What's the word for when something randomly becomes super popular? I have heard that sometimes YouTube will make a random video super popular (super popular as in the YouTuber gets way more views than normal on the video). Is there a "special" word to describe this?

  • 1
    Is this not a fad?
    – Stu W
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 2:22
  • 1
    I agree, fad. Or mania?
    – Zebrafish
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 2:25
  • If "sometimes YouTube will make a random video super popular" then it is intentional, not "randomly" even though it is chosen randomly.
    – Kris
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


I'm thinking of "to go viral". I don't know whether this suggests randomness, but in my opinion many cases of it are random videos among many other equally deserving videos, becoming explosively and disproportionately popular for reasons which aren't always clear.

If a video, image, or story goes viral, it spreads quickly and widely on the Internet through social media and e-mail.
Collins Dictionary

Viral video Wikipedia article

Maybe of interest is the subsection "Reasons for popularity".

Due to their societal impact and marketability, viral videos attract attention in both advertising and academia, which try to account for the reason viral videos are spread and what will make a video go viral. Several theories exist.

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