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10 viral hits

Rebecca BlackUC DavisYouTubeOccupy Wall StreetKaty PerryStephen ColbertTim Tebow

1. Rebecca Black

Today is not Friday, but Rebecca Black's unintentional parody of modern pop still (unfortunately) takes the No. 1 spot for 2011 viral hits. The original video racked up disproportionately more dislikes than likes, but its so-bad-it's-genuinely-appalling appeal earned it a Teen Choice award, an appearance for Black in a Katy Perry video and a cover by Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, the Roots AND Taylor Hicks (with an assist from the Knicks City Dancers).

2. Charlie Sheen

Sheen's rant on the Feb. 24 episode of "The Alex Jones Show" started the very public destruction of his working relationship with "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre and was the first of numerous interviews that popularized catchphrases we'd rather forget. #winning #tigerblood

3. Occupy Wall Street

The most memorable of all the OWS viral moments may be "Pepper Spray Cop," the video and photo of a UC Davis police officer pepper spraying a line of students. His image has been transplanted into numerous images online, from web comics to a revision of Picasso's "Guernica." Says the cop's fake Twitter account: "The UC Davis undergrad application deadline is Wed, Nov 30. But if you'd like to get pepper sprayed before then, let me know."

4. Planking

Planking: Lying face down in the most awkward/strange/dangerous places possible. Almost overnight, we began to see these plankers photographed on railings, escalators and even on overhead storage areas on airplanes. And in real life on Charles Street and elsewhere.

5. #firstworldproblems

I need to cut my nails so I can use my new iPhone 4S. I had to rent a DVD from Redbox because they were out of Blu-ray. I used my last skip for the hour on Pandora and the next song is even worse. And many more plights that

6. Tebowing

Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow showed us the way when he got down on one knee and prayed after a comeback win against the Miami Dolphins. Expert Tebowers assume the iconic position in random places while other people in the area remain (blissfully) unaware.

7. Karmin covers

The pop duo consisting of Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan took off in early April with their cover of Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now." After over 150 million views on YouTube, the band now has a debut album set to be released in February. Says b's Wesley Case: "Here's an example of what the world needs less of: twee, novelty covers of rap songs by cutesy indie duos."

8. Rick Perry, "Strong"

The liberal-baiting ad in which the Texas governor laments a world in which gay people can serve in the U.S. military while children can't pray in school is the most viewed video of any from the GOP presidential candidates' camps. After just a few weeks, the ad has eclipsed Rebecca Black's "Friday" as YouTube's most disliked video, but it has prompted plenty of reaction: Even Jesus has a video response.

9. TBH

To be honest, we're sick of the new Facebook meme.

10. Man with the Golden Voice

Ted Williams became the first viral hit of 2011 when an interview conducted while he was homeless was posted to the web in January. Williams' astonishing radio announcer voice got him more job offers than he could imagine — and a couple of trips to rehab throughout the year.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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