What Shows Went Viral on Netflix in 2021?

The reports of Netflix’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

Yes, for a while there, it seemed like Netflix’s prestige TV offering was dwindling. And then, of course, the back half of 2021 hit, bringing Squid Game and Maid along with it. All of a sudden, Netflix was top dog again.

Even if you’re not a big fan of these two shows, the service had plenty more to offer. Here are the best shows that went viral on Netflix in 2021.

Squid Game

Do we need to recap Squid Game? The South Korean superhit landed on Netflix in September, exploding like no other show before it. It quickly shattered the record for the most-watched Netflix series ever.

You could tell that Squid Game would be big when the memes started to drop. Even now, seeing a Squid Game-related meme template is like finding sand in the desert. We can’t wait for season two!


The other part of Netflix’s one-two punch, Maid is great at tugging on your heartstrings. In only ten episodes, this exclusive Netflix series manages to build up to a cathartic, beautiful finale.

What makes Maid so captivating? Well, it shines a harsh light on how the system often treats women, the poor, and the disenfranchised. Plus, Margaret Qualley is incredible as Alex.

Sweet Tooth

Based on Jeff Lemire’s comic book, Sweet Tooth is a story about a boy named Gus. As you can tell by the antlers, he’s a human-deer hybrid. If you don’t think that’s cute enough, wait until you hear his vernacular!

As far as coming-of-age stories go, Sweet Tooth hits many of the right notes. Though it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, the show is more of a sweet fairytale than a serious drama.


The first French series to get in the U.S. top 10, Lupin is perfect for heist lovers. Across its ten consistently excellent episodes (so far!), the series provides plenty of suspense, drama, and style.

The main attraction of the show is undoubtedly its lead, Omar Sy. Star of hit movies such as Jurassic World and Intouchables, Sy shines in the role of a cunning thief inspired by Arsene Lupin.

Cobra Kai

As they say, a successful show is hard to keep down. After acquiring the rights to Cobra Kai, Netflix released two new seasons in 2021. Some things never change, though: cliffhangers still reign supreme.

Even this late in its run, the show continues to embrace the Karate Kid legacy. Cobra Kai is rivetingly funny, but it can also be poignant when the script calls for it.


In its third season, You didn’t reinvent its formula. Instead, the psychological thriller improved on everything it already did well. With sharper writing and acting, You turned into one of the best shows on Netflix.

And yes, the jaw-dropping reveals are still there. How could they not be? With Joe and Love adjusting to life with each other, the potential for drama (and more murder) is off the hook!

Other Shows That Went Viral on Netflix

As mentioned, Netflix was firing on all cylinders in the second half of 2021. These shows are only the tip of the iceberg—there’s plenty of other binge-worthy stuff out there!

Interested in other shows that went viral on Netflix in 2021? Keep reading the content on our website!

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