Okay, we think we can all agree 2016 was a major suckfest, right? Sure, every year has its flaws, but 2016 brought out the big guns. People died, animals died, love died, and the internet died. Some even believe America died! (More on that later.) Every time we thought it could not get worse, something else unbelievable would come out of the fray. Oh sure, there were some good things that came out of it. Like Pokemon Go, we guess. But the bad was so catastrophic that it weighed out the good and left the public in despair. This year was so divisive and polarizing that we tragically turned on each other, and the public was left in a frenzy over many different issues. Now, we are not going to cover all of them but there are some pretty good memes that came out of the wreckage. There is only one thing we can do in certain situations and that is mock them. Here are 15 memes that came out of 2016’s various disasters.
If you have not heard of the Harambe incident, you have not been on the internet. To summarize, a toddler fell into a gorilla enclosure at a trip to the zoo. The gorilla headed to the boy (intentions unknown) and was shot and killed just in case. There was a lot of debate over this situation. On one hand, gorillas are known to be brutal and even stronger than humans. He could have easily killed that toddler. On the other hand, people have cited examples of gorillas being nurturing to humans and, once again, his intentions were unknown. Maybe poor Harambe was coming to help the boy! While the debate raged on, so did the memes. This could have been news for a week and then forgotten about, but not if the internet has anything to say about it. Harambe has become a martyr for the animal-supporters. No matter how you slice it, it’s a sad situation.
We’re not sure if you got the memo, but love is dead. That is right, there is no hope for any of us. Lady Gaga and her fiancé ended things. So did Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama. And The Weeknd and Bella Hadid. The list goes on and on. But there is one significant break-up that ruined 2016 for all of us: Brangelina. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie seemed like total #relationshipgoals. While they were only officially married for two years, they were together for TWELVE YEARS. In Hollywood. Yup, that is completely unheard of. Not to mention the fact that they had six children, which makes this break-up even sadder. Brad and Angelina seemed to be one of those couples that just worked. They looked at each other in total awe and seemed to always be proud of the other’s accomplishments. Of course, some like to point out that the relationship was doomed from the start due to the fact that it started as an affair: Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when they got together. But we doubt Jen cares at all! We bet she’s moved on and happy with her current man. (That doesn’t mean we can’t make memes about it, however.)
13. The Election
This election was one of the most polarizing ever. No one was a huge fan of either candidate but tried to choose the lesser evil. And with all this divisiveness, of course, came memes. Beautiful, beautiful, memes. If you haven’t been watching Saturday Night Live, we suggest that you search their political sketches on YouTube right now. No matter who you voted for, it was a s@#! Storm. And then when the president-elect was chosen (Donald Trump, of course) people went CRAY. Many celebrities, including everyone’s idol Beyoncé, endorsed Hillary Clinton. People took to the streets (and Twitter) to express their disappointment with the results. While there has been disappointment in the president-elect in the past, none has caused this amount of rioting and hashtags. Hillary supporters are not going to take this defeat lying down, that is for sure. And this will likely carry on in 2017 as we watch Obama give his seat to Donald Trump of all people.
12. Obama (And Biden)
Some people were not fans of the Obama administration, but the internet sure was! Barack Obama was cool, charismatic and always went with a joke. He adopted the “Thanks, Obama” meme as his own. The same can be said for his Vice President/Best Friend Forever Joe Biden who the internet loved just as much. No matter who would be elected in the 2016 election, there was one harsh truth we all had to face: Barack Obama and Joe Biden would no longer occupy the White House. Many pleaded for the rule that you can only serve two terms to change. Some suggested that Joe Biden runs for president this time, with Obama as his running mate. Obama and Biden totally go with the joke, even making friendship bracelets. Many memes are circulating the internet of Biden wanting to prank or go after Donald Trump with Obama having to coax him down. You have to admit, their seemingly genuine friendship is pretty sweet. It is definitely super sad to see them go.
“#Brexit” is the hashtag that went along with Britain about to leave the European Union. This came down to a vote and had just as many negative repercussions as the United States presidential election. This decision effects money, living situations, and immigration. A mostly youth movement meant protests and hashtags to get the word out that they definitely didn’t agree with this decision. When Donald Trump won the United States Presidential election, our friends overseas were tweeting “Welcome to our world!” But just as the Trump situation played out, we have to acknowledge it came down to a vote. The people had spoken. That did not stop others from causing absolute pandemonium in Britain. Once again, we were turned against each other and chaos ensued. Many people feel that it is a step back from what should be a progressive situation. Others complained about the voter turn-out. Unfortunately, they’re stuck with the results.
10. The loss of legends
Where to even begin with this one? Celebrities die every year but this year came for the legends. Muhammad Ali. Prince. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. And those are just the big names! And to prove 2016 wasn’t quite over yet, the icons George Michael and Carrie Fisher passed away in December. These are not all the names: there was Florence Henderson, Harper Lee, Leonard Cohen, Anton Yelchin, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke, Gene Wilder…whew! Are we done here? Many of these names inspired other artists and made a great contribution to the entertainment world. Some if not most of these deaths were early and tragic. Also, a lot of these celebrities were thought of as too bada$$ to die, as if they were invincible. (We’re looking at you, Carrie Fisher!) Unfortunately, no one is and those who have brought their talents and gifts to film, television, music and literature all have their time too. The internet mourned in the way the internet always mourns: memes.
9. Camilla Leaving 5th Harmony
If you have not heard of Fifth Harmony, you will definitely recognize their hit songs like “Worth It” and “Work from Home.” You may also recognize a distinct voice in Shawn Mendez’s song “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” That’s Camila Cabello, a member of Fifth Harmony. FIFTH Harmony… as in five. They all came together on the X-Factor and we all saw them as BFF’s with amazing voices. Turns out that was not the case behind the scenes. Camila left the group and told the other members via her representatives. Ouch! Camila plans on embarking on a solo career and according to the rest of the group, who released a public statement with their side of the story, they were completely blindsided. This is almost as bad as Zayn leaving One Direction or (OMG) Ginger Spice leaving the Spice Girls! Each girl was an integral part of the group and it will not be the same without her.
8. The Taylor Kanye Feud
Since back in 2008 when Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, there has been tension between these two. But eventually, they made up and Taylor even wrote a (non-scathing) song about him. The thought of Taylor and Kanye coming together and putting the past in the past put a grin on all of our faces. Then came Kanye’s new song “Famous,” where the line “I feel like me and Taylor might still have […]/ Why? I made that b***h famous” was featured. Yeesh, pretty vulgar. But Kanye insisted that Taylor approved the line before he recorded, which Taylor vehemently denied. But then Kim Kardashian, queen of Snapchat, leaked footage of Kanye on the phone with Taylor and her approving it, just like Kanye said! So what’s the truth? Well, Taylor insisted she did not know she would be called the b-word, and Kim and Kanye stood by their proof. Aw, we liked that they were friends now! But of course, drama is never too far behind these two.
7. Vine Shutting Down
Vine, the six-second video app, inspired so much creativity and even created some internet celebrities. Vines were hilarious and great for those of us with short attention spans! But then, tragedy struck: Instagram added a video feature to their app. And their videos could be 15 seconds! Vine held on as tight as it could, but it just could not make it. With competition roaring, Vine lost the battle and began to lose popularity. Eventually, it was announced that Vine would be shutting down. While it is true that Vine had been slowly losing traction, there were some die-hard loyalists to Vine that were devastated at the news. Plus: what will happen to the collection of Vines they had built? People have been genuinely emotional over the loss of this app and all the memories they created on it. Instagram just is not the same. Instagram will never live up to the memes that Vine bestowed upon the world!
6. Taylor Swift Break-Ups
This deserves a category of its own. First, Taylor started up with Calvin Harris. This was huge news because she’s never really known to stay with a beau for a long amount of time. That amount of time was unthinkable. They dated for a year and 3 months. She even acknowledged him in an acceptance speech for an award. Then it gets juicer: they break up in June 2016. Devastating for Swift fans. And then… she is spotted kissing Tom Hiddleston. In June 2016. Talk about drama! But then they seemed to be done by September. So once again, Taylor Swift is left love-less and heartbroken. We were optimistic about Calvin Harris because they matched each other so perfectly, but that quickly came falling down to reasons unknown. Then she moved on to Tom Hiddleston which was an odd fit, but we were rooting for her. Poor Taylor. 2016 did not help her in the love department.
5. Climate Change
This is not a 2016 occurrence only, but it definitely blew up this year. Basically, we are going to die. Or at least the generations after us are. Ice caps are already melting and it is too late to stop the damage that has already been done. Social media has taken to calling 2016 “the year of fire” in regards to climate change. This was due to 2016 being the hottest year on record, resulting in arctic sea-ice lows, coral reefs dying, and deadly tornado clusters among other things. Yeah, it is pretty bad. According to scientists, it is worse than we can see, actually, and we are just living in delusion on limited time. Some politicians do not believe this, however, and do not plan to make it a priority. This infuriates scientists who insist the end-times are coming. Whatever you believe, the Earth is clearly not in peak shape.
The only way this epidemic can be described is “WTF.” Okay first of all, who likes clowns anyway? Horror movies turned them creepy and there is no going back. But random clowns attempting to lure children into wooded areas, or staring and standing still on a dark street? NO THANK YOU. At first, people were hoping this was a promotion for a movie coming out, but popular clown-related movies (like the remake of It) denied any involvement. So there really are just clowns out there trying to creep you out intentionally. This is a literal nightmare. Our theory is that there was one weird clown and then others jumped on the bandwagon, and to that, we say SCREW YOU! We did not sign up for this! No actual harm has been caused by these clowns yet, but they were definitely a memorable event that occurred in 2016. And who even knows if it will continue into 2017? Not okay.
3. One Second Longer
What if I told you that this torture is lasting one. second. longer?! That is right, 2016 will be a second longer than previous years. An extra second of hell. “According to timekeepers at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, the time determined by super-regular atomic clocks and the observed rotation of Earth have yet again become mismatched,” says National Geographic. This affects around 10% of computers. A similar incident happened in 2012 causing glitches in many websites such as Reddit, Instagram, Yelp, and Netflix. It also effected a worldwide airline booking system, which must have been the worst. Does that not just sum up 2016 for you? A minor blip causing a catastrophe and ending the year with a bang? We do not know about you, but we want this year done. So not only does this affect computers, it affects us! We have to deal with this crap and cursed year for another freaking second!
2. Ryan Lochte “Robbery”
Ryan Lochte was previously seen as a puppy dog of sorts. He was innocent, kind of dopey, and seemed sweet enough. And boy, was he a talented swimmer! He definitely made the United States proud. But the glory days can’t last forever, and Ryan came crashing off his pedestal in the year 2016. While in Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Ryan and his friends were robbed at gunpoint! Or at least, that was the initial story. It turned out that there was surveillance video footage that told a different story. His car had not been stopped like he claimed, they were actually the ones to stop at a gas station. A gun and money were involved. A security guard had a gun after Ryan and his friends vandalized the gas station’s bathroom and the money exchanged was used to pay for the damages. This certainly angered the people of Brazil, who felt that Ryan’s lie gave Brazil a bad name. Unfortunately, this golden boy was a little rusted by the end of the year.
In the end, it might just all come down to math and mythology. Numerology is the idea that numbers coincide with events that are happening. This year’s number was 9, as 2+0+1+6=9. And turns out, 9 is not necessarily a good number! The number 9 allegedly signifies “completions, endings and transitions” according to Elite Daily. Essentially, this was the year where major changes were made. And as many of us can agree, a lot of these were not good changes! Things will get better, numerologists claim, but they have to get worse first. Fortunately, with 2017 comes new hope: supposedly it will be the year of the 1, which is about “taking power back and making things happen.” So maybe, there will be some positive events that occur in 2017! We can only hope as 2016 was a bad year for many of us. But hey, at least we got some good memes out of it!