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People Reveal Their '15 Seconds Of Fame' Experiences

Reddit user JXSTYLES asked: 'What’s your “15 seconds of fame” moment?'

black and red Fame graffiti on white metal surface
Scott Webb on Unsplash

"15 minutes of fame" refers to the short-lived publicity or celebrity of an individual who isn't otherwise famous.

The expression comes from a quote often misattributed to artist Andy Warhol:

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

The first printed use was in the program for a 1968 exhibition of Warhol's work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.

But the phrase is attributed to two different people, Pontus Hultén in 1967 and Nat Finkelstein in 1966. There's no record of Warhol saying or writing the phrase before then.

While working on the Swedish Warhol art exhibition program, Olle Granath claims Hultén asked him to insert the quote.

Granath replied the quote was not in the Warhol material he was given.

Hultén allegedly replied:

"If he didn’t say it, he could very well have said it. Let’s put it in."

Photographer Finkelstein claimed he was photographing Warhol in 1966 for a proposed book. Bystanders tried to get into the pictures and Warhol remarked everyone wants to be famous.

Finkelstein supposedly replied:

"Yeah, for about fifteen minutes, Andy."

An older English language version of the same concept is the expression "nine days' wonder" from the Elizabethan era (1558–1603).

Now, with content going viral on the internet and social media, the nine days that became 15 minutes is more like 15 seconds.

Reddit user JXSTYLES asked:

"What’s your '15 seconds of fame' moment?"


"2-day Jeopardy!champion."

"One of the best experiences of my life."

~ Wonder_woman_1965

"1-day champ myself, with a last-to-first Final Jeopardy that only I got."

"I was mad I didn’t win more, then I realized I was truly happy to just get on in the first place, even happier to manage a win, and that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself."

"Was so incredible, and is still my top 'fun fact' even ~10 years later."

~ Storage_Ottoman

Alex Trebek GIF by Jeopardy!Giphy


"When I was 10, I got hit by a car. Dented the fender with my knee, broke the windshield with my back, flew 10 feet when they slammed on the brakes and I didn't get hurt."

"Local paper wrote about it with the title 'boy hits car, car damaged'."

"Someone sent it to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and he talked about me and showed the newspaper clipping with my picture. Said something like, 'The Terminator's kid is running around' and to be careful."

~ Remarkable-Visit-471

But, How Much Did They Win?

"I was on a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—I didn't participate, but I was the one who came as a friend for the participant. It was Latvian version."

"After that episode aired, the next day at school, I was pretty popular. After 2 days nobody gave a sh*t anymore."

~ MrChopsticks89

"I did the same as the phone friend and got to hear myself on air."

"I still remember that the question was about where Jimi Hendrix was buried."

"I want to say it was something like 'which of these rock stars, a Seattle native, is buried in Washington' and one of the other answers was Kurt Cobain to confuse the contestant—especially if the were younger."

"Kurt was cremated, though. I can't remember the other 2 of 4 from the multiple choice."

~ Mouse-Direct

"My dad was on it in the UK! He got to the £16,000 question and was asked something about what planet a certain probe landed on, and he answered Jupiter…"

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire GIF by Stellify MediaGiphy

"Anyway, he didn’t tell anybody how much he won, and we had a watch party when the episode aired. What a massive anticlimax that was."

"He said being at home knowing all the answers is nothing like being on the stage where suddenly you don’t know any of them!"

~ mikeindeyang

Strictly Speaking

"I voiced a video game and when I recently looked up the game reviews, people said one of the most annoying aspects of the game is my voice!

~ Comfortable-Ear-9186

"Well that needs to go on the ol’ resume!"

~ amethystjade15

Sweet Charity

"I once donated a signed piece of TV show merch to a charity auction, and it turned out to be the main attraction that people were really battling over."

"It was a Good Omens poster that had been signed by the main cast plus Neil Gaiman."

"No one knew it came from me or anything, but it was pretty cool sitting in the audience watching people fight over something I contributed."

~ karmagirl314

GIF by Good OmensGiphy


"I found myself on People of Walmart."

"It was 'Hot' People of Walmart, so I guess I have that going for me.

"I had on a very ugly short dress, over-the-knee socks that did not match the dress, & boots. I was bent over the front of my shopping cart trying to pull something out & my maxi pad is clearly showing its lovely wings."

"Funniest part is how the photo was discovered."

"My husband & I were on our phones laughing at People of Walmart. Like, haha look at this one. Haha, this one is even better.

"Then - 'Is that f*cking you?' - 'no, haha'. I'm like, 'don't be stupid I would never be as ridiculous as these peop... Yeah, actually, that is def me'."

"I don't remember that day. Why? Why, God, why? Anyone I have ever shown the picture to immediately knows it is indeed me. No face needed."

"I have very signature over-the-knee socks & boots dress style. 'Oops!' is all I can say."

~ Jetter37

Millennial Legend Status

"I was one of the little kids trick or treating in the opening sequence of Halloweentown."

"My aunt lived around the corner from the house they used. They were set up all down her street to film on that one."

"My grandma got to meet Debbie Reynolds and was thrilled."

~ necianokomis

Halloweentown GIF by FreeformGiphy

"One of my fave Disney originals. So cool!"

~ Economy_Clue8390

"I watch that movie every Halloween. That's really cool!"

~ Feisty-Albatross3554

"This is the most impressive response yet, I'm actually jealous. I was born in 89 if that's not obvious."

~ patriclus47


"Comedian Russell Howard asked me a question while he was performing stand-up in a tiny venue, and my panicked answer made him laugh so hard he bought me a drink afterwards.

"Most of the details of our interaction are lost to adrenaline, sadly, but he was nice."

~ ibiacmbyww

"My girlfriend and I went to see his first show post-lockdown. Small socially distanced audience in Clapham."

"Few weeks later we put Netflix on and watched his documentary and couldn't believe our eyes when we popped up on screen."

"Turned out people were filming and we had no idea. Really surreal moment to just randomly see yourself on Netflix one night."

~ ajollygoodyarn


"I bought the winning ticket for my work lottery group."


"About $17,000 a year for 21 years."

~ Artificial-insanitee

There Are No Small Parts...

"I was killed at the red wedding (Game of Thrones)."

~ Ok-Fudge8848

"Who wasn't?"

~ micka_88

GoT Red Wedding GIFGiphy

"What? Who did you play‽‽"

~ RipMyDSOff

"Stark Bannerman #17 or something. There were a lot of us."

~ Ok-Fudge8848

...Only Small Meal Breaks

"There were contracts in place at the time to keep things quiet for spoiler reasons. I was involved quite a bit for the first 3 seasons but only as an extra/stand in, so I didn't see a lot of the main production process."

"Before I go on I should mention that there's a really fantastic tourist exhibit in Northern Ireland near Banbridge which gives a great behind the scenes experience with access to production scripts, costumes, artwork, and more. It's very worth a visit."

"The experience as an extra would change a lot day to day—sometimes it was the best/easiest work I ever did, and some days were really very grim. And when I say grim, I mean 'on set for 2am to film for 11 hours on a freezing mountain in a gale' grim."

"Wouldn't do that again for what they paid. The costumes aren't nearly as waterproof as they look!"

"That said, the red wedding was great fun, some of the best work I ever did with the company. It took about 3 weeks to film altogether, and actor David Bradley (Walder Frey) made us laugh literally every day—it was very hard to believe he wasn't so likeable on the show."

"The production staff gave us this weird mixture of brown sugar and lemonade to drink because it looked like beer and wouldn't kill us, and while it started out nice enough it was pretty gross to drink by the end of the day."

"Between every take they had to extinguish and relight all the candles—there were about 200 of them on set, so there was a lot of downtime between shots. In the downtime we'd mostly stick to our places because the continuity guys didn't want us to be swapping places in subsequent shots, so we didn't get to chat with the main actors very much if we weren't close to them."

"They were all very lovely and approachable, I just wasn't near enough to chat myself. And besides, they were working, and often between shots they'd be chatting to one another or getting notes from the directors."

"We had very long filming days, so it's not like we wouldn't get a chance to chat with them, and a lot of the extras did (including me, on different days, not really during this shoot). The actors were all really sound, and lovely people to chat with—especially (if you can believe it) Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey."

GoT Joffrey GIFGiphy

"I was near the front of the hall for the red wedding shoot, so I had a great view of everything going on. We also filmed Edmure's wedding in the same week, and Richard Madden (Robb Stark) fumbled his lines so often that we didn't feel too sorry for him when it came time for him to die."

"By the end of Edmure's wedding I think all of us knew the scene by heart—it seemed to take a lot longer to film than it needed."

"Some advice tho for anyone considering extras work—smuggle in food! You eat when the crew eats, but the crew eat while you're filming, so they're sitting eating lunch while you're on camera, and half the time they forget to feed you."

"We learned pretty quick how to get things in, so often if you see someone with a big breastplate or high boots, you should know that they have some sandwiches or a packet of crisps stashed in there."

"The costumes were actually pretty good for sneaking food in."

~ Ok-Fudge8848

HoNY, Please

"Profiled on Humans of New York (NoNY)."

"Said profile also appears in Humans of NY Stories (book)."

~ CharminginBK

"I'm also in the book! (First one)"

"It's fun finding yourself in Barnes & Nobel."

"I'm the girl."


~ Admirable-Pin-8921

"HoNY is one of my favorite things ever to come from social media."

"I love the book."

~ MollyTuck77

Tripped Out

"A documentary crew was visiting the hospital I worked at. They were filming the average shifts of doctors and nurses etc..."

"I didn't want to be part of it and as I came around the corner, there they all were, coming straight toward me and talking to another nurse."

"I immediately turned left to get away, tripped over a wet floor sign and fell flat on my face."

"When the documentary aired, they included the quick talk with the nurse and all you could see in the background was me run, fall and then see my feet poking out from behind a cupboard."

"Everyone knew me from then on as 'That nurse who made a tw*t of herself on the telly'."

~ curiousopenmind22

Go For The Gold

"I ran with the Olympic torch when I was 10 years old in Connecticut."

"1984. LA Olympics."

"Our bank was holding a contest and picked 6 winners to run with the torch. My family entered my name and I was picked."

"Just lucky, I guess."

~ I_am_not_Spider_Man

"My dad ran with it too, in Massachusetts!"

~ OBS617

*George Takei—a marathon runner for years—also carried the Olympic torch in 1984!

JFGI Me, Man!

"I was on Google Street View. Recognizably."

"That's global, man!"

~ druu222

"Welcome to the club, friend! An exclusive bunch we are. Prominent on the streets of years current and gone by."

"I was landscaping a house in seattle and as a street view fanatic I knew that this would forever be the greatest moment of my life."

~ chechifromCHI

"The Google Street view of my house shows me bending over, ass facing the camera, weeding my flowers."

~ willowviolet

I don't think I've ever had 15 seconds of fame, if you don't count my writing.

Have you?