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44 Things That Defied The Curse of 2016

by Helen Turnbull ,
44 Things That Defied The Curse of 2016

The dust is finally settling on the year that can only be described as a never-ending sh*tshow. 2016 will forever be remembered as the year that killed Bowie (and many more talented greats of our time) and The Great British Bake Off as we know it. But while no amount of wine will drown the sorrow brought on by 2016, we've filed through the sh*t to remind you of every single thing that brought us joy over the past 12 months.

1. Lemonade

Beyoncé bounced back with a hella fierce 12-song-strong visual album which did more than reaffirm our love for Queen Bey. Firstly, it had the world questioning who on earth 'Becky with the good hair' is (a lyric which fuelled Jay Z cheating rumours) and secondly, millions of memes and gifs were made in honour of the track Hold Up.


2. When Orlando Bloom went paddling without his wellies

Quite literally. The Hollywood heart-throb's pixelated penis made front-page news when he and his bikini-clad girlfriend Katy Perry enjoyed a paddle in the sea back in August.

3. When Mary Berry said, 'I'll eat a bit of carpet'

Although 2016 marked the end of The Great British Bake Off as we know it - the BBC failed to renew the series contract and it was instead scooped up by Channel 4 - the endless supply of innuendos will go down in history as the rudest yet.

4. This wine-dispensing stocking

The low-key alcoholics among us rejoiced when Santa's Flask saved Christmas, two bottles of wine at a time.

5. The Queen's 90th birthday

I.e. the perfect excuse to boozeify your afternoon tea. As well as her many celebrations, The Queen honoured her milestone moment by being photographed with the youngest members of her family, including Prince George and latest addition Princess Charlotte.

6. Little-known Leicester City winning the Premier League

And in doing so, striker Jamie Vardy dethroned Paul Hollywood as our most unlikely crush.


7. Forcing Gary Lineker to present Match of The Day in his pants

The BBC presenter kept the promise he made at the start of the season in 2015 which made for an awkward 10 minutes of TV gold.


8. Arthur - the unlikely meme star

The favourite cartoon aardvark of your childhood (and his fist) spawned streams of memes which proved to be a much-needed source of Internet LOLs during difficult times.

Arthur's fist
Arthur's fist
See album

9. Tim Peake's mission complete

Major Tim Peake became the sixth British national to travel to the International Space Station in December 2015. As well as completing his mission to carry out new research in science and technology, entitled mission Principia, in April he ran the London Marathon, on a treadmill inside the International Space Station, making him the first man to complete a marathon in space. He returned safely to home ground in June 2016.


10. Selasi Gbormittah

The baker-banker-biker of GBBO series 7 (i.e. the show's smoothest contestant of all time) prompted sexual innuendo-ridden tweets such as: 'He can pipe my cream any day'. But our dreams were shattered when we discovered he has a girlfriend because of course he does.


11. Adele rapping to Nicki Minaj in Carpool Karaoke

It was her rendition of Monster, many facial expressions and trustee cuppa that set the standard for all Carpool Karaoke guests that followed her back in January.


12. Hillary Clinton's concession speech

Despite losing to Donald Trump (sigh), Hillary put on a brave face to tell the women of America: "I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."


13. Giant Pandas are no longer an endangered species

The International Union for Conservation of Nature confirmed the good news in September.



14. Every single moment from the Olympics and Paralympics Rio 2016

Despite the downs (Louis Smith falling off the pommel horse being one), what happened in Rio 2016 will inspire generations for many years to come. From North and South Korea gymnasts Hong Un-jong and Lee Eun-ju taking a selfie which showed a brief moment of unity to Mo Farrah falling over in the 10,000m race only to win gold and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson winning her first gold medal at the tender age of 15, it's a Games we won't be forgetting in a hurry.


15. When Barack Obama made us all cry happy tears when he said these lovely things about Ellen DeGeneres

Honouring the chat-show favourite in his last Presidential Medals of Freedom ceremony (cry), Obama told the crowd: "It's easy to forget now, when we've come so far, where now marriage is equal under the law, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages 20 years ago. Just how important it was, not just to the LGBT community but for all of us to see somebody so full of kindness and light, somebody we liked so much - somebody who could be our neighbour or our colleague or our sister - challenge us on our assumptions, remind us that we have more in common than we realise, push our country in the direction of justice. What an incredible burden that was to bear. To risk your career like that - people don't do that very often."


16. Cheryl and Liam Payne made a baby

The former Girls Aloud singer and One Direction's oldest member kept mum for months about their impending arrival which provided the perfect conversation starter on slow days in the office. The couple all but confirmed the news when Cheryl proudly debuted her blossoming baby bump at an event she attended with Liam - who is ten years her junior - in November.

17. Damn Daniel

If you don't know what we're talking about, you've obviously not been on the Internet for the past 12 months. Allow us to enlighten you...


18. Larry Lamb and Scarlett Moffatt's unlikely friendship

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here: forcing celebs into unlikely friendships since 2002. Scarlett was the hot favourite before the series even began and went on to be crowned Queen of the Jungle, dethroning fellow North Easterner Vicky Pattison.


19. Zayn's debut single

Mr Malik was all but forgiven by Directioners (closet and not) everywhere when he released the annoyingly good PILLOWTALK. It was only made better by his new girlfriend Gigi Hadid's starring role in the accompanying video.


20. Gin baubles

'Tis the season to be jolly and what better way to ensure yourself a merry Christmas than by decorating your tree with gin-filled decorations?

21. This random guy and his pursed lips summing up every possible life situation

No one could've prepared little-known Brooklyn rapper Conceited for the levels of fame he'd reach in 2016 thanks to a gif made from a 2009 clip of the Ultimate Rap League battle which someone randomly dug out. His pursed lips proved to be the most memed (that's a thing) image and greatest meme of 2016.

See album

22. When Michelle Obama got her freak on with Missy Elliott and James Corden in Carpool Karaoke

'Rocking out' as they toured The White House turned out to be as much of a treat for the First Lady as it did The Late Late Show host and us at home. It was a girl-power fest with strong, independent females such as: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé and Missy Elliott providing the playlist with the rapper making an appearance IRL. While watching Michelle 'get her freak on' is unmissable, the highlight of the clip is when she declares: "We were making honey to put in our Lemonade!" in reference to Beyoncé's visual album.


23. This photo of Prince George

A picture says a thousand words but this mostly said: "F**k this royal life."

24. Tom Hiddleston's 'I <3 T. S.' T-shirt

In WTF couple news, Taylor Swift targeted our very own Tom Hiddleston as her next boyfriend (and subsequent source of new-album material post-break-up in September). Let's just say the some-time power pair weren't very subtle about confirming they were indeed shagging, albeit briefly. Just for a minute imagine how that conversation played out... We thought you were better than this, Tom.

25. Chrissy Teigen's stretch-mark Snapchat

Chrissy Teigen i.e. a goddess among women proved she's not actually perfect, despite what her modelling portfolio may suggest, when she posted a Snapchat of her stretch marks which she affectionately calls 'tributaries'.

26. Missguided opened its first ever store

Missguided IRL - i.e. the spiritual home for any anyone who calls themselves a female boss came and conquered London's Westfield Stratford, putting an end to relentless scrolling for at least some of the women of the UK. As expected, they threw one hell of a opening party complete with unicorn tears and Baddie Winkle badass ways.

@missguided taking the in store experience to another level 🦄🦄🦄#missguidedirl #babesofmissguided

A photo posted by Carla El Gawly (@carlaaida89) on Nov 29, 2016 at 12:38pm PST

27. The UK elected its first female Prime Minister in 37 years

Although some of Theresa May's policies may be questionable, there's no denying the fact that a woman is running the country is a step forward for gender equality.


28. Perrie Edwards' Zayn diss track

The Little Mix lasses cemented their status as the modern-day Spice Girls with the girl-power-fuelled revenge hit 'Shout Out to My Ex' in which Perrie claimed Zayn wasn't all that in the bedroom - 'I hope she's getting better sex, hope she ain't faking it like I did' are her exact words - and 'she' being Gigi Hadid, obviously. But what did he really expect when he broke off their engagement by text!?


29. Ed Balls on Strictly

What happens when you mix a chubby MP with sequins and Gangham Style? These two minutes of comedy gold, that's what.


30. Planet Earth 2

David Attenborough made a welcome return to the BBC, armed with three years' worth of close-up footage of the world's most fascinating animals and Sunday nights were all the better for it.


31. When six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi met his hero Lionel Messi

In January, the little Afghan boy charmed the world when a picture showing him wearing a football shirt made from a blue and white striped carrier bag, marked with Messi's name and number 10 went viral. In December, Murtaza finally had his dream of meeting his footballing hero realised thanks to a specially-arranged meeting in Doha, Qatar - a scene that restored our faith in humanity.

32. This parody of the John Lewis Christmas advert

In a post-Trump world, Joe.co.uk's parody of John Lewis' Christmas ad provided some much-needed light relief (and is arguably better than the original).


33. The Brownlee brothers

After winning silver and gold medals respectively in the Rio 2016 triathlon, Jonny and Alistair Brownlee were well deserving of a rest from competitive sport but there's no rest for the wicked. They both went on to compete in the final race of the 2016 World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico, in September. The older of the brothers Alistair showed a great sense of sportsmanship when he gave up his chance to win the race to help Jonny - who held a comfortable lead - over the finish line after heat and exhaustion got to him and he was seen weaving across the course.


34. Married at First Sight

The Channel 4 social experiment which matches singletons based on the results of intense testing gave us four brand-new couples who agreed to marry before ever setting eyes on each other. We squirmed through the awkward wedding nights and had everything crossed they'd make it work once they shacked up together after their honeymoons but our dreams were shattered when series favourites Clark and Melissa revealed they'd decided to go on a break in the final episode.


35. This little girl's reaction to trying candy floss for the first time

This three year old was all of us after shotting all the tequila we needed to drown the sorrow that was 2016.


36. When David Attenborough met the Queen

The UK's favourite 90 year olds came face-to-face at Buckingham Palace in November for what made for some adorable photos.

37. Bake Off's Val

Speaking of elderly people, 66-year-old baking extraordinaire Val Stones lightened our lives with her singing cakes and dancing feet for the five weeks she lasted in The Great British Bake Off tent. The void of her exit was promptly filled by her Instagram account which can be found here for those of you not already following her.


38. When Kim Kardashian tried and failed to bring poppers back

Again, it wasn't the original images but the memes they spawned when Kim Kardashian was photographed wearing a mis-matched outfit which comprised a lace bodysuit, adidas popper tracksuit bottoms - reminiscent of every 90s kid's non-uniform days - and fishnet tights (!?) during Paris Fashion Week.

39. The LOVE Magazine advent calendar

The LOVE Magazine advent calendar is what happens when you bring together the sexiest version of the sexiest women in the world (Gigi Hadid, Irina Shayk, Alessandra Ambrosio to name but a few) and the world's most talented videographers. Head to the fashion bible's Instagram account to see Chrissy Teigen make eating chips sexier than you thought possible.

💋💪🏼💋 CHRISSY TEIGEN 💋💪🏼💋 #loveadvent @chrissyteigen @douginglish @seanknight

A video posted by LOVE MAGAZINE (@thelovemagazine) on Dec 15, 2016 at 11:22pm PST

40. When Prince George met Obama in his dressing gown

Just when you thought Prince George couldn't get any cuter than pressing his nose against a plane window (see no.23), he made hearts everywhere melt when his mum and dad (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) made him stay up past his bedtime to meet President Barack Obama in his pyjamas, dressing gown (monogramed no less) and slippers. If his handshake doesn't say 'I'm third in line to the throne', I don't what does.

41. Every single clap-back tweet of J.K. Rowling's

While 2016 unfortunately didn't kill the Internet phenomena that is the online troll, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling became the no.1 exterminator - silencing keyboard warriors with witty, 140-character clap-backs.

42. ​Chewbacca Mom

Who knew a Star Wars mask could bring one mother so much joy? Chewbacca Mom - who is known to her friends and family as Candace Payne - won Facebook Live and the hearts of users everywhere when a video (which is the most-watched FB live video ever) showing her laughing in the mask outside the toy shop was published in May.


43. Stranger Things

If you didn't watch this eight-part Netflix original series, did you even do 2016? The sci-fi horror show had us gripped from July 15 and spawned all variety of themed memes and memorabilia. Thank God the streaming service renewed it for a second season and brand-new episodes will be coming to a small screen near you in 2017.


44. Kate Middleton's British Vogue cover

The Duchess of Cambridge was handpicked by British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman to grace the cover of the fashion bible's special centenary issue - the first cover she's ever agreed to pose for - in June. What's more, she appeared in a 10-page shoot inside the special edition which was appropriately shot in the countryside.

What's been your personal highlight of 2016? Let us know @soFeminineUK

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Helen Turnbull
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