The Internet can be a very, very strange place. Our generation seems to have an odd obsession with the most random characters. Do or say something stupid, in just the right way, and you’re an overnight viral sensation. The tricky thing is, there is no formula to know what will or won’t work. Over the years, we have gone crazy over weird karate moves, post-dental-work highness and people falling out of buckets filled with grapes.
Most recently, we are obsessed with the “Cash Me Ousside” Girl, 13-year-old rebel without a cause, Danielle Bregoli. She rose to fame after appearing on an episode Dr. Phil that aired on September 15, 2016. Her ridiculously confrontational attitude and taunt to audience members to “cash her ousside” made her an overnight internet celebrity. The original YouTube video segment has been viewed over 24 million times, and counting. Since her appearance, and subsequent stint in a treatment camp for misbehaving youth (funded by Dr. Phil), Danielle has done everything to cash in on her 10 minutes of fame. She’s kept busy by starting a fight on an airplane, making aggressive taunts to the Kardashian clan and telling Dr. Phil that “she made him” during her second appearance on the show. And we’re obsessed with this troll and feeding her attention and support for her nasty behavior. Of course we are. We’re the Internet people, who operate with very blurred lines when it comes to entertainment and integrity.
We’ve had quite a lot of Inter-fun over the last decade or so, so let’s jump right into our review of The 15 Viral Characters We Loved Before Cash Me Ousside Girl.
15. Charlie Bit My Finger Again
Charlie Bit My Finger again was one of the biggest viral videos in history. Originally uploaded to YouTube in 2007, the somewhat underwhelming video features a 3-year-old boy getting bit on the finger by his 1 year-old baby brother. The little boy, one Harry Davies-Carr, complains that, “Charlie bit me. And that really hurt!” Perhaps it was the British accent that won our hearts. Its popularity was unprecedented in terms of “viral videos” when it became the first of its kind to reach a staggering 800 million views. As of early 2017, the video has topped off at 846 million views. The family have reportedly raked in over £100,000 and were able to buy a new home with the proceeds from advertising. Subsequent to the unanticipated fame, the boys’ father, Howard Davies-Carr, set up a YouTube channel providing additional videos.
14. Grape Lady Falls
Grape Lady Falls was one of my personal favorites back in the day. The video hit the internet in January 2006, originally uploaded by Atlanta, Georgia’s local news station WAGA-TV. The video features reporter Melissa Sanders (Grape Lady) competing with a local vineyard worker in a grape stomping competition. The two ladies crush grapes in their respective buckets, but then Grape Lady decides to take it up a notch. She accelerates into turbo-stomping speed, which ultimately results in her losing her balance and falling face first off of the platform into the ground. While it’s not funny when anyone gets hurt (she later reported that she had broken several ribs in the fall), the sudden movements followed by her seal-like screeching make us nervous-laugh every time. The original video quickly frames back to the newsroom, where her stunned coworkers can’t help but giggle and let out a sympathetic “youch.”
13. David After Dentist
Who doesn’t remember loveable David, a super high 7-year-old struggling with existentialism after having a tooth extracted at the dentist? David’s reaction to the local anesthesia he was given was caught on camera by his father, who months later, uploaded it to YouTube. It became an overnight hit. To date, the video has been viewed over 134 million times since its 2009 debut. The DeVore family were interviewed on several talkshows and even created a line of “David After Dentist” authentic T-Shirts. The viral video has been referenced in TV Shows such as Glee, The Cleveland Show and New Girl. David Sr. has been criticized since the upload; some parents consider that he was exploiting his child by sharing such a personal moment. Young David, now 14, disagrees. He seems to share his father’s sense of humour and agrees that it was a harmless, funny clip.
12. Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
How could any viral video list be complete without Kimberly ‘Sweet Brown’ Wilkins’ “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”? This viral sweetheart first captured our hearts in April, 2012, when she was interviewed following her escape from a fire in her Oklahoma City apartment building. The video received over 1 million hits within 24 hours of being uploaded. The original video, as well as its sister remix, have over 70 million views as of January 2017. In 2013, Sweet Brown sued Apple for releasing and selling a song titled “I Got Bronchitis” which featured original sound files from Wilkins’ initial interview. The internet celeb has enjoyed moderate fame, appearing in a small part of the Tyler Perry film A Madea Christmas.
11. Sneezing Baby Panda
Sneezing Baby Panda is a viral video that first hit YouTube in November, 2006. The video shows a chill momma panda, happily snacking on some bamboo at the Wolong Panda Breeding Centre, with her baby panda sleeping in front of her. All of a sudden. baby panda is woken from his slumber to let out a big ‘ol sneeze, scaring momma bear half to death and causing her to jump. When she realizes it “was just a sneeze”, she resumes her snacking. The video has been uploaded onto many channels since the original was released, culminating close to 200 million collective views. The video has also been remixed into several silly panda animations, memes and songs. A classic.
10. Leave Britney Alone!
“Leave Britney Alone” is the iconic plea by entertainer and vlogger Chris Crocker to stop picking on poor Britney Spears. It was posted in 2007, in the days where Britney was publicly melting down and losing it. The video shares his disappointment with Perez Hilton and Simon Cowell, two entertainers who publicly criticized and mocked Britney Spears during her downward spiral. The video had over 2 million views within the first 24 hours of being published, and to date has over 50 million views. The video had hundreds of thousands of comments; securing a spot as one of the top discussed viral videos of all time. The video helped build Chris Crocker’s career as an Internet entertainer. In the aftermath of the video’s success, he was interviewed on The View, Fox News, Maury, CNN, The Today Show and a handful of other late night programs.
9. Numa Numa Dance
An oldie but a goodie! The Numa Numa video was one of the original webcam viral videos, originally uploaded in 2004 to the site Newgrounds.com. The video showcases Gary Brolsma dancing and lip-syncing to the song Dragostea Din Tea, by Moldovan pop band O-Zone. Funnily enough, the otherwise unknown Eurodance group rose to fame in countries around the world due to the success of the video. By November 2007, the video had been watched more than 700 million times, and Brolsma’s video became the second most-watched Internet video of all time. He went on to be interviewed by The Tonight Show and Good Morning America, although he was not overly confident being in the public eye. Some people are at their best behind a computer screen!
8. Chocolate Rain
Tay Zonday! I love this guy! What started as a serious quest to combat racial prejudice and injustice turned into a hilarious YouTube sensation. Singer and songwriter Tay uploaded his original song “Chocolate Rain” to YouTube in 2007. It has since been viewed over 100 million times. Tay’s lyrics might be loaded with metaphors, but to the average listener, the song doesn’t make a whole lot of sense! Add to that his unexpectedly deep voice and tendency to step away from the microphone and turn to look behind him during the performance, and we’ve got an Internet hit! We love Chocolate Rain, and so does the world. TV shows like 30 Rock, SpongeBob Squarepants and of course, South Park, have all referenced this epic song.
7. Bed Intruder
One of my favorite categories of viral videos has to be funny interviews on live news. That’s exactly what we were treated to with “Bed Intruder”, an Internet sensation that was first brought to us in 2010, courtesy of WAFF-48 News in Huntsville, Alabama (thank you!) The interview features Antoine Dodson, explaining a particularly horrid sequence of events. A home intruder made his way into Dodson’s sisters’ bed during the night, and attempted to rape her. Hearing her screams, Antoine ran to his sisters’ room and fought off the culprit. He would later send out a threatening message to “bed intruder” via the local news, which went viral. Striking while the iron was hot, the Dodson family created a very catchy R&B/hip-hop style remix that was loved and viewed by millions. The remix became the most popular video on YouTube for the year 2010.
6. Double Rainbow
“Double Rainbow” is the viral video that was made famous in 2010, when Jimmy Kimmel posted it to Twitter and declared it “the funniest video in the world”. Within days, the video had been viewed over 1 million times. It features one Paul “Bear” Vasquez, flipping out (we could accurately say, tripping out) over a double rainbow that he witnesses from his front yard, in close proximity to Yosemite National Park. The self-proclaimed spiritually saavy Vasquez equated his excitement to celestial symbolism and signs from spirits. I can totally appreciate that. The video has hit almost 50 million views and of course, in true Internet fashion, it was turned into a viral song by the Gregory Brothers shortly after rising to fame.
5. Star Wars Kid
Star Wars Kid remains one of the most-viewed YouTube videos, with over 1 billion views since its 2002 debut. Unfortunately, this video comes with a sad side-story. 15-year-old Canadian high school student Ghyslain Raza uploaded a video of himself simulating scenes from the film Star Wars: Episode 1- The Phantom Menace. He never intended the video to be seen by so many people, and was subsequently the target of Internet trolls and bullies. He was so perturbed by some of the negative comments he received that he had to seek out psychological help. Furthermore, kids at his school bullied him, which resulted in his parents filing a lawsuit against the families’ of four schoolmates. Instead of cashing in on his 20 minutes of fame (which Raza claimed was at the expense of mockery) he chose instead to become an advocate for bullying. Hero!
4. Gangnam Style
Gangnam Style is a Korean song and music video by artist Psy. Released in July, 2012, it became the first video on YouTube to reach 1 billion views. The video is creeping upwards to 3 billion views as of January, 2017, and famously surpassed Justin Bieber‘s “Baby” video, which was the previous record-holder for most views. The catchy pop hit, coupled with a fun dance, is pretty much universally known. The dance has been performed by sports figures, politicians and actors since its rise to fame in 2012, primarily to raise awareness for various social and political organizations and causes. Psy has single-handedly advanced the “Korean Wave” with his catchy beats. He has enjoyed unprecedented fame and fortune in the aftermath, and Gangnam Style remains the top YouTube video of all time.
3. Miss Teen USA South Carolina
This train wreck clip of the Miss Teen USA pageant in 2007 is as uncomfortable to watch today as it was a decade ago. The video, which features Miss South Carolina responding to a question about Americans’ inability to point out the United States on a world map, goes from bad to worse…and fast. It’s incredible that host Mario Lopez didn’t lose his composure right there on stage. The beauty queen uncomfortably fumbled on her words, throwing in South Africa and Iraq for good measure, and ultimately didn’t win the title of Miss Teen USA. The video did attract quite a lot of attention, however. The video has been watched over 65 million times, and Caitlin Upton (Miss South Carolina) enjoyed some modelling gigs with Wrangler, Seventeen magazine and Cosmo Girl. She was a contestant on The Amazing Race 16, and currently earns a living as a real estate agent.
2. Susan Boyle
In 2009, Scottish lady and singer Susan Boyle appeared on an episode of Britain’s Got Talent. Her unpolished look and modest attitude was a shocking contrast to her amazing singing abilities, which ultimately led her to become an Internet sensation. The YouTube clip of her initial performance has been viewed over 200 million times, and she has since launched a successful singing career, releasing several albums and going on tour. Her career highlight has been performing for the Queen at Windsor Castle for the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. She has been signed to both Sony and Columbia records, and now boasts an incredible $35 million net worth. This is definitely a case of unexpected success. A gold-hearted Boyle is using her good fortune to help others. She has donated a ton of her earnings to charity and is an ambassador for Save The Children UK.
1. Afro Ninja
To end our list, who doesn’t remember Afro Ninja?! This viral video first hit YouTube in 2006, and has been viewed over 17 million times. The 18-second video showcases Mark Harris, aka Afro Ninja, attempting some ninja moves and … failing badly. Many enthusiasts consider this one of the original viral videos that has achieved classic status. The original account responsible for the upload, Airmoney, hasn’t had any activity in over a decade. According to sources, Mark Harris is a reputed stuntman who has worked on many popular films. He is also an actor who has had roles in ER, Crossing Jordan and Banshee. Afro Ninja goes down as one of the most iconic, vine-style clips.