By now, if you haven’t been on a self-imposed social media fast or held captive in an ISIS chamber, you know who Danielle Bregoli is. Affectionately known as the “Cash Me Ousside” girl, she’s 2017’s Harambe — the internet fad that sets the gold standard for the rest of the year. Following a viral clip where she used her famous tagline to challenge Dr. Phil’s audience to a fight, Bregoli became a polarizing figure. She has her loyalists, as evidenced by an Instagram following of nearly 8 million. A music festival in Miami offered her $40,000 — more money than the median annual income in Florida — to appear on stage for one hour. A reality TV deal is in the works. Brace yourselves…
But many people point to Bregoli and scowl. She exemplifies the downfall of American society, they proclaim. These people clutch their pearls and ask how a seventh-grade dropout can profit from being disrespectful and rebelling against authority. “What kind of world are we living in?” is the common refrain. As a capitalist and free market champion, I love seeing people like Bregoli get rich in unconventional ways. It shows that anything is possible in the modern economy. People whine about factory jobs disappearing and fast food positions not paying a living wage, but when in history have there been so many ways to make money, regardless of education or background? Answer: Never.
To celebrate those like Danielle Bregoli who unapologetically forge their own path, here are 15 kids more outrageous than the “Cash Me Ousside” girl.
15. Latarian Milton — 7-Year-Old Car Thief
Latarian Milton and Danielle Bregoli are like kindred spirits. They both hail from Palm Beach County, Florida. They both enjoy stealing cars. And they both made the viral rounds by being extremely quotable when interviewed about their bad behavior. Back in 2009, Milton, at the time 7 years old, stole his grandmother’s car, drove it around town crashing into things — mailboxes, signs, other cars — before wrecking it into a ditch. That’s outrageous, but it was his interview on the news that night that made Latarian a viral star. Asked why he stole the car, Latarian responded matter-of-factly that he wanted to pick up his 7-year-old friend — who smokes cigarettes — to do “hoodrat stuff.” Not even a hint of remorse creeps into his voice. Then he gets downright defiant: “I wanted to do it ’cause it’s fun. Fun to do bad things.” The highlight of the interview comes at the end. The interviewer asks Milton what his punishment should be. Milton doesn’t even blink. “No video games for a whole weekend.”
14. Brad Renfro — Delinquent Turned Star
Brad Renfro grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Raised by his grandmother, he found trouble at an early age. He was already on probation by middle school. But in 1993, when Renfro was 11, a stroke of good fortune came his way. His P.O. knew a casting agent for movie director Joel Schumacher. Schumacher was looking for a kid to play the role of a murder witness in The Client, and he wanted a kid with actual street smarts, not a Macaulay Culkin type. The P.O. caught wind of the situation, thought Renfro’d be a good fit, and passed his name along. Sure enough, Schumacher cast him in the film and catapulted him to instant stardom. But Renfro’s demons were never far behind. He was arrested for cocaine possession at 15. Three years later, he and a buddy earned some time in the clink for trying to steal a yacht from a Fort Lauderdale marina. Despite his money, good looks and talent, Renfro was unable to kick his drug habit, and at age 25 he succumbed to a fatal heroin overdose.
13. Vili Fualaau — Knocked Up the Teacher
Everyone loves a good story about a hot female teacher sleeping with her male students. If you don’t love those stories — or, worse, you’re one of those losers who says things like, “Would you still think it was funny if it was a male teacher and your teenage daughter?” — you need to read up on the biological differences between males and females. You also need to get a life. If slutty teachers were college football bowl games, Mary Kay Letourneau would be the Rose Bowl. Hers was the first such case to make national headlines back in 1996. The male student was middle-schooler Vili Fulaau, who’d been a student in Letourneau’s second-grade class a few years earlier. Fulaau not only knocked boots with the teacher, he knocked her up and sired her baby. Stud! Unfortunately, she went to prison for the affair. Fulaau rolled in for a conjugal visit and impregnated her again! Double stud! In 2005, when Letourneau was released from prison and Fulaau was a legal adult, the pair got married. As of 2017, the union is still going strong.
12. “Damn Daniel” Lara — 2015 Viral Sensation
Daniel Lara breaks the mold of the teens on our list so far. Unlike the others, Lara is a good-natured kid who didn’t have to do anything bad to earn his fame. Unless, that is, you’re living in the 1950s and still consider “damn” a profane word. He’s included here because there are few better examples of how anyone can become a star in today’s world. For Lara, all it took was his buddy following him around school with a camera phone, pointing out his stylish outfits, and exclaiming, “Damn, Daniel!” A couple of times the buddy got really excited as he focused on Lara’s shoes. “Back at it again with the white Vans!” he’d shriek. For their 30-second video, which nobody can even explain why it’s so funny, Lara and his buddy racked up millions of YouTube views, huge advertising dollars, fans galore on Instagram, and perhaps best of all, a lifetime supply of white Vans.
11. Drew Barrymore — Out-Of-Control Child Star
If you’re under the age of 30, you may only know Drew Barrymore as the cute, innocent, quirky female lead in a host of romantic comedy films. Maybe you saw E.T. on VHS as a kid and recall that she played Elliot’s adorable younger sister. But you probably don’t remember her out-of-control times in the late ’80s. Her parents, both in the film industry, were wild partiers, and Drew got started young. She was smoking cigarettes by nine years old, and moved on to alcohol and weed at 11. When she was 13, she started snorting coke. At 14 years old — an age when most teens are checking in the shower every morning and hoping for their first tuft of armpit hairs — Drew was already in drug rehab. The good news is it worked. She rebounded to have a spectacular career as an actress, and she has avoided legal trouble or any issues with drug abuse as an adult.
10. Jennifer Capriati — Bad Girl Tennis Phenom
Jennifer Capriati is a classic example of what happens when you push a kid too hard at too young an age. Coerced by her hyper-competitive dad, Capriati devoted her entire childhood to tennis. She was winning major tournaments when she was barely out of a training bra. At 14 years old — still two years away from getting her driver’s license — she won a car in a tennis tournament. But like many young stars do, she buckled under all the pressure. At 17, she was arrested for shoplifting a ring. Later the same year, she got popped for weed possession. Soon thereafter, she opened up about her depression and admitted she’d even contemplated suicide over the pressures of fame and her tennis career. We wish her story had a happy ending like Drew Barrymore’s. But as recently as 2010, she was hospitalized for a drug overdose. In 2013, she served community service in Palm Beach County, Florida, for stalking and harassing her ex-boyfriend.
9. Casey Heynes — Australian Bully Destroyer
With one viral video in 2011, Casey Heynes, an Australian middle-schooler, became the hero of bullied kids around the world. If you never saw the video of Heynes giving a little punk bully his comeuppance, you need to YouTube it. It starts with the bully backing Casey into a brick wall and taunting him. The kid feints a few times before landing a couple of open-handed blows to Casey’s face. For about 30 seconds, it looks as though Casey’s going to stand there and take it. But then his dam breaks. He bull-rushes the little punk, lifts him up OVER THE TOP OF HIS HEAD, and body slams him onto the concrete. The kid could have legitimately died had he hit the ground wrong — and in no way does that make the video any less awesome. What’s equally awesome is that Casey, now an adult, works as an anti-bullying advocate. Hopefully that involves teaching kids his patented body-slamming technique.
8. “Lavish” — Obnoxious Instagram Rich Kid
Instagram really took off in 2013. One of the first people to become a star with the platform was a kid who went by “Lavish.” His true identity remained shrouded in mystery, but fans were able to uncover that he was a 17-year-old rich kid from San Francisco. This kid took obnoxious spoiled brat and sent it soaring to new heights. Among the pics and videos he posted to the ‘Gram: a pic of him toting four iPhones in his man purse; one where he fills his toilet bowl with Pellegrino; a shot of him laying in bed flipping the bird while $100 bills cover his entire body like a blanket; and a lengthy post in which he calls Kim Kardashian a “true peasant” and brags about being richer than her. I’m all for a kid getting rich for being obnoxious like Danielle Bregoli. But when a kid is already rich and acts obnoxious because of it, that’s a different story. Let’s hope Lavish and his money, like most fools, soon part ways.
7. Tyler Pagenstecher — High School Drug Kingpin
Take a look at the above picture of Tyler Pagenstecher. What kind of high school kid does he look like? Probably one who takes AP classes and is headed off to a respectable college in a year or two, right? And he’s probably a well-rounded kid involved in extracurriculars, too. Well, that’s an understatement. Police in Pagenstecher’s Cincinnati suburb claim that the boy was the kingpin of a multi-million dollar drug operation that was the main distributor of marijuana to high schools all over the metro area. He was making over $20,000 a month selling weed for up to $400 an ounce. And he a had a complex network of growers, dealers and runners all working under his direction. He was convicted of his crime in 2013 and sentenced to six months in juvenile prison. No word on where is now, but if the Wharton Business School didn’t come calling after his release, they missed out on perhaps the brightest entrepreneur of a generation.
6. Hannah Sabata — Bragging Bank Robber
The student loan bubble is a looming crisis for America, and many young people are coming up with creative ways to pay off their college debt. But one repayment method you probably shouldn’t try is robbing a bank. And if you decide to go that route, it’s probably wise to avoid taking to YouTube afterward and bragging about it. Just ask Nebraska resident Hannah Sabata. Back in 2012, when Sabata was 19, she held up the Cornerstone Bank in Waco, Nebraska. Handing a note to the teller warning of a gun, Sabata made off with more than $6,000 from the local bank. She might have gotten away with it, too, were it not for her next move. Being 19, blonde and cute, she couldn’t resist taking to YouTube to gain a little publicity for her act. Calling her video “Chick Bank Robber,” Sabata bragged about not only robbing the bank but also stealing the car she used in the crime. Then she said she planned to use the money to pay off student loans and “go on a shopping spree.”
5. Tyler Hadley — Partying Over Parents’ Dead Bodies
Every teen locks horns with their parents from time to time. But in 2013, Port St. Lucie, Florida, teen Tyler Hadley took teen angst to a new level. It started with a house party he was planning. Hadley had never been a popular kid. He kind of faded into the background. Most of his peers at Port St. Lucie High School didn’t even know his name. He decided he’d change that by throwing the party of all parties. There were just two obstacles in his way: mom and dad. He knew his parents, who had tightened the reins on him lately, wouldn’t go for a wild soiree at their home. So rather than begging, groveling, or waiting for them to go out of town, Hadley bludgeoned his parents to death in their bedroom — and then had his party that night. Apparently it was a raging success, with booze flowing and fun had by all. None of his guests knew they were partying with two dead bodies in the master bedroom.
4. The Pregnant On Purpose Club
This entry features not just one teen but 17 teens. Teen pregnancy has been a scourge on American society for decades. Fortunately, rates have dropped precipitously since the 1980s, and health department officials credit many things for the dropping percentage of teen girls getting knocked up. Better sex ed in schools, easier access to birth control, and so forth. But in 2008, a group of teen girls in Gloucester, Massachusetts, bucked the trend of one pink line by entering a pact to get pregnant. And it worked for a whopping 17 of them, all of whom conceived during the same school year in the small town. The baby daddies were a mixture of their high school classes and older men, including, in one case, a 24-year-old homeless dude. The school system responded by beefing up its sex ed curriculum and handing out rubbers at school.
3. Richard “Little Hercules” Sandrak
By the time he was eight years old, Richard Sandrak had the body of a seasoned pro bodybuilder. Encouraged by his father, a weightlifter himself, the young Sandrak spent two to three hours per day resistance training and doing cardio to sculpt his body. A series of videos showing his startlingly developed physique made the internet rounds, and reactions were decisively mixed. Some people applauded the young kid for chasing his bodybuilding dreams, while others were put off by the idea that a father would push his kid to train so obsessively at that age. If the father’s goal was to instill in his son a lifetime love for bodybuilding, he failed. Sandrak, now 24 and working as a stuntman at Universal Studios Hollywood, sports a physique bereft of all the muscle he packed on as a kid. He claims he no longer lifts weights, but performs chin-ups and cardio to stay in shape for his job.
2. Teen Firestarters
In late November and early December 2016, an inferno tore through the streets of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The fire incinerated historic buildings, drove thousands of residents from their homes, torched hundreds of acres of national forest, and when it was all said and done, killed at least a dozen people. Less than a week after the final ember burned out, a video surfaced which showed the origin of the fire: two punk teenagers, while hiking a trail in the Smoky Mountains, striking matches and cavalierly flinging them into the woods. It should be noted that a drought had plagued this region of Tennessee for months leading up the incident, and these kids were old enough to be aware of that fact. Unfortunately, their status as minors means their names weren’t released to the public. But the next time you start thinking Danielle Bregoli represents the worst qualities of American youth, think about these two malefactors.
1. The Smoking Baby
What was your worst habit when you were two years old? Maybe you had trouble getting a hang of the potty training thing, or you were prone to flinging yourself on the dirty grocery store floor and pitching a fit as your mom tried to shop. Perhaps you were a biter, or you liked to make that awful squealing noise kids do that serves as more effective birth control than Ortho Try-Cyclen. Well, if you were two-year-old Aldi Rizal from Indonesia, your biggest vice was none of these things. It was a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit. Videos of young Aldi puffing away made the internet rounds in 2010 and, not surprisingly, sparked outrage. The excuse offered by his parents was that Aldi got angry when he didn’t get his cigarettes, but no mention was made of how he got started on the habit to begin with. The good news is that by age six, Aldi had kicked the habit — cold turkey, that strong-willpowered S.O.B. Sadly, he replaced it with another destructive habit — junk food — and now sports a grossly overweight physique.