Ten times celebrities broke the internet, including Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez

Feuds and rumours, controversial interviews and that Oscars slap — here are the incidents that set tongues wagging online

From left, Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber and Bernie Sanders have all attracted a flurry of interest online. Photos: EPA; Getty; AFP
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Celebrities and the internet have an interesting relationship. Sometimes the internet can make a celebrity, while sometimes a celebrity can break the internet.

Whether strategically planned or genuine, here are 10 times celebrities sparked a flurry of conversations, memes and gossip online.

Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez pose together

For years Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez have been pit against each other online, as the wife and ex-girlfriend of Justin Bieber.

However, despite trolls and the online narrative surrounding their relationship, the model and the actress decided to take matters into their own hands and were photographed together at the Academy Museum Gala in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The photo comes weeks after Hailey addressed their alleged feud on the Call Her Daddy podcast.

“I can say, period, point blank, I was never with him when he was in a relationship with anybody — that's the end of it,” she said in the podcast episode, which was released in September. “You're not obligated to like me, but I believe that no matter what, there can always be mutual respect between people. To me that means, you don't have to say anything. You don't have to like me, but you don't have to say anything either.”

Harry Styles, Chris Pine and #SpitGate

Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan attend the premiere of 'Don't Worry Darling' during the 2022 Venice International Film Festival. Getty Images

Olivia Wilde's Don’t Worry Darling hasn’t been free of controversy. Rumours of on-set feuds and fallouts were fuelled by a video clip that appeared to show Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine as the singer-turned-actor took a seat at the film’s Venice Film Festival premiere.

However, Pine’s team quickly released a statement to Variety denying what the internet dubbed #SpitGate.

“This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation," a representative said. "Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the Academy Awards this year. AFP

The slap heard across the world will go down as one of the most controversial moments on live television.

When Will Smith charged the stage at the 94th Academy Awards in March and slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face, audiences in the theatre and at home weren’t sure if it was a staged performance or real.

It didn’t take long for everyone to realise that Smith attacked Rock for making a joke at Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. Rock likened her hair to a GI Jane haircut, which prompted Smith to confront him.

Jennifer Aniston joining Instagram

Friends star Jennifer Aniston caused Instagram to crash when she joined the social media site in October 2019.

Aniston's first post was a photo with her Friends co-stars, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

According to Guinness World Records, Aniston's was the fastest account to reach one million followers, achieving the milestone number in five hours and 16 minutes. The record has since been broken by Sir David Attenborough in four hours and 44 minutes.

'Breathtaking' Keanu Reeves

As one of the most likeable Hollywood celebrities, it’s no surprise that Keanu Reeves has gone viral over the years. If it’s not for famous one liners from his films or his apparent inability to age then it’s for his genuine reactions.

In 2019 at the Xbox E3 showcase, Reeves was speaking to a live audience about his cameo in the Cyberpunk 2077 video game when a fan shouted: "You're breathtaking," to which the actor replied: "You're breathtaking," provoking a positive reaction online.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis's personal hygiene

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis at the 2022 Academy Awards. EPA

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis divided online commentators when they shared how little they wash themselves and their children on an episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast.

“I didn’t have hot water growing up as a child so I didn’t shower very much anyway,” Kunis said on the podcast. “I wasn’t that parent that bathed my newborns, ever.”

Kutcher said of their approach to washing their children: “If you can see the dirt on them, clean them. Otherwise, there’s no point.”

And also added that he does wash his own “armpits and my crotch daily and nothing else ever".

Wrapped up Bernie Sanders

Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. / AFP / Brendan SMIALOWSKI

The photo of Bernie Sanders sitting at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, with his arms and legs crossed looking less than happy to be there, took the viral world by storm.

The photo of the Democrat wasn’t only photoshopped into thousands of memes across the internet but became a symbol for the mood of a whole generation.

Billie Eilish on 'Vogue'

Billie Eillish shocked her fans and the fashion world when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue.

The singer and songwriter, who was previously known for her green hair and baggy clothes, went for a complete transformation by channelling Marilyn Monroe by dying her hair blond and wearing figure-hugging corsets and skirts for the shoot.

Prince Harry and Meghan's Oprah Winfrey interview

This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Britain's royal family on March 7, 2021 braced for further revelations from Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan, as a week of transatlantic claim and counter-claim reaches a climax with the broadcast of their interview with Oprah Winfrey. The two-hour interview with the US TV queen is the biggest royal tell-all since Harry's mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.  - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/ HARPO PRODUCTIONS -  Joe PUGLIESE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS --- NO ARCHIVE ---

 / AFP / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / Joe PUGLIESE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/ HARPO PRODUCTIONS -  Joe PUGLIESE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS --- NO ARCHIVE ---

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have made a habit of breaking the internet since the early days of their relationship. However, it was their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey that set social media alight.

It’s estimated that nearly 50 million people tuned into CBS in the US and Britain’s ITV to watch the couple make accusations of racism and neglect, and address the rumours of feuding inside the royal family.

Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala

Kim Kardashian poses on the red carpet for last year's Met Gala under the theme 'In America: A Lexicon of Fashion'. EPA

Kim Kardashian is no stranger to breaking the internet, in fact the term's popularity is attributed to a 2014 cover of Paper magazine featuring her, although it is not where the phrase was coined.

Typically, dramatic storylines from the Kardashian/Jenner family's reality shows, details from her personal life or photoshoots are the reason for her trending name.

However, at the Met Gala last year, Kardashian became a meme when she surprised the fashion world and the internet by arriving covered from head-to-toe in a fully-masked black Balenciaga outfit.

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Updated: October 27, 2022, 7:43 AM
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