The Super Bowl halftime show always produces memorable moments – whether choreographed or accidental.
There was Janet Jackson’s nipplegate and Left Shark.
This year the honour for biggest Internet moment went to 13-year-old Ryan McKenna, a young spectator, caught in the middle of the crowd looking baffled as Justin Timberlake performed by his shoulder during the halftime show.
Looking awkward in front of the cameras, he took that decidedly modern-day form of defensive action and fiddled with his phone.
The result was a string of memes as the Internet went to work.
Was he googling Nsync?
Best part of the #SuperBowl & #HalftimeShow is the kid who really had no clue who Justin Timberlake is…
— Samantha Michelle (@sbazzini8) February 5, 2018
When you don’t know who Justin Timberlake is #PepsiHalftime #SuperBowlAds #Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/6EOPzS53x3
— Kareem Hunt Fan Page (@kareemhuntfanpg) February 5, 2018
I want to be this kid when he goes back to middle school tomorrow #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/oSWE33AuYJ
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) February 5, 2018
Or was he just another example of a doomed youth more interested in Snapchatting his life rather than living it?
Kid next to Timberlake didn't know what to do. Snapchat? Take a selfie? Or participate in real life? #PepsiHalftime
— Aaron Wiener (@Wieneraaron) February 5, 2018
He later explained what happened to the local Minneapolis newspaper the Twin Cities Pioneer.
He said he knew he had to act quickly as Timberlake walked towards him if he was to get a selfie. He stopped the video he was recording and instead hurried to open the camera app on his phone.
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“I just thought to myself, ‘I’ll never get this opportunity again in my whole life,’” he said. “I just went for it.”
The result was the Super Bowl’s biggest viral moment.
In Pictures: Super Bowl 2018, New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
“My phone started blowing up,” his father John McKenna said. “It died, like, instantly after it happened. We had friends from all over reaching out. I couldn’t believe it.”
The pair had flown in from Massachusetts for the game. They were due to fly back on Monday but may find their plans derailed by media interest. They are already scheduled to appear on ABC’s Good Morning America in the morning.