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Who started that?! The origin of some of the craziest memes ever

We love going down a YouTube hole as much as the next gal, but it’s gotta make you wonder: who the heck thinks up these bonkers ideas?! We get to the bottom of why crazy crazes like the Tide Pod challenge, the 100 layers challenge and karma’s a b*tch all became big deals.

Tide Pod challenge

You already know this part: DON’T DO IT. Don’t eat detergent. It’s poisonous. It’s dangerous. It’s obvious. OK, now we’ve got the life-saving admin out of the way, let’s crack on with the big questions: WHO started this and WTF were they thinking?!

What the what?

People dare each other to eat Tide Pods (washing detergent liquid tablet thingys) and, instead of saying “Erm definitely no” like a normal person, some crazy fools are actually giving it a go.

Where the heck did that come from?

A few sites mentioned that Tide Pods look like sweets when they were first introduced, way back in 2012. Three years later, after some comedy mentions of eating the pods on various websites, YouTuber Cyr posted a video all about it – but like so many Tide Pod challenges, it’s been taken down. By 2017, enough people were actually taking on this challenge for it to become a thing. But now there are almost as many videos about why not to eat them as there are of people taking the challenge. Probably a good thing, really.

Mannequin challenge

So this one’s been around a smidge longer but it still makes us wonder: why did a bunch of people decide to get filmed standing still?

What the what?

It is what it is: grab some mates, stand as still as mannequins, film it, post it and you’re done.

Where the heck did that come from?

It’s not certain who did the first ever mannequin challenge. Back in the early 2000s, flash mobs were kind of a big deal: people arrange to meet at a certain place and time and do something together, like have a silent disco or a pillow flight. A “freeze flash mob” became a thing, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the name “mannequin challenge” was coined. Students at Edward H. White High School in Florida posed for and posted a video on Twitter with the hashtag #mannequinchallenge, and people jumped on board and created their own right away.

Karma’s a b*tch

Oh, this is a good one. For a start, it’s based on the best show ever (Rivs, obv), it’s super-quick (to watch, not to make!) and it involves a big reveal. What more do you need in life?

What the what?

This one is huge in China and we’re still kinda waiting for it to take off here. Basically, people film themselves in their scruffs, lip-syncing to Riverdale’s Veronica Lodge saying, “Karma’s a bitch.” One swish of a sheet later, they reveal a video of themselves looking ttly hot.

Where the heck did that come from?

The reason this one has become so popular in Asia is that Chinese app, Dou Yin, makes it simple for users to create mini music videos (it’s a bit like musical.ly, but better). Two months after the Riverdale ep aired, “Karma’s a bitch” memes started flooding onto Chinese social media. musical.ly, we need you to add this feature – fast!

Cinnamon challenge

There are so many food challenges out there (hello, Cream Cracker/Saltine challenge, milk chugging, the banana Sprite challenge and the rest) but this one reigns them all.

What the what?

Eat a spoonful of cinnamon without drinking any water in less than 60 seconds. Think that sounds easy? Just watch a few YouTubes of people giving it a try, then see what you think.

Where the heck did that come from?

As long as people have had cinnamon and spoons, they’ve been daring each other to eat spoonfuls of that spicy spice, so let’s date this one as BI (Before Internet). But who filmed it and popped it on the ‘Tube first? This one is buried in the mysteries of time. It started getting loads of Google searches in 2001 and hit its peak between 2007-2012, when Miranda Sings took the challenge (although her original video has now been taken down).

100 layers challenge

YouTube is packed to the rafters with 100 Layers Challenges featuring everything from 100 layers of pants to 100 layers of glue (and let’s not forget betty’s fave, 100 layers of pads) Cool – but why?

What the what?

Decide on your, erm, thing and slap on 100 layers. That’s it!

Where the heck did that come from?

The first known video of this crazy challenge was by nail art vlogger, Cristine Rotenberg, who says she had loads of viewer requests to add a layer of every nail varnish in her collection. She obliged, an army of YouTubers copied the idea, and a beautiful meme arrived in our lives.

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