The 11 Worst Internet Trends Of 2016

I want to start this round-up off by saying that 2016 was a pretty good year. Obviously there were some notable exceptions, but I’m trying to think positive here, guys. (I think it’s a good New Year’s resolution we can all have for 2017.) That being said, there was some pretty crappy stuff that went on this year and that includes some bad internet trends.

Before I get into the rant, I’m going to start positive again and say that I’m not here to totally hate on the internet. The internet can be a great space. We can thank it for things like the #MannequinChallenge and for giving us an endless supply of hilarious memes. As great as the ol’ net is, it can also be a space that allows some of the most random, weird, and mean stuff become popular. And sometimes it just gets things wrong.

Nothing is perfect in life and that includes the internet. Sometimes it wins and sometimes it loses. Check out the worst internet trends of 2016 and hope that we have seen the last of them.

1. 100 Layers Of Makeup

You might have been curious to see what 100 layers of makeup looked like, but after the third video, you probably realized that the results were going to wild and wasteful. Then things got crazy. 100 layers of leg wax?! 100 layers of fake tan?! 100 layers of hemorrhoid cream?! (I might have made that last one up.) The point is, things went too far, and at the end of the day, that was 100 days of makeup you could have had that you just clogged up your pores with. Next.

2. Harambe Memes

#harambe #harambe2016 #harambememe #meme #funnymemes #funny #dicksoutforharambe

A photo posted by Peter Wooldridge (@peter_wooldridge) on

When a gorilla gets shot and killed after a toddler crawled into its cage, you expect people to be upset about the entire incident. You don’t expect them to go online and create memes about the traumatizing incident. This was one time when the internet failed to have the correct response.

3. One-Finger Selfie Challenge

Can't beat #three #fingers ??? @rozseal thanks for these bad boys ?

A photo posted by ? (@badgalmimi13) on

Have you ever had the urge to pose completely naked on the internet, but didn’t want to reveal everything? No, didn’t think so. The one finger selfie challenge started after a cartoon showed a naked anime character with one finger covering her nipples and another finger covering down there. Of course some people then decided to turn it into a challenge IRL. In addition to having an implication about your body fitting into this *one finger* ideal, it’s also serious business for people who were posting almost naked photos of themselves online who were underage. That’s why y’all are getting a photo of a pretty manicure instead of something from this challenge.

4. Panty Challenge

Because people love finding ways to shame others about their bodies, we had the panty challenge. If you were lucky enough to avoid it, it was about people showing off their underwear online with the goal of proving that they don’t have any vaginal discharge. Ugh. FYI: Vaginal discharge is a completely normal thing. While there are some types that may indicate you have an infection, there’s nothing wrong with seeing some in your underwear. It means your body is doing its job.

5. Paper Waist Challenge

The Paper Waist Challenge…The A4 Challenge…The A4 Paper Waist Challenge. Whatever you want to call it, note that it did no one any favors in terms of body positivity. There were so many brilliant bopo challenges this year. Hopefully everyone will remember those instead of this random one about people comparing their waists to a sheet of paper.

6. Underboob Challenge

? ? ?? Nailing the #underboobchallenge #underboob #girlswithink #inkedgirls

A photo posted by Jess Smith (@everythingcomingupmilhouse) on

Can we just stop with the body-shaming challenges already? The underboob challenge had people sticking pens and various other things under their boobs to see if they would fall or whether they would stay in place. It was based on the old idea that if you stuck something under your boobs and your girls “held” it, you need a bra, but if your boobs “dropped” it then you didn’t need one. Okay…


7. Backpack Challenge

Ahhh, the backpack challenge. It’s a new one, but it already deserves a spot on the list. If you haven’t seen the videos, let me fill you in on the ridiculous challenge. Two rows of people line up then one poor person runs between them and gets pelted with backpacks. Why? I don’t know. It’s definitely not for fun. This isn’t how you want to spend your lunch at school, kids.


8. Clowns

TBH, are clowns are ever really good? Someone at some point decided that they would be great at kids birthdays, but they’re really just creepy AF. Unfortunately for everyone, clowns got even worse this year. Remember the news stories about clowns allegedly trying to lure children into the woods? Yeah. So what does the internet do about it? React with clown memes, of course.


9. Weird Makeup Trends For The Sake Of Shock Value

Can we please make a rule to stop putting random things on our face? Our skin is sensitive, guys. Unfortunately people were game to put almost anything on their skin including shaving cream as makeup remover, bra inserts as  makeup sponges, and even pizza grease as a makeup remover. Was it for beauty? Nah. Was it for pimples? Nah, but they probably did get them along with some other bad reactions. Dude, no one wants to eat pizza grease so why put it on your face? My pores hurt just thinking about it.


10. Prominence Of Alt-Right In The United States

This was another not-so-great thing both off and online. Do we want to even give it more attention by talking about it? Nope. Just note that whatever they are called or not called, doesn’t make the issue any better. Next one, please.


11. Slut-Shaming Over Snapchat Filters

If there is one thing that the internet seems to be relied on for, it’s coming up with new ways to shame women. Case in point: When some people decided that the cute floral crown Snapchat filter was going to be renamed the “hoe filter.” Why? Because that’s the internet for you. Apparently there is something wrong with a girl wanting to put a floral crown around  her head and send a photo of it. Add the fact that people already hate on the puppy filter and it’s just bad.


What do you think was the worst trend of the year? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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