Like appending "-gate" to things that caused scandals, the phrase "break the internet" has evolved past any contextual logic that once applied to Kim Kardashian's controversial appearance on the cover of Paper Magazine in 2014. It's when something goes beyond viral, a trend or memorable moment seems to consume every news outlet and social media platform. While these breaks are as temporary as anything else on the internet, at the moment they seem unforgettable.
The concept of "you break it, you buy it" can be positive when it comes to the internet's attention and false claims of internet breakage abound as celebs try to start a viral moment. Even so, it is just as often that the funny celebrity trending stories in 2019 weren't intended to break anything, but the meme machine is a hungry one and is ready to animate a trend into an unstoppable beast.
Celebrities who broke the internet in 2019 released videos that inspired obsessive breakdowns, dropped controversial statements or made questionable decisions that stood out among the endless murmur of celebrity news. This list of celebrity memes explains the backstories, context, and the aftermath of each incident, providing the ambient temperature of this year's political, social, and cultural climate. Vote on which celebrity you think most thoroughly broke the internet most this year and relive the most prominent viral moments of 2019.