape the wolf in this one!

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

The effect of this is to make the viewer feel sympathy for the big bad wolf, who is perhaps one of the first villains most people encounter growing up. We also really like the childhood book quality of the illustration. This one just works!

Being a meme lord is tough

This self-referential meme speaks of that one friend everyone knows who just can’t stop themselves from firing off memes that are always so perfect for every situation, be it on a global or personal level. We’re sure those guys can relate to this.

Image source: Carl Spitzweg – The Yorck Project (2002) / wiki commons / Public Domain

It’s such a well-put-together meme whose climax lies in the meta-textual caption above the picture. It’s both funny and true and works so well with the image. We can already think of a list of people who would love this.

To shop or not to shop

Comfort shopping is a displacement activity that many people use to avoid dealing with bigger issues in their lives. That alone tells you that this is very relatable. By assigning this behavior to a pope with a pet dragon dressed up in all his finery, this habit is made even funnier.

Image source: Jean / wiki commons / Public Domain,

This is another example of how the look on a character’s face can induce a laugh-out-loud reaction from the viewer. There is a sort of blank guilty look about him which combines really well with the words and situation described.

Bed is nice

Everybody loves their bed. It’s a safe, comfortable place where you can just chill out and relax. There are no outside stresses or pressures when you’re in bed, and that is what this meme describes so well. If we’re being honest, the bed is an underrated safe space.

Image source: Lazare Artasoff – Hermitage Fine Art auction house / wiki commons / Public Domain

This lady sure looks like she’s having a really great time far away from the stresses and strains of life. The posture she assumes perfectly describes how we feel in our own beds. You simply climb in and feel free and unburdened.

No off-switch

Another bedtime-based meme here. Why is it that your brain starts to act out when you’re trying to settle down to enjoy a good night’s sleep? We’re pretty sure everyone has been here. By using surreal imagery, the situation being described is highlighted.

Image source: Hieronymus Bosch / wiki commons / Public Domain

The mind is a strange and often bizarre place and some of the things it comes up with defy explanation. Surreal art is ripe for conversion into memes because of its sheer strangeness. For those who struggle with this, you’re not alone.

Worst question ever

Hilarious! How do you describe yourself? Most of us are pretty sure of who we are (most of the time), but when it comes to describing yourself to a stranger, it can be quite a struggle to summarise your entire essence into a couple of sentences.

Image source: Jan van Eyck – Web Gallery of Art / wiki commons / Public Domain

The characters seen here all seem to be the same person struggling to think about something. A situation we can all relate to since we’ve all been caught off-guard at one point or another. But there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for this question during a job interview.

Careful what you wish for

Playing upon the historical convention of building alliances through marriage, this meme is aimed at the lovers of history out there. After all, that’s what used to happen to princesses long ago. True love was just something they heard about in bedtime stories.

Image source: Edmund Leighton / wiki commons / Public Domain

A really funny detail in this artwork is the knight’s mustache. We don’t know why, but to us, it just elevates the humor to the next level. When somebody says they want to be treated like a princess these days, this is certainly not what they mean!

Great advice

This is a familiar piece of advice that will probably be offered to people for centuries to come. There is something timeless about this statement that makes it the perfect subject to be converted into a meme. Remember, silence is also communication.

Image source: classicald*mn/ig

By staring directly at the viewer, the character in the painting draws them in and makes it seem as if the caption is specifically aimed at them. This almost turns you into a character as well, which is a very effective technique.

By order of the head tot

This one plays upon the often outrageous demands that toddlers often place upon their parents. Children are doted upon and almost treated like royalty by their parents, but sometimes this can make them a bit bossy, like this little guy.

Image source: Charles-André van Loo / wiki commons / Public Domain

You can almost hear the petulant tone that the demand is made with. The look on the speaker’s face tells us he is used to getting his way and is not fond of taking no for an answer. The worry on his ‘subjects’ faces is priceless.

The real struggle

Who hasn’t had their night’s sleep disturbed by an unwanted trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night? The trick is to try and maintain a level of sleepiness that will enable you to slip back into sweet slumber without any trouble.

Image source: By Ivan Kramskoi / wiki commons / Public Domain

But alas! That’s actually harder than it sounds. We really like the effort this character is putting in, but we suspect it is not going to work out well for her. We’re curious: what do you usually do to ensure you’re still sleepy by the time you’re done?

Newton’s type

Playing upon Newton’s genius discoveries, this meme makes fun of his genius discoveries based on modern-day sensibilities. It works in part because of who he was, the esteem he is held in, and the impact he’s had on the world as we know it.

Image source: Godfrey Kneller wiki commons / Public domain

The whole conversation is nothing short of brilliant! It also speaks to the artist’s knowledge of science. That said, it’s the miffed expression on his face that really makes this one of our favorites. He seems to be extremely non-plussed by the whole exchange!