Top 10 viral hits of 2012

Who doesn’t love a good viral hit – at least for the first week? I’ve collated some of the biggest into this list, in no particular order.

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
On a sunny March day in South Carolina, Zeddie Little was participating in the Cooper River Bridge run when his picture was snapped by Will King. Will put Zeddie’s photo onto Flickr, and then Reddit where it received more than 40,000 upvotes.

The photo quickly became meme fodder

And Zeddie ran his way into hearts across the world.

Ecce Homo – aka Potato Jesus
Now to the polar opposite of Ridiculously Photogenic Guy: A century-old painting of Jesus was restored by an elderly woman, but comes out of it looking like a potato.

Yeah. It was only a matter of time before this happened:


Grumpy cat
What would a top 10 viral list be without an entry about a cat? This one is a cat named Tardar Sauce, who is the unhappiest looking cat you’ll ever see.

Instant viral hit.

Bonus: Here is a video of grumpy cat being patted:

Overly Attached Girlfriend
Meet Laina. She likes you. She really, really likes you.

It all started with this video, which includes the lyrics “If I was your girlfriend, I’d never let you leave without a small recording device taped under your sleeve.“

Which quickly spawned a huge Overly Attached Girlfriend meme!

This grew into Misunderstood Girlfriend


Laina’s now done deals with large companies to capitalise on her new-found viral fame. Here’s something she did with Samsung…

You can follow her on Twitter here:


Dog shaming

2012 was the year we called our dogs out for their terrible behaviour. Dogshaming started as a tumblr in August with this photo:


And grew…

And grew!

Kony 2012
The Invisible Children wanted to create a project to focus the world’s attention on capturing African rebel leader Joseph Kony. And boy, did they do that and then some.

If you haven’t seen the video they made, click here.

It’s unusual that a half-hour video would viral, but that it did – nearly 7 million views in 16 days on Vimeo, and 43 million views in 72 hours on YouTube.

Almost immediately, a bunch of celebrities came out in support of the project, #StopKONY became a global trending topic on Twitter, and a critical Tumblr was launched to point out some of the issues with the video and Invisible Children. Debate raged over Kony, what governments should do, and the nature of the Invisible Children organisation

In March, one of Invisible Children’s co-founders was taken into police custody after he started running around San Diego naked, drunk, masturbating and screaming. The incident quickly spawned its own meme.

Kony is still at large.


Gangnam Style
The number one most-watched clip on YouTube, causing Beliebers everywhere major heartbreak, is now Gangnam Style, by K-Pop act, Psy.

At the time of writing, the video has 884 million views, and has spawned a “horse riding dance”.

It’s this generation’s Macarena.

Somebody I Used to Know
Featuring our own Kimbra, Goye’s Somebody That I Used to Know rocketed up the charts.

It spawned this amazing version, featuring five people playing the one guitar

…Got historical

…And even the Queen got amongst it

Call Me Maybe
I just met you, and this is crazy. Here’s the video, watch it, maybe?

Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit was technically released in 2011, but didn’t become a viral hit until Justin Bieber, Selena Gomex and Ashley Tisdale released their lip dub tribute in February.

Someone cut a Barack Obama version

As well as the memes and videos, the song even inspired a range of business cards.


The Tug Doctor
This one goes out to TV show Target’s carpet cleaner, who spent more time making a mess than cleaning it.

Naturally, the episode set Twitter on fire:

  • “Let’s not be too judgemental until we see what sort of job he’s done on the carpets” cautioned Mike McRoberts
  • “Newton’s Third Law Carpet Cleaning Service. Take a stain, leave a stain.” quipped Ana Coffey
  • “When are we going to find out what score this guy gets out of 10?” enquired @yvettevy
  • “He vacuumed for twice as long as he masturbated. Good effort.” tweeted Chris Brain
  • “Target can I get [that] dudes number? Three times AND he cleaned the carpet? More stamina than most guys I know!” asked Jen Zindel

And the clip prompted this golden video reaction


So those are some of the biggest viral hits of 2012 – here’s to 2013!


One Reply to “Top 10 viral hits of 2012”

  1. I like how the phone number is obscured on the business card, but no one bothered about the fax number because no one has a fax machine to prank fax anyone.

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