The 20 most iconic memes and reactions from the 2023 Women’s World Cup

The 20 most iconic memes and reactions from the 2023 Women’s World Cup



The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has captivated millions of fans around the globe, laid to rest sexist misconceptions about the women’s game, and spawned impeccable memes and reactions on social media.

After an epic semi-final battle between England’s Lionesses and host country Australia’s Matildas ended in a 3-1 triumph for England on Wednesday (16 August), England and Spain are heading for a thrilling World Cup final.

A record two billion viewers are expected to tune in to watch the Lionesses and La Roja battle it out at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday (20 August). Ramping up the excitement is the fact that this is the first time both England and Spain have made it to a FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

With record numbers of out LGBTQ+ players, this World Cup has not only been hailed as the queerest ever – but also the most successful women’s tournament in history. And the internet has not disappointed when it comes to chaotic, wry, thirsty and downright hilarious fan reactions.

commiserations to my partner who has at least another week of me referring simultaneously to lucy bronze, mary earps and sarina wiegman as ‘my wife’

— Rhiannon M-S (@rhiannonm_s) August 16, 2023

Australian mega-star Sam Kerr is dating USWNT player Kristie Mewis, but Kristie used to date England’s Rachel Daly when they played together in Houston

— Shelby Cole (@shelbylcole) August 16, 2023

me watching sam kerr literally just exist #FIFAWWC #Matildas

— han
(@haanlouise_) August 19, 2023

Commentator when Lucy Bronze was described as tough, said, "It's literally her middle name," and I was going to get annoyed but, no, I checked and fair play #lionesses

— Patrick Gray (@patrick__boo) August 16, 2023

*‘I’m sorry Frodo. I was delayed’*

Journalist Jacqueline Felgate captured the moment when an entire plane full of travellers lost their s**t when the Matlidas beat France on penalties in their quarter-final match – apart from one passenger, who was blithely watching Frodo be reunited with Gandalf, Merry and Pippin in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

That moment for women’s sport

— Jacqueline Felgate (@Jacquifelgate) August 12, 2023

It turned out that this LotR / World Cup crossover was the viral content we never knew we needed.

*Kick sexism out of football*

If there was ever a tournament that should obliterate the predictable sexist whingeing about the women’s game being inferior to the men’s, this World Cup is it.

One of worst things about Twitter is that The Lionesses could win the World Cup, announce a cure for cancer in the post-match interviews, declare they’ve found a formula for world peace on the flight home, and Gary8762748 would still be posting a stupid meme about ironing.

— Simon Harris – Man Behaving Dadly (THAT’S DADLY) (@simonharris_mbd) August 17, 2023

Men: "It's coming home … It's coming home …"

Repeat ad nauseam.

Women 57 years later: "Don't bloody bother. I'll frigging get it myself."#Lionesses

— Ian S (@iannlou) August 16, 2023

•England #lionesses – Amazing


— SimpsonsEFL (@EflSimpsons) August 16, 2023

*Nike decides not to make Mary Earps’ England goalkeeper kit *

Sportswear and footwear giant Nike sparked major backlash on social media for refusing to sell a replica shirt for England goalkeeper Mary Earps, with fans asking why all the England home and away kits are available to buy – apart from the goalie’s.

Nike HQ making Mary Earps shirts like…

— Stella Mills (@stellamills__) August 16, 2023

Earps herself has spoken out about the controversy, calling Nike’s decision “hugely disappointing and very hurtful”.

For no reason at all here’s Mary Earps being amazed by a whale

— Jack Sommers (@jack_sommers) August 16, 2023

I really like the Lionesses' away strip, but it isn't half making me fancy a pack of salt and vinny Square Crisps. #Lionesses #AUSENG

— Claire Read
(@readthewriter) August 16, 2023

*England beats Australia 3-1 in a nail-biting semi-final*

Australia exited the World Cup after a semi-final loss to England, but Matildas captain Sam Kerr’s legendary goal will live forever.

Sam Kerr:

The entire England team: #FIFAWWC

— jackson langford (@jacksonlangford) August 16, 2023

first england colonised us and now they beat us??? ARE THEY NOT TIRED???? #Matildas

— ana
(@kiwine1son) August 16, 2023

sorry, probably not the best time but how relatable and evergreen are these trending topics #FIFAWWC

— Tamerra Griffin (@tamerra_nikol) August 16, 2023

Helping your bestie parallel park:

— Gal Pal Sports (@GalPalSports) August 17, 2023

Keira Walsh and Jordan Nobbs (Photo: Zac Goodwill) #AUSENG #ENG

— Asif Burhan (@AsifBurhan) August 15, 2023

*‘They’re just like us!’ Politicians turned the cringe factor up to 11 *

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a World Cup without British politicians sharing definitely-not-staged photos of themselves enjoying England games.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, received some social media ribbing over this very “man shakes fist at cloud” snap.

"That's great Ed. Tell you what, just for fun could we get one where you don't look like you're angry at Dennis the Menace."

— James Felton (@JimMFelton) August 16, 2023

Prime minister Rishi Sunak and Prince William – who serves as the Football Association (FA) president – have both come under fire for not flying out to see England face Spain in Sunday’s historic final.

Congratulations #Lionesses!
You little ladies are all that’s great about England!
Add yourself to a long list of what makes us proud to be English:
Roast Beef
Nigel Farage
Unsightly hairs
Tan lines
Jenny Agutter
And turnips.

— Sir Michael Take CBE (@MichaelTakeMP) August 16, 2023

*Lioness Ella Toone makes football history*

England midfielder Ella Toone was an integral part of the Lionesses semi-final victory, with a goal at the 36th minute.

It also made her first England player – inclusive of men’s and women’s games – to score in a quarter-final, semi-final and final of major international tournaments (defined as either Euros or World Cups).

when mr brightside comes on in the club

— Marty Lawrence (@TeaAndCopy) August 16, 2023

*Michelle Alozie wins X (formerly known as Twitter) after England vs Nigeria *

And finally, Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie addressed the moment where England’s Lauren James received a red card for stamping on her back during the 7 August group match. Alozie responded with ultimate class, posting the next day: “Abeg, rest. We are playing on the world’s stage. This game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments. All respect for Lauren James.”


— michelle alozie (@alozieee) August 8, 2023

Her entirely relatable “life” tweet will go down in history.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 final airs on Sunday 20 August at 11am UK time and 8pm local time. UK viewers can watch on both ITV1 and the BBC.

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