From Ice Bucket Challenge to Kim Kardashian: Hashtags and memes that tried to break Internet in 2014
Thank you Kim Kardashian.
Because of the reality star and her naked backside, we heard the phrase “break the Internet” more than we would have imagined in 2014. Of course, no one thing actually “broke” it, but here are 10 of the memes and hashtags that tried:
1. Kim Kardashian’s Paper magazine cover
Of course we have to start with this one, but what is really left to say? She did her booty duty by posing nude and oiled on the cover. What followed was an embarrassment of meme riches, with the “peach emoji booty” being one of the most innocent.
2. The Solange/Jay Z/Beyonce elevator incident
It was the fight watched ’round the world.
Video of superstar rapper Jay Z being pummeled by his sister-in-law, singer and fashionista Solange Knowles in an elevator gave birth to sooooo many memes. Some were funny, some were rude, but all were creative.
3. It’s none of Kermit’s business
Kermit loves his tea. This meme was all about the world’s most famous Muppet offering snarky social commentary while sipping his beverage and ending with the line “But that’s none of my business.”
This social media campaign got started in response to postings by Elliot Rodger, who went on killing spree in Isla Vista, California, in May. His anger toward women sparked the hashtag women used to share their stories and thoughts on violence and misogyny.
5. Ice Bucket Challenge
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge very quickly raised more than $100 million and awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Hundreds of celebs and thousands of nonfamous folks posted videos of themselves being doused for the cause.
According to Google, there were more than 90 million searches for the term in August. #IceBucketChallenge was everywhere from Twitter to Instagram and Facebook.
Alex Lee was just your typical 16-year-old working a part-time job at Target when a picture of him went viral after it was tweeted thanks to his handsome visage. Quicker than you could say “Internet sensation,” the kid was everywhere. Based on a New York Times profile, he seems to have taken it all in stride.
The hashtag has exploded since the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin and the more recent deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner after encounters with police officers. It’s helped lead the online discussion of race relations in America.
8. Things Tim Howard could save
Howard performed magnificently during the USA-Belgium World Cup match and his goalie skills inspired memes listing other things he could save. The U.S. team may not have won the World Cup, but Howard definitely won the internet.
9. Nude celeb hack
Months before the now famous Sony hack, celebrities such as actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton had to deal with their iCloud accounts being compromised and personal photos disseminated. The FBI quickly got on the case, but not before the world had seen way more of some stars than they ever anticipated. Many of the memes aren’t suitable for work, but they are out there for you to peruse after you clock out.
After a mechanical space traveler called the Philae probe landed on a comet in November, the Internet started theorizing about other things that are surely easier to accomplish than a comet landing but aren’t happening. The jokes were endless but, seriously, why can’t you order breakfast at McDonald’s after 10:30 a.m.?
So many of the suggestions made total sense and we co-signed many of them, except “#WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant UnCat the Internet.” Because honestly, the Internet was made for cat memes.