We may be two days into the new year now, but we’re still taking a bit of time to reflect on all of the good and bad of 2018 – specifically, in the pop culture realm.
There are a lot of big moments that we could look back on last year. Some of which made us laugh, others that made us cry – here’s looking at you Avengers: Infinity War, and some that left us feeling totally inspired. We saw some of our favorite celebrities come together for some really great causes, we saw television and movies that made us laugh so hard we cried and some that just made us cry, and we lost some icons that really reminded us how important our bond with pop culture really is.
We wanted to share this reflection with you today, and to see if our big memorable moments are some of yours as well. Oh, and when we said favorite, we definitely knew some of these would be heartbreaking, but they were part of the picture, too.
Jack Pearson died on This Is Us
Okay, this wasn’t a favorite exactly – but it was big. This was the epic television moment fans of the series had been both dreading but insanely curious about since we learned of Jack Pearson’s fate earlier in the series. His death was more painful than we could have honestly imagined. He went out a hero, or…just having been one. Rebecca’s heartbreaking reaction mirrored the reaction of all of us at home, too.
Queer Eye got a Netflix reboot
If you’ve managed to miss out on this series so far, stop whatever it is that you’re doing now and tune in. The stories on the series are awesome, the new cast is incredible, and you’ll probably end up crying a little bit – in a good way.
Marvel’s Black Panther hit theaters
Need we say more? This movie topped box offices, wowed fans across the world, and broke records in the comic book movie realm. With an all-star cast, performances that left us speechless, and the gratitude shown by everyone involved – there’s no way this could go down in history as anything other than monumental.
We saw many of our favorite Black Panther characters in Avengers: Infinity War just months later which was an added treat. That is – until Thanos snapped and ruined all of our lives.
Stephen Hawking passed away
After a long battle with ALS, Hawking passed away in 2018 but he left behind a massive legacy. His contributions to science, his humor, and his intelligence won’t soon be forgotten.
Avengers: Infinity War
We still aren’t over this movie. In fact, when some of our friends reminded us that the film was coming to Netflix last month (as if we could forget), we just smiled and told them we didn’t need to relive that just yet. We saw it in theaters – more times than our emotions could really even handle – and we’ll only really be partially strong enough to watch it a week or two before Avengers: Endgame hits theaters.
We can only assume that we’ll be in an emotional state for a year after that one, too.
For now, however, we’re still trying to reconcile with Bucky’s last word being Steve, T’Challa helping his soldiers – telling them that this was no place to die, and Peter Parker looking at Tony like he was the only person he’d want to spend his last moments with.
We’re not crying, you are.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married
The royal wedding was a big pop culture moment. One talked about for months before it happened and months after. Harry and Meghan have been giving us butterflies for some time now, but seeing them on their big day was something else entirely. The love between the two of them is truly special and the pair looked breathtaking on their wedding day.
The Incredibles 2 premiered
Fans of The Incredibles rushed to theaters to see the second installment of The Incredibles featuring our favorite animated hero family and some new heroes and villains. The storyline in the Incredibles 2 was awesome, the cast was amazing, and the film instantly became one of our favorite Disney movies.
The cast of Degrassi reunited for a Drake music video
‘I’m Upset’ is a song that can still get stuck in our heads after just a few notes, so it comes as no surprise that Drake had to make sure the music video was unforgettable as well.
Reuniting some of his old ‘classmates’ from Degrassi, Drake put together a music video that gave us a serious sense of nostalgia, in the best possible way. We loved seeing the faces of some of our favorite television characters again, but we loved their interactions even more.
Toys ‘R Us closed
When the doors of Toys R’ Us closed, we were forced to grow up after all. The store was a staple to our childhood and losing it was like losing a part of that. We can rest easy, however, in the fact that once you’re a Toys ‘R Us kid, you’re always one. We’ve all got a little bit of that magic feeling that you got when you walked into that store inside of us!
Toy Story Land opened
As one staple of our childhood closed, another opened. At Walt Disney World, Toy Story Land opened and allowed us all to exist in Andy’s backyard. We got to ride Slinky Dog Dash, play Toy Story Mania, and take a whirl with our favorite aliens. We also got to see the toy soldiers marching around the backyard and stopping for some fun guest interaction.
If you’ve not yet been to Toy Story Land, we recommend going – and soon!
Mason Ramsey became a household name
The ‘yodeling kid’ from Walmart was made famous by a video gone viral. After his overnight stardom, he did everything from appearing on the Ellen Show to performing at Coachella! He even released a Christmas video last month to the delight of his new fans around the world.
Beyonce Headlined Coachella
Speaking of Coachella, Beyonce became the first African American woman to headline the epic two-weekend show in California, and her set was incredible. She doesn’t just sing and dance, Beyonce performs and it’s a totally enveloping experience. You can see pics and videos from lucky fans in attendance on social media.
A Million Little Things Premiered
Just when we thought This Is Us was the most emotional series on television, A Million Little Things premiered and we realized that there were two shows that would be making us cry every week. A Million Little Things doesn’t just bring the emotion, it brings the grit along with it. It tells a story, one of loss and hurt and betrayal and love and suicide. It gets real about every single topic, too.
You fall in love with the characters immediately, even the ones who make you mad, and you find some of their stories that end up mirroring your own. We’re floored by the series every time a new episode airs, and we frequently tweet with fans across the world about it. If you’ve not tuned in yet, you can get caught up now before the mid-season finale ends, and you can talk about it with us every week!
Mickey Mouse turned 90
We celebrated Mickey’s 90th birthday this year at our local Disney store, but you didn’t have to be at a store or at a Disney park to wish the leader of the club a happy birthday this year. There were celebrations on television, within circles of friends, and across social media. Mickey Mouse is a favorite of kids and adults alike – and 90 is a big birthday!
Rick Grimes left The Walking Dead
As massive Walking Dead fans, this was a major moment for us. While *spoiler alert* we were so glad that he didn’t actually meet his demise, we were heartbroken that he left The Walking Dead’s universe as we know it.
It’s strange, knowing we won’t see Rick when we tune in every week now, but it’s also nice to know that Andrew Lincoln is getting to spend some time with his family. Plus, we’re all one big family so we never really lose those characters and actors/actresses we love – we just experience them in a different way.
Stan Lee passed away
This one really touched the lives of pop culture fans around the world. While Stan Lee was a household name for Marvel fans, he was a source of inspiration for people outside of that realm too. Stan didn’t give up, even when the odds were stacked against him, and he never quit following his dreams.
He lived a long life, and a good one at that, but it still seemed like it all just came too soon. His talent is missed by creatives around the world and by the hearts of every fan he touched. We were all made a little bit better by Stan’s light.
Jason Momoa’s Aquaman HAKA
This was an epic moment during Aquaman’s promo, for a number of reasons. It’s hard to explain the impact, but it was absolutely beautiful to watch. The moment was immediately shared across social media, and not long after, Momoa himself posted a link to the experience online.
One of the coolest parts of the HAKA? It included some of his family. Getting to live your dream with those closest to you is all any of us could really hope for.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth got married
Be still our hearts! No, seriously, this is one celebrity wedding we’ve been waiting for. Miley and Liam have been through their share of ups and downs, but in the end – love won. The wedding photos posted by Liam, Miley, and their friends and family were absolutely perfect. The couple looked absolutely stunning and so happy. We’re incredibly happy for them.
Of course, these were not the only big moments in pop culture this year. There were many other losses (like that of Mac Miller, Burt Reynolds, Aretha Franklin – just to name a few), big premieres, explosive television moments, and celebrations around the entertainment realm. We just had to try to narrow them down a little bit.
What moments in the pop culture realm really marked 2018 for you? Let us know.