6 People (And 1 Animal) Who Had Their 15 Minutes of Fame in 2017

Who knew the birth of a baby giraffe could be so riveting?

Lisa Hirsch Lozano

It feels like 2017 raced by in the blink of an eye, but when we look back on some of the biggest viral moments of the year, some of them feel like lifetimes ago. It was just nine months ago that BBC dad’s adorable kid embarrassed him on live TV. The woman who flipped off Trump became a viral sensation in November. Let’s take a look at these and the rest of our favorite viral characters of 2017 who have hopefully resumed their normal lives by now.

  • BBC Dad

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    Last March, Professor Robert Kelly was just another parent trying to work from home while dealing with the interruptions of small children. The only difference between him and parents everywhere? He got interrupted while being interviewed on live TV.

    In a moment that made the entire world chuckle, Robert’s 4-year-old daughter Marion barged into her dad’s office, followed by her baby brother James in a walker, while their poor mother chased after them in a panic, dragging both out of the room — all live on the BBC.

    But no one seemed to mind too much. “We love our children very much, and we are happy that our family blooper, our family error there on television, brought so much laughter to so many people,” Kelly later said in a press conference. The whole thing prompted us to ask, between Marion’s confident stomp, baby James’s smooth glide into the room, and their mom’s knee slide, who was the real MVP of this viral moment?

  • The Employee Who Shut Down Trump’s Twitter

    When President Trump’s Twitter feed went dark on November 2, there were many hypotheses about what could have caused it. It turned out that a contract employee for Twitter decided to make a splash on his last day, shutting it down.

    In an interview with TechCrunch.com, Bahtiyar Duysak of Germany revealed that he had done it. He said someone had reported Trump’s account as having violated Twitter rules so he decided to deactivate it, but he didn’t think it would even work.

    Twitter said it was taking steps to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

  • Bicyclist Who Flipped Off Trump

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    When a photo of a bicyclist flipping off the Trump motorcade when viral, many cheered the rider, Juli Briskman, for speaking her mind. According to CNN, Briskman, 50, said of the incident, “My finger said what I was feeling. I’m angry and I’m frustrated.”

    Unfortunately, the marketing professional’s hand gesture didn’t please her her employer, Akima LLC. She was fired for violating her company’s social media policy, but was later inundated by job offers and fans raised over $130,000 for her in a “Thank You” GoFundMe.

  • Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci

    In less than 12 months in office, President Trump has seen many staffers come and go, but Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci had a particularly explosive exit.

    The financier known as “The Mooch” had been a part of Trump’s team from the beginning, but was upgraded to White House Communications Director on July 21. That move reportedly so angered White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Press Secretary Sean Spicer that they both quit.

    But his tenure in the job would be short-lived. Only 10 days later, he was fired after giving an explosive obscenity-laced interview to The New Yorker, in which he criticized Priebus and threatened to fire the entire communications team. He later implied that he thought the conversation was not on the record.

  • Congresswoman Maxine Waters

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    California Congresswoman Maxine Waters became a national sensation when, while interviewing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a House Financial Services hearing, she forcefully stood her ground.

    After Mnuchin seemed to dodge her questions, the Democrat from Los Angeles repeatedly asserted, “Reclaiming my time,” referencing a rule that allowed her to take a certain amount of time.

    It became a rallying cry to women all over the country, who also wanted to “reclaim” their time in order to be heard.

  • April the Giraffe

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    Animal lovers around the world were glued to their screens for several months when a New York zoo promised to live stream a giraffe named April giving birth.

    The only problem was that giraffe pregnancies can last a whopping 15 months, and from the time the feed was turned on in February, it took two months for April to give birth to son Tajiri on April 15.

    When the big moment came, 1.2 million very patient people watched the birth live on YouTube.

  • Chicken Nuggs Boy

    Nevada high school junior Carter Wilkerson posted the message as a joke. He tweeted at Wendy’s fast food restaurants, “Yo @Wendys, how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?”

    When the fast food chain replied, “18 million,” Twitter users made it their mission to get Carter his free chicken “nuggs.” The message ended up being reposted 3.6 million times and is now the most-retweeted tweet ever.

    Despite not quite getting to 18 million, Wendy’s appreciated the publicity and indeed gave Carter his free year of nuggets.

While these stories were certainly “extra,” we have no doubt that we’ll be blown away by a whole other cast of characters and their escapades in 2018. We can’t wait!