Enter Details

Comment on stories, receive email newsletters & alerts.

This is your permanent identity for Business Insider Australia
Your email must be valid for account activation
Minimum of 8 standard keyboard characters


Email newsletters but will contain a brief summary of our top stories and news alerts.

Forgotten Password

Enter Details

Back to log in

30 things that made the internet explode in 2015

Drake hotline blingApple MusicDrake in the ‘Hotline Bling’ music video.

Anytime something funny or noteworthy happened this year, you can bet the internet had already gif’ed, meme’d, and tweeted all about it.

We looked back and rounded up the moments from 2015 that sent us into tweetstorms, from Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video to Zayn leaving One Direction to #TheDress that’s either black and blue or white and gold.

Read on to relive all the times the internet nearly exploded this year.

When 'Left Shark' was the real winner of the Super Bowl.

P Photo/David J. Phillip

Katy Perry performed 'California Gurls' at the Super Bowl in February among a sea of beach-themed backup dancers, but it was the awkward dance moves of the shark to her left that stole the show. Appropriately dubbed 'Left Shark,' the dancer's apathetic movements quickly caught fire on social media, inspiring meme after meme and becoming the most talked about moment of the show.

When the New York Times Magazine asked if we would go back in time to kill baby Hitler.

In October, the New York Times Magazine posted the results of a survey in which readers answered the question 'If you could go back and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it?' True to form, Twitter exploded with jokes about the ridiculousness of the question and 'Baby Hitler' became a trending topic. Some laughed off the inquiry, while others criticised the ethical implications it raised.

Even presidential candidates weighted in: Jeb Bush would do it, but Ben Carson would pass.

When no one could agree on what colour this dress is.


Is it black and blue? Or white and gold? No one could agree on the colour of a striped lace dress posted by Tumblr user swiked and picked up by BuzzFeed. The raging debate shook the internet, seemingly ending friendships and tearing apart families as #whiteandgold became the top trending topic on Twitter. Everyone had an opinion, including stars like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian West, and the dress became one of the most meme'd events of the year.

When Kanye decided to run for president after giving a bizarre speech at the VMAs.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

While accepting the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in August, Kanye West went off on a 12-minute rant that ended with him announcing plans to run for president in 2020. The bizarre speech touched on some important points about creativity and the music industry, but its sheer length, lack of organisation, and surprise ending left viewers in 'what just happened?' shock.

When Justin Bieber and James Corden had a car ride karaoke session.

(video provider='youtube' id='Dx06c0ZEBMk' size='xlarge' align='center')

In a segment on The Late Late Show, host James Corden sang karaoke with Justin Bieber in his car, blasting all the singer's past hits, including 'Baby' and 'Boyfriend.' Fans ate it up and the performance became one of YouTube's top trending videos of the year. It was such a hit that Bieber even returned for a second car ride where the pair sang 'Never Say Never' and covered Alanis Morisette's 'Ironic.'

When Zayn Malik left One Direction.


One Direction fans got the shock of a lifetime when band member Zayn Malik announced his departure from the group via Facebook in March. Though 1D forged onward, many fans were heartbroken by the news and lashed out on Twitter, which of course paved the way for endless jokes about the news as well.

Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by Zayn Malik.

When Caitlyn Jenner joined Twitter.

Getty Images

Following her official debut on the cover of Vanity Fair in June, Caitlyn Jenner -- formerly Bruce Jenner -- entered the world of social media by joining Twitter and Facebook. She immediately tweeted out the cover, and within four hours had amassed over a million followers, shattering Barack Obama's record for the fasted time to reach one million.

When 'dad bod' took the world by storm.

Originally coined by Clemson sophomore Mackenzie Peterson in an article for The Odyssey, 'dad bod' describes guys whose physique strikes a 'nice balance between a beer gut and working out.'

Dad bod became the body type du jour this year, inspired by celebrities like Jason Segel and Chris Pratt circa 'Parks and Recreation,' giving men everywhere a reason to stop hitting the gym, order more takeout, and embrace a pudgier middle.

When everyone was captivated by a rat who just wanted some pizza.

(video provider='youtube' id='UPXUG8q4jKU' size='xlarge' align='center')

In September, a video of a rat hauling a slice of pepperoni pizza down the stairs of a New York City subway station went viral, proving once again that people go crazy for pizza and animals. The craze quickly wore off, but not before inspiring a trove of memes and an official Pizza Rat Twitter account.

At the end of the day, we are all pizza rat.

When Nicki Minaj called out Miley Cyrus at the VMAs.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After accepting the award for best hip-hop video at the MTV Video Music Awards in August, Nicki Minaj called out host Miley Cyrus for comments she made about Minaj during an interview with the New York Times. Her pointed 'Miley, what's good?' line instantly became a meme and left fans trolling Cyrus with the soundbite for weeks to come.

(video provider='youtube' id='IrVx6vSUfS4' size='xlarge' align='center')

When One Direction announced an indefinite hiatus so the guys could pursue solo projects.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

After five years, five albums, and losing a member, One Direction announced in August that they'd be taking an indefinite hiatus in 2016 to pursue their own projects. Fans went crazy, plastering Twitter with reaction memes and starting the trending hashtag #OneDirectionIsBreakingUpParty. Cue all the 'going in different directions' jokes.

When everyone went crazy for Poot Lovato -- except Demi Lovato.

When an unflattering and nearly unrecognizable photo of singer Demi Lovato was uploaded to Tumblr with the caption 'Demi's twin sister. She was locked in a basement her whole life. This picture was taken the first time she went outside. Her name is Poot,' earlier this year, fans snarkily clung to the story, creating a Twitter account, a Wikipedia entry, and an entire backstory for Poot on self-publishing site Wattpad. Poot even earned a spot on Time's list of the most influential fictional characters of 2015.

However, Lovato herself was less than pleased with the viral meme, and fired off a few angry tweets about Poot.

When Jon Snow (might have) died on Game of Thrones.


In June, Game of Thrones fans had a collective meltdown on Twitter following the unexpected death of beloved character Jon Snow after a mutinous attack by his Night's Watch brothers in the fifth season finale. However, despite how much some fans erupted over his murder, a strong cadre of others refuse to believe he's dead at all.

When Justin Bieber cried at the VMAs.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards saw no shortage of memorable moments, including Justin Bieber breaking down in tears following his performance of 'What Do You Mean?' Viewers stared -- perplexed -- as it happened, and Bieber later attributed his tears to the wave of enthusiasm he's received for his new album. 'I just wasn't expecting them to support me in the way that they did. Last time I was at an award show, I was booed,' he told Jimmy Fallon.

When no one could stop watching that 'Why You Always Lying?' video.

(Instagram) Everybody knows that one person that's always lying on what they own #youdonthaveanyofthat #whyyoualwayslying #ididsomethingtoyou #whyyougottalie #youwearthatsameshiteveryday #thatsaboldasslie #ithoughtwewasbrostoo #comedy #jokes #DowngoesFraser

A video posted by NicK Fraser???? (@downgoes.fraser) on Aug 28, 2015 at 5:22pm PDT

Easily the catchiest Vine of the year, Nicholas Fraser's 'Why You Always Lying?' video (Instagram) garnered over 12 million views and countless spin-offs. The internet was quick to apply the line to all situations and the video became so popular that posting just a photo Fraser's face is now synonymous with catching someone in a lie.

When Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up.

ABC/Andrea McCallin

The Muppets returned to TV this year with a new 'reality' show, and with it came some shocking news: Not only did Kermit and Miss Piggy officially break up, but Kermit is already dating someone new. Fans were less than thrilled about Kermit's new, much younger girlfriend, Denise, and took to Twitter to express their indignation. Team Piggy all the way.

When Adele's new album broke record after record.


She's back. With a simple 'Hello,' Adele released her first album in four years in November, setting crazy new sales records in the process.

'25' shattered *NSYNC's previously held first-week sales record of 2.42 million copies after it hit the three million mark in even less time. To date, the record has sold more copies in the US than any other album since Adele's last release in 2011, and it's holding strong at the top of the Billboard 200. Her first single, 'Hello,' became a veritable earworm, and fans can't get enough, earning her dozens of spoofs and a nod on Saturday Night Live.

When everyone wanted to know what are thoooooose?

(video provider='youtube' id='IK0t38Al4_E' size='xlarge' align='center')

The meme of the summer, 'What are thoooooooose?' originated from a video by Snapchat star Brandon Moore in which he points a camera at a cop's cumbersome black shoes and asks 'what are those?' in disbelief. Ripe for sharing, the line spawned countless iterations, including a pastor leaping off a church pulpit to question a parishioner in socks and sandals and a young fan yelling it at Michael Jordan's Air Jordans during a school visit.

When Drake's awkward dance moves became just as popular as his music.

Apple Music

Drake released the video for his sleeper hit 'Hotline Bling' in October, and one thing immediately grabbed his fans' attention: his goofy dance moves. People began creating gifs, Vines, and Tweets of the video, superimposing animations into it of everything from pizza to Pokemon.

The video became a bona fide sensation on its own as well, racking up over 250 million YouTube views.

When kids everywhere busted out adorable versions of the whip/nae nae dance.

(video provider='youtube' id='uBWrpVrazzA' size='xlarge' align='center')

Nothing's cuter than watching small children dance -- especially when it's choreographed. This year, Silentó's 'Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)' became the latest dance craze, inspiring kids everywhere to bust out their own versions, including a gym class in Alabama and an entire peewee football team -- mid-game.

Four-year-old Heaven King mastered the dance better than anyone else on the internet and Silentó actually had her cameo in his official video.

When 'Unexpected John Cena' became the new rick roll.

Similar to rick rolling, this year people began splicing John Cena's WWE intro music into unrelated video clips for a jarring, yet effective surprise. The unexpected John Cena craze took off, with people adding Cena into everything from movie clips to music videos, getting increasingly elaborate with how to weave it in.

(video provider='youtube' id='TUQ3nVoN-ko' size='xlarge' align='center')

When two llamas escaped and went on an epic adventure across Arizona.

In February, two llamas escaped from a visit at an assisted-living facility in Sun City, Arizona, and were chased throughout the town for over an hour as they dodged people and cars alike. The escape garnered immense press coverage and people across the country dropped everything to tune in and follow along on social media.

When Marcia Brady didn't believe that Jan's boyfriend, George Glass, was real.

(video provider='youtube' id='yEw7dN28nrU' size='xlarge' align='center')

The Bradys were back for a brief moment when a scene from 1996's A Very Brady Sequel went viral in January. The moment featured Jan telling Marcia about her new boyfriend, George Glass, to which Marcia replys, 'I've never heard of a George Glass at our school.' Marcia's dismissive follow-up of 'sure, Jan,' as well as her pronunciation of school as sküle made the scene both hilarious and easy to turn into a meme.

When Drake and Meek Mill got into a Twitter beef.

Getty Images

Rappers Drake and Meek Mill got into a Twitter feud in July after Meek claimed Drake used a ghostwriter on his feature on Meek's album. Drake stayed silent on the topic of ghostwriting but fired back with diss track 'Charged Up,' followed up several days later by 'Back to Back Freestyle,' which elicited reactions from all corners of the internet.

Meek Mill eventually released his own diss track, but the Internet had spoken: Drake is the clear winner here.

When Christians claimed Starbucks' plain red holiday cups were part of a 'war on Christmas.'

People started accusing Starbucks of inciting a 'war on Christmas' after the coffee giant's iconic red holiday cups featured a sleek red ombré design in place of snowflake doodles and Christmas trees like in years past.

The issue first took off after John Feuerstein, a self-proclaimed American evangelist and internet personality, posted a video of himself rallying against Starbucks and asking viewers to tell baristas that their names are 'Merry Christmas.' The video garnered over 15 million views and led to nationwide uproar over how the absurdity of the entire situation.

When Steve Harvey announced the wrong Miss Universe winner.

Michael Becker / Fox

The 2015 Miss Universe pageant reached a cringeworthy end in December when host Steve Harvey mistakenly awarded the crown to runner-up Miss Columbia before coming back on stage and redirecting it to Miss Philippines. Brutally awkward to watch, yet the moment set off an explosion of memes.

When zookeepers across the country mimicked Chris Pratt's raptor-taming scene from Jurassic World.

After Tumblr user Feminerds posted a photo of a zookeeper recreating Chris Pratt's velociraptor-taming scene from Jurassic World with walruses, the idea went viral, prompting keepers across the country to mimic Pratt. The phenomenon took over several hashtags, including #ZoorassicWorld and #PrattKeeping, and inspired photos with every kind of animal from penguins to rhinos.

When Kim and Kanye welcomed their son, Saint West, into the world.


Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their newest family member into the world with the birth of their son in December. And with it came a new name ripe for conversation: Saint West. So far, the moniker has already made headlines for being accurately predicted by a teen in June, as well as forcing a rapper by the same name to retire.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn