We can never thank the internet enough for all of the amazing things it has brought us, including Netflix and chill, compulsive online shopping and social media addictions. Without a doubt, the best thing the internet has brought us thus far are the random stars who take the web by storm every so often. These internet sensations fill our feeds, they make us laugh, they confuse us and they become a cultural phenomenon. They become the topic of inside jokes and viral challenges that spread across the web like wildfire. Going viral these days can be your big break, but does it work out like that for everybody?
Where do all of those funny internet stars go when the videos stop getting shared and the memes stop circulating?
Check out these 20 different internet sensations and see what they’re up to now!
20.) Chris Crocker
2007 was a rough year for Britney Spears. The press couldn’t get enough of the mega pop star’s public disheveled appearance, her breakdowns and her run-ins with the relentless paparazzi. It seemed like the world had forgotten how much they loved the bubbly “…Baby One More Time” singer, and instead she had become the laughing stock of the media. Everyone except for Chris Crocker, a Youtube comedian, who felt it was time for the media to leave poor Britney alone. The Leave Britney Alone video took the internet by storm and went viral, receiving over 4 million views in 2 days, springing Crocker into internet celebrity stardom.
Chris Crocker is still known as the boy who had the emotional breakdown on YouTube about his favorite pop star, but to those in the viral internet community, he is one of the original viral personalities.
19.) Rebecca Black
“It’s Friday, Friday!” Rebeca Black’s obsessively catchy tune blew up the internet in 2008, but not because people liked it. The YouTube video went viral and was dubbed the worst song ever by several critics and millions of viewers across the world. Despite that, the video racked up millions of views and Rebecca Black became a household name for anyone who was caught up in social media.
In the aftermath of the video, Black was featured in a music video with Katy Perry. She now runs a personal YouTube channel and releases songs here and there.
18.) Hide Ya Kids
Antoine Dodson is one of the first internet sensations to create a catchy song out of a news interview. Dodson’s news interview went viral after an unfortunate situation of an attempted home invasion and rape of his sister. Dodson passionately warned fellow neighbors of the intruder, and the interview went viral in 2010.
Shortly after, the video was transformed into an autotuned song that made it onto the Billboard 100 list, and people all over could be heard singing along to the internet sensation’s catchy tune.
After the success of the viral video, Dodson capitalized off of his recognition by appearing in various TV shows and cameos. Dodson is now happily married and has a baby.
17.) Charlie Bit My Finger
The internet can’t get enough of cute kids and silly videos. “Charlie Bit My Finger” is perhaps one of the first kid videos to go viral back in 2007. In 2008, “Charlie Bit My Finger” was the twelfth-most-viewed video on Youtube, surpassing music videos by many music stars at the time.
Charlie and his little brother became internet sensations from a simple home video, and their family continued to post videos of the cute brothers. The family made over £100,000 in revenue from the video, but nowadays they remain low-key. Rumors are that the boys are working on a new web series.
16.) Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
The internet has a funny way of turning a common phrase and “rebirthing” it into a viral sensation, and that usually comes with an autotune remix. In the case of Kimberley “Sweet Brown” Wilkins, another news interview turned into a viral internet sensation. This one was about an apartment fire back in 2012. The hilarious interview went viral and was turned into a jingle, and Wilkins became a well-liked character on the internet.
After the success of the video, Wilkins appeared on various late night shows and in cameos and was interviewed across several platforms in the world.
15.) Gangnam Style
Dances go viral so often nowadays that it’s hard to keep up with them all. In 2012, Psy’s K-Pop song and video “Gangnam Style” went viral and became the first YouTube video to ever receive 1 billion views. The song along with the video topped charts around the world and brought a bit of Korean pop culture worldwide.
Psy was known as the King of YouTube and the viral star of 2012. Afterwards he continued to release K-pop songs and albums. Nowadays he is still seen as a huge K pop star who broke records.
14.) Miss Teen USA South Carolina
When itcomes to TV, no screwup goes unseen, and once the internet gets ahold of it, it’s taken to an entirely new level. It can be the ultimate downfall of your career to become the laughing stock of the interwebs. That’s exactly what happened to Caitlin Upton, otherwise known as Miss Teen USA South Carolina.
“Everywhere like such as” and “the Iraq” and a bunch of other jumbled phrases screwed over Upton as she answered questions at the Miss Teen USA competition. Her response video was a nonsensical answer and ironically asked why some Americans can’t pinpoint the country on a map.
Upton since then has become a commercial model and has had several appearances in music videos. So, things didn’t turn out so bad for the tongue-tied beauty pageant star.
13.) “Catch Me Outside” Girl
Defiant teens on talk shows have forever been the topic of funny YouTube videos. Danielle Bregoli capitalized off of her viral video meme from an episode of Dr. Phil.
Her catchphrase “catch me outside how bout dahhh” became an autotune meme and ultimately became the kickstart to her rapping career. Now known as Bhad Bhabie, Bregoli has a Billboard 100 single and is recording music with Atlantic Records.
12.) Susan Boyle
Before the rise of social media platforms like YouTube, shows like American Idol and X-Factor were the birthplace of hilarious viral sensations. Susan Boyle appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, and the video of her singing “I Dreamed a Dream” quickly spread across the internet.
The video of Boyle quickly garnered over 25 million views within 72 hours of being posted on YouTube; this sparked Boyle’s rise to fame. She went on to record albums and perform in various productions. She still lives in Scotland with her family and has been keeping a pretty low profile since her Britain’s Got Talent days.
11.) Nicholas Fraser
Nicholas Fraser took over the internet when he flipped the song “Next” by Fraser and turned it into a Vine about liars. “Why You Always Lyin'” became the internet jingle of the century and went viral overnight. Viewers everywhere shared the hilarious video of Fraser dancing on random objects and singing in a strange voice.
Fraser’s video was shared by celebrities everywhere and even received a comment from one of the members of Next. Now, he is a huge internet star and has a following on Instagram of over 401K and is known for his hilarious videos.
10.) Prison Bae
One of the oddest viral memes to surface on the internet is the mysterious “Prison Bae.” The internet can turn anyone into anything, and for Jeremy Meeks, an attractive mugshot would be the start of his modeling career.
Meeks was busted for firearm possession and grand theft when his mugshot went viral and he became known as Prison Bae. His criminal background wasn’t of importance once his mugshot circulated the internet with thousands of heart eyes.
In the #PrisonBae aftermath, Meeks signed a modeling contract while serving his prison sentence and upon release began his career. He has walked in both New York and Milan Fashion Week.
9.) The Shiggy Show
The #InMyFeelings Challenge may be the latest internet challenge to sweep the internet, and it was started by a personality named Shiggy. Shiggy uploaded a video of himself dancing to Drake’s new song “In My Feelings.” The video quickly spread and sparked the In My Feelings Challenge, which garnered thousands of participants, including famous artists like Ciara, Will Smith and Odell Beckham, Jr.
In the wake of his fame, Shiggy has over 1.7 million followers on Instagram and is reportedly awaiting a payment from Drake for the success of the song.
8.) Kalen Reacts: Viral Food Critic
Reaction videos have long been a YouTube trend, but Kalen Allen has definitely transformed the reaction video as we know it. He began reactions to cooking videos with less-than-appetizing recipes. His funny videos spread like wildfire across the internet and he even gained the attention of Ellen DeGeneres.
Kalen appeared on Ellen, and she exclaimed her love for the videos and offered him a job on her show. He now works for Ellen and hosts his own OMKalen segment where he reacts to various things in pop culture.
7.) Salt Bae
The Salt Bae meme became a staple of 2017 and 2018 social media posts. The viral meme came from a video where the Turkish chef sprinkled salt all over his slab of meat in the most iconic way, extra as can be.
In true internet form, hundreds and thousands of videos mimicking the Salt Bae way spread across social media. But interestingly enough, Salt Bae was pretty well-known before his dramatic video. Now that he is internet famous, he frolics with celebrities and continues as a chef.
6.) Alex from Target
It’s generally looked down upon to record or photograph someone without their consent, but on the internet, it seems that anything goes. Alex from Target took over the teenage internet for a time, being known as the cute cashier at Target.
One of the most interesting things about Alex is that he became an internet sensation in a matter of 24 hours. Doing what? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Someone, who remains unknown, snapped his photo and began circulating this photo on Twitter and voilá, internet famous. Alex now resides in Los Angeles, where he dedicates his time to his girlfriend and his YouTube videos.
5.) Grumpy Cat
On a viral internet sensation list, it would be a crime to leave out the animals that steal our hearts. Grumpy Cat is one of the OGs of animals to go viral. Photos of the grumpy cat went viral on Reddit and quickly became a meme for dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
Today Grumpy Cat is an entire brand; she makes appearances at music festivals, on late night talk shows and at other public appearances. To this day, she still has 2.5 million followers on Twitter and is regularly used in cat memes across the internet.
4.) Jay Versace
Jay Versace is among the class of the famous Viners who graced the internet with their comedic presence. Jay made hilarious Vines and quickly became internet famous for being over-the-top and funny. Some of his funniest Vines were his impersonations of famous people, like Kylie Jenner, or when he acted out several hilarious, relatable situations.
Today Jay is still known as one of the internet’s funniest teenagers, and his viral impersonation videos are still watched in high numbers today. He is regularly seen with other popular internet comedians and celebrities.
3.) Joanne the Scammer
Joanne the Scammer is another current viral internet sensation that has swept through the internet. The fictional character, portrayed by actor and comedian Branden Miller, is an entire personality now, with memes of videos being shared daily.
His videos center around Joanne being an over-the-top, flashy woman who is also a “scammer,” or a fake person. The typical blonde wig and fur coat are instantly recognizable anywhere now, and Miller has made appearances across various publications and in Fergie’s music video for “Tension.”
2.) Irvin Randle, The Sexy Grandpa
Add this one to the list of “random hot people on the internet.”
Irvin Randle’s photos went viral after being shared as the “hottest grandpa on the internet.” Famous photos from his Instagram went viral for how stylish and poised he was. He quickly becameknown as #MrStealYourGrandma and was featured across several high-profile publications.
1.) Walmart Yodeling Kid
One of the newest products of going viral is the Yodel Boy, Mason Ramsey, and his highly shared video of him singing in the middle of a Walmart. His country, yodel-style singing made him famous and earned him a spot on the Ellen show.
The cute yodel boy is now touring around the country performing and recording his classic song that went viral, as well as original music that he is releasing. He even had a surprise performance at Coachella. As one of the youngest viral sensations out there (he’s 10), we hope the world of the rich and famous takes care of this cute kid.