It's hard to quantify Twitter's impact on the world. It's only been around for a little over a decade, but in that short time, it went from a place for people to share mildly amusing sentences about their everyday life to a place where the president makes official statements. So much has happened on Twitter in the last ten years, and immortalizing the most significant moments is what the hashtag #TwitterMomentsOfTheDecade is all about.
Originating on Black Twitter (like pretty much everything else), this hashtag is an opportunity for us to look back at the 2010s through Twitter history, or as I have never called it before, Twistory. While the hashtag mostly focuses on the funny moments, I've included a few cultural big ones as well.
The "Hotline Bling" memes were plentiful and hilarious when the video came out in 2016. It was a ripe canvas for memes, and the talented people of Twitter did not disappoint.
"Ain't nobody got time for that!"
Sweet Brown secured her place in history with her amazing news testimony in 2012 about waking up to discover her building was on fire. Soon, it was autotuned and everywhere. Now, it's a piece of history!
In 2017, a random woman had the audacity to question Cher's commitment to providing sanctuary for immigranant families, saying she'll believe it when she see it. So Cher took her down with six short words. Though she was already Twitter royalty, this moment solidified Cher's place on the throne forever. That woman was never heard from again (by which I mean she deleted her tweet).
In the summer of 2019, this absurd "craft" video went viral. It features an egg left in various liquids for several days until it becomes "bigger than before." The video makes no sense, much like the rest of the world, so it was basically the perfect metaphor for the current state of affairs.
"Sorry to this man"
I've said it before and I'll say it again; this video of Keke Palmer regretfully apologizing because she can't identify Dick Cheney is the greatest thing to ever exist, on the internet or otherwise. "Sorry to this man" is the "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" of our time. Keke Palmer deserves a Nobel prize for it.
Caitlyn Jenner's Introduction
Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself to the world over Twitter and quickly set a record for the fastest account to ever reach one million followers. It seems like such a long time ago, but this tweet, and Caitlyn's true identity, was shared with the world in 2015, only four years ago.
In this all-time classic Twitter video, a little kid gleefully runs around the pool while his mom yells, "Let me see what you have!" He cheerfully screams, "A KNIFE!" holds it up, and keeps running while she chases after him. It's pure comedy, a reminder of the way Twitter used to be.
This tweet from the morning after Barack Obama's reelection in 2012 became the tweet with the most retweets ever, until it was unseated less than two years later by a certain selfie...
Ellen's selfie from the Oscars broke Obama's record and now has 3.2 million retweets. Although there are some people in this photo we'd rather not be included nowadays (ahem, Kevin Spacey), there is no doubt that this tweet and picture were everywhere after this night.
And Ellen's tweet held that record for the most retweets for three good years until it was usurped by this absurd entry into Twitter history. Yes, this is a tweet from a high school kid who asked Wendy's how many retweets would get him a year of free chicken nuggets. They said 18 million, and he went for it. He didn't reach that number, but he did go viral enough to beat Ellen's tweet (3.4 million retweets) and Wendy's was so impressed that they gave him that year of nuggs anyway.
"Hide yo kids, hide yo wife"
Antoine Dodson became a household name when he warned people to "Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, hide yo husband" because there was a rapist on the loose in the neighborhood. Serious stuff, sure, but his cadence was just so perfect that he instantly became a meme.
They did surgery on a grape
Guys, they did surgery on a grape! That's not a euphemism or an inside joke. It's just what happens in this video that went so viral it was confusing. I remember opening up Twitter, seeing people talking about the grape surgery, searching for it, finding this video, and being like, "Huh. Guess they did surgery on a grape." Some sentences are funny enough on their own to become huge cultural moments for no reason other than that it's funny.
Distracted Boyfriend Extended Story
Someone discovered that the Distracted Boyfriend picture, which became one of the biggest memes of the decade, was part of a series of stock photos that ended with the two girls getting married and the boyfriend all alone, staring sadly out of a rainy window. It was truly a victory for everyone.
"Thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"
"Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal" is indeed a great line, so I can't fault this guy for being proud of it even when he is on trial. This clip became such a staple on the internet and also in my own personal household that now my partner and I just give each other the look and we know what we're referencing. It's so good.
"Golden Girls" theme song
This is by far the best version of the "Golden Girls" theme song, and the internet agrees. We all know what's about to go down as soon as you see that guy, that wig, and those shifty eyes. This is one that you can play on repeat for hours on end.
"Infinity War" release date
Remember when Marvel was like, "Watch this movie on this date?" and Robert Downey Jr. was like, "How about a week earlier?" and they were just like, "OK!"? Obviously this was all a very carefully planned marketing ploy, but still, it was weird. And it was a moment where we were all just like, "Is this how it's going to work from now on?"
She may have started on TikTok, but because TikTok is only young people, Kombucha Girl really blew up when the video of her reacting to trying kombucha for the first time made it to Twitter. And now, she's a star.
Robin Williams' death
We were all already crying about Robin Williams' death when The Academy tweeted out this heartbreaking and heartwarming picture. He meant so much to so many, and he is sorely, sorely missed.
This woman, frozen between her husband and her boyfriend, is one of the greatest memes of the decade. When you're in a tough spot, people usually either go into flight or fight mode. But this legend went into freeze mode. And she went down in history for it.
Once Kim Kardashian tweeted about "The Dress," you knew this was a real moment. The Dress made it onto morning TV shows and was talked about at every workplace. The Dress will haunt us for years to come.
This video of a teacher seemingly going off about pomegranates went viral way before people knew it was part of a lesson in a psychology class. It didn't matter, though. Seeing a grown woman screaming about pomegranates was enough to secure a spot on the list of the Twitter moments of the decade.
Tony Hawk on the race war
Tony Hawk is an awesome presence on Twitter. He's known for sharing stories of people almost recognizing him, but perhaps his greatest moment was this reaction to the sad fact that he'd have to be killed when the race war happens.
"Where we 'bout to eat at?"
This is one of those classic Twitter clips that you can play on repeat forever and never get tired of. This kid's got his priorities straight and he wants to know where we are eating!
We have all been Jada's sisters, and we have all probably been Jada too, at one point or another. This video is guaranteed to bring you back to your childhood, when everyone was either annoyed or annoying, and that's why it's such a classic.
"Oh my god, I love Chipotle! Chipotle is my life!" If you've ever heard someone say this, and chances are you have, this is the video they are referencing. Chipotle kid is a national treasure. It's a wonder Chipotle didn't hire him for their own ad campaigns.