These Viral Meme Stars Are Raking in Millions From Their Internet Fame and Success
Who would have thought that 10 years down the line, becoming a meme might actually make you rich? They say that going viral is the new “15 minutes of fame,” but at least the subjects of the world’s most recognizable memes are cashing in on their accidental hilarity.
Here are 11 "meme people" who made their fortune out of being comical and relatable characters on the internet. Show this article to your parents the next time they tell you there’s no money in comedy or memes.
1| Disaster Girl (Zoe Roth)
Disaster Girl became internet famous at the tender age of four when she was pictured standing in front of a burning building with a devilish grin. Now 21, Roth is a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and half a million dollars richer after selling her Disaster Girl meme NFT (Non-Fungible Token) for $500,000 in cryptocurrency. That’s roughly P25 million.
2| Bhad Bhabie (Danielle Bregoli)
She’s most known for her stint on Dr. Phil as a problematic 13-year-old whose strained relationship with her mother became a public spectacle. Danielle Bregoli became a meme for her infamous line on the show, “catch me outside, how about that.” After her social media fame and rehabilitation on Dr. Phil, Bregoli seems to have fixed her attitude problems and mended her familial relationships. She later pursued a career in rapping with the stage name “Bhad Bhabie,” and not long after, a career on OnlyFans—a successful one at that. Her net worth as of 2021 is estimated to be at $4 million.
3| Kombucha Girl (Brittany Broski)
Brittany Broski became an accidental meme when she first posted a 20-second video of herself trying Kombucha for the first time on TikTok. She actually got fired from her job in trust and investment services for her comedic skits on the internet. But hey, look on the bright side: she now lives in Los Angeles in close proximity to other popular content creators with whom she collaborates with on a regular basis and she has two million followers on TikTok. Her YouTube channel alone is valued at $11,000 dollars and she now has a net worth estimated to be between $1 million to $5 million.
4| Salt Bae (Nusret Gökçe)
A Turkish chef who has a suave way of salting his meat made rounds on the internet last 2017. The video, titled Ottoman Steak, garnered over 10 million views; he was coined “Salt Bae” and was copied by several people all over the internet, celebrities included. The viral success helped promote his restaurant chain, Nusr-Et Steakhouse, which is now estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, and has expanded to London and the United Kingdom where he sells £700 steaks and £19,000 wine.
5| Blinking White Guy (Drew Scanlon)
Drew Scanlon was a freelance artist from Backbone Entertainment until he was hired by Giant Bomb in 2009. He grew up in California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in design and media arts, and honestly, Scanlon doesn’t even remember filming the particular meme video. His net worth is estimated to be above $1 million, mostly credited to his work in show business. Scanlon has helped raise over $20,000 for the National MS Society for just posting a GIF of his face.
6| Nicole TV Looking Up and Down (Kayla Nicole Jones)
Now a mom to her son Messiah, Kayla Nicole Jones is the relatable meme known for her facial expressions, skin-tight outfits, and ‘trendy’ dance moves. She now has a Snapchat-exclusive reality show called “Meme Mom,” and is most popular for her song “Sneaky Link 2.0”, which you might’ve heard on TikTok. She’s now a comedian, singer, and reality star, and has an estimated net worth of $1.3 million
7| Walmart Yodeling Kid (Mason Ramsey)
After the 13-year-old yodeling cowboy’s viral performance at a local Walmart in Illinois, he instantly went viral and caught the attention of A-Listers like Millie Bobby Brown, The Chainsmokers, and even Justin Bieber himself. After performing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, he guested at Coachella 2018, and even got a featured verse in Lil Nas X’s hit song “Old Town Road,” which they later performed at the 2020 Grammy Awards. The 4’9” 15-year old’s net worth is estimated to be at $1 million, wherein a major part of his earnings comes from his career as a singer.
8| Side-Eyeing Chloe (Chloe Clem)
In 2013, Chloe went viral after YouTuber KAftC posted a video titled “Lily’s Disneyland Surprise… AGAIN,” where Chloe was reacting to the news of a surprise trip to Disneyland on her way to school. Now, 11 years old, Chloe has 522,000 Instagram followers. Her NFT is selling for over $74,000 in cryptocurrency, and her net worth is estimated to be at $1.2 million.
9| Awra Briguela
Awra nowadays is a known Fiipino actor and comedian, but before she became famous with her role in Ang Probinsyano and after winning Your Face Sounds Familiar, she was popular for her “Aura Pose” in her “PAK! Awra!” video. She currently juggles her academics with her career in acting. From rags to riches, Awra now flaunts her hard-earned house (as toured by Ms. Karen Davila). Her net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million.
10| Grumpy Cat (Tardar Sauce)
Tardar Sauce, whose online persona is Grumpy Cat, was the snowshoe cat popular for his permanent scowl expression on the internet. He made his owner, former waitress Thabata Bundsen, a millionaire. Additionally, when she created the company Grumpy Cat Limited, it raked in an estimated total of $100 million. Sadly, Tardar Sauce passed away aged seven last May 14, 2019.
11| Dalagang Pilipina (Mimiyuuuh)
Mimiyuuuh nowadays is one of the most likable Filipino vloggers out there. She’s known for her witty humor, signature catchphrases, and inclusive advocacies. But before she sported Balenciaga, Mimi captured the hearts of millions with her dalagang Pilipina poses and her hallmark Pnk Orocan. Due to her consistently engaging content and personality, Mimiyuuuh is now an endorser for big brands such Lazada, Pepsi, TNT, Cebu Pacific, and even the luxury brand, Off-White. Like Awra, Mimi is now a homeowner and the proud breadwinner of her family. Her net worth is estimated to be at $350,000, or roughly P18 million.