We can't be the only ones who question every viral story these days. Just look at all the Internet hoaxes that went down this year. That epic note war on a Thanksgiving flight? Fake. A snow-covered Sphinx? False. Even though a little piece of us hurt every time the news broke about another prank, we have to admit all those moments did provide us with plenty of sharable entertainment. If you can bear it, we're breaking down all the great fake-outs that got us in 2013. Better luck figuring it out next year.
The Twerk Fail Seen 'Round the World
Raise your hand if you were one of the
normal horrible people who laughed when you saw the video of the girl twerking and falling on her table before catching on fire. Turns out it really was too good to be true, because Jimmy Kimmel brought her onto his late-night show in September only to reveal he had set the whole thing up. Aww man.
The Note-Passing Fight on a Thanksgiving Flight
I sent the lady a glass of wine and a note pic.twitter.com/GttnmQI25P
— elan gale (@theyearofelan) November 28, 2013
We just couldn't look away when The Bachelor producer Elan Gale started tweeting every move of his ridiculous note-passing fight between him and "Diane in 7A" on a Thanksgiving flight. The woman apparently became really dramatic over a delay, and he made it his mission to set her straight. He also made it his mission to fool everyone, because he later admitted to making it all up. You win, Elan. You win.
The Brilliant Dear Santa Letter
Dear Santa pic.twitter.com/715ZYRsr1n
— Gequeoman (@Gequeoman) November 29, 2013
This one was just tragic. When a letter from a child directing Santa to a long Amazon URL hit Twitter, the kid got major street cred for knowing what's up. But sadly, it wasn't written by a kid — comedic writer and actor Zack Poitras wrote it two years ago. You could actually hear the sighs when the news broke.
Photos of the Sphinx Covered By Snow
Egypt's first snow in 100+ years covers the Sphinx. Think about it: this is likely the FIRST picture of this EVER! pic.twitter.com/3B7JJ3lWwJ
— Mind Blowing (@MindBlowing) December 14, 2013
In December, Cairo saw some snow fall for the first time in over 100 years. All of a sudden, Twitter went crazy with pictures of the pyramids and the Sphinx all covered in white. Except there was a problem — in some pictures, the Eiffel Tower appeared, too, and that's because the monuments were all part of a miniature display in Japan. That snow that fell in Cairo landed in the suburbs. Doh!
New Harry Potter Book Rumors
— was dampotters (@partaypotter) December 30, 2013
April Fool's jokes should remain April Fool's jokes — unless you browse the Internet. In November, a fake press release posted on April 1 gained momentum again with the rumor that an eighth book in the series was set to come out. Someone who stumbled upon the release didn't catch the date, and it instantly went viral, giving hope to fans everywhere. Oops.
The Angry Google Employee
In December, protesters in San Francisco staged a rally to block the buses that pick up tech workers and take them to Silicon Valley. The demonstration wasn't just about the buses, but about the rising cost of living that some blame on the influx of techies to the city. In a video that hit the web, one supposed Google employee is seen arguing with the protestors, saying things like "You can't afford it? Then leave!" which, understandably, went viral and got people all riled up. Turns out, he wasn't a Google employee after all, but instead an actor and union organizer who sided with the protestors. That's definitely one way to get your message across.
The Gay Waitress Who Got Snubbed
This one was sad all around. In November, a waitress in New Jersey claimed that a couple left her a hurtful note on a credit card slip instead of a tip because she is a lesbian. As evidence, she posted a picture of the receipt online. But the couple spoke out, saying they did tip her, and the news broke that she had faked the letter before getting thousands of dollars in donations. The restaurant where she works found out and fired her.
Manti Te'o Deceased Girflriend
You couldn't help but feel for Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o after the controversy that surrounded him in January. When he told news outlets that both his both his grandmother and his girlfriend had died in September 2012, he was praised for continuing to play the game through heartbreak. But after an investigation into his girlfriend's past, the world found out she never existed in the first place. The two had met on the Internet, and his online-dating romance was just a cat-fishing hoax carried out by his friend, who was in love with the athlete. Yikes.