7 Times K-Pop Stars Went Majorly Viral Beyond Their Fandoms

K-pop is bigger than ever, and a large part is thanks to formidable fandoms that have made their homes on social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr. Fandom tweets will reach thousands of retweets or reblogs by the minute, but sometimes the content is so engaging or hilarious that it’ll leave the comfortable confines of K-pop fandom and into the reach of “locals” or non-fandom spaces.

Here are eight instances of these moments, as well as the intriguing stories of how they happened!

1. K-pop Girl in the Rainbow Dress

In the fall of 2017, Red Velvet dropped their album “Perfect Velvet” as well as the music video for their title track “Peek-A-Boo.” While everyone loved how much of a bop the song was, they were also properly shaken by the girls’ glorious outfits, particularly Joy’s slinky rainbow dress. It was a glorious week indeed.

Fast forward to November when the group performed on “Inkigayo.” Fans on the internet once again lost their minds when high quality photos of Joy performing at the event in her iconic rainbow dress were released. This time, the photos made its way into the non-K-pop fandom part of Twitter, and Twitter user bellealtmark had to let the Internet know how much she appreciated Joy.

Their simple tweet ended up raking in 9,000 retweets and 18 thousand likes, and ReVeluvs and other Joy appreciators were all over their replies providing them with even more quality pictures.

Her impact!

2. Key the Clown

As seen above, Twitter is one of the hottest spots for its users to retweet and like tweets that, regardless of their interests, end up on their timelines. One tweet that majorly blew up on the website was one by Twitter user youronIyace.

In 2017, they tweeted, “when ur the funny friend so you gotta make jokes but then you get home and get to be sad again,” along with two photos of SHINEE’s Key in a clown costume.

The photos actually came from 2015, when SM Entertainment held its annual SMTOWN Halloween party with almost all SM artists in attendance. SHINEE’s Key went as Ronald McDonald and went all out with his costume and makeup.

The hilarious photos of Key removing his wig and looking somewhat sad in his costume and makeup racked up a total of 85 thousand retweets and 144 thousand likes.

It was a relatable tweet with the perfect photos to capture that mood. An icon, truly.

3. Hyungwon: Meme King

Is there anyone who doesn’t know of MONSTA X’s Hyungwon? If you spend enough time on the internet, you’ve probably seen his face at least once.

Known for his iconic “Starbucks-sipping” reaction gif, Hyungwon was able to become one of few K-pop stars to be used as a reaction meme even amongst people who weren’t necessarily in MONSTA X’s fandom, let alone into K-pop as a whole.

After circulating the web for a while, director Matthew A. Cherry had to ask the golden question: What was the origin story behind the iconic meme?

Monbebes were quick to inform him that A. This was Hyungwon, B. The gif came from a fantaken video from the group’s fansign event, and C. Yes, he and the group are incredible.

Hyungwon even managed to catch the attention of Starbucks’s official Twitter account when one Twitter user, who was evidently a fan of Hyungwon, tweeted, “wow starbucks REALLY coming after me with that fresh strawberry frap.” The franchise surprisingly tweeted back:

The exchange didn’t stop there, as everything came full circle when Hyungwon replied to Starbucks’s tweet and seemed to acknowledge his part in being one of the internet’s most beloved reaction gifs:

Hyungwon, a fantastic entertainer, meme legend, and breaker of the fourth wall, everybody.

4. Stan LOONA

Before LOONA even made their official debut in August with their upbeat track “Hi High,” the group was remarkably popular. It’s not surprising since the group had an intensive two years of high quality predebut releases and an established lore, but what made the group particularly unique was its fandom’s dedication to promoting the group. In any popular post online, one could see the words, “Stan LOONA” dotting the replies below.

Perhaps one of the earliest uses of “Stan LOONA” came from Twitter user @noonatheworld in 2016.

The phrase from their prophetic tweet caught on, and a year later, it became so popular that LOONA became a household name even amongst non-K-pop fans.

It became so prolific that several media outlets had to write their own coverage of this iconic phrase, including Polygon and Babe.

Who else could have Elon Musk casually tweeting, “Stan LOONA”?

The simulation is breaking, indeed. Oh, and also, stan LOONA.

5. Jin Woo the K-pop man

Another K-pop star who went viral for his hilarious facial expression, WINNER’s Kim Jin Woo became a meme after Dingo posted a video of the group singing their hit track “Really Really.” Around the 1 minute and 50 seconds mark, Lee Seung Hoon takes a bottle of juice as he recites his lines, “I’ll fill up your empty glass.” He pours the drink into a cup that Jin Woo holds, but misses the mark and ends up spilling the drink halfway through.

Fans found Jin Woo’s expression at that very moment hysterical, and the reaction picture circulated around the internet for a good while.

Eventually, Tumblr user curseworm posted on their blog asking for the picture for an unknown reason. First, they asked where they could find the picture with a simple drawing, but eventually had to upgrade their description to: “There are 8000 of you and none of you have the picture of the kpop man gazing ruefully at his would-be drink cascading to the floor. tumblr is useless im deleting.”

Their description of Jin Woo as “the kpop man gazing ruefully at his would-be drink cascading to the floor” had fandom in stitches, and the post quickly gathered around 45 thousand notes.

Later, Twitter user planetincle took screenshots of the original Tumblr post on Twitter, along with the original Jin Woo reaction picture, and racked up around 16 thousand retweets themselves.

As the posts spread even more and non-K-pop fandoms began to find the entire situation amusing, as with any meme, variations began to pop up and users even created anime versions, such as this:

The chaotic energy of the meme was clearly relatable for tons of people, regardless of if they were K-pop fans or not.

6. Billionaire Chinese Couple

Is there any other viral K-pop tweet that’s misled more people than the following?

Last year on April 27, Twitter user Iuvizone had the internet believing that 1. WJSN’s Xuan Yi and Mei Qi were lesbian billionaires, 2. That they had tied the knot, and 3. That they were now the richest couple alive.

To K-pop fans, Iuvizone’s tweet was just another amusing shipping/promotional tweet, but to non-K-pop side of Twitter, this was an amazing mark of progress.

The tweet quickly gained tens and thousands of retweets (with currently 26 thousand retweets and 44 thousand likes). Fans of WJSN took the opportunity to promote WJSN’s single “I Wish.”

BuzzFeed later interviewed the original poster of the tweet, where she stated that she had made the tweet to amuse the group’s fans, and hadn’t expected it to go so viral. She stated, “I thought they looked like they were at a wedding with the dresses they were wearing, and the dresses sure looked expensive.” She also added that she assumed people would fact-check first, but the incident just “[showed] the power of what we want to happen.”

After looking further into the tweet, many discovered that the photo used in the tweet was actually from the 2017 Beijing International Film Festival, and was uploaded by Xuan Yi on to her Weibo page.

The incident gained coverage from multiple outlets, making it an unforgettable day for Ujungs and K-pop fans.

7. BTS’s Jin, the “Third from the Left”

2017 marked an amazing year for BTS, with three Daesangs for their work at the Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asian Music Awards, to their American activities which included a performance at the AMAs and appearances on shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and “The Late Late Show With James Corden.”

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards helped skyrocket the group’s popularity in the States, and they were able to make K-pop history with their win as Top Social Artist. However, one member in particular gained attention for his handsome looks during the red carpet event: Jin.

Those who stumbled across the group’s photos from the event were enamored by Jin, the “third guy from the left.” ARMY wasn’t surprised though, since Jin had previously been known as the “car door guy” for the same reason.

Jin acknowledged the moment a few days later during an interview with Billboard, where he stated, “I’m worldwide handsome,” and proceeded to blow a hand kiss at the camera.

You sure are, Jin, you sure are.

Did we miss any viral K-pop moments? Which did you find the funniest, or the most random? Let us know in the comments below!