BBC down clown 500 error
Twitter's funniest reactions to the BBC outage.

The BBC suffered one of its biggest ever outages on Thursday (31 December) as its websites and some of its digital services went down for several hours in the morning.

In what was a suspected DDoS attack, anyone visiting the site was greeted with a '500' error message, which sent users, Twitter (and the BBC we imagine) into meltdown.

As always, the panic expressed from people trying to get onto the BBC gave Twitter users the opportunity to poke plenty of fun at the situation. Just as when Skype and SnapChat went down earlier in the year, quick-witted tweets and amusing memes bombarded social media feeds.

Many jokingly pointed to signs of an apocalypse, the delayed arrival of the Y2K computer glitch or Jeremy Clarkson's revenge, while others lampooned those who were worrying if they couldn't get their daily dose of BBC. We've rounded up the best ones worthy of an end-of-year chuckle.

The BBC's interesting 500 error page also got its own trending hashtag after users commented on how odd (or creepy) was the picture of a clown puppet from the old test cards, but this time with a raging inferno background instead of playing noughts and crosses with a little girl. It even got Steven Fry tweeting about it.

Don't panic though, folks. The BBC websites were back up and running as of around 10:30am on New Year's Eve and while it wasn't the happiest of preparations over at the Beeb, it at least gave the internet a giggle.