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Here’s What Should Have Gone Viral in 2015

The spread of viral content operated at an unceasing and increasing pace in 2015. According to preliminary figures from various NGOs, the world saw at least one meme born every day this year. The Dress went from a dress in all lowercase to a Dress in title case in a matter of hours, not days. There was no point in 2015 during which something was not viral. There is a finite capacity for viral attention, and we filled every second of this year with some new meme or goof.

But for every Dress there was its dark shadow — other pieces of content that fumbled before achieving max virality, or that had unfulfilled viral potential. Maybe 2016 will be their year. This is what should have been more viral in 2015.

The Aux Cord

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: The aux cord was more viral than ever this year. It was very viral, and at the same time, it could have been way more viral. It should have been way more viral.

The idea is simple: Nobody listens to radio anymore, and everyone uses their mobile device to listen to music. The simplest way to do this is by connecting your device to your audio setup via an auxiliary cord (“aux cord” for short), which features a male 3.5-millimeter jack on each end. So, for instance, when your friend wants to put on some killer Avicii tracks, you hand them the aux cord. In other words, it was a way of making fun of that annoying friend at a party who always wants to put on their own music.

Let’s meme more audio equipment in 2016.

John Lennon Walking Funny

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Again, like the aux cord, this was, by most standard definitions, an actual meme. But, again, it should have been way bigger. I mean, look at this picture of John Lennon walking funny! There are a few things going on here. For one, John Lennon looks like a real tosspot, and two, it’s a riff on Absolute Madman lad culture.

This image has been floating around for a while (this Photoshop thread on Reddit hails from mid-2014), but John Lennon, the Absolute Madman, has never reached the upper echelon. At least not yet. He came close in 2015 thanks to 4chan’s /mu/ board, but there’s still a ways to go.

Specifically, This Minions Tattoo

A photo posted by Paul Abstruse (@paul_abstruse) on

Minions were everywhere in 2015, but I think this tattoo deserves special mention for marrying the Yellow Blight with the web’s generally saccharine, auto-win nostalgia for Calvin and Hobbes/the ‘90s.

The Beatboxing Part From Korn’s “Freak on a Leash”

This was the hottest jam of 2015. A veritable Song of Summer — and Winter and Spring and Fall — but we missed it. It has long been posited that audio doesn’t go viral, and this is mostly true. In 2015, however, Vine’s continuing cultural ascendancy and easier tools for incorporating audio have made it easy to riff on the hottest tracks. One need only look at the glut of “Hello” memes to get the picture.

This Tweet From The View

Only 63 likes! That’s crazy. I kind of expected this to be the most liked tweet on Earth? Certainly in the tristate area.

This Shrek Headstone


Shrek is love, Shrek is life, Shrek is … death? Whichever 2016 candidate announces a platform that includes a mandatory Shrek headstone is the one who will get my vote.


MyIdol was (is?) an incredible app that peaked before it was ready. Made in China, it allows users to scan their face, pick an outfit, and use the resulting avatar in any number of uncanny-valley dance numbers.

The only problem was that when MyIdol first gained attention, in my corner of the web, it did not have an English translation, so it was a lot of tapping around unreadable labels until something worked. By the time MyIdol got around to releasing an English translation, the moment had passed. But for a solid week, MyIdol was the talk of the town, and they can never take away those memories.

This Goodfellas Tattoo Ray Liotta Saw at Chipotle

Put this tattoo in the Louvre.

What Should Have Gone Viral in 2015