Internet Trends of 2014: A Look Back
We're consciously uncoupling from the ice bucket challenge while taking a belfie as we write this
Kim Kardashian threatened to break the Internet in 2014, but the republic still stands, and is perhaps even strengthened, tempered by fire (hot belfies) and ice ( bucket challenges).
As we wind down on this, our year of years, let’s take a look back (in no particular order) at some of the things that captured the Internet’s attention – and held on for dear life – in 2014.
Ellen’s Oscar Selfie
Boy, everyone had a version of this floating around, didn’t they? Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan, The Simpsons even Doge got in on the fun. It was also Twitter’s highest-performing tweet of 2014, which … well, that’s a hell of a thing.
The Ice Bucket Challenge
When we first reported on the ice bucket challenge on Aug. 11, we had no idea we’d still be writing about it through October. There were crimes; people died. It was crazy.
Nick Jonas’s New Look
‘Let It Go’ Refused to Let Go
Between Two Ferns
Zach Galifianakis’s cringe-tastic web series had been going for a while by the time he brought President Obama on the show in March, but the president’s appearance boosted the show’s profile. So by the time Brad Pitt showed up in October, the stakes were raised. Galifianakis responded accordingly, laying withering insults about every aspect of Pitt’s life on the actor: He even managed to mispronounce Pitt’s new movie Fury as “Furry.”
Alex from Target
Sure, he turned out to be an elaborate hoax, but we all wanted to believe, didn’t we? Didn’t we??
Lip-Syncing (Celebrity and Otherwise)
Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton. Emma Stone (whose segment on The Tonight Show is the show’s highest-rated YouTube clip.) Daniel Radcliffe. Even regular folks made it big on the Internet in 2014 by lip-syncing to popular songs.
“Happy” in sign language. “Happy” at a retirement community. Everyone loved “Happy,” and everyone wanted to be a part of Pharrell’s inescapable hit. (To be fair, he did encourage people to make their own version.) It wasn’t all sunshine and large hats, though: Apparently several Iranians were jailed over their version.
Kim Kardashian‘s belfie may have been the first, but the craze didn’t really pick up until Jen Selter, a 20-year-old New Yorker, elevated the belfie to an art form, both on her Instagram and in the pages of Vanity Fair. Even Kelly Ripa got in on the act, though we advise you to not follow her lead and send your belfie – albeit accidentally in her case – to your in-laws.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin‘s separation – and more to the point, their specific term for their separation – became one of the most meme-ified (and mocked) moments of 2014. It made us want to consciously uncouple from the Internet for a few days, frankly.
Space had a big 2014. Gravity‘s awards show cleanup started the year, and Interstellar‘s vision of the far-out world is finishing things out. Meanwhile, the revived television show Cosmos kept its narrator, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, super-popular on Twitter and Reddit; and the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything renewed online interest in the physicist’s work. Hawking even got to make fun of John Oliver.
Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!