Best Wordle memes and jokes: 'I think I'm doing this wrong...'

Who knew green, yellow and gray boxes could be so amusing?

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read

The next Wordle word puzzle appears online in 10 hours, 26 minutes and 5 seconds, so I'll see y'all after my 10-hour, 25-minute nap! 

And I'm not the only one obsessed with this little word game, which posts only one new word puzzle every 24 hours, leaving Wordlers wondering how to fill the endless empty minutes between challenges. Twitter feeds everywhere are packed with people humble-bragging or shame-sharing their scores -- and their Wordle-provoked existential angst. 

"The high of solving the Wordle in two, followed by the low of realizing nothing in life really matters," one devotee tweeted

The game has even Wordled its way into a New Yorker cartoon. 

Wordle -- initially created by software engineer Josh Wardle for his word-game-loving partner -- presents a hidden five-letter word to be guessed in six tries based on cues in the form of green, yellow and gray boxes. These indicate whether the winning word contains a letter you chose in the same place you placed it (green); in another place in the word (yellow); or not in the word at all.  

The graphic below gives a sense of how it works. 


A puzzle from a few days ago (so it's not a spoiler!)

Power Language

The grids of boxes that now fill social media feeds have become a visual language all their own that have spawned their share of jokes. My favorite riff on the boxes so far is this image that shows Tetris blocks descending, along with an "I'm doing this wrong." 

Then there are images of Wordle Worldling its way into movie scenes, like the famous one of John Cusack holding the boombox aloft during Say Anything. Only in this version the front of the portable music player is a Wordle puzzle.   

There are images reconfiguring the little boxes into little cartoon characters, like the "Wordle sheriff." 

And images that make the game look way more complex than it needs to be.

Then there are those who've had about enough of seeing everyone's Wordle scores.