All Your Base Are Belong to Us
The meme "all your base are belong to us" originated from an English translation of the Japanese video game "Zero Wing" released in 1989. The meme is actually a phrase taken from the opening cinematic of the game which is full of a number of grammatical errors. This meme took off in the early part of the 2000s, but Google insights actually only goes back to 2004 where its popularity had begun its slow decline and started to level out in mid 2008.
The main driving force behind this popularity was a fan made video posted to the site Newgrounds in early 2001  in which they remixed the dialogue from the cutscene with the game's musical track while cutting between a number of images in which the signature phrase was photoshopped onto billboards, posters, bulletin boards, etc.
This meme also took off around the same time that Photoshop and similar products gained popularity. This is probably part of the reason that the meme became so popular at the time. Another factor would be the humor involved in broken English translations common in video game culture due to Japan's heavy influence in this culture. Finally, the song in the video is particularly catchy which also contributed to its virality. After the advent of Youtube, people began uploading videos that took the song from the original video and used it to back some other compilation of clips from modified video games, photoshopped images, or other memes like in this video of the game pokemon.
Another quote from the game's opening cutscene spawned its own, much less popular meme from the phrase "for great justice." It is typically used to overemphasize the importance of some everyday activity.  For instance, one might say "I'm going to pick up the kids from practice... for great justice!" The intended effect is meant to be humorous as the drama of the statement does not match the severity of the situation involved.