Best ___ Of 2016: Some Really Specific Superlatives

Well folks, here we are. The flaming dumpster fire that was 2016 is over, and we’re all here in 2017 hoping it can’t get worse than last year. But there were some good things that come out of 2016, and just like last year, we’re highlighting a few super specific things we loved from 2016, that don’t necessarily fit into any general Best of categories.

Best 2000s television reunion of 2016: Gilmore Girls

Ironically, Gilmore Girls also made our Best of 2015 Superlatives list, but this time it’s for an entirely different reason. The show made a big splash in pop culture ever since the revival was announced back in 2015, and the hype was at a high this year, crawling back into the zeigesit in the weeks leading up to ThanksGilmore (we were guilty too). But as OG Gilmore fans, we had been waiting nine years to find out how Amy Sherman-Palladino wanted to end her series the way she truly wanted. When the four episodes dropped that fateful Friday, we were transported back into the world of all things Gilmore – where the town weirdo runs a janky Ooober service, the locals have to hide a secret bar from the selectman, and the phrase “I smell snow” elicits very real emotions that induce crying. For us, this feeling of comfort – of feeling back how in Stars Hollow – was what we wanted from the revival. While it did produce the perfect example of Your Fave Is Problematic #RoryGilmore, overall, we were so glad to have those adorable Gilmore girls back in our lives once again.

Best Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Cameo of 2016: Parenthood Cast (as a whole)

Speaking of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, there were many a cameo throughout all four mini-movies that made me squeal with glee. But none more so than three very special appearances from Lauren Graham’s other TV family, the Bravermans. First, we knew her Parenhootd daughter Mae Whitman was going to be in the revival, but seeing her interact with Lorelai Gilmore and not Sarah Braverman made our hearts explode, but the fact that she always interacted with Rory?! Our brains explode too. And then came summer, when I lit’rally screamed out loud after seeing Jason Ritter pop up as the park ranger. MARK CYR FOREVER AND ALWAYS. And THENNN Peter Krause aka Adam Braverman aka Mr. Lauren Graham as park ranger two?! I DIE. I DIED. Thanks, 2016.

Best Ham4Ham performance of 2016: The Hamilton Mixtape

I feel like it’s unfair to call this a #Ham4Ham, but the Hamilton officials called it that, so we’ll go with it. HamFams have been waiting about a year to hear the mixtape that Lin had been promising, and boy it did not disappoint. In the most epic release party, they held a #Ham4Ham inside the Richard Rodgers, with a few artists from the mixtape doing live performances of their Hamilton covers. AND it was live streamed for the interwebs. The Roots, Regina Spektor, Andra Day and Ashanti and Ja Rule + more – it was “LIT AF” as the kids say. I got emotional (like I usually do) watching it, realizing that this joining of forces between contemporary artists singing Broadway covers on a Broadway stage opens the doors for so many more people to be introduced to theater in a brand new way. It’s the way life and art should be – accessible and enjoyed by every one.

Best Hamilton Happy Trails of 2016: July 9th, 2016

Hamilton may have opened in 2015, but it reached a fever pitch in 2016. A month after winning 11 Tonys, four of the OG cast members, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Ariana DeBose and the maestro himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda, took their final bows. Saying goodbye to one OBC actor is hard enough, but four is even more difficult if you’re HamilTrash. Luckily, a live stream was provided and we were able to watch as their tears synced with our own. The kicker? Alex Lacamoire stealthily adding in The West Wing theme for number one fan Lin (I lit’rally just rewatched that on mute and I’m STILL crying over Chris Jackson pushing Lin back out to take his own bow).

Best Beyonce Live Performance of 2016: MTV VMAs

Beyonce was one of the shining lights of 2016 thanks to her kind of surprise album drop with Lemonade, but what made it epic was the entire HBO movie special she made as a vehicle for the new music. After going on her Formation tour (equally epic), she blessed us with a 20 minute performance of Lemonade on the VMAs. God. Is. Good.

Best Michelle Obama Speech of 2016: Democratic National Convention

We’re really going to miss all the Obamas, but Michelle has been such an inspiration to all women (and humans) during her reign as first lady. She is poised, classy, articulate, smart, compassionate, caring, funny, etc. etc. And while giving her speech at the DNC this summer to show support for HRC, she yet again left us in awe and tears, but mostly left us with something to aspire to – when they go low, we go high.

Best Carpool Karaoke of 2016: Adele

In what is arguably his best carpool karaoke yet, James Corden’s ride along with Adele has raked in over 143 million views since it was released last January, and it’s obvious why. Maybe because I’ve accounted for at least 43 million of those? Nah, probs because Adele is a badd ass bitch who raps Nick Minaj better than Nicki Minaj.

Best Political SNL Sketch of 2016: Hallelujah

The Worst Week of 2016 aka Election Week ended with the great Leonard Cohen dying (because #2016), and in what was reminiscent of the way they handled the first ep back after 9/11, SNL knew exactly how to bring meloncholy and levity to homes across the U.S., by having the wonderful Kate McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, sing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Cue the tears.

Honorable MentionsMelaniade, Hillary Actually, Voters for Trump, Black Jeopardy with Tom Hanks, A Day Off (KellyAnne Conway)

Best SNL Non-Political Sketch of 2016: Haunted Elevator

Any questions?

Honorable Mentions: Christmas Candle, Crucible Cast Party, Wells for BoysTidal, Supermarket Spree (Cut for Time – ft. host Melissa McCarthy)

Best Mannequin Challenge of 2016: Black Lives Matter

I’m over the mannequin challenge (I was never under it), but this one was worth all the other silliness from everyone else.

Best Obama Girls Moment Of 2016: The Ryan Reynolds Double Thumbs Up

In this moment, I am somehow able to imagine what it would be like to be both a teenager attending my first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movie star, and the big sister of a teenager attending her first state dinner and talking with a handsome male movies star. Meet our era’s Schuyler sisters.

Best Bill Clinton Moment of 2016: Bill and Balloons

Forget what came after for a moment and just focus on Bill Clinton, the man who served as leader of the free world for eight years, still getting a kick out of balloons … and even more of a kick out of his wife’s presidential bid.

Honorable Mention: When you could see Bill mouth the words “that’s my girl” during Hillary’s concession speech, or his death grip on Chelsea’s husband during Chelsea’s speech at the DNC. You know what? They’re all winners.

Best Olympics Moment of 2016: Michael Phelps’ One Last Timerio-olympics-michael-phelps-39d4425bd7852cb5

It feels like so long ago now, but 2016 was a Summer Olympics year, our favorite TV/sporting spectacle and feel-good obsession. Nobody made us prouder to be Americans that golden boy Michael Phelps, who did his last Olympics right by earning his 23rd gold medal.

Honorable Mentions: So many! The Final Five’s overall brilliance – how much do we love Simone and Laurie?! – and Katie Ledecky’s astonishing performance, and the US and NZ runners who helped each other finish after crashing on the track … we could keep going.

Best children’s movie for adults of 2016: Zootopia

Zootopia was great: funny, clever, touching, and with a really beautiful and necessary message. I went with kids, but I would have gone as a single adult just as proudly.

Honorable Mention: The Secret Life Of Pets

Best new Netflix series – drama of 2016: Stranger Things

Stranger Things gripped audiences nationwide with its loving tribute to the 80s horror/children’s adventure film, but it did it in a singularly modern way as a short, streaming series. The series spawned memes, catchphrases, national sweethearts (Barb!), a whole lot of Halloween costumes, and the coolest troop of child actors around.

Honorable Mentions: The OA (possibly my best, but I’m only halfway through it); The Get Down

Best new Netflix series – documentary of 2016: 13th

It’s not exactly a secret that Ava Duvernay is a fantastic filmmaker, but she did something really special with 13th. She took an issue most Americans who are paying attention already knew about – the consistent and disproportional incarceration of black men used as a type of modern servitude in the prison industrial complex – and presented it in a clear, gripping, impossible-to-ignore way.

Best New TV Series That Your Mom Would Like Too of 2016: This Is Us

We love This Is Us. So do most of our friends (30-somethings). So do a lot of older baby boomers we know. This series appeals to the nostalgia of young(-ish) adults who grew up in the 70s –  90s, as well as their parents who were raising kids at that time. It’s not a cheap nostalgia trip, though. This Is Us is a relatable and incredibly touching family story for anyone who has siblings, or parents, or feelings. Plus, let’s not forget how they hooked us all in with that twist in the pilot.

Best Silly Meme of 2016: Arthur Fist 

Speaking of relatable, Arthur’s balled-up fist is relevant to as many life situations in 2016 as it was when you were 10.

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Best of 2016: The Margaret Abbott Awards For Baffling Treatment Of Female Olympians

Welcome to Day 2 of our Best of 2016 (wherein we pretend good things happened in 2016). But seriously, on our very short list of great things about 2016, the summer Olympics are near the top. As always, we were inspired and amazed for two weeks and became mega-fans of athletes we hadn’t even heard of weeks before. But 2016 had to be 2016, so there was still some weird sexism stuff, because of course there is. Our reaction: the Margaret Abbott Awards, highlighting baffling treatment of female olympians (and named in honor of first female ‘medalist,’ Margaret Abbott. And yes, medalist is in quotes because they gave her a bowl instead).


The Margaret Abbott Awards For Baffling Treatment Of Female Olympians

(click on link for full post)

Dan ‘He’s Responsible’ Hicks

Longtime NBC commentator Dan Hicks hit headlines after the 400m individual medley in swimming, when Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu won the gold but also shattered the previous world record. During the program, he noted that Katinka’s husband and coach, Shane Tusup is “the man responsible” for making his wife the swimming champion she is today. Viewers were quick to take note of Dan’s wording, because, homegirl just killed it in the pool, yet this dry dude on the sidelines is “responsible” for the gold medal? OK. Dan Hicks later clarified his comments, saying, “It is impossible to tell Katinka’s story accurately without giving appropriate credit to Shane, and that’s what I was trying to do.”

There’s also more of a backstory with this couple, because apparently Shane’s poolside enthusiasm can turn scary, with other swimmers noting his extreme anger, calling it “inappropriate” and “not OK”. But again, Dan Hicks has an interesting view on his hard love, “It’s been a little disturbing to some of the other swimmers who have observed it,” he said on-air, according to the AP. “But he has turned her into a tiger in the pool.”

Dan Hicks is awarded… The GOLDEN ABBIE

Perfect for: The blood, sweat, and tears of Katinka, Shane Tusup in mini-form to stay afloat for all eternity

“Female Michael Phelps”

Katie Ledecky, 19 years old,  won four gold medals and a silver in the 2016 Olympics. She set a world record for the 400-meter freestyle … then she broke it herself. She finished the 800-meter freestyle so quickly that she had 11 seconds to cool her heels before the silver medalist even reached the wall. All of this is enough for the Daily Mail to name Ledecky the “female Michael Phelps.” For its part, NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines remarked that “some people say she swims like a man” before telling us why that’s false. Few things here:

A.) “Some people say” is a tired vehicle for introducing opinions a journalist or commentator doesn’t want to own (see also: “some people say women aren’t funny” in any interview with a female comedian).

B.) “Some people” need to stop saying a woman does something “like a man” when she does it well. Clearly Katie Ledecky swims like a woman since she, you know, is one.

These Male Rita Skeeters are awarded… The SILVER ABBIE

Perfect for: Serving alphabet soup so they can figuratively eat their words.

Where Are They Now: 2016 Summer Olympians

As we begin the last Friday of Summer 2016, I think most of us are ready to say goodbye and good riddance to the past 3 months. The news was almost always terrible, the weather – where I live, anyway – was the hottest and driest on record, and we didn’t even have a really good summer anthem. The best part of the summer: those two weeks we spent watching the Olympic Games. I STILL feel like I’m in Olympics withdrawal.

Since we’re closing the books on summer, I think it’s time to catch up on where our favorite (and not) Rio Olympians are now:

Simone Biles

Then: Simone helped Team USA achieve gymnastics gold, then went on to grab the individual all-around gold as well. She seems like a really fantastic person on top of it. And she met Zac Efron!

Now: Simone is leading the Final Five again – this time in a bid to host Saturday Night Live. Yes, please? I don’t even need them to be good. She also met Beyonce at the VMAs! What a year to be Simone Biles.

Usain Bolt

Then: Jamaican runner and fastest man in the world Usain Bolt snagged three gold medals.

Now: It appears that he has met some ladies.

Laurie Herandez

Then: Laurie, human emoji, quickly became one of our favorite athletes with her sunny attitude, sassy wink to the judges and self-assured reminder that she’s got this. She helped win team gold and took individual silver on the beam. We just love her.

Now: As much as I want to skip Dancing With The Stars (as per usual) due to Ryan Lochte, I think I have to watch: Laurie will be paired up with Val Chmerkovskiy. Anything that keeps this ray of sunshine on our tv screens, right? Like Simone, she also met Beyonce at the VMAs.

Katie Ledecky

Then: Ledecky, 19, took home four gold medals, one silver medal, and smashed a world record – that she set herself. What a superstar.

Now: Katie is already packing up those medals and is off to her Freshman year at Stanford. And to think I dreamed of having a freshman year roommate who brought a piece of the AgroCrag to the dorm (never happened). She threw out a pitch at a Nationals game, visited school kids and a children’s hospital, and met Bruce Springsteen after a concert. All in all, not a bad summer.

Ryan Lochte

Then: Lochte won gold, then created an international incident by lying about getting robbed and vandalizing a gas station, but also maybe really DID get robbed according to other sources. Jeah. We’re attracted to him? We’re not attracted to him.

Now: Lochte, whose jeans are ugly, per GQ, has lost four of his commercial sponsors. But don’t worry: he’ll be back on your screen in no time as part of the new cast of Dancing With The Stars! He’s paired with Cheryl Burke, who doesn’t feel very jeah about it.

Michael Phelps

Then: Decrepit 30-year-old man Michael Phelps (according to the NBC announcers) somehow managed to hurl his arthritic bones into the pool and eke out five gold medals and a silver. Not bad for a geezer wheeled in off the dementia ward, all told.

Now: It’s more like what ISN’T Michael Phelps doing now. He presented an award at the VMAs, everyone chanted USA, and I was flipped headlong into a bout of Olympics Nostalgia. He played a game with Jimmy Fallon and made fun of his poolside grumpy face. He went to a party at Aunt Becky (AKA Lori Loughlin)’s house. He even earned a Lifetime Achievement Wheaties box!

Fu Yuanhui

Then: This adorable Chinese swimmer won hearts the world over with her overjoyed reaction to winning bronze, and very casually mentioned that she had her period during a race which I’m pretty sure is the first time I’ve heard an athlete say that.

Now: Along with a delegation of athletes, Fu visited Hong Kong for the first time for a diplomatic visit. She’s always wanted to visit Hong Kong Disney but explained that they were visiting for a more important purpose and it would have to wait for next time. For the love of all that’s good, SOMEBODY get this sweetheart tickets to Disney! Can you IMAGINE this girl in Disney?! Come on now.

Goodbye, Rio: Olympics GIF Wrap Up

The 31st Olympiad has come to a close and it lived up to everything the Games are supposed to be. It was inspiring, heart-wrenching and downright bizarre. We quite literally laughed, cried, and learned about life every single day of the Games. In two weeks we saw children perform almost superhuman athletic feats – and we saw a few adults old enough to be their parents do the same. We marveled at the way a talented competitor can affect society beyond the bounds of mere sport. We saw international friendships form and international scandals break. Zac Efron was there. Leslie Jones was there. As always, the Olympics were a display of athleticism, drive and international cooperation that simply defied words. But where words fail us, gifs do not. Let’s look back at the Rio Games with the clips, quips and reaction shots that will come to define your tumblr dash in the weeks to come:

The pride of Brazil, Gisele Bunchen, showed off her walking skills at the opening ceremony. And then she danced with the commoners in a gold, sequined jumpsuit, because that’s what they do in Brazil

First of all, these people on bikes leading each of the countries in. It’s next level Ms. Frizzle. Second, this is the most recognizable flag bearer in the world – Oiled Up Dude From Tonga. He became so popular that he even made a second appearance in the closing ceremony by dancing on stage.

For the first time, a team comprised of refugees from around the world competed in the Games, and what you can’t see in this gif is us letting out the first of many tears shed throughout the Olympics.

Best cauldron ever?

#Teammates

tfw when you lift a shit ton of weight & manage to not smash it on your head

Argentina’s Juan Martín del Potro unexpectedly gave Britain’s Andy Murray a run for the gold, but the four hour match ended in favor of the Brit, leaving underdog del Potro in tears. It was heartbreaking.

Super underdog Monica Puig, who ranked 34th in the world, managed to win gold in women’s tennis – and the first gold for Puerto Rico. Add a notch to the cry count.

As soon as we work through the language barrier, our girl Fu is gonna be our next best friend.

Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win a gold medal in an individual swimming competition in the history of the Olympics and this moment when she found out she won the 100m freestyle will forever go down in my favorite Olympics moments ever. She was an underdog and came from behind, but more importantly, she now stands as a hero to all black swimmers, in a sport which was rooted in racism in the U.S.

Katie Ledecky slayed so hard, her closest competition barely fit in the same shot.

This is going to be one of those memes that will resurface again in a wave of nostalgia in about two and a half years.

Well.

Oblig Michael Phelps Section

It’s no leaking goggles disaster of ’08, but it’s still pretty stressful. In the middle of the 4×200 relay, Phelps’ cap breaks into two, forcing him to borrow teammate Connor Dwyer’s cap (he went first in the relay). What’s most fascinating to me is that when it broke, you could tell he said, ‘DANG IT!”. I can think of at least 5 other curse words I’d say in succession if that ever happened to me.

#Phlochte

You’ve seen this already. See it again.

And this is why Michael Phelps leaves the trash talking out and does work inside the pool. Suck it Le Clos.

*Look at where you are. Look at where you started.*

These three rivals may have tied for silver (after being edged out by a young whippersnapper) but they win the gold in the most awkward hand holding medal ceremony ever. Seriously, the history between these three is epic. Look it up.

Ryan Held. Sweet cinnamon roll. Enjoy it bud.

GOD BLESS THIS CAMERA MAN.

For some reason err’body was proposing to their loved ones at this Olympics, including this Olympics volunteer who proposed to her Brazilian rugby player girlfriend after the first-ever rugby game was played at the Olympics. If you can’t tell, she tied a ribbon around her finger, so that’s officially my fave proposal of the Games.

This Chinese diver also got in the action by proposing to his GF after she won a diving medal of her own. This is the most reserved ‘Yes’ I’ve ever seen in my life.

Japan’s Risako Kawai won the gold medal in wrestling and if you thought she was tired after winning – she wasn’t. She flipped her coach in celebration. Watch the vid to see what she did next.

Any time I see athletes from North Korea doing not so well in the Olympics I get nervous for them and their return home. But in this moment, I felt nothing but pride an unity as two gymnasts from North and South Korea stopped to take a selfie during competition. This is what the Olympics is all about, folks.

Oblig Final Five Section

New patron saint of this blog: Laurie Hernandez

Also our new mantra we’re telling ourselves in the mirror each morning.

Lynn & Rick Raisman, never change.

CRY COUNT: WHO KNOWS ANYMORE.

It’s almost as if we CGIed this.

MAYBE MY FAVORITE THING TO COME OUT OF THESE OLYMPICS.

After the gymnastics competition is over, they have a gala, which is basically an exhibition of gymnasts who won medals, but also showcased possible events like synchronized trampoline and Tokyo 2020 sport, karate. The gala is known to be way more casual – enter American Danell Leyva, who won silver on the parallel bars. He decided to go all Magic Mike on the crowd and did this. Where my Brazilian Reals at to make it rain on him???

Ok, not a GIF, but if you’ve ever wondered how the field athletes get their various items back (discus, shotputs, javelins, etc.), a remote control car is used to zoom across the field. It is wild.

No, this Japanese pole vaulter’s junk was not the reason he couldn’t clear the bar.

Allyson Felix lost out on the gold by a mere dive across the finish line.

JK this might be my favorite story from the Olympics. When an American track runner falls and a New Zealand competitor stops to help her up. And they cross the finish line together. They even got a rare medal of sportsmanship from officials, so there’s another cry count for the books.

Fierce women sweep their way up to the podium.

Oblig Usain Bolt Section

Friendship goals

And then a Malaysian diver did this. Oops.

Brazil had the most epic win at the Olympics, and even though I care not for soccer, this brought me to tears multiple times.

Gold medal for most supportive American athletes : superstars of the basketball team. They were spotted in the stands to cheer on Michael Phelps and Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, among others, and always looked so incredibly hype and proud of their fellow athletes.

The U.S. Men’s basketball team scored yet another gold medal, and this is why I need to be friends (slash date) every single one of them. Deandre Jordan, I’m looking at you.

the time when the prime minister of japan lit’rally popped up from a mario tube to help introduce Tokyo 2020. We are ready for Japan.

and of course, this guy.

 

Mid-Olympics Round Up

It seems like the Opening Ceremonies just happened, but we are now halfway through the 2016 Olympic Games. Crazy, right? We like our athletic competitions with a heavy dose of pop culture and human interest stories – so while most Olympics recaps will focus on who won what, we’re more interested in the hilarious, inspiring and hard-to-believe moments of the games. Here’s our round up of some of the most captivating moments of the Rio games so far:

Tonga Changed Lives

Dropping The Racket And Getting The Point

Raise your hand if you would’ve just given up and fell to the ground in agonizing defeat.

I Don’t Think The Leg’s Supposed To Bend That Way

French gymnast Samir Ait Said, and expected medal contender, landed completely wrong after going on the vault, leaving him in pain and had to be carted away on a stretcher. Turns out his left leg had a double break but he’s miraculously already back on his feet and on the mend. Obviously he can’t compete in the Games anymore, but at least he can walk! GRAPHIC IMAGE OF HIS 90 DEGREE LEG BELOW:

The Summer of Leslie Jones Continues

SNL star Leslie Jones got unwanted attention on Twitter when she had to put racist and sexist trolls on blast, but she also garnered support from the thousands of other nice human beings with the Love For Leslie J tag and even got the attention of Twitter bosses to help change their policies. This time around, she’s trending for a much more positive reason, thanks to her energetic tweets, pix and videos supporting Team USA. Former SNL producer/Late Night with Seth Meyers producer Mike Shoemaker took note of Leslie’s posts, and got the attention of Jim Bell, the executive producer of NBC’s Olympics coverage, and next thing you know, he officially offered Leslie a correspondent job at the Games and she’s down in Rio giving her commentary live! The power of social media, y’all.

And she’s been killin it at the Olympics too:

So What Do You Say To Second Chances

Laurie Hernandez MVP of Life and the Olympics

She also winked at the judges before her final floor routine during the team all-around, so she’s basically our favorite.

Ellie Downie Gets Knocked Down But Gets Back Up Again

17-year-old British gymnast Ellie Downie, another medal contender, was in the middle of her floor routine for the qualifying round when she turned too slowly on one of the passes and basically landed on her neck. It was scary (as evidenced below) and she decided it didn’t feel right and had to walk away without finishing. She got checked out and instead of pulling out, she surprisingly returned for the vault and help move the Great Britain team to the finals.

The Most Enthusiastic Chinese Athlete

Fu Yuanhui placed third in the semifinals of the 100m backstroke, but she thought she placed fourth until this reporter told her she was one second faster than she thought. Her response: “I was so fast!” This video went viral and here we are obsessed with her and her hipster glasses and dorkiness.

Aly Raisman’s Parents

Lynn & Rick continue their 2012 streak of being the best and most stressed parents in the stands. Katie Ledecky’s parents come in a close second.

 Name All The Babies Simone

August 11th, 2016: A really great day for Olympians named Simone.

A) Simone Biles lived up to expectations and won the gold for the all around competition. She also cried when she finally won, which is emotion she’s never really shown before. Whereas I tend to cry every 5 seconds during the Olympics.

B) Simone Manuel, who didn’t exactly have as much attention on her as Simone Biles, seemingly came out of nowhere (to pedestrian swimming fans) to win the women’s 100m freestyle and tied for gold. On top of that, she scored an Olympic record and became the first black American woman to win an individual swimming event. Basically, she is now America’s hero athlete and should probably be on the Wheaties box now? 

Monica Puig’s First Gold for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico isn’t doing great (short recap: the US gov’t attracted business to PR with corporate tax breaks which expired in 2006; financial collapse followed; PR borrowed money by issuing municipal bonds – mainly to private investors; the gov’t cannot repay their debt obligations; the island isn’t eligible to file for bankruptcy or seek funds from the IMF; terrible budget cuts have ensued;  yikes). But last week, Puerto Rico got a much-needed morale boost from Monica Puig, the first-ever athlete to win a gold medal for the island. Even more amazing, she was unseeded and beat the #2 seed, Angelique Kerber, for the win after rounds of improbable victories. The crowd chanted ‘si se puede’ and we both definitely cried.

In related news, I have a lot of Puerto Rican relatives-in-law – a few of whom are tennis pros – and literally every one of them used the word ‘wepa’ in their Facebook statuses that night.

We Want To Hold Ryan Held

Ryan Held was overcome with emotion during the medal ceremony after winning the 4×100 meter relay and began crying during the national anthem. Then WE began crying during the national anthem — not because we felt bad for him, but because we were so happy for his success and because masculinity is a prison and we’re so proud when someone breaks out.

Katie Ledecky Is Waiting

Katie Ledecky finished her race before any other swimmers were even in the frame. It’s fine; she can wait.

The Pool Looks Bad

The pools in Rio, while technically safe, look very murky and gross thanks to an interaction between peroxide and chlorine. It has since been drained. I’m sure this did nothing to help public confidence in the Brazilian water quality.

7th Best Steeplechaser In The World With One Shoe

Ethiopian steeplechaser Etenesh Diro (ranked 4 in the world) lost her shoe with two and a half laps left in the race. She still finished seventh and advanced to the finals. If you had any delusions that Olympians really are like you and me, now’s the time to let them die.

Phelps Face

We’ve already discussed this, but Michael Phelps’ grouchy face earned him the coveted (?) prize of most memed athlete of the 2016 Olympic games. He also won a few other competitions this week, so it’s fine.

Teach Us How To Say Goodbye

First of all, we’ve reached that point where Hamilton has so saturated popular culture that news outlets feel the need to show off that they know what it is. Second, One Last Time from Hamilton is the only proper way to express how we feel about Michael Phelps’ final race, so we don’t at all blame NBC for going there. Twenty-three gold medals and 16 years since we were first introduced to the 15-year-old baby Olympian, it’s time to teach us how to say goodbye. Enjoy your vine and fig tree, Michael.

 

Ryan Lochte Reaches Peak Ryan Lochte

Just when you thought Ryan Lochte had reached his maximum ‘jeah’ level he bleaches his hair, gets distracted playing with a bend-y thing when Michael needs him, and – best of all – responds to BRAZILIAN KIDNAPPERS with a simple ‘whatever’ when robbed at gunpoint.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”

Oh, Ryan. Then he said that Michael Phelps would be back in 2020 (wishful thinking, maybe?) and his best bro was forced to tell a major news outlet that Ryan “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Summer Memes Make Me Feel Fine: Michael Phelps Everything

We’re nearly a week into the Summer Olympics and like it’s been since Sydney in 2000, America (and the world, I’m assuming) has been struck with Michael Phelps fever once again, as he scoops up even more medals to add to his collection. But earlier this week, we were blessed with Michael Phelps mania in a whole other way that would’ve not even made sense 16 years ago – the Internet meme.

In 2012, the London Games had McKayla Maroney, who was not impressed during the medal ceremony, and therefore became a viral sensation.

McKayla, for the record, is totally fine with #PhelpsFace, telling TMZ: “I looked at his pictures and was like, YES! Go, Michael, take it away, please!” {x}

This time around, the Olympics meme has been rewarded to the GOAT, after he was spotted giving the stank eye in the ready room to his South African rival Chad Le Clos. To back it up a bit, Chad Le Clos was an Olympics rookie in 2012, and even admitted he had always looked up to Michael as a young swimmer. But when they raced next to each other in the 200m Butterfly (Michael’s best event), Chad surprised everyone by beating out Michael for the gold by five-hundredths of a second, igniting a rivalry that has just gotten worse over the years. Which brings us to Rio and #PhelpsFace.

Chad needs to literally take a seat here, because he’s clearly just doing it to annoy Michael, but like Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines said in the video, “… This is… GREAT television!” and “I could watch this all night!” Thanks to the Internet, we can remember the moment forever with all the immediate memes that popped up. Here are just some of the best ones from #PhelpsFace that will go down in World Wide Web history forever.

 

MEMECEPTION:

He got it from his daddy…

Of course, we all know now that Michael got revenge on Chad and let his skills do the talking by redeeming himself in the 200m Fly on Tuesday and winning his 20th gold medal. Chad le Clos? He didn’t even made it to the podium. Enter adjustments to the #PhelpsFace meme:

But really, Chad, I know you’re really into sneaking a peek at your competitors, but here’s one thing you can take out of this year’s Games:

Worry bout your own lane

A post shared by Daquan Gesese (@daquan) on

BONUS:

Class of ’04: What’s My Age Again?

You can tell me that we graduated 10 years ago, but I still have a difficult time convincing myself that that much time has passed since I last used a locker and attended a gym class (note I didn’t say ‘participated’). And when looking back at pop culture a decade ago, it’s hard to believe that some of these things happened so long ago. Here’s a list of just a few things that happened in 2004 that will make you want to pull out your Sony Discman and blast Blink-182 in an attempt to reclaim your youth.

Oops… I Did It Again

January 3rd: Britney Jean Spears decided to go to Las Vegas and marries her childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander at The Little White Wedding Chapel, the same place where Paul Newman married Joanne Woodward and Pamela Anderson tied the knot with Rick Salomon (the first time).

January 5th: Brit filed an annulment petition stating she “lacked understanding of her actions” and two hours later, her marriage was completely dissolved.

July 5th: Brit gets engaged to dancer Kevin Federline, whom she met three months earlier. Besides the fact that their relationship was on the fast track to marriage (read: divorce), they were under a lot of heat since Kevin’s and his ex-girlfriend Shar Jackson was still pregnant with their second child.

September 18: B & KFed get married. This is a picture that was taken during the reception.

Nipplegate/Boob Bowl

February 1: Ah yes, the floppy breast that all Americans young and old were exposed to during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As we know, JT ripped off a piece of tear away material covering Janet’s (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty) right boob, and in their defense they deemed it a “wardrobe malfunction”, but conservatives called it “a sign of decreasing morality in the national culture”, while others just said to “calm the fuck down”. The legal ramifications from the FCC and subsequent lawsuits seemed to be never ending – in fact as recent as 2012, the Supreme Court declined an appeal from the FCC over the $550,000 fine on Nipplegate.

Kanye Drops College Dropout

February 10: Kanye West releases his debut album, The College Dropout, which hits the top of the charts and receives critical acclaim. It’s hard to believe there was a time when we ALL liked Kanye because his music was so good, but then he started talking too much and grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift, etc. and he became one of the most polarizing artists in music. But no one can deny just how freaking good this record was. Even the weakest track on the album was better than most of the rap songs released that year.

You Go, Glen Coco

February 20: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen was the first of two leading roles Lindsay Lohan had in 2004, which is considered her breakout year. After appearing in Freaky Friday in 2003, Linds landed another Disney movie with the teen musical that pitted her against a young Megan Fox.

April 30: You know it, you love it, you wear pink on Wednesdays. Mean Girls was released and became a defining teen comedy of the 2000s and launched LiLo into superstar success.

May 1: Luckily, Lindsay had connections at Saturday Night Live thanks to Tina Fey/Mean Girls, and hosted the show for the first time, AKA the show with the most epic (and first) sketch of Debbie Downer.

June 5: Linds becomes the youngest host of the MTV Movie Awards at just 17 years old. Meanwhile, I think I was busy “studying” my Sparknotes for my AP English exam.

December 7: Lindsay’s first album, Speak is released and surprisingly gets certified platinum. I’m not going to lie to you, she has some pretty catchy tunes that may or may not have been downloaded via Napster. But seriously though – Over?!

Jimmy Meets World

May 15: Jimmy Fallon makes his last appearance as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, closing out his six-season tenure with a rousing all cast musical rendition of Grease’s Summer Nights, with his leading lady, Tina Fey.

You Can’t Be Sirius

May 23: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban hits theaters. I admit, I was such a late bloomer to HP. Like I didn’t start reading until the day the 7th book came out :\ I hang my head in shame (And I also blame my parents who I’m convinced believed that reading the books legit made you some kind of witch frreal). Anyways, the Alfonso Cuaron-directed installment grossed a total of $796.6 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing in the whole HP film series, but still ranks it the 44th highest-grossing film of all time. Whatever. This was my favorite movie up until the last one, and arguably my favorite book.

I Believe In Miracles

May 26: Fantasia Barrino wins the third season of American Idol in one of the most memorable and dramatic reveals in all of television history. Reminder that this is the same year Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson placed seventh and Diana DeGarmo was the runner-up. (Sidenote: I just saw Diana and hubs season 5 Idol alum Ace Young in the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tour and like a fine wine, her voice has just gotten better with age. Ace, maybe not so much. They’re cute tho. Go go go Joe!)

Closing Time

Our beloved Friends came to a close (which you can reminisce over at our Friends 10 Week tag), while shows I was too young to watch (Ed, Sex and the City, The Practice) and shows I was too old to still be watching (Lizzie McGuire, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, CatDog) also met their demise. RIP Lizzie + Gordo, forever in our hearts.

Meet Michael Phelps

August: The 2004 Summer Olympics are held in Athens, Greece and the main takeaway is that America came out with a new sports legend in Michael Phelps. At just 19 years old, he won 8 medals, 6 of which were gold, the other 2 bronze, well on his way to becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history. In the video above, Michael wins his 5th gold of the games in the 4×200 relay, helping his team edge out Ian “Thorpedo” Thorpe and the Australians by a hair. UGH I miss the Olympics.

Pieces of Me

October 23: Ashlee Simpson gets caught lip synching on Saturday Night Live and I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.

Beyonce Realizes Her Full Potential

November 16: Destiny’s Child releases their fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. This record is not as solid as The Writing’s On The Wall (but really, which DC3 record is?), but it has one of my all time favorite Destiny’s Child Songs, Girl, as well as Cater 2 U. It’s fine, they all did well after the breakup. Right, Michelle?

Ken Jennings Makes Jeopardy! Event Television

November 30: Ken Jennings’ 74-consecutive win streak finally ends at the hands of competitor Nancy Zerg. He’s won a total of $3,196,300 from the show, which is… a heck of a lot of money and knowledge. Question: Where is Nancy Zerg now?

BriWi Takes Over

December 2:  Tom Brokaw resigns as anchorman of NBC Nightly News after 22 years at the desk and is replaced by Brian Williams. Love ya Tommy B, but if you didn’t retire, we would have never been able to get MC BriWillie out of his shell.