First of all, what does it mean to “Break the Internet”? Well, Urban Dictionary says that it means “causing a large commotion on the world wide web with many social networks and news outlets discussing the same thing”. So, we don’t break it for real, just set it alight and buzzing. We think the Internet is “unbreakable”. But who knows for sure. A whole lot of “breaking the Internet” is deliberately done by celebrities who post pictures or videos of themselves or events on their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages. You know the kind of thing: People without various items of clothing, kissing, or doing sometimes outrageous and sometimes ordinary things. YouTube also gets a mention here, as movie trailers or music videos posted can send fans into a frenzy. With YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, it’s all about how many Likes or thumbs up you get. With Twitter it’s the number of re-Tweets. Every other week or so, a new record for Likes or re-Tweets is broken. And that’s the whole point. Think about it. Years ago before the Internet and social media, stars had to sit around and wait for a magazine or newspaper to pick up a publicity shot. Now, with a couple of clicks, stars can hook up with the whole world. But be warned: “Controversial” shots that involve nudity can be pulled by the website. So you have to get in there fast. But often there’s no controversy, only beautiful women and hunky men. Here are 15 pictures that almost broke the Internet.
15. Selena Gomez
In July of 2016, Selena Gomez and her “You’re the spark” Coke bottle got a record-breaking four million likes on Instagram, to become the most liked picture ever on the site. The previous record was of “Jelena” (Justin Bieber and Selena) kissing. It got 3.7 million likes. The Coke shot is a stunning picture of Selena, facing to the camera, sipping on what else but a Coke. “You’re the Spark” are lyrics from her hit song “Me & The Rhythm”. Coke has teamed up with hot, young singer/songwriters to produce bottles with their lyrics on them. She captioned the picture, “When your lyrics are on the bottle”. The twenty-something may well be saying “Justin who?” these days. About the same time as the post, she finished up her Revival Tour in Quebec City with 100,000 fans there to watch. That may be a kind of record in itself.
14. Kendall Jenner
In the Summer of 2015, Kendall Jenner broke the Internet and the then-record for the most liked picture on Instagram. No, it wasn’t the Victoria’s Secret show and she didn’t strip off. She was dressed in white lace, with her hair arranged in a series of heart shaped designs. She got 2.5 million likes and stole the “Instagram most liked” crown for a while, beating out Kim and Kanye by one hundred thousand likes. And she bragged about it. Kim and Kanye did not seem too broken up about it. Tomorrow is another Instagram day in Kardashian-land. In fact, every day is a Kardashian kind of day on Instagram.
13. Kim Kardashian And Kayne West Wedding Picture
Now, Kim Kardashian is one of those famous for being famous types who, like most celebrities, can never get enough attention. Kanye West is a singer/songwriter with attitude. Kim loves Instagram in a big way. There was the selfie in the bathroom mirror wearing a white thing that could have been a bathing suit, ‘cept it didn’t cover much. She has single-handedly made big backsides all the rage, sending fans rushing to plastic surgeons for implants. The buzz around social media was phenomenal when “that” Paper Magazine cover hit in 2014. But it was the true love bride and groom kissing that caused KimYe to go viral, setting the then Instagram record of 2.4 million likes that was later (and triumphantly) broken by sister Kendall.
12. Pizza Rat
It’s less than twenty seconds long. This September, 2015 video shows a rat trying to get a slice of pizza down the steps of the New York subway. The pizza is way bigger than the rat, but he gives it a go. No big deal? New York and the nation went Pizza Rat crazy. There were spoofs on Conan and Pizza Rat Halloween costumes. The video got around ten million views on YouTube. Then in January of 2016, came Snow Rat, a contender set on taking the title of coolest rat in New York away from Pizza Rat. It’s a video of a rat trying to make its way through two feet of snow into the safety of a car tire. Rest easy, Pizza Rat. The New York Daily News, with tongue in cheek, posted the results of a “survey” showing seventy-seven percent of New Yorkers backed the pizza delivery rat. Long may he reign.
11. Alisha Hessler – The One About Three B**bs
This story went well and truly viral after Hessler, claiming to be someone called Jasmine Tridevil (as in three?), claimed she had a third breast implanted and posted pictures of herself on her Facebook page to show the results. She claimed to have paid $20,000 for the work. A hint to what was going on: Alisha/Jasmine or whoever also claimed to be “a provider of Internet hoaxes since 2014”. The debate was manic. Fake or not? Take three guesses. It got even more bizarre when The Daily Mail reported the story of a teenage boy who claimed she had kept him as a s*x slave. She would later gain even more Internet breaking attention when her mugshot went viral after she was arrested for DUI. Apparently, she is a massage therapist and owner of Alisha’s Golden Touch in Tarpon Springs, Florida. We predict this twenty-something will be back for another fifteen of fame. Maybe a third eye implanted in her forehead.
10. Ellen And Friends Oscar Selfie
The most re-Tweeted picture in Twitter history, this selfie is like a catalog of Hollywood A-Listers. It was taken by Bradley Cooper and Ellen joked that if his arm had been longer, they could have gotten more people in. There’s J Law, Meryl Strep, Julia Roberts, Brad something with (we think) Angie waving. And everybody’s happy. Also on the Twitter Top Ten is a nice picture of the Obamas hugging after winning the Presidential election in 2012. The Obamas got more than a million re-Tweets. And Ellen? Over three million re-Tweets and two million likes. Who knows what they might have done if Bradley had indeed had longer arms and Angie hadn’t hidden her face behind a waving arm.
9. Taylor Swift, Tom Hiddleston And Calvin Harris
This is a kind of general across the board Internet meltdown. Blonde and statuesque (i.e. tall), singer Swift meets charming/dashing/handsome and oh-so-civilized English Thor actor Hiddleston in New York and starts private-jetting all over the world with him. It’s not clear if she broke with long-time boyfriend Calvin Harris before or after taking to the dance floor with Hiddleston at a New York’s Met Gala in May. Snaps of the love birds snogging and walking on the beach with Tom’s English mum, went viral and had Twitter ablaze. There seems to be some debate about what to call them: “Hiddleswift” or “Swiddleston” are favorites. “Swiddle” is a little better, but still awkward. The two may be going for most liked Instagram picture after a snap of them with Ryan Reynolds and a very pregnant Blake Lively, hit Instagram. The picture was dubbed their “Instagram debut”. Real love or publicity stunt? Time will tell.
8. The Stupid Thing About The Dress
This is something guys don’t get. In fact, it makes many of them angry. Why did so many people care about whether a dress is blue and black or white and gold? But they did. After the images appeared online in early 2015, the debate was intense, sometimes heated, with some swearing it was blue and black and others opting for white and gold. It’s proof positive that a lot of people out there need to get a life. Seems the image was over-exposed or some such. From coast to coast, fashionistas, opticians and ordinary (mostly) women were wading in with their opinion. At least Pizza Rat had a few laughs. It is hard for a lot of people (mostly men) to understand why anybody even cared. We vote with the guys on this one. By the way, if you care, it was really black and blue.
7. Giselle Bundchen – Feeding The Baby
It’s a sweet shot of a mother breastfeeding her baby. But wait; the mom is Gisele Bundchen, supermodel and wife of football playing Tom Brady, and she is surrounded by people obviously getting her ready for a photoshoot. She has said there ought to be a law requiring mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months of their baby’s life. She got as lot of praise and a lot of flack for that comment. And the picture? It caused a storm, of sort, with (mostly) women taking sides on Twitter and Instagram after the model posted it on her Instagram page. She claims to have had only three hours sleep the night before. Who, other than a supermodel, could pull that off? Forget the breastfeeding controversy. Somebody who looks that good on almost no sleep outrages us big time.
6. Rihanna – Lui Cover and “Sledgehammer” Video for Star Trek Beyond
Rihanna is one of those people with a knack for breaking the Internet. Take that topless Lui Magazine cover. Social media sites went into meltdown mode, with fans praising her and others calling her the “Queen of THOTS (that hoe over there). Equally in your face and gritty is her music video for “Sledgehammer”, featured in Star Trek Beyond. It got nearly twenty million views on YouTube a week or two after it was posted. The girl has a talent for entertaining and outraging, with sites like Celeb Edition posting twenty-seven “jaw-dropping moments” of the edgy singer’s career, complete with the pictures to prove it. In fact, Rihanna got reprimanded by Instagram for too many risque pictures. So, she quit the site (or was banned?), but her “badgalriri” page was back again six months later.
5. Beyonce and Blue Ivy
Okay, we’re done with the bad girl. Now for the “good” one. Next to Rihanna’s in your face style, Queen Beyonce looks positively regal. And her seventy-eight million Instagram followers totally agree. And when she posted the oh, so cute picture of mom and daughter both elegantly dressed, Instagram and Twitter went nuts. It got 2.4 million likes and caused an “ah, isn’t it cute” storm on Twitter. Blue Ivy probably appears in her posts more often than Jay Z. We think Blue Ivy is about to throw a fit in the picture. Beyonce? Regal as ever. We remember the buzz caused by videos of Jay Z and Beyonce’s sister Solange, fighting in an elevator. Some even claimed to have audio. Now, that was a juicy ‘break the Internet’ moment.
4. Justin Bieber – “Sorry” Dance Video
This blows everything else away. It’s had 1.6 billion views (yes, billion). It’s a hot twerking, hip hop affair featuring the Auckland, New Zealand based ReQuest Dance Crew. And Justin is nowhere to be found. It’s about the girls and their dancing. The group have been catapulted into the stratosphere with the video. The song is catchy, Bieber’s vocals are, well, Bieber’s vocals, and those girls are just plain colorful, hot and infectious. For those of you who are curious, all the girls wore the same lipstick. It’s Ruby Woo by MAC. In fact, they all shared the same tube. Maybe now they can afford to buy one each. Back in 2012, J.Lo used the girls for her “Goin’ In” video.
3. Justin Bieber and Will Smith
Let’s go back in time to 2013. The number one picture on Instagram was Will Smith and Justin Bieber just standing there looking relaxed. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, told NBC that he thought the shot was so popular because it was a simple picture of two guys having fun. Bieber has said Smith has advised and counseled him. But, is it working? Our boy seems less troubled and in your face than he was a few years ago. Other than the Serena kiss, we remember another shot of Bieber that broke the Internet. It was in 2013 when he was caught sneaking out of Centaurus, a popular upmarket brothel in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Hollywood Life reported that he tried to take two of the girls back to his hotel. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he turned to older and wiser Will.
2. Alex From Target
From X-Rating to totally G-Rating. According to a long story in The New York Times, Alex is a sweet (his parents’ word) kid who went to church before starting his shift at the Frisco, Texas Target on Sunday, November 2nd, 2014. As he worked, someone just happened to find an online picture of him working at his till and thought he was cute. So, she posted it and the Internet exploded. He started the day with a little over one hundred followers on Twitter. He ended it with 100,000. Sounds great, don’t you think? The poor guy was overloaded with texts and sometimes feared going out of the house because girls swarmed all over him. He turned down a lot of offers from talk shows, but did do Ellen. The newspaper reported that he went back to work a couple of weeks later, but was banished to the stock room where he was safe from his fans.
1. Star Wars Beyond – Trailer
Released at the end of 2015, the trailer was supposed to be a trekkie’s dream and has gotten sixteen million views on YouTube. It set Twitter alight. Fans were not totally thrilled by 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and Mr. Star Trek J.J. Abrams turned over the directing of Beyond to Justin “Fast and Furious” Lin. But part of the noise about the trailer was not good, with a lot of fans angry about Lin’s messing with their Star Trek in a way that did not thrill purist trekkies. It got a lot of bad buzz and some good. One critic said a half good Star Trek movie was better than none at all. Sometimes breaking the Internet is a good thing. And sometimes the buzz hurts more than it helps. Justin Bieber could have told them that already.