The story behind Tacoma Memes

Tacomans back up or call out the memes

By Kristin Kendle on January 14, 2013

We tend to leave the meme spotting to the trained experts, but Tacoma Memes is too hard to ignore. In September 2012, Tacoma Memes Facebook popped into existence. A few months later, the page has more than 32,000 likes and growing.

But where do these cheeky images with even cheekier text overlays come from? What exactly is this Tacoma Memes? Perhaps, if you're like me, you envision a tribe of clever nerds armed with Photoshop and a never-ending pot of coffee. You would be wrong.

At least right now, Tacoma Memes is headed up by a single person-a woman named Samantha who prefers to keep her identity out of the mix. She admits to living in Tacoma her entire life, and going to Curtis High School in fairly recent years. She works alone. Starting the page was not planned.

"It was a spur of the moment decision late one night," she says. "I noticed some other cities had their own meme pages and Tacoma deserved its own. People who don't live in Tacoma might not realize what an interesting city it truly is behind all the negative stereotypes and rain. It's diverse with all sorts of different neighborhoods and people...not to mention a lot of things to poke at and make fun of. I wanted to create not only a meme page but a place the community could come for a good laugh."

Often enough, Samantha creates the memes herself, drawing on her own observations of this fair city. Sometimes ideas just come to her, other times she works from images she's sent to caption.

"Some of the memes are from past experiences or just random things any Tacoman would understand, from general stereotypes in the city to places we love to visit and hangout," she says. "I try not to offend people and keep it clean, but sometimes the truth is going to hurt. I just hope that some people in the community can learn to take an Internet meme as a joke and not so seriously. It's all for fun."

Memes often garner a plethora of comments, which can be entertaining to read through. Watch as Tacomans of all stripes back up or call out the memes, often inadvertently proving that Tacoma's school system is in serious need of stronger English curriculum.

"A few that never fail to make me laugh would be the ones poking at Gig Harbor," says Samantha of her favorites. "It's funny to see how worked up some people get in comments. Or the one about Sprague Exit, and all the Five Mile Drive or Titlow memes because those are some of my favorite places to ‘hangout'."

Tacoma Memes also takes submissions. Chase your moment in the sun by sending your meme to or sending them via Facebook.

What's next for the page? Samantha has thought about creating some meme merchandise or bringing on a second admin, if she finds the right person. In the meantime, kick back and watch as the page likes continue to grow, a fact that has even caught its creator's attention.

"I'm just as surprised as you are," she says. "I didn't expect it to come this far, but it inspires me to keep the page going."