mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
Attendees line the Mall as they watch ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington.
Few photos launch a months long investigation. This one did. From the moment the National Parks department trolled Trump on crowd size in January, the White House's brash assertions of questionable truth about the January 20th inauguration's crowd size became endless fodder for jokes. So unforgettable was this debacle that former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer actually rolled onstage at the Emmys in September, and the internet brought it full circle when when they roasted Trump on crowd size again again after December's Christmas tree lighting.Lucas Jackson—Getty Images
Attendees line the Mall as they watch ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017 in Washington.
Kellyanne Conway (L) checks her phone after taking a photo as President Donald Trump and leaders of historically black universities and colleges pose for a group photo in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 27, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and his wife Louise Linton, hold up a sheet of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing his and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza's signatures, in Washington on Nov. 15.
A man smokes his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom, listening to music, in Aleppo's formerly rebel-held neighborhood of al-Shaar on March 9, 2017.
APTOPIX Canada Tornado Mower
US President Trump in Saudi Arabia
Residents of La Vita Bella nursing home in Dickinson, Texas were trapped due to severe flooding from Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 27.
Daryl Hudeck, Connie Aiden Pham
United States Russia
Protesters gather at O'Hare airport after travelers held
Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits on a boat during a kite surfing outing with British businessman Richard Branson during his holiday on Branson's Moskito island in the British Virgin Islands
Few photos launch a months long investigation. This one did. From the moment the National Parks department trolled Trump
... VIEW MORE

Lucas Jackson—Getty Images
1 of 12

TIME Picks the Best Viral Photos of 2017

Dec 26, 2017

When you look back at 2017, it's the photos that dutifully fed the internet by dominating social feeds that defined the year. And the year's most notable viral photos are as varied as they are telling, documenting political movements, crises, and as always, joke material.

Congratulations to whoever even remembers what Trump discussed with leaders in Saudi Arabia, but everyone saw the picture with the orb. Sure Beyoncé released new music in 2017, but her most inescapable material was her record-busting pregnancy announcement photo. Each snapshot above chronicles - in vivid illustration - the moments that spread across the internet. Whether they were thoughtfully staged or unpredictable, there's human emotion over them all.

Before you look toward 2018, revisit the images in LightBox's best viral photos of 2017.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.