Internet phenomenon

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An internet phenomenon (also known as internet hype or viral phenomenon ) is a concept in the form of a link or an image, sound, text or video file that spreads quickly over the internet . The most common sub-form is that of a meme distributed over the Internet . Images that are subsequently provided with short, concise texts and shared on social media are also known as "Image Macro".

Origin of internet phenomena

The interest of users in the context of an Internet phenomenon is determined by different types of media content (examples see below), including Flash animations , short films, images, audio contributions, blogs and entire websites. The content can be of a humorous, satirical or “shocking” nature. In addition to artistic realization, the attempt at such and advertising also include self-expression and propaganda. A creator does not always take responsibility for posting the content on the Internet medium, so that such publication can also take place without the knowledge and consent of the persons shown.

With the increasing spread of the Internet in the private and commercial environment and its establishment as a mass medium since the mid-1990s, the opportunities for individuals to disseminate information quickly and almost free of charge increased by leaps and bounds. Via websites, forms of chat , mass sending of e-mails , blogs, wikis , internet television, etc. there is the possibility of drawing attention to content by means of hyperlinks ; the occasional use of established mass media increases the public's interest. The exchange of files has also been simplified by the various options for shared data access and websites that allow users to post short films and pictures without having to have their own storage space on a server . The increasing availability of digital recording technologies ( camcorders , digital cameras , webcams ) and the hardware and software required for processing also enable and simplify the creation of images, videos and sound recordings outside of a professional environment.

Occurrence outside of the internet

An internet phenomenon can resonate nationally or internationally even outside the internet. As an internet phenomenon gains some popularity on the internet, it can also move beyond the boundaries of the internet. Occurrence outside of the internet can take many different forms. In this way, they can be picked up and used by other media. The music video for the song "Pork and Beans" by the US rock band Weezer, for example, includes a large number of guest appearances and allusions to popular Internet phenomena. A prime example of the implementation of an Internet phenomenon on the real life is " Rick Rolling " is. When "Rick Rolling" an Internet user is a link to the music video for Rick Astley's song Never Gonna Give You Up routed. Its origin "Rick Rolling" has been on the Image board 4chan . While these jokes were initially limited to the Internet, they quickly found their way into real life. This ranges from protests against Scientology , basketball games, baseball games, flash mobs to the MTV Europe Music Awards 2008, where Rick Astley was named "Best Act Ever", and the "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" on the Rick Astley personally "rickrolled" a running music number. In 2011, many signs with popular internet phenomena were spotted, primarily at US protests. a. Kumā # Pedobear , Sad Keanu Reeves and many more



  • The head butt by Zinedine Zidane against Marco Materazzi in the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup sparked the Internet from a great response. Focus -Online reported that in addition to computer games in which as many Italian football players as possible had to be headbutted, scenes on the street were also re-enacted, filmed and posted on the Internet.
  • The destruction of a flower pot in Neuenkirchen on August 3, 2010 triggered the rapid spread of the hashtag # flower pot on the microblogging service Twitter .
  • The admission by mountaineer Christian Stangl that he had only visualized his ascent of K2 and that the summit photo was not taken at the summit of K2 led to rapid dissemination first on Twitter and finally to a joint virtual first ascent of K2 via Foursquare with over 700 participants .
  • During a speech given by then-US Senator and ex-presidential candidate John Kerry on September 17, 2007 in a lecture hall at the University of Florida, 21-year-old student Andrew Meyer was forcibly removed from the lecture hall. Since Meyer defended himself, he was immobilized by the security forces with a stun gun. Several videos of the incident were uploaded to the Internet and received millions of hits. As a result, the phrase “Don't Tase me, Bro” became very popular on the internet. This went so far that the word "tase / taze" was listed as one of the words of 2007 by the New Oxford American Dictionary.


  • Andy Milonakis quickly gained notoriety through short videos that he shot in front of the webcam . He received his own comedy show (The Andy Milonakis Show) on MTV , which was also broadcast in Germany. The show was canceled in Germany after a few episodes. Three seasons were broadcast in the US.
  • The video of the " Star Wars Kid ", who makes private recordings of his fighting movements with his video camera, which imitate the fighting movements of Darth Maul from Star Wars . The recordings came through a schoolmate on the Internet.
  • "Lonelygirl15" is the name of a web series that revolves around the life of the fictional 16 year old girl Bree. The series ran from June 2006 to August 2008. In September 2006, it was announced that it was a fake. With her seemingly real video blog posts, Lonelygirl15 became a popular figure on the internet. Bree was portrayed by American-New Zealand actress Jessica Lee Rose .
  • A German self-promoter who involuntarily became famous is the alleged Norman K. under the stage name "Leopold Slikk", who smashed his keyboard in a video that was internationally known as " Angry German Kid " because of his opinion on a first- person shooter computer game after loading too slowly. The actor previously shot another viral video as a parody of the youth culture of that time, in which he appears as a “real gangster” and tells how he breaks various social norms. After the rampage in Emsdetten , a television program picked up his video Angry German Kid , which was believed to be real, in the article "Killer games and the rampage of Emsdetten" and helped him to become famous on the internet. "Slikk" was then bullied by classmates and on the Internet , and in response to this he deleted his videos as far as he could, which can still be found on the Internet. As an adult, he produced non-viral videos about bodybuilding, ignoring user questions about his previous viral videos when commenting on them.


  • The " Tourist Guy ", a man with a woolen hat, became known worldwide because of the supposedly last photo before the September 11, 2001 attacks . As a result, it became so popular that it was incorporated into historical moments such as the Hindenburg crash, among other things . The picture later turned out to be a fake.
  • Bonsai Kitten was a website created in 2000 that claimed to be selling so-called bonsai cats. As a boy, the cats would be locked in small glass containers for several months, whereby the animals would take on the shape of the container.


  • The song Gangnam Style by Psy , which reached several million clicks on YouTube worldwide within a few weeks, making it the most successful internet video to date. The pop star made it to global fame within a very short time; even the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon danced the “Gangnam Style” with Psy.
  • The song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen , which was transformed from a normal piece of music into an internet phenomenon through various virtual dance performances, including by the US Army and the American Olympic swimming team.
  • The so-called Harlem Shake in which people partly to Flashmob -like in convulsive movements to the song Harlem Shake by Harry Rodrigues (better known as Baauer move) and make the videos then the Internet. Flash mobs in New York City and dance performances by the US Marines became particularly well known .
  • The music video Where are you my sunlight? von Grup Tekkan , a group of young people of Turkish origin who made music in their free time, had resounding success, which was based less on the musical qualities of the young people than on the humorous note. The video first circulated on the Internet, but was then also totally seen on the television show TV .
  • The song performance Kleiner Hai by Alemuel was imitated by a large number of users in their own version after the video was published and posted on the Internet as an answer. Eventually Alemuel even got a record deal for the song.
  • The closing credits of each Anime - television series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya shown animation to the title Hare Hare Yukai was also an Internet phenomenon. Numerous parodies and fan-made videos exist that relate to the music and / or the choreography . The license owner Kadokawa Shoten uses this development for a million dollar experiment to check the media effectiveness and tries to support the fans in legalizing the videos, some of which have been viewed millions of times.
  • In Vocaloid is one of the Yamaha Corporation developed synthesizer , by which it is possible to produce vocals as an instrument. Based on the software, various commercial voices and associated figures, called Vocaloids , were created. Starting from the Japanese website Nico Nico Douga , thousands of pieces of music developed, and a certain cult grew around the characters. The figure and voice Miku Hatsune , whose albums and singles also made it into the Japanese charts, is particularly well-known .
  • The music video Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley has been and is often spread as a "joke" video over the Internet. It is often disguised as a preview for a game or the like and is intended to annoy the recipient. The term Rickrolling or Rick Rolling was coined for this conscious leaning in of the audience .
  • Autotune the News is an Internet series in which mainly news reports from American television are changed using an auto tuner so that it appears as if the moderators are singing. These videos are produced by the music group "The Gregory Brothers". Within a very short time, her videos achieved immense popularity on the internet as well as off the internet. The song Bed Intruder , which is based on a news report about an attempted rape and in particular the bizarre interview with Antoine Dodson, even climbed to 89th place on the American Billboard Hot 100 and quickly had over 75 million views on YouTube.
  • Caramelldansen is a song by the Swedish group Caramell . This song is often combined with Japanese anime characters , who dance to the background music. Usually the original is not used, but the Speedycake remix . These dance videos first appeared on the Japanese video platform Nico Nico Douga , and later they became increasingly popular on YouTube.
  • The song Sandstorm by Darude is often used on the Internet to people who ask for a specific song, fool. The trend developed in various games and IRC channels in response to the question of the title of a song that was played (by a command).
  • The now defunct US trancecore band Attack Attack! published in 2008, the music video for the song stick Stickly and became the founder of the Internet phenomenon Crabcore . The music video showed how the musicians took up positions while headbanging in a breakdown , which are strongly reminiscent of the crab position . The band accepted this with humor and at times sold T-shirts with inscriptions such as "Crab Fucking Core" or "Major League Crabcore" with a modified MLB logo. The US-American YouTube comedian Jarrod Alonge also sells shirts with the label “Defend Crabcore” as a merchandising product for his fictional metalcore band Amidst the Grave's Demons .
  • The piece of music Sad Romance by Ji Pyeong-gwon for the soundtrack of the South Korean television series Over the Green Fields ( 저 푸른 초원 위에 Jeo Pureun Chowonwie ) from 2003 is mainly used for parodies. The melody is very sad and is used to dramatize and parody things and events.
  • The published in 2009 song shooting stars of the Australian Alternative - House - duo Bag Raiders was 2017 at a Meme. Here people or animals can be seen flying "through space and time" by stumbling or falling in the midst of a surreal background that was added later. These representations are accompanied by the first few seconds of the piece of music without singing.


  • “Prank Flash”, “Screamer” or “Shock Flash” are the names of a somewhat longer-lasting trend wave of Flash animations, in which the viewer is first distracted by a normal story with soft music, or rather, the viewer is distracted to focus on subtle details to concentrate until suddenly a "horror face" appears out of nowhere with a roaring scream and scares the viewer. The television advertisement for the mixed coffee drink "K-Fee" took up this concept. (See also: Jump-Scare )
  • “Animutation”, an animation trend within the Flash scene, in which as many colorful images of current events as possible are randomly strung together with as little effort as possible, mostly accompanied by Japanese dance music.
  • Re-dubbing: Classic movies are re-dubbed in silly ways, such as Pointless in Space (a parody of Star Trek ), Lord of the Weed (a parody of Lord of the Rings ), Harry Potter and a Stone (a parody of Coldmirror of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ).


  • The chairman of the Internet and Digital Society Enquete Commission of the German Bundestag , Axel E. Fischer , stated in a newspaper interview in mid-November 2010 and then on his personal Facebook page that there had to be a “ ban on masking ”, i.e. a “duty to use clear names. Mention on the Internet ”in all forums without exception, in return an“ eraser ”would have to be developed with which one could delete content from the Internet. The advance met with harsh criticism. The word "masking ban" puts anonymous internet users on a par with those involved in violence in street battles, the approval of anonymity in forums is a matter for the operators of forums and in many cases, for good reasons, inevitable, and once information has been posted on the web, deletion is almost impossible . Because of the technical absurdity of the demand, a large number of supposedly just as meaningless fictional demands ("Axel E. Fischer, CDU, demands") were then disseminated thousands of times on Twitter and in blogs. These each creatively combined a technical term from the field of IT , network culture or computer games with a senseless demand and thus ridiculed the politician's lack of expertise. After a week, Fischer was one of the best-known politicians in Germany on the Internet with more than a million hits on Google (after a few hundred previously).
  • The photo P050111PS-0210 , which later became known as the Situation Room , was taken in the White House on May 1, 2011 during the information about the parallel military operation against terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and was parodied in numerous ways both inside and outside the Internet.


  • The advertising industry tries to take advantage of this strong user interest in the context of viral marketing . Advertising messages are distributed by internet users at no cost, for example disguised as “fun videos” or blogs. Computer games such as Moorhuhn (advertising a whiskey brand from a Scottish area featuring real red grouse), which are free to download and encourage people to recommend, also fall into this category.
  • “Will it blend?” Is an internet series from the kitchen appliance company Blendtec . In the videos, various objects, such as cell phones, glow sticks, golf balls, etc., are destroyed in a mixer in order to promote its quality.
  • The Anna Swelund phenomenon appeared in connection with advertising for Scandinavian cell phones.
  • A " Flex Tape " commercial also became a viral inside joke among users of sites like " Reddit, " which turned quotes like "That's a lot of damage" into joke.


  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (German: Ice Bucket Challenge ) is an action that is to pour a bucket of cold water over his head and thereafter to nominate three or more people who then 24 hours to have to do the same one. If you do not do this, you should donate 100 US dollars or 100 euros to the ALS Association . The campaign aims to raise awareness of the nervous disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and to generate donations for research into and combating it.
  • Bottle Cap Challenge (German for screw cap challenge ) is an internet phenomenon that emerged in mid-2019. Videos are published on social media in which the screw cap of a bottle is twisted off the bottle with a roundhouse kick .
  • Salt and Ice Challenge (German: "Salt and Ice" challenge , in short: Salt-Ice-Challenge ) is an internet phenomenon in which participants first sprinkle salt on their bare skin (often on their forearm), then put ice on it ( usually in the form of ice cubes). This creates a feeling of burns; the participants compete to see who can hold out the longest. Recordings of the actions are distributed on social media.


German version of the xkcd comic "Wikipedian Protester"
  • Creepypasta , creepy fictional stories or modern sagas that circulate on the Internet and revolve around certain videos, films or video games. Video game creepypasta often deal with a hacked, broken, bootleg, or beta version of a video game that is typically available at cheap stores or flea markets. They are often about changes in gameplay that are particularly violent, sadistic, or demonic.
  • Lolcat , photos of cats with appropriate, orthographically, punctuationally and grammatically incorrect words put into their mouths
  • Grumpy Cat , a due feline Minder growth grumpy constantly looking cat. A YouTube video from September 25, 2012 went viral .
  • Rage Comic , a fairly simple webcomic that tells a short story. This resulted in several “ rage faces ”.
  • [Citation needed] (document required) has developed into an internationally known meme beyond the network culture through its dissemination in and with Wikipedia.
  • All your base are belong to us , a quote from the opening sequence of the computer game Zero Wing .
  • Sex with a cousin: A web radio moderator reads a forum post that was recorded and quickly spread across the Internet.
  • Shock page , a website with an “ obscene ” or shocking image shown directly on the entry page . The link is distributed as a harmless recommendation via e-mail etc. Examples are and also the Gay Nigger Association of America .
  • "... but then I took an arrow in the knee", a quote from various characters in the computer game Skyrim . The wording “to the knee”, which does not correspond to the original text, is also often used.
  • Doge is a meme that combines a picture of a Shiba with a short phrase in rudimentary English.
  • The Social Beer Game , in which the “nominee” has to empty a beer without stopping and then appoint three other people who should do the same within 24 hours. The trend originally comes from the English-speaking world (probably Australia) and is called Nek Nomination there (“to nek” means empty without stopping), where a particularly bizarre implementation is important in addition to drinking. This game is said to have already resulted in two deaths.
  • At the turn of the year 2015/16 the photo of an allegedly “800 year old mobile phone” went around the world after border scientists and UFO believers had accidentally or improperly published it as a video on the YouTube channel Paranormal Crucible.
  • Sant Esteve de les Roures is allegedly located in Catalonia , but actually only exists on the Internet, and has been referred to by numerous websites since 2018.
  • Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen from the South Korean producer Samyang Foods developed into a meme due to its spiciness. People competed with the instant ramen as to who can hold out longer or who can eat it at all.
  • A stock photo that shows a man gazing after a woman on the street, even though his girlfriend is standing next to him, became known as the Distracted Boyfriend . The photo turned into a meme in 2017.
  • The Instagram egg Eugene is the photo of a bird's egg that was posted on the social media platform Instagram at the beginning of 2019 and, within a few days , beat the world record of likes that had previously been in force . The hunt for the world record with an egg received wide coverage in the global media .
  • The Durham Bridge was called "openers Bridge".


  • Conor Lastowka, Josh Fruhlinger: [Citation Needed]: The Best of Wikipedia's Worst Writing. CreateSpace, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4663-4698-7 .
  • Erlhmann (Nils Dagsson Moskopp), plomlompom (Christian Heller): Internet memes, short & geek. O'Reilly, Cologne 2013, ISBN 978-3-86899-805-4 .
  • Limor Shifman: Meme. Art, culture and politics in the digital age. edition suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-518-12681-3 .

Web links

Commons : Internet phenomenon  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Internet phenomenon  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Leonard Wehrli: This is how memes became everyday life. The story of a mass phenomenon. In: Blick am Abend. 2016, accessed October 22, 2018 .
  2. Christian Heller: What is an "Image Macro"? (from the series: Vocabulary of the New Cinema). In: April 23, 2008, accessed October 22, 2018 .
  3. List of memes referenced in Pork and Beans by Weezer ( Memento from June 12, 2011 in the Internet Archive ),
  4. Shean Michaels: Taking the Rick , The Guardian , March 19, 2008
  5. ^ Adam Rose: College Basketball Game Rick Roll'd ( March 24, 2008 memento on the Internet Archive ), LAist, March 19, 2008
  6. ^ Astley shortlisted for MTV award , BBC News, October 2, 2008
  7. Matthew Moore: Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade: Rick Astley performs his own Rickroll , The Daily Telegraph , Nov. 28, 2008
  8. Jack Stuef: Pedobear Offers To Help Scott Walker By Teaching Wisconsin's Kids , February 24, 2011
  9. Matt Stopera: The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And / Or Fear ( Memento from April 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Alexander von Streit: Hype about Zidane's headbutt online , Focus Online , July 14, 2006
  11. Martin Obermayr: Skyrunner Stangl: K2 ascent only "visualized" , Der Standard , September 7, 2010
  12. Faked summit photo: “Skyrunner” Stangl not on K2 , ORF , September 7, 2010
  13. Richard Hemmer: Event tip of the week: K2 ascent with Swarm Badge ( memento from September 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), Digital Affairs, September 8, 2010
  14. Ulf Weihbold: K2 Mountain and Foursquare - how Christian Stangl became a meme , smec blog, September 9, 2010
  15. After-Shock-Party: “Don't Tase Me, Bro '!” ,, sfux, October 19th
  16. Keith McCord: Oxford Dictionary Announces "Word of the Year,", November 14, 2007
  17. Internet stars: From Star Wars Kids and Lonely Girls , Netzwelt
  18. Frank Patalong: Lonelygirl15: The Name of the Rose , Der Spiegel, September 13, 2009
  19. Barbara Munker, dpa: Internet celebrities : The Unmasking of Lonelygirl15 ( Memento from December 19, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), Stern, September 14, 2006
  20. Dennis Kogel: Germany's Meme Master: The Fascinating Story of the Angry German Kid . Published on, November 21, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2019
  21. on Harlem Shake
  22. Grup Tekkan, My Sunlight (Studio Version) , YouTube
  23. Akiko Kashiwagi: Japan Too, YouTube? In: Newsweek International . September 4, 2006, archived from the original on October 15, 2006 ; Retrieved December 11, 2008 .
  24. Kenji Hall: Japanese Anime Studio Embraces YouTube Pirates. In: BusinessWeek . August 5, 2008, accessed December 27, 2008 .
  25. Bed Intruder: YouTube joke makes it into US charts , db,, September 6, 2009
  26. Auto-Tune the News: BED INTRUDER SONG !!! (now on iTunes) , YouTube
  27. ^ Caramelldansen / UUU-Aua Dance , YouTube
  28. John McDonnell: The Guardian : Scene and heard: Crabcore
  29. Example of an animation , Netspooky,
  30. Baden's latest news
  31. Axel Fischer: Ban on masking on the Internet - obligation to use real names on the Internet - develop an eraser. In: Facebook. November 15, 2010, accessed February 27, 2011 .
  32. Christian Persson : CDU politician for “ban on masking on the Internet” [2. Update]. In: heise online. November 14, 2010, accessed February 27, 2011 .
  33. Konrad Lischka: CDU idea for real names: A praise of pseudonyms. In: Spiegel Online. November 15, 2010, accessed February 27, 2011 .
  34. CDU politician embarrasses himself: Axel E. Fischer is no longer anonymous. In: November 16, 2010, accessed February 27, 2011 .
  35. Even the chief executive writes here . In: FAZ Online , March 5, 2006
  36. How the Ice Bucket Challenge works ,, accessed on August 23, 2014.
  37. Celebrities take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge ,, accessed on August 2, 2014.
  38. ^ Austin Considine: Bored at Work? Try Creepypasta, or Web Scares. . In: New York Times , November 12, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  39. Grumpy Cat: The Internet's Favorite Sour Cat Draws Crowds at SXSW , ABC News
  40. About Grumpy Cat | Grumpy Cat ™ - The internet's grumpiest cat!
  41. The Original Grumpy Cat ,, September 25, 2012, viewed more than 10 million times through June 5, 2013.
  42. Knowyourmeme - Rage faces
  43. citation needed on
  44. JaYJaY - Sex with a cousin
  45. DailyTech - Interview: Goatse Security on FBI Charges Following AT&T iPad Breach . Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  46. ^ Then I took an arrow in the knee [HD] , YouTube , in-game video from Skyrim
  50. Paranormal Crucible ( online )
  51. Reiner Wandler: The village that is only available on Twitter. the daily newspaper of April 25, 2018
  52. ^ J. Pi: El mundo ficticio de Sant Esteve de les Roures crece en la red. La Vanguardia from April 18, 2018 (Spanish)