Top 10 Things That Have Gone Viral During the Pandemic



Top 10 Things That Have Gone Viral During the Pandemic

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These things that have gone viral during the pandemic will define 2020. For this list, we'll be looking at internet trends that have kept us entertained and connected ever since the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared a pandemic. Our countdown includes ourbreak movies, "Hamilton," “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” and more!
Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Things That Have Gone Viral During the Pandemi

If adapting to quarantine life all gets a bit too much, there’s always the internet. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things That Have Gone Viral During the Pandemic.

For this list, we’ll be looking at internet trends that have kept us entertained and connected ever since the COVID-19 outbreak was officially declared a pandemic.

#10: Instagram Live

If you weren’t addicted to social media before the pandemic hit, you probably are now. For many, Instagram Live has become the ideal platform to give friends and followers life updates. It’s also provided brands with an outlet to promote products and the importance of social distancing. Celebrities are taking advantage of Instagram Live as well. Concerts may’ve been cancelled but seeing John Legend perform from home is a sweet consolation. Cardi B is another figure who’s fully mastered it. Whether she’s eating a meal or having a chat with “Uncle Bernie,” peeking into her life is always amusing. Maybe it’s because we’re stuck at home, but even the most routine activities can be engaging through the lens of Instagram Live.

#9: Tie-Dye

While tie-dye has never really gone away, it peaked in the 1960s and ‘70s. This clothing style saw a resurgence of popularity once the pandemic started, however. Various YouTube and TikTok stars have been seen sporting tie-dye fashion, including Ashley Tisdale. As for why this trend has gone viral, maybe it’s because the vibrant colors take our minds off this otherwise fairly bleak chapter in human history. Perhaps it’s because we’re bored and tie-dyeing is a creative outlet. Maybe it’s because we live in politically charged times and people associate tie-dye with the hippie movement. Or maybe it’s because most of us just don’t want to do laundry and tie-dye t-shirts are the only clean clothes in the backs of our closets. In any case, tie-dye is back, baby!

#8: Outbreak Movies

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has in various ways shaped our viewing habits. With the NBA season suspended, sports fans have been filling the void with docuseries like “The Last Dance” and nostalgic movies like “Space Jam”, for example. Basically, anything with Michael Jordan’s name on it. Meanwhile, the outbreak genre has been especially (and perhaps unsurprisingly) prominent too. The same week this crisis was declared a pandemic, the 1995 film “Outbreak” was among Netflix’s most-streamed titles. From other titles like “Contagion,” to “Cabin Fever,” to “28 Days Later,” virus outbreak movies have skyrocketed to the top of our watch lists. Ah, remember when these movies were pure escapism and not our everyday reality? We might not be in end of the world territory just yet, but these films have at least prepared us for the worst.

#7: Dalgona Coffee

With many of us working from home, people have been making fewer and fewer trips to the likes of Starbucks. That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of fancy caffeinated beverages, though. Of all the drinks dominating social media feeds, Dalgona coffee is perhaps the most visually appealing. As you’ll find in most videos, this whipped coffee is surprisingly easy to make. All it takes is some instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. Whip those ingredients until you have a frothy cream, use that to top off a glass of milk and ice, mix it all together and boom! You have not only a delicious drink, but a picture-perfect moment that’s bound to accumulate plenty of likes.

#6: “Hamilton” (2020)

Broadway won’t be reopening its doors to musical theatre fans until at least 2021. For now, though, rewatching “Hamilton” over and over again is one way to get your theatre fix. Disney originally intended to release this live taping of the Tony Award-winning musical in movie theaters. But, due to the pandemic, they instead decided to debut it early on Disney+ over the July 4th weekend. A politically charged story which has inspired numerous think pieces about the Founding Fathers, “Hamilton” broke records when it debuted in 2015. But, even without its historical backdrop, the musical’s irresistible songs and powerhouse performances have provided a source of much needed comfort in 2020. If you haven’t streamed it already, don’t miss your shot.

#5: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” (2020)

Escaping to a remote island has never sounded more enticing. In that sense, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” couldn’t have arrived at a better time. From the moment it was announced in 2019, this game was on every Nintendo Switch owner’s wish list. Nobody imagined back then, however, that “New Horizons” would become quite such a therapeutic experience. Aside from taking our minds off the pandemic, this life simulation game offers no shortage of relaxing activities and opportunities to let your imagination run wild. There’s only so much we can do to control the world around us, so having free rein over our own tranquil paradise is the perfect outlet for stress relief. It’s no wonder that “New Horizons” soared up the gaming charts, increasing Switch sales in the process.

#4: K-pop Fans

K-pop isn’t just about the music anymore. It’s a political movement that’s impacting society in ways that few could’ve imagined in a pre-COVID world. K-pop fans - or K-pop stans - have taken over various controversial hashtags, drowning out offensive and hateful comments. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the group BTS donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter; then, via the #MatchAMillion campaign, BTS fans matched it! Nowhere was K-pop’s influence felt more, though, than at President Trump’s Tulsa rally, which filled fewer seats than anticipated. K-pop fans, along with TikTok users, took partial credit for this low turnout, claiming that they reserved tickets with no intention of showing up. The resulting empty stands made headlines all around the world.

#3: Zoom

Before stay-at-home orders were being enforced, there’s a strong possibility that you didn’t even know what Zoom was, or maybe just assumed that people were talking about that old PBS show. Actually, Zoom has become a go-to video call service for businesses, schools, and other organizations that could no longer meet in person. Where some were quick to adjust to this form of communication, others are still getting the hang of it. Either way, at least Zoom has kept people in touch and even paved the way for some awesome reunions. It’s also given us a treasure trove of priceless memes. While Facetime and Skype have been prevalent throughout the pandemic as well, Zoom has taken off like no other with paying customers more than tripling.

#2: “Tiger King” (2020)

While we’re not sure how Halloween is actually going to function in 2020, we’re positive that more than a few people are going to dress up as Joe Exotic. “Tiger King” attracted 34.3 million viewers during its first ten days on Netflix. The fact that so many subscribers were under quarantine obviously factored into those numbers, but the pandemic isn’t the only reason why this docuseries has become a cultural phenomenon. People remain fascinated by the bizarre real-life figures involved, the unanswered questions, and the notion that this all actually happened. The series quickly spawned a socially distanced special hosted by Joel McHale and we’re guaranteed to see even more “Tiger King” content going forward.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Baking Bread
Because Nothing is More Comforting Than a Fresh Loaf

Because We Finally Have the Spare Time

Fostering Dogs
Because We Need Adorable Companionship

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-08)
Because the World Needs Balance

“Some Good News” (2020-)
Because There’s Enough Bad News Spreading Around

#1: TikTok Dances

It’s been said that dancing is not only good for your physical health, but your mental health as well. So, you can see why people around the world are obsessed with TikTok dances nowadays. Between the “Get Busy” challenge and the “Blinding Lights” challenge, users have been flocking to TikTok like clockwork. More than anything else, people at home need escapism to cope with the pandemic. And if seeing Dame Judi Dench bust some moves doesn’t put a smile on your face, nothing will. Unlike most other social networking services, TikTok is a great motivator to get off the couch and move your body around. Who needs to go to the gym when you can dance along to “The Renegade?”