25 Of The Most Famous Non-Musical One Hit Wonders

Posted by , Updated on September 15, 2017

Although one hit wonders are usually associated with music, today we are going to expand the definition significantly. Whether it is a book, toy, movie, video game, or even a sport, all of the following share one thing in common…they don’t have a sequel! These are 25 of the most famous non-musical one hit wonders!


Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

Lucius Quinctius CincinnatusSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain: author's life + 100 yrs)

This politician turned farmer was called upon by Ancient Rome to lead the army against Rome’s enemies during a military emergency. In spite of assuming the role of a supreme dictator, he resigned 2 weeks later after defeating Rome’s enemies and returned to his farm.


President James K. Polk

President James K. PolkSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain: published before 1923)

Although he only served one term, he is considered to be the only president to fulfill all his campaign goals (such as the annexation of Oregon Country, Texas, and most of the Southwest). Of course, most of those goals weren’t really all that noble as they were motivated by greed and inevitably led to their fair share of war and death.



PlutoSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

It was a planet for 80 Earth years. That’s barely ⅓ of a Pluto year. That’s right, it was a planet for less than half of its year.



CrocsSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

The company came out with one shoe and then ran into inventory problems before it could diversify.


Rubiks Cube

Rubiks CubeSource: wikipedia

Erno Rubik made a few more math toys later in life, but none became quite so popular as his cube.



WD-40Source: wikipedia

Rocket Chemical was looking to make degreasers for rockets. It was only on their 40th try that they finally came up with a useful solution. They named it WD-40 and eventually even changed their company name to reflect what is basically their only product.


Gettier problem

knowledgeSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

Edmund Gettier, a philosopher at the Wayne State University in Detroit wrote a 3 page paper in 1963 just to satisfy the administration’s publication requirements. He thought it was so bad that he had it translated to Spanish and published in an obscure South American philosophy journal. As it turns out, those 3 pages turned 2,000 years of philosophy on its head. It lead to what is known as the Gettier problem. Basically, he showed that justified true belief isn’t really knowledge (you’ll have to google this, it’s pretty interesting). At any rate, Edmund just went back to being a normal philosophy professor afterwards.



penecillinSource: wikipedia

It was basically the first antibiotic, and although it’s still used today, lots of bacteria are now resistant.


To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A MockingbirdSource: wikipedia

Harper Lee made Atticus Finch, the protagonist of the century. It’s hard to top that.


Winnie the Pooh

winnie the poohSource: wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (Disney/ Public domain)

A. Milne was a pretty well known scholar, but he had a hard time being taken seriously after publishing his children’s book.


Yuri Gagarin

yuriSource: wikipedia

He was the first man in space, but the Soviets wouldn’t let him go back. Apparently his life was too valuable to the propaganda machine. Ironically enough, he died shortly afterwards in a plane crash.


Flappy Bird

flappy birdSource: wikipedia

Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen took it down from the app store almost right after it came out. Although it took the world by storm, Dong hasn’t made any such waves since then.



tetrisSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

It’s one of the best selling games of all time. You can’t beat that.


The Matrix

matrixSource: wikipedia

None of the other Wachowski films could quite measure up to the success of the Matrix Trilogy.


KONY 2012

konySource: wikipedia

Invisible Children came up with one scam and then quit game.


Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as screenwriters

mattdamonSource: wikipedia

Apparently being a famous movie star is a much better gig.


The Titanic

titanic_posterSource: wikipedia

There wasn’t much room for a sequel…


Jeremy Lin

jeremy linSource: wikipedia

He was an NBA star for barely half a season. Now he’s back to normal.


Jake Lloyd

jake lloydSource: wikipedia

He was propelled to fame as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars. Shortly thereafter he quit acting.


Burundi’s gold medal

burundiSource: wikipedia, Image: en.wikipedia.org (public domain)

Venuste Niyongabo was the first athlete Burundi ever sent to the Olympics. He won gold, but Burundi hasn’t won a single medal since.



basketballSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

James Naismith invented one sport and stopped there. Who does that?

P.S. we’re being sarcastic.



myspaceSource: wikipedia

Can you name anything else that Tom has done lately?



minecraftSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

Developed by Swedish programmer Markus Persson, also known as Notch, he went from no name developer to one of the world’s richest people in a matter of a few years.


Delorean DMC-12

Delorean DMC-12Source: wikipedia

It was the only model ever produced by the DeLorean Motor Company. Most of you probably know it from Back To The Future.

SEE ALSO: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever »

NOW WATCH: 25 Best Netflix Original Movies

Subscribe to List25
Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans