Ready, set, spotlight! Meet the shooting stars of the Internet in 2016, including Barbie Mom Nannette Hammond, the 'It's Poppin' lady Michelle Dobyne and hot vet Dr. Evan Antin.
How ‘bout them apples? UFC fighter Sage Northcutt tweeted a video of himself ripping an apple in half with his bare hands November 29 and encouraged users to do the same, using the hashtag #SuperSage. The video caught Chrissy Teigen’s eye as she pleaded with her Twitter followers: "Please someone, I need #supersage to rip open an apple as he says happy birthday to me. It's all I want.” Northcutt obliged, sending her a personalized video on her November 30 birthday.
After Vine star Nick Mastodon posted a video of his nephew Gavin’s hilarious reaction to a Gecko on his head, the post quickly went viral and various popular meme accounts began using the image of the young boy’s distressed face as a symbol for everyday situations. Gavin has caught the attention of numerous celebrities, including Olympian Simone Biles, who wrote: “There is a Gavin meme for everything.”
Thanks to his unique makeup tutorials, 17-year-old James Charles amassed 1 million Instagram followers and more than 385,000 YouTube subscribers in the past year. The high school student went viral after posting on social media about retaking his yearbook photos because he didn’t like the way his makeup highlighter looked in the shots — so, naturally, he brought his own light to the next set. Among many fans of the post, Zendaya retweeted his tweet with the comment, “You win.”
Andrew Fox had the perfect plan: take his girlfriend Heather Terwilliger to a baseball game, tell her to look at the Jumbotron and then propose to her in front of thousands of screaming fans. Fox’s major foul: He dropped the ring. The couple and others seated near them frantically searched for the ring — and eventually found it in the cuff of Terwilliger's pants.
McKell Harding took advantage of her infant son’s uncanny resemblance to Eric Stonestreet by dressing him as the actor’s Modern Family character Cam for a Halloween party. After Harding tweeted the photo, it quickly went viral — and even got a stamp of approval from Stonestreet himself. He replied: "Okay. This is GREAT.”
George Papageorgiou went viral after a photo of him reading during Beyonce’s Formation Tour show in Raleigh appeared online in May 2016. Papageorgiou later told ABC11 Eyewitness that he was working concessions at the show and pulled up a chair after he was finished. “After a while, we watch the show,” he said. “It was OK, and then we just sat down. I pulled up my book and started reading.”
The Australian fitness blogger made headlines in March 2016 after she posted a picture of her pregnant belly next to her friend’s baby bump when they were both 21 weeks along. The photo went viral for revealing the staggering differences in pregnant bodies. “Each women carries different and this most certainly doesn't mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy etc,” she wrote alongside the photo. “We both have healthy growing babies & we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing & full of energy.”
A dad named Chris “Burr” Martin went viral in June 2016 after he started recreating his daughter’s sexy selfies instead of telling her to stop. The 47-year-old father rocks crop tops, wears eyeliner and does the duck pout to hilariously mimic his daughter’s sultry snaps. “My dad is a huge comedian in the family so when he did the pictures it was a huge laugh,” his daughter told Us in an exclusive interview. “The funniest reaction I get is from people my age hoping their parents don't know how to work the internet so they can't jump [on] the trend my dad has started.”
A Capital One customer service rep named Tonya’s act of kindness went viral in September 2016 after customer Christina Grady shared her story on Facebook. According to Grady, her card got shut off for suspicious activity after she started ordering furniture to a new address after her fiancé dumped her. “I called and explained to this awesome woman, Tonya, that my fiancé had broken up with me and I'd moved. She was like, ‘Girl, I am giving you 4,500 free miles. Go on vacation. Take so many pictures of yourself all happy and post them all over that Instagram.’ 5 days later, my ex texts, ‘Someone sent you flowers to my house,’” Grady wrote in a post. “‘Who would be so bold?’ I think. He let me pick them up while he was at work. I open the card, TONYA KYY905 Capital One!!! She sent me flowers! To my ex fiancé's house in a sealed card!!!!!!”
Chewbacca Mom, aka Candace Payne, went viral after she posted a Facebook video of herself laughing while wearing a mask of the Star Wars character in May 2016. During an appearance on Good Morning America, the busy mom explained that she had 30 minutes to kill before she picked up her kids, and figured it was the only time she’d have to play with the mask herself.
Mom of five Nannette Hammond may have seemed like an average stay-at-home mom, with one big exception: The Cincinnati resident made headlines in March 2016 after revealing she had spent $500,000 on plastic surgery to look like a human Barbie doll. “Parents can think what they want and say what they want about my appearance, but it doesn’t bother me,” Hammond, 42 at the time, told News Dog Media. "I’ve taught my children to rise above it.”
A handsome veterinarian based in Thousand Oaks, California, experienced viral fame in January 2016, after his Instagram account was spotlighted by BuzzFeed. The snaps featured on Antin's account included pics of himself cuddling his sweet pawed patents, including cats, dogs and sometimes scaled visitors.
The saddest of Sunday dinners! Kenneth Harmon, a grandfather of six from Oklahoma, became a viral sensation after his granddaughter Kelsey Harmon tweeted a March 2016 photo from one particularly solemn meal. Kenneth had prepared a feast for his beloved grandkids, but only one showed up to eat. "Dinner with papaw tonight … he made 12 burgers for all 6 grandkids and I'm the only one who showed. love him," Kelsey tweeted, collectively breaking hearts across the internet. However, the entire situation turned out to be a big misunderstanding and the grandkids eventually gathered for a quality family meal the following weekend.
Plunge that. An attractive young woman who shared her harrowing tale of going to the bathroom on a date experienced viral fame after she live-tweeted the ridiculous experience in March 2016. The story began with the tweet, "I have a story to tell. It is about my poop," and included icky details about how the toilet didn't flush after she went back to her date's place. So, she did what any girl would do and "removed the one poop from the toilet" and "put it in my purse."
Such a star! A woman became an overnight sensation in January 2016, after giving an amazing interview to a TV reporter following a fire at her Oklahoma home. Dobyne's account of the events were rather upbeat for someone who had just risked a scary life event. According to Dobyne, a friend came to her door and said: "'Hey, something's wrong, it's poppin!' I said, 'Whaaa?' She said, 'Yeah!' I said, 'Naw.'" The rest was history.
The most adorable acrobat! A 3-year-old gymnastics prodigy named Emma became an instant hit on the internet after her amazing talent was featured online. She subsequently appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in April 2016, where she showed off her gymnastics skills that would make the U.S. women's team coo with jealousy.
A California teen named Josh filmed a video of himself reacting to his friend Daniel's shoes, and stitched the Snapchats into one video on Twitter in February 2016. The result birthed a viral sensation that became known across the Web as "Damn, Daniel!" after garnering millions of views and retweets. The term in 2016 is complimentary, meaning something along the lines of "you've got swag."
The talent in kids these days! A young boy in Melbourne, Australia, went viral in January 2016, after he was caught on camera eating an entire watermelon … including the rind. The little one was later identified as the son of host Tony Schibeci, who joked about his son's claim to fame. "It’s been a big night for @watermelonboyau #watermelonboy,” Schibeci wrote alongside a pic of his son gnawing on the rind. “Time for sleep.”
What an act! Danish TV station TV2's Sports Center's March 2016 interview with a man at the baggage claim section of an airport went viral after eagle-eyed viewers noticed that a woman had mysteriously disappeared on camera. In the clip, the woman stands with her arms crossed and seemingly disappeared on live TV as another woman strolls right past her. Then, she's gone.
Top that, Grumpy Cat! A woman named Jordan Alexander went viral in March 2016 after a photo of her stern face on Disney's beloved ride at the Anaheim, California, park went viral. The mom of one, however, told Us Weekly in an interview that there was a good explanation for her face: She was making fun of her husband, who refused to get on the ride at the last minute. “I wanted to look grumpy. So I saw the flash and I looked over and I had no idea if I was still making the face," she told Us. "But once I got off the ride, I saw the photo and I knew he was going to die seeing it.”
The U.S. Women's Gymnastics team, including team members MyKayla Skinner, Maggie Nichols and Madison Kocian, enjoyed internet fame after their grueling (yet incredibly inspiring!) training regimen was documented in an advertisement for Under Armour and released in Feburary 2016.