How to Make Your Own Meme + Best Meme Generator Apps for iPhone

Interested in learning how to make a meme? Or maybe you want to create your own meme with a photo you took. If you’re wanting to learn how to make memes and what the best iPhone meme generator apps are, you’ve come to the right place. Anyone can create their own meme, and most meme generators are a free. Which means creating your own memes is a free, fun way to create funny meme pictures to share with friends and the world. It’s also possible that you’re reading this thinking, “what is a meme?” No worries! We’ll cover everything you need to know about memes, how to make your own meme, and what the best free meme generator apps are below.

Related: How to Save a Gif on iPhone: 2 Easy Methods

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Memes are those funny images or media clips you see online that tell a story. Here, I’m going to teach you how to create your own memes, so you too can add a little laughter to the world. The word meme is hard to define, so we’ll cover the basics below. But to put it simply, a meme is usually a reused image with cleverly captioned words. Creating a meme is straightforward and easy to do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t panic. Once you understand one meme, you’ll see the whole premise clearly, and I’ll give you plenty of examples to clarify along the way. Overall, making your own meme should be full of fun and silliness.

What Is a Meme?

*Already familiar with memes? Click here to skip to how to make a meme.

You might not guess by the spelling, but meme rhymes with dream. Once you’ve got the pronunciation down, you’re well on your way to meme mastery. 

  • The definition of meme is rather loose, because a meme can appear as any combination of photos, videos, songs, GIFs, or words.

  • Memes are spread virally on the internet.

  • Often, memes come in the form of a photo with captioned words. The photo often provides a significant amount of context for the dialogue appearing on the photo, so much so that a meme might make no sense unless you’re in on the joke.

  • Your knowledge of memes will expand the more of them you see.

Examples of Memes

I want to give you a few different examples so that you have a general idea of what a meme is and how they work. Creating a meme is easy. Creating a funny meme is significantly less easy; but once you start to understand the premise behind certain memes, you’ll catch on quick. Remember, you won’t learn them all overnight. The best way to learn is to simply look the meme up when you come across one you don’t know. For more inspiration, Tumblr, Facebook, and 9gag (beware of obscene content) are all good places to look. I also found a couple of great resources for learning about memes. Here’s a list of 50 memes from Lifewire. You can also check out the Popular Entries page from the vast website, Know Your Meme to see some basic memes that have been around for years. But pace yourself, there’s a lot more information on Know Your Meme than you’d ever want to know.

Example 1: Philosoraptor Meme

Here’s an example of a popular meme called Philosoraptor, which is the image of a raptor scratching its chin as though in deep thought, pondering existential questions of the universe as well as conspiracies. I’m providing two examples of the meme below, so you can see that the image is the same but the caption is different yet relevant to the particular image. 

Example 2: Ancient Aliens Meme

You may have heard of a History channel show called Ancient Aliens. Ancient Astronaut Theorist, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos did an interview in the series. Because of the severe lack of science and clear bias toward aliens being the answer to everything strange about the ancient pyramids, the Ancient Aliens meme began when the internet started making fun of the show, via Tsoukalos’ interview. The answer to this meme is almost always aliens, with some conspiracy theories, general mockery, and puns thrown into the mix.

Example 3: Making Your Own Meme

However, you can also make your own meme out of a picture. For example, our Web Editor, Sarah was recently photographed with a hilarious meme-worthy face. And our Art Director, Jaime took it upon himself to turn the photo into a glorious meme we in the office have all cherished.

Making a Meme: iPhone vs. Computer

There are about a million (slight exaggeration) meme generators on the web and almost as many meme generator apps for iPhone. Which you use is simply a matter of preference. However, for this article I’m going to focus on meme generator apps for iPhone. I’ll list my picks for the best meme generator apps near the end of the article, but (*spoiler alert*) my favorite is Meme Generator Free, so I’m going to use it for our how-to images below.

How to Make a Meme

For making our meme, we’re going to use my favorite meme maker app for iPhone: Meme Generator Free. While the design of each meme maker app will be different, the general process should be the same. To make your own meme:

  • Use our list of the best meme generator apps to choose a meme maker app you want to use. Open the App Store on your iPhone and download the meme generator app you’ve chosen. I’m using Meme Generator Free.

  • Open your meme generator app. As I stated, if you’re using a different app it will look different, but the general process is the same.

  • When you open the Meme Generator Free app, you’ll see a list of memes.

    • You can tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner; here you can browse New, Popular, and Random Memes.

    • Or, at the top of the list of memes, pull down to reveal a search bar. If you know what a meme is called or generally about, type in your search phrase.

  • Once you find the meme image you want to use. Tap on it.

  • Here’s what I love about this meme generator app, particularly for beginners: tap Example at the bottom to see some examples of text that would fit the image. They aren’t the most cleverly written, but they do provide valid examples.

  • Tap the text bars at the top to edit your caption.

  • You can tap the icons in the upper right corner to further customize your meme image and caption options.

  • When you’re satisfied with your meme, tap Save or Share. Save will save the photo to your iPhone Photos app. Share will allow you to share the meme you just created to social media or via messages and email.

Remember, this will look different if you’re using a different app. But for classic memes, this app is by far the best.

How to Make Your Own Meme Out of a Photo

The commonly used meme images are cool, but it’s way more fun when you can create a meme from your own photo. All of the meme-maker apps I’ve tested out include the option to use your own picture. For our how-to, I’m using Meme Generator Free. But regardless of which meme generator app you use, it should be clear within the app how to add your own photo. When in doubt, start tapping icons. Here’s how to make your own meme out of a photo:

  • Open your meme maker app. 

  • In the Meme Generator Free app, tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen.

  • *If using a different app, begin making a meme and look for the option to add your own photo. The icon that represents adding your own picture may look like a camera, plus sign, etc. The app may also explicietly state something along the lines of, "custom meme; use your photos." 

  • Choose Take Photo… or Choose from Library...

  • It will ask for permission to access your photos or camera depending on which you select. Tap Ok.

  • Select the picture from your Photos that you want to make into a meme. Or take a photo to use.

  • The rest is the same as creating a meme with a standard image:

  • Tap the text bars at the top to edit your caption.

  • You can tap the icons in the upper right corner to further customize the style of your meme image and caption.

  • When you’re satisfied with your meme, tap Save or Share. Save will save the photo to your iPhone Photos app. Share will allow you to share the meme you just created to social media or via messages and email.

Best Free Meme Generator Apps for iPhone

The Winner: Meme Generator Free

This is my pick for the best free meme generator app for iPhone. Meme Generator Free organizes meme images in a decent way (New, Popular, Random, Favorites, etc) and allows you to search for meme images. It also has the most free customization of any of the apps on our list. For no extra cost, you can change your caption’s font, color, outline color, font size, and more. You can also add additional lines of text. A feature this app has that could be very useful for beginners is a button at the bottom that says Example. This will give you a couple examples of appropriate text for the meme image. While they aren’t the best examples, they at least give you a general idea. It’s by far the best free meme generator app for iPhone.

Meme Maker Free

My second favorite, Meme Maker Free organizes its meme images in a smart way as well. It also includes style options and no limits on what images you can use for free. The only in-app purchases are for different fonts, text size, color changes, and removing ads. But you have completely free access to everything you need to make your basic picture + caption memes. However, I do feel like the developers are trying to nudge you to buy the in-app purchases by making the text a little too big. This was my original pick for best meme maker app until I found our final winner, so it’s still a great app.

Mematic

Mematic is super simple to use. When you open the app, you tap New Meme and the app seamlessly guides you through creating your meme. My big pet peeve with this app is how they organize the meme images. If you want to make a meme using your own image, the process is simple and this app wonderful. But if you want to make a meme using a particular meme image, there’s no way to search for that image among the many others. You’re left to simply scroll through a ton of small images, hoping to come across the image you want. Maybe that doesn’t bug you like it does me, in which case this app is a fantastic choice. It couldn’t be easier to use.

Meme Producer

This app is wonderfully easy to use. The developers did a great job of presenting classic meme-making in a super straightforward way. However, the catch is that the app only provides about a dozen meme images for free. You can buy all of the other available meme images for $4.99, or go around that by using meme images saved on your device. If you’re just starting out, you might like using this app to try making a couple of memes with the free images included.

Pictophile

This app offers the most options to create different kinds of memes for free. It’s also its own social network where memes are voted up and down. That makes this meme generator app great for the advanced meme master. The one thing I don’t like about this app is that it forces you to upload your own image, which means you’d need to have the meme image you want to use saved to your iPhone. All of our other meme generator apps have images you can use within the app. If that’s not a deal breaker for you and you would like more options for creating various different kinds of memes, Pictophile is a great app.

Truly, the meme craze has created a wonderful online community; when we find common joy in these popularized phrases, videos, images, etc., we’re celebrating the silliness of the internet and life itself. 
 
Questions about making memes? Ask away in the comments; I'll do my best to reply. 
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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or watching anime. Her personal blog can be found at connerleecarey.com; you can also follow her on twitter @connerleecarey.