Newgrounds was forced to declare a state of emergency as a result of the rapidly spread Wazzup virus.
The entire Wazzup phenomenon was harmless at first - it began with a delightful Budweiser commercial played during the Superbowl. In this television advertisement, Philadelphia residents were seen yelling "Wazzup" at each other from across the room, over the phone, and even via intercom. It wasn't until the phenomenon mutated to viral parody form that it became so devistating. While Newgrounds was immune to the infectious "Superfriends Wazzup" video, a new strain of Flash Wazzup parodies entered through the Portal and spread across the entire site at an unprecedented rate.
The first of the Flash Wazzup parodies was the infamous "Elian Wazzup", by Sean Bonner and Chris Lathrop. Tom Fulp invited the virus into Newgrounds when he emailed Sean Bonner and exclaimed, "Dude, you gotta upload this to Newgrounds!" No one could ever have guessed what would happen next.
The Portal was not programmed to log visitors during the peak of Elian Wazzup traffic, but Tom estimates that "a whole shitload" of people saw the movie. The concept was funny and fresh at the time, so the parody quickly climbed to the top of the Portal charts. Not even legal threats from the Associated Press could stop it! Everyone thought we had a new classic on our hands - a movie that would remain a favorite for years to come.
Then came the other Wazzup parodies...
The Portal soon became infected with countless Wazzup parodies. Political figures, video games, MTV VJs, cartoons - nothing was safe. The viral act of sending Elian Wazzup to friends mutated into a trend of users attempting their own Wazzup parodies. Everyone and their cat was trying to cash in on the popularity of Wazzup parodies, and as a result they dilluted the brand, or "turned it to shit", as many users said.
Fortunately, clever authors began making "anti-Wazzup" spoofs. Two favorites include Dragon Ball Z Wazzup and Snookie Knows Wazzup. These cartoons provided laughs at a time when Wazzup wasn't funny, and they helped build negative sentiment towards the creators of generic Wazzup parodies. This flow of negative sentiment managed to kill the virus, as people stopped sending Wazzup parodies to their friends, and stopped clicking on any link with the word "Wazzup" in the title.
Newgrounds enjoyed a complete recovering, containing the virus in this collection page. Users soon went back to their regular jobs, making the stick cartoons that Newgrounds is known so well for.