2016 might have ended up being the ‘Year of the GIF’ simply because it’s so difficult to describe this year in mere words. This list of the 25 most popular GIFs on GIPHY (compiled through a combination of site traffic and social shares) serves as a fitting reflection of 2016 — there’s the surprising picks and inevitable winners (spoiler alert: yes, there are Minions on this list.) Some are funny, some are bizarre, and some are just bewildering. It’s been fun watching our users’ choices change and evolve over the year. You all are a bunch of weirdos and we love you.
But, without further ado…here’s what YOU loved this year:
#1: Barack Obama Dropping the Mic
The original Obama Mic Drop GIF from the final White House Correspondents’ Dinner was incredibly popular and an iconic GIF for the year of 2016. So, imagine our (pleasant) surprise when we looked at the numbers and saw that beloved GIPHY artist Julie Winegard’s illustrated version of the moment far outpaced the original GIF…and ALL OTHER GIFS for 2016.
#2 Crying Jordan, The Meme That Will Not Die
It’s always surprising when a meme has legs — most barely crawl past the two week mark before dying an ignoble death (o shit RIP dat boi). Defying all odds, Crying Jordan has persevered. You can’t mess with a classic…especially when that classic perfectly sums up the feels we all felt at one point or another in 2016.
#3 Flash the Sloth from ‘Zootopia’
This GIF was destined to be a classic from the moment the Zootopia teaser trailer was released. GIFs of this moment appeared almost instantaneously after the trailer came out in the tail end of 2015 and stayed popular throughout the year, leading to tons of usage. It’s a perfect choice for unleashing pure happiness in GIF format.
#4 The Most Unamused Lady of All Time
This GIF’s overwhelming success is a huge win for GIPHY original content. This moment was cut from a GIPHY promo video, along with several other GIFs. But this woman and her weapon grade side-eye caught on in a huge way, especially on Twitter. Start poking around heated Twitter threads and it won’t take long before you stumble upon this icy glare. In a year where there was plenty to be unamused with, this GIF summed things up accurately.
#5 Chris Christie Barely Applauding
The most popular GIF of the 2016 US Election wasn’t a Hillary OR a Trump GIF — instead, it was an annoyed looking Chris Christie at the Republican National Convention. Surprised? Believe us, we were surprised, too. But this is an important reminder to never underestimate the power of the Reaction GIF. This GIF of Chris Christie racked up views in political recaps AND in the Slack conversations of work frenemies. The RNC coverage might have caused this GIF to initially pop, but the emotion behind this Christie GIF isn’t going anywhere.
#6 YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS YAS
This is another example of a perfect moment AND a perfect reaction GIF intersecting, giving a classic Broad City moment a life beyond the show. If you haven’t sent a “YAS” GIF in 2016…what where you doing?
#7 THAT Golden Globes Moment Between Leo and Gaga
This Lady Gaga/Leonardo DiCaprio was EVERYWHERE on the night of the Golden Globes and, thanks to us live-GIFing the award show, we were quick to grab it and get it out there into the world. It’s a pitch-perfect GIF moment, because it rewards being watched over and over again. Was he joking? Was he serious? Let’s all just watch it ONE more time.
#8 “Hello!” Bear
This GIF gets a lot of love, thanks to it’s incredible popularity on Tinder. Just think, every time you sent this cute, little guy to some potential Tinder date, you were bumping him up higher and higher in this list. Here’s hoping you didn’t get this GIF in return.
#9 ‘The People Vs OJ Simpson’ — Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark
One of the top TV shows of 2016 translated to one of the top GIFs of 2016. It’s no surprise that the buzz surrounding this FX’s “The People vs. OJ Simpson” carried over into the GIF world. Add up all the episode recaps, think pieces, and cultural analyses…plus a healthy dose of Reaction GIF usage, and you’ve got one popular GIF.
#10 😎 Deal With It Cat 😎
Hey…it’s still the internet!
And the rest!
#11 Hillary Clinton High Five
#12 Excited Minions
#13 Flower Scares a Cat
#14 ‘Sup?’ Seal
#15 Showbiz Pizza Training Video
#16 Slipping Penguin
#17 Captain Obvious Mic Drop
#18 Hugging Monkeys
#19 Rad Dogman OK!
#20 Buffy Summers “Yuck!”
#21 Happy Pandas by Nicky Rojo
#22 Rihanna “Bitch Better Have My Money” Wave
#23 Rob Huebel — Childrens Hospital Celebration
#24 100% Soft’s Heart Hamburger
#25 The Simpsons — MWAH!