Top 10 Movie Moments That Broke the Internet
VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These scenes drove fans crazy! For this list, we'll be looking at various scenes from the 2010s that went viral and broke the internet in some capacity. Our countdown includes "Interstellar", “Avengers: Endgame”, "The Wolf of Wall Street", and more!
Top 10 Movie Moments that Broke the Internet
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Moments that Broke the Internet.
For this list, we’ll be looking at various scenes from the 2010s that went viral and broke the internet in some capacity.
Which scene do you remember most fondly? Let us know in the comments below!
#10: Messages from Home
This Christopher Nolan space epic is certainly filled with bombastic and imaginative sequences - including the famous docking scene. But it still finds time for humanity, and that is perfectly represented through the “messages from home” scene. Due to time dilation, Cooper’s brief foray on the ocean planet actually spans 23 years back on Earth, and Cooper watches two decades’ worth of video messages from home while displaying incredible emotion. The scene is heartbreaking, and it was rightfully regarded as one of the year’s best sequences. But it also turned into a meme, and Matthew McConaughey Reaction Videos was born. Perhaps the most popular is the one that sees Cooper reacting to the “Force Awakens” trailer.
#9: “Jessica, Only Child, Illinois, Chicago”
It’s not often that Best Picture winners set the internet alight, but “Parasite” proved the exception. And while the film was filled with tons of great sequences, it was a simple jingle that went viral. Ki-Jung is scamming the Park family with her brother Ki-woo, and to remember her fake backstory, she creates a little mnemonic jingle with Ki-woo. The two recite the jingle one last time before entering the Park household, and for some reason, the internet really took a liking to it. The scene was parodied and memed, actress Park So Dam taught viewers how to sing the tune, and the song was even available to download on the official “Parasite” website. It’s amazing what a clever mnemonic device can do.
#8: The Argument
“Marriage Story” (2019)
Like “Parasite,” “Marriage Story” isn’t the type of movie to go viral. But it did, thanks primarily to the proliferation of Netflix and the incredible cast. The memes also helped. In the movie’s most famous sequence, Nicole and Charlie enter into a vicious argument that eventually has Charlie wishing that Nicole would die. The scene garnered instant attention, with the internet at large praising the performances of Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver. Driver’s red, screaming face became the de facto image of the movie, and the scene gave rise to a four-panel meme that ended with Driver punching the wall. And therein lies the power of good acting.
#7: The Stairway Dance
The stairway dance is unique and fun enough to elicit thousands of copycats, and it was filmed in a real location. Like the famous “Rocky” steps, this scene was just begging to be copied over and over and over and over again. The stairs are located in the Bronx, New York, and are located near the 167th Street station. They are now crowded with tourists, many of whom recreate the Joker’s bizarre dance down the steps - some of them dressed in Joker attire themselves. Its legacy is yet to be seen, but like the “Rocky” steps, we wouldn’t be surprised if fans are recreating this scene 40 years into the future.
#6: The Sunken Place
“Get Out” (2017)
This movie came out of nowhere, and despite its less than $5 million budget, it ended up grossing over $250 million at the worldwide box office. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly struck a chord with mainstream audiences, but many praised the movie’s commentary on the black experience in America. This is visualized to absolute perfection in The Sunken Place, which is where Missy Armitage sends Chris’ consciousness after hypnotizing him. The dehumanizing theme of The Sunken Place, the haunting music, and its unique visuals combined to make it the movie’s most famous sequence, and the image of Chris’s hypnotized, crying face has become one of the most iconic movie images of the 21st century.
#5: Terence Fletcher’s Lesson
Serving as director Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough, “Whiplash” received universal praise when it was released in 2014, with much attention going towards the performance of J. K. Simmons. Simmons plays a jazz instructor named Terence Fletcher, who is prone to abusing his pupils. Near the beginning of the film, the band is playing Hank Levy’s “Whiplash” when Fletcher grows irate at Andrew Neiman’s off-tempo drumming. After countless starts and restarts, Fletcher throws a chair at Neiman’s head, slaps him across the face, calls him offensive names, and screams directly in his ear. With this, everyone knew they weren’t watching just another music movie. They also knew that Simmons would be an Oscar winner - and they were right.
“A Star Is Born” (2018)
This is actually the fourth time that “A Star Is Born” has been made, following the original in 1937 and remakes in 1954 and 1976. This time, Bradley Cooper was at the helm, and he did an exceptional job directing, writing, performing, and singing. “Shallow” is performed three times in the movie, with the most famous being Ally and Jackson’s performance of the song at Jackson’s concert. While the “Star Is Born” name is obviously popular, it was “Shallow” that pushed this version over the edge. The song peaked at #1 in more than 20 countries and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the music video has since accumulated over one billion views on YouTube.
#3: “What a Lovely Day!”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
This entire movie broke the internet, as no one could believe just how good it was. CGI certainly has its place, but there’s just something about real cars smashing into each other that really gets the blood pumpin’. While the movie is basically credits-to-credits action, the most famous sequence sees the characters driving into a raging sandstorm. The visuals and music are superb - especially when the car and bodies are flying through the sand tornado. But it’s Nux’s reaction to the flying debris that became a phenomenon, and “What a lovely day!” quickly became one of the most popular movie quotes of the decade.
#2: Jordan Belfort Discovers a New Phase
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the finest actors of all time, and watching him act is watching a master at the top of his craft. And, sometimes, that craft involves squirming around on the ground, drooling, groaning like an injured animal, and opening a Lamborghini door with your foot. In the movie, Jordan swallows an obscene amount of methaqualone, resulting in partial paralysis. Or, as he offensively calls it, “The Cerebral Palsy Phase.” The following ten minutes are pure comedy gold, and it proves DiCaprio’s qualities as a physical comedic performer. When the internet was clamoring for DiCaprio to win an Oscar, they were undoubtedly thinking of scenes like this.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Bear Attack, “The Revenant” (2015)
This Is Filmmaking at Its Finest (& Most Brutal)
Time in a Bottle, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014)
The Superhero Genre Always Finds a Way to Be Original
Henry Cavill Reloads His Arms, “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” (2018)
The Internet Was Both Amazed & Confused
The Accident, “Hereditary” (2018)
A Brilliant Combination of Unexpected Storytelling & Marketing Misdirection
“I’m the Captain Now,” “Captain Phillips” (2013)
The Quote Was Endlessly Repeated, Memed, & Parodied
#1: Iron Man Snap
“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)
This movie was more than ten years in the making, and the results certainly did not disappoint. Both in movie terms and the resulting cultural impact. At the very end of the film, Tony Stark taunts Thanos and snaps his fingers, resulting in the deaths of both Thanos and Tony himself. To say that this moment broke the internet would be a massive understatement. It’s all anyone talked about in the weeks to follow, the snap itself became a major cultural moment, and people even synched the scene to New Year's countdowns. For many, the MCU will be a defining point in their moviegoing lives. And this served as the perfect culmination.