2016: The Year of the Meme

2016: The Year of the Meme

The best and worst moments of the hottest year on record.

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a shitty year- so much so, that John Oliver, host of "Last Week Tonight" dedicated the season finale episode to just how terrible it was. Despite popular belief, it wasn't all bad, and we have the memes to prove it.Here are all the best and worst things that happened this year.

January 10 - Musician David Bowie died of cancer at age 69.

January 14 - Actor Alan Rickman died of pancreatic cancer at age 69.

February 19 - Harper Lee, author of American classic To Kill a Mockingbird, died at 89.

February 28 - Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for his leading role in The Revenant. And he used his acceptance speech time to talk about climate change. Bravo, Leo!

March 26 - 32 people were killed in terrorist bombings in airports and metro stations in Brussels, Belgium.

April 21 - Music icon Prince died of an overdose at age 57.

May 28 - The infamous gorilla, Harambe, was shot at the Cincinatti Zoo when a child fell into the gorilla enclosure, leading to widespread controversy and, of course, memes.

June 3 - Boxer Muhammad Ali died of Parkinson's disease at age 74.

June 10 - The Voice singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed during a meet-and-greet following a live performance in Orlando. Her brother tackled her killer, preventing further gunshots

June 12 - The worst mass shooting in American history occurred at a gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida. 49 people were killed and 53 were injured.

June 14 - A two-year-old boy was killed by an alligator in Disney.

June 19 - Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in Star Trek, died tragically at age 27 when he was pinned between his vehicle and the gate to his home, after driving friends to their homes.

July 6 - Philando Castile, a black man, was shot dead by a police officer after being pulled over for a broken tailight, and was live-streamed via Facebook by his fiance and passenger, Diamond Reynolds. Their four-year-old daughter was in the backseat.

July 7 - A march against police brutality was held in Dallas, during which five police officers were killed by a sniper.

July 14 - A terrorist ran people over with a truck during the Bastille Day festival in Nice, France. 85 people were killed.

August 9 - American Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps breaks the 2,186-year-old record for most individual gold medals, set by Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 BC. Phelps completed the Rio 2016 Olympic games with 23 gold medals, and 28 medals overall.

Rio 2016 was probably the best part of America's summer this year. With all the tragedies happening at home and around the world, focusing on the Olympics and celebrating American wins, including our amazing Final Five gymnast team, was a relief to most. The memes that came out of the Olympic games were comic relief, too.

August 13 - Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in Star Wars, died at 81- despite the fact that he was not expected to live past his teenage years due to his physical condition; he was 3 feet, 8 inches tall.

August 29 - Gene Wilder, AKA Willy Wonka, and the subject of the famous meme, died at age 83.

September 1 - San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was widely criticized for kneeling during the national anthem.

November 2 - Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the first time in 108 years. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was in the year 1908.

November 9 - After Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, protests break out across the country and #NotMyPresident begins trending.

December 4 - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady becomes the "winningest" quarterback of all time with 201 wins in 248 games, beating the previous record set by Peyton Manning: 200 wins in 293 games.

December 4 - After months of protest, #NoDAPL wins; the permit to drill the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock reservation is denied.

December 13 - Actor Alan Thicke, father of Robin Thicke, died of heart failure at age 69.

December 25 - Musician George Michael died of heart failure while home alone on Christmas morning. He was 53.

December 27 - Carrie Fisher, AKA Princess Leia, died of a heart attack at age 60.

As 2016 (finally) draws to a close, let's look back at how far we've come. So many deaths, both of celebrities, and of civilians randomly attacked by violence and terrorism, occurred this year. But I truly believe we're in a better place as this year comes to a close than we were in the midst of all its craziness. In the words of John Oliver...

Good riddens.

Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

Popular Right Now

22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.


"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

We Can't Plan Our Lives And That Doesn't have To Be A Bad Thing

It puts into perspective how very little control we have on this planet.


Life will wreck your plans, every time, and I'm not really sure that's a bad thing. I think it just puts into perspective how very little control we have on this planet, and that's humbling.

I'm learning a lot right now about letting go. Having little idea of what I'm going to do after college or down the road can feel really daunting at times, but it's also forcing me to hold my heart in the peace of certain truths I know.

Truth #1: Nothing you ever do, or don't do, can affect your value. I believe in God, and His promises and the rooting I've found in Him destroy all other theories of my worth. You might not believe that. Regardless, I hope you know you're priceless. If we claim to care for humanity, I believe we have to also acknowledge that nobody could possibly have any more value than anyone else. Let's not commodify ourselves. There is freedom in rejecting the notion that you have to be a certain person to be valuable.

Truth #2: There is beauty in faithfully walking into the unknown.

Truth #3: Life is scary, but we've made it through a lot of scary stuff so far, and we can do it again.

Truth #4: The world is a very broken place, and the longer I sit in inaction, the more I know we have to do something.

Truth #5: Boundaries are important. Although I am put on this earth to create further goodness and spread further light, I can't do it all. I have to learn to live within the tension of being human and being created to give of myself to the world. Sitting in the now with uncertainty of the future allows me time to consider the kind of boundaries I want to retain in order to protect my heart from the trying times that are sure to continue coming.

Truth #6: Although sometimes I feel like I'm stuck because I can't plan the future, I'm learning. Every single day. I'm constantly being grown, challenged, and opened. The idea that we can be "stuck"... is kind of a lie. Every moment, every event, every experience is important. We just have to remain open to being changed.

Truth #7: The unexpected does not have to be negative. Surprises, and even obstacles, do not have to be received with stress or anxiety. We never know what is coming— if we approach and receive the things that happen to us unexpectedly with hope and positivity, stress and anxiety have a much weaker grip. Grief is necessary, and disappointment is human; mental battles are not easily fought. But we can fight. And we can hope. And we can be positive even through immense amounts of pain.

Truth #8: Sometimes the days with no plan are the very best.

Cover Image Credit:


Related Content

Facebook Comments