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.
No one could get over Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's incredibly convincing and sensual performances of "Shallow" during the 2019 awards season. The A Star is Born song won Lady Gaga an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Even after Gaga addressed the rumors concerning her performances with costar Cooper, some folks were still convinced that the onscreen lovers took their romance to the real world.see more on Lady Gaga
On March 23, Keanu Reeves was on his way from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a United flight. The plane had to emergency land due to mechanical issues, and he and other passengers were stuck in Bakersfield, CA.
Reeves worked with airline officials and helped lead discussions that got everyone to their end destinations safe and sound. A lucky few even got to ride in a van with him to Los Angeles, during which he read facts about Bakersfield and played some music from local artists on his phone. A man of the people, Reeves got off the van in LA and headed straight into a Carl's Jr.see more on Keanu Reeves
On January 29, 2019, Empire actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack. The openly gay Black actor received an outpouring of support on social media–until some things started to not make sense.
In the following weeks, what was once thought to be a heinous hate crime turned out to be an alleged hoax from the actor who was reportedly upset with his salary. On February 21, he was arrested for allegedly falsifying a police report.see more on Jussie Smollett
In January 2019, Lifetime aired their docuseries Surviving R Kelly. The documentary features over 50 interviews of fellow musicians, activists, and, most importantly, women who claimed that as young girls, R. Kelly sexually abused, manipulated, and brainwashed them.
Kelly maintained his innocence, and in March, he spoke with Gayle King of CBS News. He called the documentary and movement a "smear campaign." His emotions ran high as he spoke to the camera and begged the general public to believe he "didn't do this stuff! This is not me!"see more on R. Kelly