16 of the biggest pop culture moments of 2016

5 min read
16 of the biggest pop culture moments

From viral videos to high-profile deaths, there’s no denying that 2016 has had its ups and downs. Here are 16 of the biggest pop culture moments of the year

Oh, 2016 you were one of kind.

We witnessed history, lost some of our greatest heroes, lived through uncertainty and most importantly loved and laughed together. 

With not long left, we thought it was time to go through some of the biggest pop culture moments of the year.

1. That time Coldplay performed at the Super Bowl

Whether you loved it or hated it, Coldplay had the world talking after their performance at the Super Bowl this year. The internet was divided in their reviews, with some saying they were outshone by Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. 

The theme of the night seemed to be peace, love and hating on Coldplay. 

2. The whole Damn Daniel thing 

Damnnnn this video was stuck in our heads for ages. Back in March a clip surfaced of a guy called Daniel who wore white vans. The original video was retweeted more than 300,00 times, liked 400,000 times on Twitter and looped more than two million times on Vine. 

3. When Leo finally won an Oscar

After 27 years on the big screen and countless ‘Leonardo losing’ memes, he finally won the Oscar for his performance in The Revenant. 


4. The Pokémon Go craze

Pokémon Go took over our lives in July, and the world headed to the streets to obsessively find the little creatures. 

At the hight of the hysteria a rare Pokémon sighting caused a stampede in New York's Central Park.

5. The #KimExposedTaylorParty tag

The resident breaker of the internet did it once again in 2016. Earlier this year Kim posted a series of Snapchats proving that Kanye did in fact ask Taylor if it was okay to include his controversial lyrics in his track ‘Famous’. Fittingly, Twitter threw a #KimExposedTaylorParty. 

6. We lost some of our greats

2016 could go down in history as the year that we lost some of the best – David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder and Leonard Cohen to name a few. 

Gene Widler

7. The Gilmore Girls return 

Thanks to Netflix our favourite fast-talking girls were back on our screen. Love it or hate it, having the Gilmore Girls back was nice. 

Gilmore Girls

8. When Brangelina split

In September this year new broke that Hollywood’s golden couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had divorced citing irreconcilable difference. . 

Brad Pitt released a statement saying: 

“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the wellbeing of our kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

2016 AKA the year love died. 

Brad and Angelina

9. When Drake got the girl

Just as quickly as he got the girl, he lost her. For a brief, but glorious moment, Drake finally stole Rihanna’s heart. The romance was brief, very public and just as quickly as it started, ended. 

Drake and Rihanna

10. The Rio Olympics

2016 saw another Olympics Games go by. 

One moment that truly highlighted the Olympic spirit was when two runners both tumbled during a race. Despite being in clear agony, New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin helped US runner Abbey D’Agostino to the finish line. 

Check it out… 

11. The Viking clap 

If this is a simple of people coming together we don’t know what is. Over 10,000 Iceland fans clapping together was one of the best things to come out of 2016. 

12. Lin- Manuel Miranda’s Tonys acceptance speech

It was at this year’s Tony Awards that we probably received the most important message of 2016. 

The Tony’s took place a day after the tragic shooting in an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people, and during his acceptance speech Lin-Manuel Miranda reminded as all of the importance of love. 

“We chase the melodies that seem to find us. Until they’re finished songs and start to play. When senseless acts of tragedy remind us, that nothing here is promised not one day.

We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers. Remembrances that hope and love lasts long. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love. Cannot be killed or swept aside. "

13. The Kim Kardashian Paris robbery

In October, Kim Kardashian West was robbed of more than $10 million worth of jewellery in Paris. Since the event, Kim has been extremely silent on social media. Her husband Kanye West was hospitalised late 2016, and the world expressed concern for his welfare. 

Kim Kardashian

14. That Chewbacca mum

Facebook Live took the world by storm this year, but most notable it was the Chewbacca mum who stole our hearts. After buying herself a talking Wookie mask, Candace Payne couldn’t keep it together and hilariously shared it with the world. Candace summed it up perfectly, "It’s the simple joys in life…”

15. The Mannequin challenge

The Mannequin Challenge was a viral video trend that swept through the interwebs late this year. It involved people remaining frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them. 

Check out the one Smallzy did with Little Mix… 

16. Beyoncé had as all sipping on Lemonade 

Just when we thought Beyoncé couldn’t surprise anymore she dropped her visual album Lemonade on HBO. The epic record takes us on a journey through betrayal, anger, love, strength, forgiveness and family.


Images: Mark Ralston/Getty, giphy

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Written By Gemma Prendergast