The Best Internet Moments of 2023 (So Far)

The internet moves fast and if you’re not chronically online (like I am), you’re going to miss out on some of the best bits. That’s why we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of some of the best internet moments of the year.

We’ve got you covered on everything from AI deceptions to spy balloon suspects. Don’t say we’ve never done anything for you.

Wednesday anything!

Jenna Ortega al

Credit: Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

By Netflix Wednesday has inspired everyone to indulge their inner weirdo, online and off. The titular character’s wacky dance sequence(opens in a new tab) has become a TikTok sensation, WednesdayThemed storytelling has been popping up everywhere since Roblox(opens in a new tab) to the ASMR(opens in a new tab)and the show turned star Jenna Ortega into the It girl of the moment, with appearances on late night shows and “Hot Ones.”

“Strange Icon” M3GAN

Horror movie M3GANand the sentient robotic doll in the center, he’s super queer, gays say(opens in a new tab). The film opened for a staggering $30 million in early January and quickly grew into an iconic addition to queer oeuvre. The doll has also been very popular as a meme(opens in a new tab). Sometimes M3gan kills people, but he also dances and performs aerial flips with a straight face. What is not to love?

Pope Francis AI coat

AI-generated photos of Pope Francis with a white puffer jacket and skateboard

Credit: Pablo Xavier

An image of Pope Francis in a sleek white puffer jacket went viral on Twitter in March because, hey, the guy was looking pretty good on that kind of drip. The photo, along with several others that showed the Pope in various other high-fashion states, was revealed to be a fake created in the AI ​​Image Generator Midjourney by Chicagoan Pablo Xavier while he was full of mushrooms.(opens in a new tab)

The rise of AI-generated content has been tremendous in 2023, and the coat-gate was an early indication of how compelling – and ultimately misleading – AI-generated imagery can be.

Rihanna’s performance at the Super Bowl

Rihanna, in red, at the center of a tableau of support dancers, dressed in white.

Credits: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation

RiRi’s Super Bowl performance had been highly anticipated since her iconic September 2022 announcement(opens in a new tab) and, although the show was met with mixed reception(opens in a new tab) come on fans, there’s no denying how impressive it was. She performed a 12-hit medley while she danced on a floating ledge, all while she was visibly pregnant. No matter what the internet says, RiRi has brought out the W.

Musk Takes Down Twitter’s Blue Check Verification System

The Twitter verification badge.

Credit: Twitter

The death of the blue check was just another joke in the comedy of errors that has been Elon Musk’s reign on Twitter. The verification system that once helped separate news organizations, journalists, politicians, celebrities and other public figures from imposters has been rescinded in favor of a blue check that costs $8. While Musk initially allowed accounts that were verified using the old system of retaining its own checks, on April 20 it removed them from all non-paying accounts. It was the end of an era for Twitter, which had relied on verification to protect users from fake news (and people) on the platform.

Cockroach on the Met Gala red carpet

A photo of the Meta Gal red carpet (which is actually white).  A photographer bends down to take a photo of the cockroach on the floor.

Credit: @vulture

The 2023 Met Gala’s theme celebrated the work of the late designer Karl Lagerfeld, but his signature palette of white, black, and tweed produced some underwhelming red carpet looks. So disappointing indeed, that Vulture’s photo(opens in a new tab) about a nasty party crasher racked up more than 20,000 likes over the course of the night.

Super Mario film uploaded to Twitter

Official Mario Bros. movie poster, with all the characters on karts.

Credit: Universal

In another Musk-era blunder, Twitter announced it would allow Blue subscribers (those who pay for a blue tick, among other perks) to upload videos of up to two hours to the site. @vidsthatgohard meme account(opens in a new tab) seized the moment, uploading the entirety of the just released Super Mario Bros. movie.

The film had already been the butt of jokes online for a while, because you can’t hire Chris Pratt to play the famous Italian plumber Mario and not let people make fun of you. Eventually the video was taken down and @vidsthatgohard’s account was suspended, but not before it was viewed more than nine million times.

“This Barbie”

Three official Barbie posters.

Credit: Warner Bros.

I’m concerned about the promotional launch of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie the movie will have been more entertaining than the movie itself. Because, so far, the launch has been AS a lot of fun.


It’s a “Barbie” world on Twitter

On April 4, the film’s official Twitter account went live for the first time, sharing an official trailer and images of 24 characters. Most had unique taglines proving that while Barbie “is everything”—from pilot to president—her amorous counterpart is “just Ken.” Fans could visit to become their own Barbie or Ken, and Twitter and Instagram timelines were soon flooded with personalized images of friends, colleagues and celebrities proclaiming that “this Barbie” was either “hungry” or “grossly underpaid.” ” or some other clever play on the trend.

Chinese spy balloon

Is it a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Chinese spy balloon! Between January 28 and February 4, citizens of Canada and the United States had something over their heads — literally — as a white balloon the size of three busses made its way through their airspace. The dinghy was shot down off the coast of South Carolina and the military’s analysis of the debris revealed that it had been used for surveillance, despite claims by the Chinese government that it was simply a civilian airship taken out route.

SNL he gave the balloon the sympathetic treatment, humanizing it as a haggard ocean hater.

THE Succession series finale

Kendall at the end of the Succession finale.

Credit: HBO

It seemed that the entire internet (or maybe just Twitter) held its collective breath to find out which Roy brother would take the Waystar Royco throne during Of succession Final 90 minutes in May. It was hard to say goodbye to not only the critically acclaimed series but also the internet culture that surrounded it. From the eldest Kendall playing the baby to the meme moments of the show(opens in a new tab) for tens of thousands of likes, Succession fans were online and obsessed(opens in a new tab). Fandom has proven that half the fun of loving a show is fiddling with the people you love it with.

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