2016 was filled with a lot of strange things. The election. Exploding phones. An abundance of selfies. Actual Strang-er Things. You name it, it happened. But, looking back twenty years from now, what are the main things that we will remember? What will be the first things that will come to mind? That’s right – popular social trends (i.e. the weird stuff we all did/liked and told ourselves was cool)! Like them or hate them, these trends took over 2016. They blew up social media, sometimes even national news, and gave us funny yet depressing memes. One day, when our grandkids ask us to talk about our lives when we were younger, we will have no choice but to include these things. They’re the backbone of our generation – which really indicates just how weird we all are.
Without further ado, here are the eight biggest social trends of the past year.
8. Water bottle flipping
Ever since that kid successfully flipped a water bottle at his school talent show and broke the Internet, the world has gone nuts. What a legend, right? Now people are challenging themselves and others to flip water bottles just like him…for what purpose? I don’t know. But that’s the thing about most of these trends – the only reason they exist is because of how oddly entertaining they are.
If there’s one thing I want to leave in 2016, it’s the clowns. This was by far the creepiest trend of 2016. It was like a mini-apocalypse that everyone made fun of, but secretly feared. Just seeing videos of clowns coming out of corn fields and chasing people’s cars was terrifying. Luckily for us, the era of the clowns seems to have passed.
6. Kevin Bone
Ah, Kevin. Your red sweater won America over as soon as we saw it in all its glory during the second presidential debate. You brought us some joy in the midst of such a heated election, and for that we thank you. Godspeed, sir.
This lovable little Muppet who once reminded us that “it’s not easy being green” has some more life advice for our now-adult selves. And that advice is – sometimes it’s okay to indulge in your evil side. Kermit has his temptations just like us, making him all the more relatable. Who knew that a character from our childhoods would one day be the subject of a viral meme?!
Now onto what is one of the most universally acclaimed trends. For whatever reason, the world decided it was in need of a fresh new dance move this year. Thus, the “dab” was born. I don’t know what makes dabbing so fun and addictive, since it basically just looks like we’re all sneezing – but I think we can agree that dabbing won’t be gone anytime soon. (And that it’s pretty fun, too.)
3. Pokémon Go
Going back to our resurfacing childhoods, I have to mention Pokémon Go. No matter if you still play it or not, you have to admit that at one point you were hooked. To be honest, though, I think this game was just a trick to get us all to exercise. I probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day so much last summer if it wasn’t for this game. I guess Pokémon will never go out of style!
As someone who personally knew Harambe (from that one time I visited the Cincinnati Zoo), I understand how devastating his death was. And because our society is just awful at handling bad situations, of course we had to go and turn him into a meme. It guess it was America’s way of coping…or something. R.I.P. Harambe, I'm sorry your legacy has become a joke.
1. The Mannequin Challenge
Lastly, we have one of the most popular trends ever to grace the Internet. I truly hope this challenge doesn’t fade away anytime soon, because the videos are just so fun to watch. In fact, I've seen one that was made in a space station. Yes, in space. The Mannequin Challenge has gone where no trend has gone before. For that – and because it's just so cool – it has earned its spot as the hottest trend of 2016.
Juju on that beat, Daniel and his white vans, and all the unmentioned memes whose subjects range from Arthur to Joe Biden. You may not go down in history, but you will forever be in our hearts.