Best viral photos of 2013: A kiss, a cat, two falls and a frog

In today’s tech-drenched world of tweets, likes, upvotes and shares, a funny picture, meme or photobomb can go viral faster and further than ever before. Even so, it still takes a certain ‘it’ factor to make an impression and pique our human interest enough for us to hit the share button. Scroll down for a selection of photos that entered the viral zeitgeist this year. (WireImage)

10. Ridiculously photogenic football playerf7203d95-bbb8-479d-9ffb-922c24d645a5_YIRviralphotos_PhotogenicFootball

Remember “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy,” aka Zeddie Little, from 2012? Meet his successor, Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel, the star of this perfectly timed snapshot during a game on October 19. After driving into the USC Trojans defense and losing his helmet, McDaniel emerged not only unscathed, but also looking like an Abercrombie & Fitch model. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

9. Russian kiss raises questions


Amidst the controversy over Russia’s antigay laws, this photo of two Russian athletes kissing on the podium at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow was picked up by media outlets and sparked further debate. Was it a protest? Apparently not — both athletes issued denials, saying they were “insulted” by the idea that it was anything more than a victory peck. (Paul Gilham/Getty)

8. Jennifer Lawrence falls at the Oscars


The belle of this year’s Oscars ceremony, Jennifer Lawrence caused a widespread wince when she and her Dior gown tripped on the approach to accepting the best-actress award for “Silver Linings Playbook.” The “Hunger Games” star laughed it off as the audience stood to applaud her: “You guys are only standing up because I fell and you feel bad.” (Kevin Winter/Getty)

7. Please open the government


Dubbed the “defining image of the shutdown,” this picture brought some humanity and heart to a bureaucratic nightmare, all thanks to one kid in a bear costume being locked out of the National Zoo. Initially posted on Reddit, the photo quickly spread to Twitter and various media outlets, fueling the ongoing outrage over the widespread effects, both big and small, of the shutdown. (Reddit)

6. Love conquers all


This inspiring image of double-amputee Marine Jesse Cottle being carried by his wife, Kelly, was widely shared on Facebook. Jesse lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan in 2009, and met Kelly during his recovery. Photographer Sarah Ledford hopes her portrait conveys that “love sees no disabilities and marriage is a two-way street of strength and devotion.” (ShutterHappy Photography)

5. Scarlett Johansson falls … everywhere


In October 2012, Scarlett Johansson was pictured falling down while filming a movie in Scotland. No big deal, right? Cut to September 2013, when one Reddit user posted the image and it quickly became Photoshop fodder, spawning what BuzzFeed called “The Best New Meme in Years,” as Johansson appeared playing the bongos, riding a dolphin, and much more. (Stockpix/INFphoto)

4. ‘Face Plant’ on Flickr


Since Archie Campbell uploaded this multiple-exposure photo of his sister’s silhouette against a plant in May, it has amassed 1.16 million views. The slew of positive comments provided a confidence boost for the photographer: “It finally made me feel like I could take ‘good’ photos. Now I’m not afraid to stop someone and ask to take their shot.” (Archie Campbell/Flickr)

3. Grumpy Cat takes over the world, hates it


The Web is littered with frolicking kittens, but there’s only one Grumpy Cat. This photo was posted to Reddit in late 2012, but Grumpy Cat became an internet sensation in 2013, sparking a meme with captions like “I had fun once … it was awful.” The mixed-breed puss, whose real name is Tardar Sauce (sic), even has her own book, branded coffee drinks, and a movie deal. (

2. ‘In the Way Guy’ ruins everything


Arguably the best meme of 2013, “In the Way Guy” originated from a Reddit photo of a Disney World proposal being accidentally photobombed. The post went viral within hours, and the unwitting star had soon been digitally added to every picture imaginable. The happy couple, Nick Landis and Erika Boone, plan to have a cardboard cutout of him at their wedding. (Reddit)

1. One giant leap for frogkind


The best photobomb of 2013 goes to this brave amphibian, who was snapped midleap as a NASA spacecraft lifted off from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on September 6. So why would a frog move from lily pad to launch pad? Experts explained that the spaceport sits among a wildlife refuge, and the launch pad has a pool for the water deluge system that protects it from damage. (Chris Perry/NASA)