The internet makes a lot of everyday things possible, but each year it also precipitates some of the weirder, more serendipitous events in the world. This year’s provided a bumper crop – here are 13 of the best.
1. 1,000 Foo Fighters fans summoned the band to Cesena, Italy
In July, after six months of organisation, 1,000 Italian Foo Fighters fans and musicians convened in Cesena to play ‘Learn To Fly’ as an enormous group, for the below video.
The next day the band were so impressed they posted messages to Twitter saying, “How nice, Cesena” and “See you soon”. They played the city in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, on November 3. You can see a clip of that gig below.
2. Unofficial Left Shark merch started selling hours after the Super Bowl
Katy Perry’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl in February was totally professional, other than the turn from Perry’s left shark dancer. #leftshark was trending immediately thanks to the dancer’s bumbling routine, below.
Snoop Dogg joked that it was him. Lots of people did, actually. Everyone loved the idea.
That wasn’t all, though. Aside from all the left shark memes, a man called Fernando Sosa made an electronic 3-D printing template to sell to owners of 3-D printers, and Perry’s lawyers sent him a cease and desist letter. His lawyers responded, “We wonder what Katy Perry could possibly stand to gain from declaring war on an Internet meme”. Well, she sells left-shark onesies on her website now, so it was more like ownership of the meme she was going for – which is amazingly ambitious.
Ah, Piggate. When Lord Ashcroft wrote that David Cameron had put a “private part of his anatomy” into a pig’s mouth, the PM was subject to all manner of memes, puns and internet lols.
Then there were the apocalyptic replies to this thread:
It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Just this week, when British astronaut Tim Peake joined the crew of the International Space Station, DC posted a picture of himself watching the shuttle launch. In all likelihood he and his social media team were aware of how photoshoppable the moment was, but Twitter still fell into the trap and resurrected Piggate for everyone to enjoy once more.
4. The resurrection of the 9-year-old ‘I Didn’t Get No Sleep Cause Of Y’all’ clip
Tanisha Thomas from US reality series Bad Girls Club had a mad, rhythmic response to being kept awake on the show back in 2006. Years later that ephemeral but glorious moment was revived on Vine and entered real life, all thanks to the internet.
5. Pizza Rat
It’s pizza rat, guys. Pizza rat. Get on board.
The subway critter had a street named after it.
A Halloween costume.
Kinda like a grimy, scrappy Li’l Sebastian.
6. Drake vs Meek Mill
This was actually very boring beef between the two hip-hop stars, after Meek Mill accused Drake of using a ghostwriter for his lyrics. The diss tracks weren’t all that, but in the popular consciousness, Drake was the clear winner and Meek Mill the wannabe tryhard. The reactions were usually better than the original disses. To wit:
Here’s the best of the disses, in case you were wondering:
And the most recent episode in the long tale – on Drake’s birthday his fans posted messages to Meek Mill’s instagram page. That’s impressively creative internet scorn.
7. “Miley, what’s good?”
When Taylor Swift replied to a tweet by Nicki Minaj that insinuated the MTV VMA nominations were stacked in favour of skinny white girls, she took herself to be its target, rather than the industry’s racism. The two eventually talked it over and made up, but Miley Cyrus called Minaj’s comments “not very polite” in an interview.
Minaj responded on stage, having just won a VMA for Best Hip-Hop Video for ‘Anaconda’, by saying “back to this bitch that had a lot to say about me the other day in the press, Miley, what’s good?” Miley responded, “We’re all in this industry, we all do interviews and we all know how they manipulate shit. Nicki, congratulations.”
The damage was done, though. “Miley, what’s good” had entered the 2015 lexicon and is still bouncing around social media.
You can even get Miley What’s Good merch now.
8. Shia Labeouf’s many interactive art projects
#Introductions: pieces written by students and performed by Shia Labeouf for camera in front of a green screen. The most famous of them, “Just Do It”, starts at 8:58 and has him shouting motivational crap. It took Vine by storm.
Seriously, we can keep going.
Then he did #AllMyMovies, allowing us to see him react to every film he’s ever been in. Naturally that was prime social media #content too.
His reaction to Transformers 3 was particularly funny.
9. Vine coming into its own as a format
Vine’s a weird medium – audiovisual loops of a maximum six seconds – but these clips show how it’s developing organically into something genuinely brilliant.
10. Teresa Mannion’s Oscar-deserving Irish weather report
By the time Ariana Grande posted her reaction to this high-volume, emotional weather report about Storm Desmond in early December, it was already a global viral phenomenon.
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It’s inspired a Christmas card and has spawned numerous musical parodies including a brilliant one using Sam Brown’s ‘Stop’.
11. Ryan Gosling finally eating his cereal
The above series of vines from 2013 and 2014 were created by Scottish director Ryan McHenry, to show moody character actor Ryan Gosling refusing to eat spoonfuls of cereal, like a petulant child. When McHenry died after a battle with cancer this year, Gosling joined Vine, poured some cereal and ate it for us all to see, in what’s possibly the sweetest cereal-related tribute ever.
12. This reaction to the clearly fucking white and gold dress
Remember in February, when everyone was talking about the white and gold dress as if it could possibly be black and blue, and they wouldn’t stop talking about how black and blue it was? This one – the white and gold one?
We all had enough of that after a while didn’t we.
13. Taylor Swift buying up a load of porn domains
Porn sites ending in .porn and .adult were put on sale in March and Taylor Swift nabbed the ones with her name, presumably so they couldn’t tarnish her squeaky clean rep. Sadly in doing so it was reported she’d bought the domains, so headline-skimmers probably got the wrong idea.