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50 real-life heroes who won the Internet in 2013 (Part 1)

Yup, it's that time of year, again. Americans are all done tasering each other for iPads and swearing their tiny, rotten hearts out while untangling the Christmas lights, so everyone here at the Internet Factory is logging extra hours to churn out arbitrary listicles in a last ditch effort to get your precious little clicks.

Yup, it's that time of year, again. Americans are all done tasering each other for iPads and swearing their tiny, rotten hearts out while untangling the Christmas lights, so everyone here at the Internet Factory is logging extra hours to churn out arbitrary listicles in a last ditch effort to get your precious little clicks.


Seriously, though, it was a frightening and entertaining year on the Internet. Viral videos, local news interviews, hilarious Craigslist ads, and inventive memes helped us all waste time while we were supposed to be working. Check my entirely subjective list of the 50 true American heroes to win the Internet in 2013 and be sure to tell me how dumb I am in the comments section afterward, or whatever it is you guys need to do to make it through the holidays.

It was a fun one. See you all in 2014.

50. Ylvis, "The Fox" Guys

Yeah, It's tired. Yeah, it's basically the new "Gangnam Style." But, for a while there, it was catchy as hell and offered people an opportunity to dress up for Halloween without going as Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke. And, really, that's doing the Lord's work.

49. The Philly Mom Who Used Craigslist to Try to Get Her Son Laid

One caring mother was concerned that her son would be heading off to college in the fall without, um, completing all of his prerequisite courses? She authored a post on Craigslist seeking to make a young woman's financial issues disappear, so long as the woman in question would date her son until he left for school and taught him ALL OF THE POSITIONS FOR THE SEX.

48. Jack Selby, Former PayPal VP

Better known to folks on the Instagram as @TipsforJesus, Selby has been going around leaving tips like he's Pacman Jones at Minxx. Seriously, he's been tipping thousands of dollars on tabs that amount to a fraction of that and was doing so semi-anonymously for a while. Regardless of his motive, tipping your servers and bartenders well is something to be commended, especially when it's to this degree.

47. Claire Meyer and Alan Linic, the Couple that Fights on Twitter

Alan found an ex girlfriend's hair while unpacking.

Every time Claire and Alan settle a disagreement, they broadcast their fight to the world by summing it up in 140 characters or less and tweeting it to their followers. Reaching new depths as far as over-sharing is concerned, Claire and Alan are a riot because dysfunctional and irrational arguments that serve as microcosmic examples of why it's probably not going to work out are absolutely hilarious when they're happening to other people. It's true. Look it up. Follow them @WeFoughtAbout.

46. The Nutella Thieves

In Germany, someone planned an executed a Nutella heist, making off with 5.5 metric tons of the stuff. Seems lavish, but made for a wonderful headline. If they had bequeathed some of their stash unto the students at Columbia in the midst of a serious Nutella crisis, the thieves could have secured their place in history as the Nutella Robin Hoods.

45. Drew Magary, Writer for Deadspin, GQ

An valiant reporter hitting the pavement and making Bob Woodward proud to call himself a journalist, Magary ventured onto the Kid Rock cruise for GQ and lived to tell about it. He also regaled the Internet with tales of horrible incidents involving human excrement, mocked his young daughter's Christmas list, exposed the Duck Dynasty guy as a homophobe, and offered a slew of d*** jokes in his weekly Deadspin columns. All to keep you entertained at the office.

Hope you're proud of yourselves.

44. Louis Segna, The Get Off My Lawn Guy

A lifelong resident of Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood, 51-year-old Louis Segna was sick and tired of these damn kids and their skinny jeans. So, over the course of two years, Segna called 911 more than 400 times with false reports of fights and shootings in an effort to get the hipsters away from his apartment.

Yes, he lives above a coffeehouse.

We're not condoning his "solution," but we're certainly cackling at the idea of Segna being super pissed off because someone's blasting Bon Iver, downstairs.

43. Emily Kraus, The Woman Who Picked Up Dave Matthews on the Way to His Concert

Singer Dave Matthews was having some bicycle troubles on the side of a rural road out near Hershey, Pennsylvania shortly before he was scheduled to perform. Emily Kraus and her boyfriend happened to drive by Matthews—on their way to his show—and were kind enough to offer the guy a lift. Matthews thanked the couple with dinner, backstage passes, and front row seats at the concert.

42. The Parents Who Posted Their Daughter's One Direction Tickets on eBay

A young Australian girl found herself in trouble after her parents discovered she'd lied about sleeping over at a friend's house to hang out with older boys. Instead of grounding her or sending her to bed without dessert, or whatever parents used to do in ye olde times, her parents took the One Direction tickets they bought her and posted them on eBay. BOOM! Roasted.

41. Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, The "40 Days of Dating" Couple(?)

Two friends with opposite dating problems found themselves single and living in New York City at the same time. So, for 40 days, they decided to date as an "experiment." They were to see each other every day. They were not to date other people. They were to see a couples therapist. They were to create a blog to broadcast their progress. They were to go on a weekend tr—AND HERE'S A BOOK DEAL AND NOW A MOVIE DEAL, TOO.

We all should have thought of this.

40. Rhubarb Lady

Over the summer, a woman who became affectionately known as "Rhubarb Lady" barked a bevy of inappropriate insults at a woman who dared to question her claim to streetside rhubarb. Seriously, the language in the video is NSFW/entirely offensive, but simultaneously hilarious. It even spawned a wonderful late night skit on Conan thanks to Andy Richter's acting prowess.

39. Cole Nowlin, 10-Year-Old Gentleman

This 10-year-old kid was fed up with the way college guys treat women, so he set out to teach them a lesson by giving flowers to random women on a college campus. It was an adorable and, sadly, entirely necessary endeavor.

38. Brandon Huber, Cook, Golden Corral in Port Orange, Florida

This past summer, Brandon Huber—inspired by a call to action from Dr. Phil—recorded a video of Golden Corral's "all-you-can-eat-ribs... by the dumpster" policy at work. He went viral and, as his video was viewed more than 3,000,000 times on YouTube. The company says that the food was thrown out and never served to guests. Huber was arrested later that month for allegedly violating his probation.

Now, if he could just figure out how to turn his phone sideways while filming videos...

37. Craigslist Car Guys

This 1999 Toyota Camry LE - "Built-in security system! No one will ever think this car is worth breaking into! Store your gold in here!"

This 1997 Jeep Cherokee - "If you have been posting on facebook all about how excited you are for pumpkin latte season: THIS VEHICLE IS NOT FOR YOU."


"Built-in security system! No one will ever think this car is worth breaking into! Store your gold in here!"
"Built-in security system! No one will ever think this car is worth breaking into! Store your gold in here!"

36. Steve Kardynal, Internet Troll

You might recall the time that Kardynal, clad in a beater and white undies, sat atop an exercise ball and lip-synced Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" for strangers on Chatroulette. You're also probably emotionally scarred for having witnessed the performance.

35. Michelle Clark, Brookshire Resident and Amateur Meteorologist


34. Everyone Who Posted an Awesome Craigslist Personal Ad

Our existence is boring, mostly. We sit in traffic. We pack a lunch. We wait in line. We're put on hold. Our Facebook feeds are filled with other people's babies and other people's weddings. Band or DJ? Ugh. But! Occasionally, someone so desperate to make a connection with another human being that he or she is willing to absorb the risks that come with seeking companionship in the dark abyss of Craigslist comes along and delights us with hilarious accounts of anonymous dating. Like the Phils fan in DC who just wanted a nice Philly guy to attend a Nats game with her. Or Lindsey Grad and Nick Hassel of Seattle, who met when Lindsey needed an awful date to an awful wedding. Nick had to pretend to be the drummer from The Airborne Toxic Event for the whole thing.

Thanks for doing your part, guys.

33. The Seattle Police Department

So smart. The SPD is sooooo smart. Seriously, short of recording a reading of the new ordinances so that it's you can hear it when you play a Pink Floyd record backward, what better way to teach pot heads about marijuana laws than attaching the information to free bags of Doritos? So smart.

32. Rapping ASL Interpreters Everywhere

The world learned that people with hearing disabilities go to concerts, too, as ASL interpreters signing rap lyrics broke the Internet following this year's Bonnaroo festival. Seriously, check out Holly doin' her thang. You haven't really heard Wu-Tang 'til you've seen Holly sign the hell out of their lyrics.

31. A.J. Clemente, Former Anchor for KFYR, Bismarck

That video probably still makes you cringe. Clemente got his big break and was given the opportunity to anchor the news in Bismark, North Dakota, but had a bit of a NSFW gaffe while his mic was hot. So, Clemente made his way to Dewey Beach where he was slangin' drinks Que Pasa. Chin up, you'll get 'em next time, pal.

30. Those Guys Who've Been Playing Tag for 23 Years

They say that age is a state of mind and nothing is a better example of that than this set of buddies who've been playing the same game of tag for nearly a quarter-century. Their game is only "live" during February and has covered all regions of the United States. Only one of their wives has torn a ligament in her knee when startled by the "it" person, though. So, you know they're being safe.

29. The Parents Who Snitched on Their Own Kids' Party

Kids today, man, I tell ya... A pair of teenage sisters in Connecticut figured it was all #YOLO when their parents went out of town for a holiday weekend. But, just like in every mid-'90s sitcom, the parents came home early and caught their girls probably re-living that scene from 10 Things I Hate About You. So, they called the cops and snitched their daughters out. An over reaction? Maybe. But, still, an impressive show of tough love for a set of parents in 2013.

28. Jeffrey Wagner, Failed Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate

When vying for Minneapolis' mayoral office, Jeffrey Wagner decided the best way to reach the people was to film a campaign ad in which he emerges—half-naked—from a lake and urges his fellow citizens to "WAKE THE F*** UP!"

He even promised not to go to the strip clubs (anymore)!

Though he lost his bid for public office, he became the mayor of our hearts in 2013.

27. Richard Schaen, Comic Book Collector

Schaen bough The Amazing Spider-Man #1 for $0.12 in 1963. Fifty years later, he parted with his prized item to help pay for his daughter's wedding. (This is the part when you're supposed to, "Awwwww."

26. In the Way Guy

One intrepid dad ruined an ambitious couple's brief moment of Internet stardom by awkwardly trying to cut across the frame during their engagement photo op at Disneyland. Luckily for the couple, they were also able to capture a still of the event without outside interference. Luckily for the rest of us, this public display of affection gave birth to the hilarious and versatile "In the Way Guy" meme. He's even rocking one of those backpacks with the one, diagonal strap because of course he is. Never change, In the Way Guy. Never change.

Click here for Part II.