The 19 Most Viral Moments of 2019
From celebrities to chicken sandwiches, these were the year's best internet moments.
The past year has given us incredible medical breakthroughs and inspiring photos, but when it comes to the internet, 2019 was all about celebrities, chicken sandwiches, and Disney nostalgia. Whether it was something a Kardashian did or everyone on Twitter joining forces for the latest trend, these were the viral moments from this year that had everyone talking.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper having everyone convinced they were in love.
If you didn't hear gossip about Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper after their performance at the 2019 Oscars, then you were probably living under a rock. Their passionate and emotional performance of "Shallow" from A Star Is Born left everyone sure that the two were actually in love. And when rumors of Cooper's split from his long-term girlfriend came shortly thereafter, people were even more convinced. But while the moment was certainly viral—spawning memes and gossip alike—the two reported recently that it was all for show and "orchestrated" to look like love.
Billy Ray Cyrus joining Lil Nas X on "Old Town Road."
No 2019 song gained quite as much viral traction as Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road." When Billboard decided to take the song off their country charts in March because they felt it did "not embrace enough elements of today's country music," many people rallied around the song, saying Billboard's decision was racist.
And less than a month later, the world was shook when country legend Billy Ray Cyrus decided to join a remix of the song in a stance against Billboard. "I loved the song the first time I head it. Country music fans decide what they like. Not critics or anyone else," Cyrus said in a press release.
Jennifer Aniston joining Instagram and Friends fans going wild.
Most of us have been on Instagram for some time now, but many celebrities still manage to stay away. Jennifer Aniston was one of those stars, until this year. She joined the app in October, posting a reunion photo of her alongside her former Friends co-stars. Everyone took notice—in fact, Aniston broke the Guinness World Records title by reaching one million followers in the fastest time: 5 hours and 16 minutes.
Disney bringing everyone back to their childhoods with Disney+.
Forget Netflix or Amazon Prime: Disney took the crown this year when they announced and released their own streaming service, Disney+. Debuting in November, its collection of old favorites like Lizzie McGuire and Miracle on 34th Street quickly enticed consumers through nostalgia. Its impact was so viral that the streaming service had more than 10 million subscribers on the first day, as well as more than 3.2 million app downloads.
Jennifer Lopez shocking everyone by wearing a replica of her famous green Versace dress.
No one can forget the iconic silk green Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 42nd Grammy Awards. After all, the massive search traffic for the dress has gotten credit for basically creating Google Images. Twenty years later, Lopez decided to shock the world again by wearing a replica of the dress during Milan Fashion Week. And let's be honest, she looks just as good at 50 as she did when she was 30.
Keanu Reeves going viral just for being Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves has been in the entertainment industry for well over three decades now, but this year he really took off online. For what? Well, really just for being himself. With his many viral 2019 moments like his iconic walk scene in Always Be My Maybe and being called a respectful king for his treatment toward women, Reeves has officially been dubbed "The Internet's Boyfriend."
An egg beating out Kylie Jenner for Instagram's most liked photo.
At the beginning of 2019, Kardashian sibling Kylie Jenner held the record for most liked Instagram picture with the first photo of her daughter Stormi gaining more than 18 million likes. However, by Jan. 14, something new had the title: an egg. A photo of an egg was posted at the beginning of the year with one simple purpose, to beat the world record held by Jenner. It reached more than 18 million likes just 2 weeks later, surpassing Jenner. Now, it has nearly 54 million likes.
Someone creating a Facebook event telling people to storm Area 51.
When an event entitled "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" was posted to Facebook earlier this year, people couldn't get enough of the idea that thousands of people were going to invade the mysterious area to find out whether aliens were actually real. Where did the event originate? According to the Los Angeles Times, Matty Roberts, a 21-year-old college student from California, created the event simply because he was bored. And while the actual day ended up being less eventful than predicted, the jokes and memes created beforehand were enough to make it one of the most enjoyable things to come out of 2019.
James Charles and Tati Westbrook bringing everyone into the world of beauty drama.
Not everyone follows the beauty world on YouTube, but almost everyone on the internet felt the impact of the drama between YouTube beauty gurus James Charles and Tati Westbrook, who were once friends. And while no one likes a falling out, this viral moment resulted in a flurry of jokes that everyone—even those who don't know concealer from foundation—could relate to and take part in.
Keke Palmer saying "sorry to this man."
Keke Palmer had everyone saying "sorry to this man" this year after a Vanity Fair video with her went viral. When Palmer was shown a photo of former vice president Dick Cheney and asked if her character, True Jackson, was a better VP, she uttered the best phrase of the year: "I hate to say it, I hope I don't sound ridiculous. I don't know who this man is. He could be walking down the street and I wouldn't know a thing. Sorry to this man."
The Jonas Brothers announcing their reunion.
The Jonas Brothers were the boy band of the younger generation's childhood. So, when they announced their breakup in 2013, hearts across the world were broken. And while Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas have had successful careers outside of the Jonas Brothers, the announcement that they were getting the band back together at the beginning of this year with the release of their single "Sucker" was earthshaking news.
Kombucha woman giving us the reaction we all needed.
Not everyone is on the TikTok train yet, but 22-year-old TikTok creator Brittany Tomlinson, better known as "Kombucha Girl," made her mark on and off the app this year. A TikTok of her trying kombucha for the first time started circulating the internet, with everyone loving and quickly adopting her indecisive reaction to use in their everyday lives.
Twitter getting everyone to text their number neighbors.
Twitter is the launchpad for many viral trends, and this year it was all about texting your number neighbor, which is the person who has the phone number one digit away from yours in either direction. The trend became a full-on phenomenon with people posting their text responses online—whether they were good or bad.
A coffee cup accidentally making its way into a Game of Thrones scene.
While the Game of Thrones finale left some fans less than thrilled, the series did give everyone one good thing this year. When viewers spotted a modern to-go coffee cup in one of the shots of an episode, the internet couldn't get enough of the mistake. However, not everyone was thrilled with the error, as HBO ending up editing out the cup.
People going wild over Popeyes new chicken sandwich.
Popeyes has always been notable for their chicken, but when they released a chicken sandwich this year, people went wild—to say the least. The sandwich became such an overnight sensation that it spawned a "chicken sandwich fight" between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. Not to mention the fact that it sold out just two weeks post-launch, after people were waiting in hour-long lines just for the chance to snag one of the viral chicken sandwiches.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry hugging it out in a music video.
Taylor Swift and Katy Perry have been known for having "bad blood" over the years, but all was finally fixed in 2019 when they appeared in a music video together. In the video for her song "You Need to Calm Down," Swift appeared in a French fry costume hugging Perry—who was in a hamburger costume—to make it clear that they had finally squashed their beef.
The U.S. Women's National soccer team bringing home the World Cup.
This wasn't the first year the U.S. Women's National soccer team won the World Cup, but with the accompanying conversation surrounding their lack of pay compared to the men's team, it was a glorious stick-it-to-them moment. After their win, the women took off across the nation to celebrate in what's been called "the party that hasn't stopped."
Megan Thee Stallion making "Hot Girl Summer" a movement for everyone.
Megan Thee Stallion's career blew up this year, with many calling her the best new name in women's rap. But what helped her career take off was her viral "Hot Girl Summer" movement. As Megan explained in an interview with The Root, the movement was about "women, and men, just being unapologetically them."
Kylie Jenner singing "rise and shine."
Kylie was responsible for another one of the most instantly viral moments of 2019. In a YouTube vlog she posted in October, she's seen going to wake up daughter Stormi from a nap, singing the phrase "rise and shine." And while the clip was only eight seconds out of a sixteen-minute video, people loved it. Jenner even started selling merchandise with the iconic catchphrase on it and got caught in a trademark controversy in less than a month.