Tampa Bay's 25 biggest internet moments of all time

Aside from the seemingly never ending "Florida man" headlines and gator break-in stories—don't worry, we still included a few—Tampa Bay has been responsible for some incredibly viral content.

From Twitter-trending Netflix shows like "Tiger King" to Tom Brady pretty much doing anything, the Bay has sourced some legendary memes.

With that said, here are Tampa Bay's biggest internet moments of all time...
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Tiger King
For whatever reason, "Tiger King" was easily one of the most talked about things during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Tampa Bay-based crime documentary was watched by 34.3 million people in just its first 10 days of release. The show’s thought-provoking characters, especially Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, who operates Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park, took the internet by storm—stirring conspiracy theories, debates and most importantly, memes.
Photo via NETFLIX
Tiger King
For whatever reason, "Tiger King" was easily one of the most talked about things during the COVID-19 lockdown. The Tampa Bay-based crime documentary was watched by 34.3 million people in just its first 10 days of release. The show’s thought-provoking characters, especially Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, who operates Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park, took the internet by storm—stirring conspiracy theories, debates and most importantly, memes.
Zola Twitter-thread-turned-movie
In 2015, A’Ziah King composed a Twitter thread telling a personal story about her life during a 48-hour period in Tampa Bay. The thread went viral, so much so that King’s story is now a professionally-produced movie, titled "Zola." The film was shot in Tampa Bay and features a variety of well-known locations.
Zola Twitter-thread-turned-movie
In 2015, A’Ziah King composed a Twitter thread telling a personal story about her life during a 48-hour period in Tampa Bay. The thread went viral, so much so that King’s story is now a professionally-produced movie, titled "Zola." The film was shot in Tampa Bay and features a variety of well-known locations.
Hot property in St. Pete
Tampa Bay’s housing market is on fire, literally. Back in 2019, a realtor posted a St. Pete property for sale using a picture of the house on fire. The smoking hot post went viral, so I guess this fiery technique works.
Zillow
Hot property in St. Pete
Tampa Bay’s housing market is on fire, literally. Back in 2019, a realtor posted a St. Pete property for sale using a picture of the house on fire. The smoking hot post went viral, so I guess this fiery technique works.
'You know I had to do it to em'
Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Lucky Luciano all have one thing in common, creating works of art. The legendary “You know I had to do it to em” post, featuring Tampa-native Luciano’s pink-on-pink outfit and incredible ankle tan, is nearly eight years old. Lucky for you, you can recreate Lucky’s pose right here in Tampa—but we won’t include the address because the neighbors are already annoyed about all the people re-doing it to ‘em. You can also now buy your very own You Know I Had To Do It To Em YouTooz collectible minifigure for $29.99.
'You know I had to do it to em'
Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Lucky Luciano all have one thing in common, creating works of art. The legendary “You know I had to do it to em” post, featuring Tampa-native Luciano’s pink-on-pink outfit and incredible ankle tan, is nearly eight years old. Lucky for you, you can recreate Lucky’s pose right here in Tampa—but we won’t include the address because the neighbors are already annoyed about all the people re-doing it to ‘em. You can also now buy your very own You Know I Had To Do It To Em YouTooz collectible minifigure for $29.99.
Gator in Clearwater kitchen
This wouldn’t be a true Florida list if we didn’t include at least one gator break-in. This 11-foot alligator was found cooking up in a Clearwater kitchen after breaking through the window and making himself at home. If you're new to Tampa Bay, be on the lookout for roaming gators during mating season between the months of May and June.
Photo via Clearwater Police Department
Gator in Clearwater kitchen
This wouldn’t be a true Florida list if we didn’t include at least one gator break-in. This 11-foot alligator was found cooking up in a Clearwater kitchen after breaking through the window and making himself at home. If you're new to Tampa Bay, be on the lookout for roaming gators during mating season between the months of May and June.

Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future.