2010 - 2020: All The Dumb Trends The Internet Fell For This Decade
Ah the internet, the gift that keeps on giving.
As we edge closer to the end of the decade, for many it's a time to reflect on all that we as a society have achieved in the past 10 years.
But, unfortunately, it can also bring up those ~ somewhat lesser ~ achievements that we kind of wish would just remain buried in the past where they belong.
The Internet, however, never forgets.
So as we say goodbye to the 2010s, at 10 daily we're dusting off our internet browser histories and taking a look back at the trends that went viral, from the food to the fashion to the downright bizarre, and of course to all those viral dance tunes we thought we'd never have to get stuck in our heads again (here's looking at you, Harlem Shake.)
Bed Intruder Song
The bed intruder song and the news interview that started it all may have happened all the way back in 2010 at the very start of the decade, but it remains one of the most memorable viral videos of all time.
In an era before Vine and TikTok, Antoine Dodson's iconic interview from a Lincoln Park housing project spawned a Billboard-making hit that still gets stuck in people's heads and a meme that has withstood the test of time.
The origin of the meme is actually much darker than the catchy bed intruder song had many believing. Dodson was actually being interviewed about an intruder who had allegedly broken into his sister's bedroom and attempted to sexually assault her.
"We got your T-shirt, you left your fingerprints in there, you are so dumb, you are really dumb," Dodson told the camera in the original interview.
"Y'all need to hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husbands, 'cos they're raping everybody out here," he also warned viewers.
The interview, which was remixed into a song by the Gregory Brothers and went viral on Youtube, amassing more than 140 million hits, was also later bought thousands of times on iTunes.
Dodson shot to fame and even released a couple of solo songs and starred in a few commercials after the clip went viral.
While you could be forgiven for not knowing or simply forgetting some viral internet sensations over the years, especially with the multitude of different platforms they now appear on, we can almost guarantee everyone had the Harlem Shake stuck in their head for a decent portion of 2013.
The origin of the dance actually goes back decades but, in 2013, American DJ Baauer recorded the song entitled "Harlem Shake' which sampled the 2001 hit "Miller Time" in its vocal "do the Harlem shake" and thus began one of the most viral dance challenges of all time.
People across the globe jumped on the Harlem Shake bandwagon, recording themselves in a myriad of different locations, from schools to nursing homes, to snowfields and underwater in pools doing the challenge.
The videos usually started off with one person doing the dance in a crowded location while everyone else in the shot goes about their business before the beat suddenly drops and everyone joins in doing ... well absolutely anything.
If you've forgotten how it looks or are particularly keen to get the techno beat stuck in your head for another decade, you can check out the THOUSANDS of compilation vids made from across the globe on YouTube.
In November 2016, it seemed like everyone was doing the mannequin challenge and the hashtag #mannequinchallenge trended across social media.
The challenge saw large groups of people standing, frozen (i.e. like mannequins) while the camera moved around them.
Rae Sremmurd's song "Black Beatles" was the song of choice for the hundreds of thousands who took part across the world.
With every catchy song, apparently comes an even catchier internet trend.
The Running Man challenge was started by two US university basketball players who did the running man dance to the classic '90s hit "My Boo" by Ghost Town Djs.
Now, more than three years later, we still can't hear that song without doing the dance in our heads.
In my feelings challenge
Taking over as the dance challenge craze of the year in 2018 was the 'In My Feelings' challenge, set to the tune of Drake's hit of the same name.
Tens of thousands of shared videos of themselves doing the challenge online. It often involved people jumping out of a slow-moving car and walking alongside the vehicle, while doing a set of moves to the song's chorus "kiki do you love me."
Drake capitalised on the challenge as well, later using a compilation of the videos in the credits of his official music video to the song.
This is one where you can either do the move perfectly or you can't do it at all.
Flossing involves swinging your arms from the back to the front of your body on each side while almost moving your hips. Literally an interpretive dance of how dental floss works, if you really think about it.
- Shoot dancing
- Hit the woah
- The git up
- whip and nae nae
Viral FOod Challenges
Before we go any further, let us start by saying that there were simply too many viral food challenges to list in the last decade, so we've picked some of the biggest (and dumbest).
The cinnamon challenge had been around before the turn of the decade but picked up popularity again in 2012.
The premise of the challenge is simple, the goal was to video yourself eating a spoonful of ground cinnamon in less than 60 seconds without drinking anything... and then, of course, upload the video online.
The results were at times funny and at others downright terrifying, with people inevitably choking, going into coughing fits or vomiting. Some even reportedly ended up in hospital.
According to the LA times, within the first three months of 2012, the US poisons centre received more than 100 calls for help related to people doing the challenge.
But if you thought the cinnamon challenge of 2012 was the dumbest thing the internet could come up with this decade, 2018 set a whole new benchmark.
We almost didn't want to include this one because, frankly, it's still perplexing how this became a thing... but here we are.
In 2018, teens began filming themselves doing the 'tide pod challenge' a trend which involved biting into a laundry detergent capsule, filming it and posting it on social media.
While a lot of the memes shared around the challenge mocked those who were willing to try it, many, inexplicably, still did it anyway.
It prompted urgent health alerts from authorities about the risk of poisoning and even a warning from the brand Tide who sells the pods.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in the first three weeks of 2018 authorities dealt with 86 cases of teens intentionally exposed to a liquid laundry packet.
"We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is to the health of individuals —it can lead to a seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death," they said in a statement.
This one was as funny as it was inexplicable. People across the world shared videos of themselves flinging processed cheese onto the faces of their babies and later also their pets.
A similar trend also saw people stack cheerios on their sleeping baby's face while they slept.
- Chubby Bunny
- The gallon of milk challenge
- Mentos and Coke challenge
- Banana and Sprite challenge
In the early years of the decade, planking was all the rage. The relatively simple challenge meant people just had to get a photo of themselves laying face down, feet together, arms by their sides on some sort of surface.
Of course, the more extreme the environment the plank was done in, the 'better'.
There have been a few fatal cases over the years where people have reportedly fallen to their death from balconies after attempting a plank, and while it's not as popular as it once was, every now and then #planking still surfaces.
Shortly after planking became 'the' challenge to do, cone-ing also started gaining popularity.
The challenge involves driving up to a McDonald's drive-thru and ordering an ice cream but only grabbing the ice cream part and leaving the cone in the hand of the staff member at the window.
The challenge was a literal mess and we can't think of how many soft serves went to waste.
~ Everyone ~ has tried the bottle flip challenge at some point. Whether you were game enough to do it in front of a crowd or tried it by yourself at home, the bottle flip challenge looks deceptively simple but the feeling of exhilaration when you get it right never fails.
The challenge involves flipping a bottle of water or other drink 360 degrees to have it land back facing the right way up.
Thousands have shared videos of bottle flip fails or successes and they've only gotten more and more creative over time.
Honourable Mention: Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge was probably one of the most viral challenges and internet trends of the decade. But while thousands took part across the globe, the trend was about something much more important than a simple viral video.
The challenge involved dumping a bucket of ice water over someone's head and was brought about to raise awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease which causes nerve cells to break down and reduce the functionality of muscles.
Thousands across the globe took part, including celebrities, many of whom kept the trend going by challenging others to take part and donating to research for ALS.
Sadly, Pete Frates who helped inspire the ice bucket challenge, died earlier this month after battling the disease for more than seven years.
The Challenges That Actually Hurt People
Kylie Jenner lip challenge
The Kardashian-Jenner clan have been a source of inspiration for many young people around the world for more than a decade, especially when it comes to fashion and beauty.
But young fans trying to get the Kylie Jenner look took it to the next level a few years back when they invented the #kyliejennerchallenge.
The trend saw teens inserting their lips into a small shot glass or jar then sucking out the air to create a vacuum in order to plump up their lips.
But many ended up with serious bruises and torn skin prompting even Kylie herself to intervene, telling fans that it was not the message she wanted to send to young girls.
"I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF and not be afraid to experiment w [sic] your look," she tweeted at the time.
There's been a few condom challenges over the years, so you'd be forgiven for confusing them.
One, for example, involved snorting a condom through the nose and into the back of the throat while another involved filling a condom with water and dropping it onto a person's head.
Needless to say, people could have choked or suffocated in both variations and we're glad to leave this one behind in the 2010s.
Salt and ice challenge
The salt and ice challenge saw people pour salt on various parts of their bodies and then place ice over the same area and try to withstand the burning sensation -- described as similar to frostbite -- for as long as possible.
People who took part in the challenge reportedly experienced second and third-degree burns, skin discoloration and nerve damage.
This one is just downright gross. The pimple popping challenge included anything from people comparing the largest pimples to thousands tuning in to watch reaction videos of others watching pimple popping, usually entitled 'try not to vomit'.
- Duct tape challenge
- Fire challenge
- Boiling water challenge
After all that, we can only imagine what the internet has in store for us in the decade to come (but please, kids, just put down the tide pods).