Cultural phenomena of 2016 I don’t f*cking understand

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As I start ascending into my mid-late twenties, I’m beginning to realize that I’m falling behind the times. The youth of today are doing the weirdest shit online, and I don’t get it at all. But according to Kylie Jenner, “this year is really about like the year of just realizing stuff,” right? So I thought it would be a good idea to dissect some of the 2016 cultural phenomenon that I honestly didn’t understand. Seriously middle-schoolers, what are you doing?


This is a dance move where one looks like they’re sneezing into their elbow while sticking their other arm upwards and diagonally. One can do this standing still or repeatedly with alternating arms until it looks like they’re literally just waving their hands in front of their face. Apparently this dance move by artist Skippa Da Flippa came out of the Atlanta hip-hop scene, and has exploded in popularity among the youth of today. Just check the thousands of photos and videos on Facebook feeds.


I get it, when you’re really bored in some high school math class the temptation is hard to resist—a plastic water-bottle is just calling to be crinkled and flipped in the air. In these videos, people flip a water bottle that is 1⁄4 full in the air with the hopes that it will land bottom down. Yep. That’s the whole thing.


This ‘new’ challenge of late 2016 is a continuously shot video that shows subjects apparently ‘frozen’ in time. It’s meant to showcase one’s ability to literally stand still and the more elaborate ones have subjects working out or actually mid-motion. This challenge is taking the internet by storm and appears innovative if you don’t know about the tradition of performing a tableau, which humans were doing hundreds of years ago.


There’s a lot of really cool dance moves that come along with hip-hop songs. Need proof? Check out the hit song “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy Tell’em circa 2007. The Running Man Challenge is similar in that the dance moves stem from a song, but for this challenge, the subject runs in place, usually out of an awkward situation like getting caught cheating on “your girl.”


In addition to the internet video trends of 2016, there were quite a few memes that made no sense, which is pretty confusing because some of my friends refer to me as the meme queen. So here’s a list of a few; if you understand them, please send a letter to the editor or myself to explain:

  • The frog on a unicycle aka “here come dat boi”
  • Memes that try to spell Bon Apetit in the dumbest way
  • Harambe (R.I.P.)*
  • The Bee Movie memes

So there you have it: my list of absolutely ridiculous 2016 internet trends that are so dumb I don’t understand them even after breaking them down. Here’s to hoping that 2017 will bring better dank memes.

*Okay, I get the Harambe memes, but I don’t understand how over 10000 people in the U.S. voted for him in the election. Come on, guys.