Over the years there have been trends that have taken the world by storm. Some of these trends have weirdly become a household item, dance or act – been a school craze – some have even had well known celebrities following suit!
Here we have listed what we think are the top 10 viral trends or challenges over the past 10 years and when they originated. Let us know if we have missed that you think should be on the list!
Here’s our pick of the top 10 viral trends in the last 10 years.
What is it? The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or originally the Cold Water Challenge, is an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice and water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neurone disease and in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and encourage donations to research.
The Origin – The origins of the idea of dumping cold water on one’s head to raise money for charity are unclear and have been attributed to multiple sources. The most commonly accepted origin credits Pete Frates, a Boston College alumnus who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012. Pat Quinn, a friend of Frates who was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, is also credited with creating the challenge which was then referred to as the ‘cold water challenge’.
In August 2014, three young men living with ALS re-introduced the challenge and inspired their communities, celebrities and the world on social media to dump buckets of ice water on their heads to fight the disease. More than $220 million was donated to ALS charities worldwide.
Learn more about the history and see how the action unfolded day-by-day HERE.
2. PLANKING – Went viral in 2008
What is it?
Planking (or the Lying Down Game) is an activity consisting of lying face down–sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location.
The Origin – In 1984 in Edmonds, Washington, two high school age boys were walking in a park when they came upon a baseball game. They decided to lie face down in right field to see if anyone would react. The first video-recorded occurrence of planking was in 1994 when Tom Green performed a stunt he called “Dead Guy” for a cable TV show, which consisted of Green lying down on an Ottawa sidewalk without moving.
The term “Planking” was coined by Sam Weckert, of Adelaide, South Australia in the summer of 2008. Weckert created a Facebook fan page to share “planking” photos. After reports of the practice started appearing in the Australian media, it grew rapidly and became a global phenomenon.
3. GANGNAM STYLE – Went viral in 2012
What is it? “Gangnam Style” is a song by the South Korean musician Psy. Not only was the song tune catchy but the dance moves were certainly a trend among kids and adults alike!
The Origin – The song itself was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album and debuted at number one on South Korea’s Gaon Chart. On December 21, 2012, “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. The song’s music video has been viewed over 3.1 billion times on YouTube, and was the most viewed video on YouTube from November 24, 2012.
4. THE DAB – Went viral in 2015
What is it?
Dabbing, or the dab, is a simple dance move in which a person drops the head into the bent crook of a slanted arm, typically while raising the opposite arm in a parallel direction but out straight; both arms are pointed to the side and at an upward angle. Since 2015, it has also been used as a gesture of triumph or playfulness, becoming a youthful American dance fad and Internet meme.
The Origin – The dab has its origins in the Atlanta hip-hop scene in the 2010s, but there was initially disagreement about who originated the dance. Today, the dab is both a dance move and a statement. The culture behind it has been propagated by celebrity use and memes.
In 2015, the dab rose to national prominence in the United States. As XXL magazine reported in August 2015, “What started as a regional down South adlib is quickly becoming a masterful maneuver in clubs and on street corners. It’s called dabbin’.”Jason Derulo taught James Corden how to dab during the November 4, 2015 edition of “Carpool Karaoke” on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
5. MANNEQUIN CHALLENGE – Went viral in 2016
What is it?
The Mannequin Challenge is a viral Internet video trend which became popular in November 2016 in which people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them
The Origin – It is believed that the phenomenon was started by students at Ed White High School in Jacksonville, Fl. The initial posting has inspired works by other groups, especially professional athletes and sports teams, who have posted increasingly complex and elaborate videos.
The hashtag #MannequinChallenge was used for popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
The Australian Crawl Swim Club shared this incredible video on YouTube of the entire club competing in the challenge.
Jamie Vardy (left) and his England team-mates stood still in their celebration fooling television broadcasters into thinking their feed of the game against Spain had stalled.
6. THE FLOOR IS LAVA – Went viral in 2017
What is it?
The floor is lava is a game, played by people of all ages, in which the players imagine that the floor or ground is made of lava and thus avoid touching the ground lest they get burned or otherwise injured. It’s a simple game. A friend shouts “the floor is lava!” and you have exactly 5 seconds to get to higher ground. This could mean climbing a store shelf, hopping on a fire hydrant or jumping on the counter of a fast-food restaurant.
The Origin – The game itself has been around on schoolyards for years – but a pair of friends named Kevin Freshwater and Jahannah James helped it reach viral new heights. Their lava challenge video has now been viewed over 8.5 million times on Twitter and has collected countless more views on Facebook.
7. RUNNING MAN CHALLENGE – Went viral in 2016
What is it?
The Running Man (often stylized as the #RunningManChallenge) is a dance fad in which became viral when college basketball players showcased the close-armed running man-style dance to the tune of the 1995 song “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs. The fad became popular during the 2016 NCAA championships, after being spread by players from the university of Maryland.
The Origin – Before it became the most irresistible viral video amongst sports teams, “The Running Man Challenge” was started by two high school kids. Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall started posting Instagram videos of themselves dancing to “My Boo,” the radio classic that Ghost Town DJ’s put out more than 20 years ago. Here’s the students sharing their story on the Ellen Show.
Then we had many of the emergency services start to take part in the challenge!
NZ Police Running Man Challenge
NYPD Running Man Challenge
Scotland Police Running Man Challenge
NSW Police Running Man Challenge
Australian Police Running Man Challenge
8. HARLEM SHAKE – Went viral in 2013
What is it?
The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video in which a group of people dance to a short excerpt from the song “Harlem Shake”. As a meme, the video was replicated by many people, using the same concept, which led to it becoming viral in early February 2013, with thousands of “Harlem Shake” videos being made and uploaded to YouTube every day at the height of its popularity.
The Origin – The “Harlem Shake” was first featured as the opening segment in a video by George Miller under the moniker of YouTube user “DizastaMusic”. Five teenagers from Australia, using the name TheSunnyCoastSkate (a Local Longboarding Crew in the Sunshine Coast – where our head office is based), replicated this segment in their own video, which quickly gained popularity.
As more people replicated the original video and uploaded their own versions to YouTube, Harlem Shake rapidly became an Internet meme.
The Harlem Shake [ THE BEST ONES! ]
9. FIDGET SPINNERS – Went viral in 2017
What is it?
A fidget spinner is a toy that consists of a ball bearing in the center of a multi-lobed (typically two or three) flat structure made from metal or plastic designed to spin along its axis with little effort. Fidget spinners became popular toys in April 2017, although similar devices had been invented as early as 1993.
The toy has been promoted as helping people who have trouble focusing or those who fidget to relieve nervous energy, anxiety, or psychological stress.
The Origin – As of 2017, the patent status of the various fidget spinners on the market was unclear. Catherine Hettinger, a chemical engineer by training, was initially credited by some news stories as having been the inventor of the fidget spinner. Hettinger filed a patent application for a “spinning toy” in 1993 and a patent was issued, but Hettinger allowed the patent to lapse in 2005 after she could not find a commercial partner. A May 2017 Bloomberg News article showed that Hettinger was not the inventor of the fidget spinner, and Hettinger agreed.
In an interview appearing on May 4, 2017 on NPR, Scott McCoskery described how he invented a metal spinning device in 2014 to cope with his own fidgeting in IT meetings and conference calls. In response to requests from an online community, he began selling the device he called the Torqbar online.
10. THE FLOSS (backpack kid dance) – Went viral in 2016
What is it?
If you’ve got younger family members then you’ll no doubt already be well acquainted with the latest dance craze to have swept the planet. The highly-coordinated, arm flailing routine known as ‘the floss’ seems to be the latests answer to the dab, the Harlem shake and all of the other hundreds of dance fads that went before them. For those who haven’t yet witnessed the madness, it looks a little something like this.
That’s 16-year-old American schoolkid Russell Horning, the dancing social media megastar, perhaps better known as The Backpack Kid, who is credited with inventing the viral move. However, things really blew up when the move was featured in popular video game Fortnite, in which players can bust out a few dance moves to celebrate a victory, taunt an opponent or simply because they feel like it.
The Origin – The Backpack Kid first posted the video of himself performing the dance (which he then called ‘the russell’) in August 2016, and as other YouTubers caught on over the course of the next year it gained widespread attention, propelling the expressionless kid into the spotlight. Russell even appeared alongside Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live, wearing his signature backpack and did the floss live on television.