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Most iconic TV moments

The Most Iconic TV Moments… and Tantrums

If there’s one thing we can all collectively agree on, it’s that we love TV… and the drama.

With Brits clocking up an average of 112  hours a month watching the TV, it’s clear just how much we love it. And TV tantrums are a big part of it, with some of TV’s most iconic moments (and tantrums) racking up millions of views.

As reality TV is part and parcel of our everyday lives, and 4 in 10 people watch some form of reality TV, we’ve gathered a list of the ultimate TV moments.

From there, we can finally crown the MOST ICONIC TV moment based on YouTube views (across, and up to, the three most relevant YouTube views) - and you might be surprised at who takes the top spot. We also looked at the number of tweets surrounding the moment to truly reveal its popularity.

The X Factor’s ‘Ant and Seb’ audition and security removal is the most watched TV moment in our analysis

We looked at the three most relevant YouTube views (of specific moments) and tweets to crown the best TV moments and tantrums. And, Ant and Seb’s 2008 X Factor audition, featuring them singing Mysterious Girl, is one of the most memorable auditions in the history of the show, so it’s not surprising that it boasts 11.7 million views. That’s more than a sixth of the UK’s population!

The Most Iconic TV Moments… and Tantrums

Another X Factor audition takes second place in our analysis…

George Gerasinmou's 2011 X Factor audition is another that lives in infamy after he stormed off the stage after disagreeing with the judges 

Come Dine With Me’s ‘You Win Jane’ episode takes third place in our list of iconic TV moments, based on views

Come Dine with Me, a TV show in which four people host strangers at a dinner party in their home for a £1,000 cash prize, has long been popular with the British public. But it was the 2016 episode in which ‘Jane’ wins the money that truly cemented its popularity.

Fans of the show will remember the moment the phrase "You won Jane. Enjoy the money, I hope it makes you very happy. Dear Lord, what a sad little life, Jane." was uttered, and it has since become an internet meme. You can even buy T-shirts and mugs featuring the quote 

It’s so popular that it took third place in our analysis. The scene boasts nearly 3 million views - across the three most relevant YouTube videos - as well as 1,167 tweets to boot mentioning ‘You win Jane’ and the TV show.

‘David’s dead’ takes fourth in our analysis of TV’s most recognisable moments

The infamous ‘David’s dead’ Celebrity Big Brother episode, where Tiffany Pollard got confused about which David was dead after speaking to Angie Bowie, is part of British TV history. And, rightfully, it takes fourth place in our leaderboard of iconic TV tantrums after analysing YouTube views.

The scene chalked up 4.3 million views on YouTube alone, and inspired a multitude of accessories featuring the phrase ‘David’s dead’.

But it was baked Alaska-gate in Great British Bake Off that got fans tweeting the most

Great British Bake Off has aired for 12 years, and is one of the most popular reality shows in the UK. It’s also one of the best-rated reality shows on IMDB, with a very high rating of 8.6. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that this show made fans tweet the most.

Episode four of series five saw Iain’s baked Alaska taken out of the fridge by accident and, subsequently, melting due to the hot day. What happened next left fans in their droves tweeting, with 3,759 recorded mentioning the words ‘baked Alaska’ and ‘GBBO’ as Iain threw the baked Alaska in the bin, leaving the judges with no choice but to eliminate him.

Big Brother has the most iconic moments and tantrums of the shows analysed

Looking at the list of 25 iconic moments and tantrums, there is one stand out that show appears more than others, and that is Big Brother (both the normal and celebrity versions).

Collaboratively, the iconic TV tantrums boast 8.8 million views. Coming a close second is The X Factor, with four iconic auditions (Ant and Seb, George Gerasimou, Kelly, who described Simon as ‘very harsh’ and Louis throwing water over a contestant) making the list.

With Big Brother returning to our screens on ITV in 2023, we can expect some even bigger moments than the ones we have analysed.

Jackie Weaver’s viral zoom call received over 5 million views

Of course, we can’t discuss these iconic moments without honorary mention to Jackie Weaver and her zoom call with the Handforth Parish Council.

While not strictly part of a TV show, the Handforth Parish Council zoom meeting did hit our screens in 2021 (even featuring on the news) after it was claimed that Jackie Weaver ‘did not have the authority’ to eject council members from the call.

Weaver, brought in to help run the parish council meeting, faced backlash from councillors on the call and got into some heated discussions, leaving her no option but to kick members out of the zoom call. The meeting subsequently went viral.

The parish council meeting received over 5,141,155 views across three of the most relevant YouTube videos (when searching for the term ‘you don’t have any authority here, Jackie Weaver’). It was also one of the most tweeted about events, with 1,971 tweets mentioning the term.

If you are interested in reading even more of our studies on TV, check out what watching your favourite show means for your personality. OR, the ultimate list of TV’s most popular villains.


To reveal the top spot, we analysed 25 of the most iconic TV tantrums/moments and reviewed:

  • The YouTube views of the moment (taking the top three most relevant videos and counting the number of views)
  • The number of tweets about the specific moment (including the name of the episode or trending term, as well as the show). Tweets analysed from September 2012 - 2022.

Data collected in September 2022.