Since Kim Kardashian's controversial appearance on the cover of Paper Magazine in 2014, the term "Break the Internet" has been employed whenever a viral trend or memorable moment seems to crash every news outlet and social media platform. While these breaks are temporary, many seem unforgettable, and countless more are added to the internet annals each consecutive year. There have been a wide range of celebrity trending stories in 2018 that have taken on a life of their own online. From funny memes regarding Kylo Ren's unusual wardrobe choices to baffled reactions to Stormy Daniels's revelations about the president's deep-seated fear of sharks, celebrities who broke the internet this year gave the social media users something new to meme ad infinitum.
Celebrities who broke the internet in 2018, such as Michelle Wolf, Rihanna, and Donald Glover, made entertaining videos, controversial statements, or questionable decisions that stood out among the countless stories cycling through the news. This list of celebrity memes chronicles the backstories and aftermath of each incident, providing a litmus test for the year's political, social, and cultural climate. Vote on which celebrity you think broke the internet most this year as you relive the most prominent viral moments of 2018.
First Lady Melania Trump has inevitably been the center of much media attention due to her political position as First Lady to the polarizing President Donald Trump. One incident that incited largely negative backlash was her choice of outerwear when leaving to visit detained immigrant children in McAllen, TX.
Photos of her approaching her car show that the back of her army green utility jacket was plastered with the phrase, “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” Many took offense to this perceived statement, especially since the government’s response to the detained children’s plight had been deemed insensitive. Countless tweets criticizing the coat sprang up almost immediately after the pictures were circulated.
While the White House initially said the jacket carried no hidden message, Donald Trump later tweeted it was a covert message to the media regarding their reporting fake and deliberately deceptive stories.
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels drew a great deal of public attention in early 2018 after revealing the details of an alleged affair she had with Donald Trump with In Touch Weekly. One of the most mocked revelations regarded Trump's fear of sharks. Daniels mentioned, among other things, that the Commander-In-Chief was terrified of sharks to an obsessive degree and even told her, "I hope all the sharks die." The led to amused online reactions across various social media platforms.
Daniels continued to be a sensation online in April 2018. She claimed an unidentified man threatened her to stay silent about her affair with Trump in 2011 and released a rough sketch of the man. Online pranksters were quick to point out the drawing in question very much resembled Tom Brady circa 2011, leading to an onslaught of jokes online about Brady being a covert Trump agent.
�� What happens if I draw a football helmet on the sketch of the man who threatened Stormy Daniels and—OH MY GOD. ��— Santa Claus, CEO ���� (@SantaInc) April 17, 2018
TOM BRADY?!? pic.twitter.com/pXIOQbA3xE
During the 2018 MTV VMAs, producers schedule Madonna to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin, who had passed away four days prior on August 16, 2018. Instead of talking about the Queen of Soul, Madge managed to make the entire tribute about herself. Madonna opened her speech by saying Franklin "changed the course of my life," and her tribute turned into a monologue about her personal journey in the music industry. Every now and then she would tie the story back to Franklin, but ultimately, Madonna's rambling speech was a bizarre humblebrag disguised as a eulogy.
The internet collectively lost its mind, calling Madonna out for her lack of awareness and tact. Tweets asked "does Madonna know Madonna didn't die," and hinted that the Material Girl might be upset that Franklin's death overshadowed her 60th birthday.
Viewers weren't too happy with Madonna's outfit, either. She wore clothing traditionally donned by Imazighen, the Indigenous non-Arab population of North Africa. Madonna visited Marrakesh to celebrate her birthday the week before, leading some to believe she may have purchased the outfit then. Her outfit - comprised of a traditional Amazigh black dress, a coin necklace, and a headband with colorful beads and metal cones. Many interpreted her outfit as cultural appropriation.
Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé, has been in the limelight her entire life due to her parents’ independent and shared fame. When she attended the 2018 Grammys with her family, media had a field day when she appeared to shush her mother’s and then her father’s applause during a speech by singer Camila Cabello. This led many to joke online that Blue Ivy was becoming the dominant personality of the Carter household.