‘I’m with her’: Greta Thunberg’s greatest memes and clapbacks

  • 03/04/2020 1:00 pm ET Caroline Mulligan

Source: Screenshot / YouTube

Greta Thunberg: youth advocate, climate warrior, and clapback champion.

The Swedish teen soared to fame for organizing Fridays for the Future, when young people skip school to protest for immediate action on climate change.

But there’s another reason she’s captivated people’s attention: she lets herself be angry. She eloquently expresses her feelings in a way that resonates with so many people.

With her epic clapbacks and ability to articulate, is it any wonder that Greta has become a bit of an icon? Let’s take a look at some of her best moments and the classic memes the internet created to immortalize them.

1. The death stare

Source: Screenshot/YouTube

It’s the picture that went viral: Greta Thunberg staring actual daggers into Trump’s back as he passed by her, shortly after she eviscerated world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Her speech showed how powerful words can be when fueled by existential anxiety. Her glare showed that she generates just as much power without speaking.

Trump encouraged climate denial when he claimed that the Chinese made it up. He’s backed his ludicrous words by rolling back dozens of environmental protections.

Greta has every right to be furious with him. And this isn’t the only time they’ve tangled…

2. It’s not about politics

After her passionate speech at the UN, there were those calling Greta out as a “political’ actor while still others were crying child abuse at her parents. Fox News labeled her as “mentally ill” and even compared her to the Children of the Corn.

Yet, Thunberg has made it very clear that she is not politically motivated, yet she isn’t afraid to clapback at world leaders when needed.

3. We’re with Greta

10 Greta memes

Hillary Clinton’s campaign used the “I’m with her” slogan for her 2016 presidential run which quickly became a widespread hashtag promoted by female celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Amy Schumer, and Katy Perry. It was also found splashed across t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other types of swag.

The “I’m with her” slogan is equally fitting as a show of solidarity with Greta and the push for climate legislation.

What Greta wants: It’s simple. The climate activist wants the adults in charge of making the policies that run the world to “listen to the science” and then act accordingly. As she said in her speech before the U.S. Congress:

“My name is Greta Thunberg. I have not come to offer any prepared remarks at this hearing. I’m instead attaching my testimony. It is the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5º Celsius—the SR 1.5 which was released on October 8, 2018. I am submitting this report as my testimony because I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists. And I want you to unite behind science. And then I want you to take real action. Thank you.”

4. Chill Trump, Chill!

After Trump’s Twitter tantrums, Greta’s supporters wasted no time pointing out that the President really wasn’t in any position to discuss someone else’s anger management skills.

While Thunberg has shown she is capable of handling hecklers with grace and tact, Trump is known for encouraging violence against protestors at his rallies. And that is just the tip of the Trump anger iceberg.

Is it at all surprising that Time chose Greta Thunberg as Person of the Year over Donald Trump?

5. The first Twitter bio

Source: Twitter/Screenshot


Of course, Trump harassed a teenager in front of his millions of followers:

Greta didn’t dignify him with a response. Instead, she referenced his words with the snarky Twitter bio pictured above. And then, instead of dwelling on the fact that the alleged leader of the free world was making fun of her, she kept on rallying people to fight climate injustice.

We wish we could say that Trump learned from her example and focused on being a mature and competent leader…

6. …But

…We can’t. He mocked her on Twitter again, less than three months later.

And, once more, rather than rising to the bait, she just snarkily changed her bio.

Greta isn’t going to let one of the most powerful men in the world silence her anger. She’ll let the world feel what she feels, and she’ll make fun of history’s worst POTUS while she’s at it.

7. Making a difference

No matter your age, it can easily feel like you are the only person that is trying or that cares about the big issues. People often get discouraged thinking that their actions have no effect or don’t contribute to the greater good. However, it only takes a quick glance at Greta to know that it isn’t true.

One little Swedish girl literally started a global movement and became Time’s Person of the Year because of it.

8. Brazilian bio beatdown

Source: Canva

Lest Trump should think he’s special, he best remember that he’s not the only world leader Greta has called out in her bio.

Check out what it said on December 10, 2019:

Source: Screenshot/Twitter

Why does that single word pack so much power? It’s what Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro called her after she tweeted about Indigenous activists killed for defending the rain forest.

The word roughly translates to “little brat.” Greta reclaims it without shame.

She’s stood with Indigenous people worldwide, like when she visited the Standing Rock Reservation to support Lakota activists fighting the Keystone XL pipeline. If she’s getting under the skin of a president with a long history of anti-indigeneity, then she has something to be proud of.

9. I would do anything for love (but I won’t deny science)

Source: Pixabay

In a desperate attempt to remain relevant, classic rock singer Meat Loaf told the Daily Mail that he believed Greta had been “brainwashed.”

Her response was to-the-point:

Smooth, succinct, and scientifically supported – now that’s what I call a classic clapback.

10. The teen and the bully

While President Donald Trump has shaken his fist at the young climate whippersnapper on Twitter more than once, Greta has repeatedly shown that his blustering doesn’t bother her in the slightest.

President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he thinks climate change is a hoax, so she has pretty much dismissed him altogether.

Thunberg was a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres show during a visit to Los Angeles. While the Swedish teen was happy to chat with Ellen, she was very blunt about her intentions of not attending a meeting with President Trump.

“I don’t understand why I would do that. I don’t see what I could tell him that he hasn’t already heard. And I just think it would be a waste of time, really.”

11. Strength in numbers

Greta Thunberg's Best Responses 4

Source: Pixabay

In January, Greta tweeted a subtle rebuke to the media outlets that try to make her the sole face of youth climate activism:

It’s important to remember that environmental justice and racial justice are inextricably intertwined. According to the NAACP, “race – even more than class – is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country.” And Indigenous people protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity.

But the press focuses disproportionately on Greta, often to the detriment of Indigenous people and people of color who are fighting the same battle.

Earlier that same week, Greta retweeted the words of Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan activist who spoke with Greta at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Associated Press published a photo cropping out Vanessa, quite literally erasing her contributions.

Greta also retweeted 8-year-old Indian climate activist Licypriya Kangujam’s on-the-nose comment on the issue:

There are a lot of youth activists who deserve recognition. Good on Greta for gently calling out all the people who think she’s the only one worthy of media coverage.

12. Another waste of time

In an interview with BBC Radio, Greta was asked what she would have said to Trump if she’d spoken to him during the New York climate summit, rather than just glaring at him.

Her response:

I probably wouldn’t have said anything, I wouldn’t have wasted my time

To a braggart like Trump, who thrives on attention like a vampire thrives on blood, hearing that he simply isn’t worth the time stings worse than any sort of childish namecalling ever could.

And that makes two times Greta has publically called him a waste!

13. You can quote her on that

Souce: Wikimedia

Speaking of Davos, the World Economic Forum’s Twitter misrepresented Greta’s speech by making it seem as though she claimed that there were only eight years left to save the climate.

She issued a polite but firm response:


The World Economic Forum quickly posted a reply that clarified her remarks:

A teen who can get a bunch of economists to acknowledge they were wrong? That’s what I call powerful.

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