2011 has been the year of viral sensations. Everyone everywhere has gotten in on the fun and taken part in these outrageous activities. Some celebrities have been seen owling, others have been the inspiration for new crazes, people have been wasting perfectly good ice cream, and one kid was even arrested for going on a planking spree. We’ve compiled the 10 most popular viral fads of the year, and you get to laugh at their stupidity.


10. Planking

Planking was what kicked off the whole “take a picture of someone in a strange position and post it on the Internet” fad in the first place. It was a viral craze that took over the world. Everyone was doing it. And that’s when the head honchos who run the Internet from behind closed doors (i.e. 4chan and Reddit) decided to dead it. Some newspapers still report about it – they’re so behind. Everyone had already moved onto…


9. Owling

Some people called it “gargoyling,” and it was the next logical step after planking ceased to be cool. It never grew into the crazy sensation that its predecessor was, but it did its job well – specifically, driving a stake through the heart of planking and opening the flood gates for endless new viral possibilities. After owling fizzled out, things started to go a little crazy.


8. Teapotting

This trend went mostly unnoticed because it was simple and lame compared to similar fads that were competing for attention post-owling. It was completely overshadowed by people sticking their hands into ice cream, jumping into pools fully clothed, and hanging from the ceiling by their feet. Still, it was an interesting idea, and good while it lasted.


7. Cone-ing


For a while, all fast food restaurant drive-thru employees were warned about serving ice cream to young customers. Why? Because said customers were pulling up to the window, grabbing the frozen vanilla treat by the soft, cold end, flipping it upside down, and then eating it cone first. That was cone-ing in a nutshell. Everyone without access to the Internet must have been horribly confused. It was the only one of these viral crazes that preferred video footage to photo footage, and thus became a fast favorite of mine.


6. Leisure Diving

This trend required a few brave souls, some nice clothes you didn’t mind getting soaking wet, a pool (or any body of water), and a cameraman with a quick finger. Combine all of these together and add in a relaxing mid-air pose and you’ve got leisure diving – another short-lived alternative to planking that brought an element of danger into the equation. But alas, the Internet has the shortest attention span ever.


5. Batmanning


When everyone got tired of ruining their nice clothes and getting their hands all sticky and cold, they decided to go back to what they knew worked: just take a picture of yourself in some strange position and hope it goes viral. Thus, batmanning was born. Hang upside down from your feet, look badass, and then you’re good to go. It’s fairly self-explanatory.


4. Horsemanning

And now things start to get interesting. Horsemanning: the viral fad that required two people, working together as a team, to recreate the famous tableau of the headless horseman. One person plays the head, the other plays the body sans head. This one is still around today, although I’d say its in the twilight of its life as a meme.


3. Stocking

This fad is still in its infancy, and I can only hope that it blows up like it deserves to. Basically, you grab one of those cheesy stock photos off of Google Images and recreate it as well you can. It’s completely retarded, yet wholly entertaining. Plus, it’s a great way to bypass all of those watermarks when you’re looking for a totally unrealistic picture to put on your personal blog.


2. Scarlett Johanssoning

The big winners this year though are the celebs who started viral trends. When Scarlett Johansson’s phone got hacked, nude pics of her were leaked, and the Internet rejoiced. In the aftermath of her perfect naked body, people started imitating her now-famous butt-in-the-mirror picture – and they called it Scarlett Johanssoning. All of these pictures were instant classics.


1. Tebowing

The quarterback on a mission from God takes the cake as the Internet’s most retarded viral fad of 2011. Why? Because Tim Tebow is a fucking phenomenon that no one understands. He’s an admitted virgin who can’t throw worth shit, and yet the Broncos keep on winning. People can’t seem to get enough of him and his weirdness. Most of all, the web has taken a liking to his signature move: getting down on one knee and touching his fist to his forehead in prayer. Someone replicated it, took a picture, and hence Tebowing was born.

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