'Sharknado' stirs up the perfect storm of online buzz

Sharknado-trailer.jpg

Image Credit: Syfy

The official poster for the most recent Syfy original movie proclaims, “SHARKNADO. ENOUGH SAID!” But the Internet sure had a lot more to say about the TV movie, which premiered Thursday night and stars Tara Reid and Ian Ziering battling sharks swept up in a tornado headed straight for Los Angeles. The perfect storm of sharks, disaster porn, and C-list actors struck a chord with viewers, eliciting a tempest of tweets, a gale of GIFs, and even a drizzle of daytime news coverage.

During its TV run, #sharknado and #TaraReid made waves on Twitter. Reid and Ziering promoted the program via the social-media site, with the American Pie actress boasting that Sharknado may even be better than the Samuel L. Jackson action thriller Snakes on a Plane and the 90210 alum live-tweeting the Syfy movie event. At its peak, #sharknado registered about 5,000 tweets per minute, which comes to about 83 tweets per second. Check out all the vital stats below:


Other celebrities got fin (sorry) on the Twitter action too. Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks, and Damon Lindelof riffed on a potential Sharknado sequel, while actor-comedian Patton Oswalt continues to tweet about the Syfy phenomenon, writing, “All joking aside, @IanZiering carried SHARKNADO. ‘Challenge accepted’ says Daniel Day-Lewis, signing on to @SyfyTV’s FERAL CAT-QUAKE.” Even Discovery’s Shark Week Twitter page sounded off: “What’s a #Sharknado? When you’re done putting your umbrellas away, #Sharkpocalypse is coming. #SharkWeek starts Aug 4.”

Sadly, Mia Farrow and Philip Roth did not in fact watch the Syfy original movie together, as previously assumed on Twitter. It turns out Farrow was joking when she tweeted the now-deleted post, “We’re watching #sharknado,” featuring a photograph of her with Roth, which was actually taken at a dinner party days prior to the TV movie’s premiere Thursday night. That doesn’t mean the Rosemary’s Baby actress didn’t watch Sharknado: She tweeted, “Omg omg OMG #sharknado,” and soon after added, “Tomorrow I’ll pick up a chain saw.”

Oswalt retweeted Ethan Ridner’s fan art compiling the best of the Sharknado sequel Twitter ideas into one epic movie poster.

On NBC’s Today, hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Natalie Morales jumped on the Sharknado bandwagon, performing dramatic readings of some of the film’s most biting lines.


GIF-savvy viewers highlighted the best (or worst?) moments from the movie, memorializing them in an endless loop. Guyism rounded up some of the most GIFable moments of shark-on-human violence. But arguably the most iconic image is a hurling, bloodthirsty shark facing off against Ian Ziering’s character, Fin, equipped with a chainsaw.

Image Credit: Gifulmination

Next up on Syfy’s original movie slate is Blast Vegas starring Malcolm in the Middle‘s Frankie Muniz, which airs Thursday, July 18, at 9 p.m on Syfy. Will it live up to the lofty heights of Sharknado?

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