20 Things That We Can't Believe Happened in 2020
This is the year that never ends.
Even though 2020 has felt like a blur of terrible pandemic news, bread-making TikTok videos, and election anxiety, an alarming amount of other cultural happenings took place in between. It's understandable if you completely lost track.
Remember J.Lo and Shakira's historic Superbowl performance? Yep, that was this year. How about Connell's objectively hot chain in Normal People? 100% a 2020 moment. Oh, and the Jen and Brad reunion? Happened but a few months ago.
Ready as we may be to let the year from hell go, it's always good to reflect on the past before moving forward. So ahead, we rounded up 20 moments from 2020 that will never be forgotten – and before you check the dates, yes, each and every one really happened this year.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Announce They Are Leaving the Royal Family to Become Normals
While everyone was making their New Years' resolutions for 2020, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were preparing to one-up us all. On January 8, the two announced their plans to leave their roles as senior members of the royal family for beachier pastures in Santa Barbara, California. In the almost 12 months since, there have been books, podcasts, and even movies dedicated to this unprecedented and iconic move.
J.Lo and Shakira Perform at the Superbowl, Are Groundbreaking and Extremely Hot
Though the year may be ending on a decidedly unsexy note, you would have never been able to predict that in February when Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed at the Superbowl Halftime Show. It was so sexy in fact, that the FCC had a record-breaking number of complaints from people who were "offended" by the performance. Sexism aside, the two women pulled off a historic show that perfectly blended talent, cultural appreciation, and of course, amazing costumes.
Nancy Pelosi Subtly Rescinds Her Viral Clap Meme by Ripping Up Trump’s 2020 State of the Union Speech
Is there a State of the Union that Nancy Pelosi can't make into a viral moment? Of course, we all remember in 2019 when the Speaker of the House put her hands together, pointed at Trump, and clapped with a knowing smirk. It was part confusing, part ripe for meme-ing, and part giving the wrong idea about her feelings toward Trump. And so, in 2020 Pelosi decided to rescind that meme with a new one. After the speech was over, she obviously and without hesitation ripped up her copy of Trump's speech.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston Reunite with a Wrist Grab Seen 'Round the World
It was the moment people had been waiting years for: a real Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reunion. The two were both nominated for SAG Awards and so, of course, they were at the ceremony together. And while many expected to see them near each other, what they didn't expect was a photo in which Pitt holds on to Aniston's wrist as they greet one another. Exes that are friends — imagine that!
Parasite Makes Oscars History and Director Bong Joon-ho, an Icon, Calls Himself a “F–king Weirdo”
Parasite made history this year becoming the first non-English language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The moment also made director Bong Joon-ho a viral icon with his incredibly honest speech and red carpet interview where he told the interviewer that he came up with Parasite because, "I'm a f–king weirdo."
Love Is Blind's Jessica Batten Becomes a Chaotic Hero
Love is Blind may have premiered in February but the sleeper hit came into the collective consciousness when we all realized it was THE cure to quarantine mania. While the whole premise of the show was captivating — meeting someone through a wall, moving in with them, and hoping they meet you at the altar within three months — it was Jessica Batten's chaotic energy while trying to find love that was the real star. Even Gwyneth Paltrow, who prides herself on aloofness, admitted she knew who she was.
Charlotte Awbery Becomes an Overnight Celebrity After Singing “Shallow” on the Subway
In a pandemic world, putting a microphone in someone's face and demanding they sing is, uh, asking for a super spreader moment. But, just weeks before COVID-19 took over Europe and the USA, a star was born doing just that. Charlotte Awbery sang "Shallow" from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's hit film A Star Is Born and it was shockingly incredible.
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s Daughter Zaya Comes Out
"Everyone allow her to re-introduce herself her name is Zaya Wade!” Dwayne Wade wrote in a loving post supporting his daughter's decision to come out publicly about her gender identity. Soon after she came out, Zaya proved herself to be a red carpet icon, appearing with her parents for the first time.
Coach Monica from Cheer Brings the Term “Mat Talk” Into the Lexicon
For decades, cheerleading was a sport that begged to be taken seriously. It wasn't until Coach Monica Aldama of the Navarro College cheerleading squad took over our screens, however, that the world listened. The hit Netflix show Cheer brought the sport into all of our homes, captivated us, and collectively, we all ate our words. Of course, the show's stars would be shrouded in scandal by year's end.
Tom Hanks Announces He Contracted COVID-19, and America Weeps
Sometimes it takes a tragedy hitting close to home for it to feel real. When it came to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, that "home" was Tom Hanks. In early March, the actor and his wife Rita Wilson announced that they had contracted the virus while on set in Australia. They were both quite sick and documented their quarantine process and full recovery on social media. Of course, like the treasure he is, "Hanx" eventually donated his plasma for research once he got better.
Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic’s Murder-Mystery Feud Takes Over the Internet
If you wanted to watch something as unhinged as you felt at the beginning of the pandemic, well, Tiger King was there for you. The did-she, didn't-she, murder-mystery feud between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, two tiger loving southerners, gripped the American public for a solid month leaving us all a little more chaotic than we began.
Gal Gadot Unites the World in Uncertain Times With a Celeb-Filled “Imagine” Cover
Remember that moment when celebrities were trying to say that the pandemic was a great equalizer? Yeah, me too. That theory was quickly and loudly debunked when Gal Gadot gathered 25 of them to sing "Imagine" by John Lennon. The video was criticized for its literally and metaphorically tone-deaf nature, and the majority of the participators backtracked. "Sometimes, you know, you try and do a good deed and it’s just not the right good deed," Gadot later admitted.
Ina Garten’s Human-Sized Cosmopolitan Gets Us All Wasted
While some celebrities were trying way too hard (see above), there was one celebrity whose energy met the rest of ours. In a time when everyone was looking for new recipes to try at home, cooking legend Ina Garten shared the recipe we actually needed: a gigantic sugary Cosmo that she proceeded to drink out of an enormous cocktail glass. I am wasted just looking at it.
Harry Styles Sexually Eats Fruit in “Watermelon Sugar”
If there were any questions about what "Watermelon Sugar" meant when Harry Styles released his album Fine Line in 2019, the video for the single seemed to clear that up right away. In May, Styles, clad in a crochet top, Elton John sunglasses, and lots of jewelry, very sexually ate watermelon in a video "dedicated to touching." We all got the picture pretty quickly – except for Katherine Heigl.
The Internet is Horny for Paul Mescal’s Gold Chain in Normal People
Who knew a small piece of jewelry could be so universally perceived as hot? Enter Paul Mescal and his character Connell's gold chain in Hulu's Normal People. In the show, he wears the chain everywhere: in the pool, to a party, and yes, during sex. Everyone was so horny for this particular gold chain that an entire Instagram account was dedicated to it and amassed over 100K followers.
Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck Walk in Front of the Paparazzi Regularly
While we may have gotten hints about a romance between Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas prior to quarantine, the couple used their time at home to clear up any questions. For most of spring and summer, the two walked their dogs in front of the paparazzi, lightly touching and giggling ... every day. In such unprecedented times, the one constant we had was their awkward glares into the eyes of a long-lensed camera, and gentle touches of each other's arms. Ah, young love.
The Internet Loses It After Finding Out Hot Couple Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik Are Having a Baby
When two extremely good looking people announce they are together, the internet goes wild. When two extremely good looking people announce that they will be passing on their good genes together, well, then we have full-blown internet mania. Over the summer, extremely good-looking people Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik made a surprise announcement (after several accidental family leaks) that they were expecting a baby girl, and their fans predictably lost their minds.
Roller Skater Oumi Janta Inspires Thousands to Risk Injury by Copying Her
In quarantine, everyone seemed to pick up a new hobby: bread-making, needlepoint, and for the ambitious, roller skating. The latter led to the discovery of Berlin-based skating icon, Oumi Janta, whose incredible style and smooth videos went viral seemingly overnight. But while it may have inspired an uptick in skate sales, her popularity may have caused an uptick in adult injuries, as well.
People Discover Schitts Creek, Only to Realize It’s Over
As everyone binged through television shows at record speed this year, there was one show that stood out among the rest: Schitt's Creek. Despite being on its sixth season, the CBC show was newly discovered and popularized by thousands this year, thousands who were quickly let down upon realizing the show had already ended. Luckily, heartwarming comedy was recognized when it made history as the first show of its genre to win in all four categories during the 2020 Emmys.
Steve Kornacki and His Khakis ... Send Tweet
As the year from hell came to a close, we had a little thing to deal with, and that was the 2020 presidential election. Of course, it couldn't just be a one-and-done night of stress and misery, the results took a full week to come in. The brutal week of hours watching cable news was made slightly better thanks to one steady and wonderful constant, data analyst Steve Kornacki and his khakis. For night upon night, Kornacki was the last thing we saw when we went to sleep and, like a devoted boyfriend, there again to be the first thing we laid eyes on in the morning. We worried sometimes if he ever got a break, but he always handled delicate information with care and he reportedly caused a spike in men's pants sales (during a time when pants are basically optional). The election may have ended, but we'll always have the Kornacki cam.