Two words have been repeated in daily conversation and appeared on nearly every Internet outlet and they are “Damn, Daniel.” This Internet sensation originated from a video that went viral on Feb. 15.
Two high-school students from Riverside Polytechnic in California are responsible for this recent phenomenon that has blinded the Internet: Daniel Lara, a 14-year-old freshman, and his friend Joshua Holz, a 15-year-old sophomore.
The video started as a Snapchat video story of Holz filming Lara walking around outside their high school displaying his swag and outfit. In the background Holz uses a funny voice to exclaim “Damn, Daniel!” to compliment his friend’s attire.
Emily Engler, senior physics major, heard about Damn Daniel as a meme from Tumblr. After she asked her friend about it, she was informed that the Internet rage all started with a video.
“Honestly, I was left disappointed in the video and didn’t really see why it went viral,” Engler . “Personally, I find the voice annoying, and there really isn’t any point to the video.”
This one Snapchat video was transformed into a 30-second video montage, pieced together by Holz, of Lara in a series of outfits with the recurring voice of Holz in the background.
More than one of the videos shows Lara sporting some white Vans. This accessory prompts a new line from Holz when he comments “Damn, Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans.”
“I am legitimately wondering why this is so popular given it has no intrinsic value or really any amount of value,” said Alex Hounchell, senior English major. “I can only assume that people in general have an invested interest in white Vans or Daniel. Probably Daniel.”
Since the montage was posted to Twitter on Feb. 15 it has been retweeted over 300,000 times and collected over 400,000 likes. In the hype of his Internet fame, Lara has gained over 150,000 twitter followers. In addition, both boys have received numerous marriage proposals.
“It’s possible it is a viral video because it’s simple and memorable. It’s also repetitive,” Hounchell said. “The more you repeat something the more memorable it is. It’s also short and a smidge funny.”
The high school duo appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Feb. 24. Ellen awarded Daniel with a lifetime supply of Vans, while Josh, due to his athletic nature, was gifted with a personalized “Damn, Daniel, I was on Ellen!” surfboard.
The Damn Daniel video has created massive popularity for the white Vans brand. According to eBay’s website, pairs of marketed Damn Daniel white Vans are being listed for prices exceeding $1,000.
Even certain companies are using the “Damn Daniel” meme to sell their products on social media. Clorox is using the new slogan: “DAMN, DANIEL Back at it again with Clorox” for advertisements on Twitter.
Whether this phenomenon evokes annoyance or laughter, Damn Daniel isn’t going to be leaving the public eye any time soon. Holz is planning to create his own YouTube channel, which will encompass more Damn Daniel content.
“The phrase [Damn Daniel], in general, is catchy and you can make it your own, but the video itself doesn’t hold that much potential,” Engler said.