2020 has been the year that everything and nothing happened.
As Coronavirus forcibly took the wheel, we put aside nearly all plans and instead steered straight into a pandemic that broke our spirits and our brains. Meanwhile, we experienced both a nation-wide reckoning with systemic anti-Blackness and an election season that felt ripped out of a dystopian fiction. With those things to process, there wasn’t much more that our anxiety-ridden, quarantine-melted minds could entertain.
But the world did, in fact, go on. The ice caps continued melting. Celebrities continued to make fools of themselves. And as news became increasingly difficult to follow, the internet felt more united than ever—clamoring around memes, pop culture controversies, and new Netflix content like campfires in an otherwise dark and terrifying new wilderness.
To aid in your annual reflection, here is a list of everything you likely already forgot happened, or didn’t even realize occurred, in 2020. These events may fall under any of the following categories: news you simply decided to reject for the time being (not today, aliens), dumb shit you probably enjoyed for one day and then immediately erased from your mind to make room for fresh horrors, and actually important stuff you probably just missed while you were obsessively washing your hands (read: crying). In other words, it’s—aptly—a chaotic mess.
January 2: The U.S. killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani via drone strike, bringing us to the brink of war. (Great start!)
January 2: Dr. Phil put his hideous mansion up for sale.
January 22: Planters killed off Mr. Peanut as part of a Super Bowl ad campaign.
January 27: Planters cancelled Mr. Peanut’s televised funeral out of respect for Kobe Bryant.
February 2: Donald Trump congratulated the “Great State of Kansas” for Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win.
February 5: The Senate acquitted Donald Trump following his impeachment in December.
February 13: Love Is Blind premiered, accidentally foreshadowing our collective isolation to come.
February 17: FC Barcelona was accused of hiring influencers to troll its own players.
March 2: Chris Matthews abruptly resigned live on air.
March 4: We got coronavirus porn. That was fast.
March 4: Paris Hilton revealed, yet again, that her baby voice has been fake all along.
March 17: Vanessa Hudgens shared inspiring words about the pandemic with her Instagram followers: “Yeah, people are gonna die, which is terrible but… inevitable?”
March 18: Celebrities gave us the “Imagine” video, the very last thing we needed.
March 20: Michelle Obama, Oprah, Rihanna, and 100,000 other people all tuned into IG Live to watch D-Nice play music.
March 25: NYC “ran out” of dogs and cats to adopt.
March 26: We got approximately two seconds of new Rihanna music.
April 2: People in the UK began burning down 5G towers because of a conspiracy theory claiming that 5G causes COVID-19.
April 7: Stanford researchers created a smart toilet that identifies you based on your “anal print.”
April 8: Architectural Digest gave us a look inside Drake’s ridiculously fugly mansion.
April 23: The coast of California began glowing with extra bright bioluminescent waves. Thanks, climate change!
April 26: New York City’s L train was finally repaired—three months ahead of schedule and $100 million under budget—but no one cared.
April 27: The U.S. Navy published three UFO videos.
May 1: Sometime around now we all discovered the shitty app that turns you into an anime character.
May 2: Murder hornets arrived and immediately became a meme.
May 4: Elon Musk and Grimes named their baby X Æ A-12.
May 5: We remembered that Tyra Banks enabled blackface on American’s Next Top Model.
May 9: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu battled each other on Verzuz.
May 13: Pauly D grew a beard.
May 21: Lana Del Ray posed a “question for the culture.”
May 28: The world watched the Minneapolis Police Department burn.
May 30: Elon Musk's SpaceX launched its first spaceflight carrying astronauts.
June 1: Twitter roasted David Guetta’s shout out to George Floyd's family.
June 3: The “I yield my time” guy called into the LAPD virtual community meeting.
June 7: K-pop stans broke the Dallas Police website by flooding it with fancams.
June 8: Democrats thought it would be a good idea if they all wore kente cloth.
June 9: Cops, one of the longest running shows on TV, was canceled in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, right before the premiere of 33rd season.
June 15: General Louis DeJoy took over as USPS postmaster, beginning Trump’s attack on the post office and prompting us all to buy a bunch of stamps.
June 15: Scientists told us that the Milky Way contains 36 contactable alien civilizations.
June 18: Ziwe Fumudoh interviewed Caroline Calloway on Instagram Live.
June 22: A collective that publishes and hosts leaked data in the public interest dumped 270 GB of law enforcement documents stolen from police departments and fusion centers.
July 4: Kanye announced he was running for president.
July 5: A bunch of nudists in Minnesota chased the cops off their nakie beach.
July 8: Technology gave us a dick-sucking robot that attaches to your Tesla.
July 9: People literally thought that Wayfair was trafficking children via overpriced furniture.
July 10: Jada let us know about her “entanglement” with August Alsina.
July 10: For some reason, Zac Efron made a Netflix show about sustainability.
July 11: We gagged at Sqirl’s moldy, moldy jam.
July 13: Essayist Thomas Chatterton Williams announced a friend "self-expelled" from his house in France following an argument over New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.
July 14: While under quarantine with the coronavirus, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was bitten by a large, emu-like bird called a rhea. The bird was promptly lauded as an anti-authoritarian folk hero.
July 15: Literal teenage hackers convinced a Twitter employee to give them access to some of the most influential people on the platform, including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. Instead of taking over the world, the teens attempted to scam people into giving them cryptocurrency. Somehow, they made $120,000…but ended up in jail two weeks later.
July 25: Gigi Hadid showed off her colorful pasta cabinets.
July 29: The date George R.R. Martin set as the one on which he could be imprisoned if he hadn't finished his new book passed without him being imprisoned, and with no new book.
Late July: Hundreds—or perhaps even thousands—of Americans received mysterious seeds from China and planted them without wondering whether that was a good idea at all.
July 31: Fake Arizona State professor "@sciencing_bi" died of COVID.
August 6: Bible-sized swarms of locusts invaded East Africa.
August 14: The Pentagon created an official UFO task force.
August 15: We learned about the house with a jail attached to the kitchen.
August 18: Twitter came together to act out a 90s movie.
August 21: The self-destructing digital protest for sex workers’ rights took place.
August 27: Snoop Dogg made his own bottle of 19 Crimes Wine.
September 3: A supposedly Afro-Caribbean George Washington University professor from the South Bronx published a Medium essay announcing that she was actually a white Jewish lady from the Kansas City suburbs.
September 9: Californians woke up to orange skies.
September 14: Drew Barrymore launched her extremely unhinged talk show.
September 16: We learned about the sack of wet eggs.
September 23: We learned recycling was a lie all along.
September 25: @420DoggFace208 made cranberry juice cool.
September 25: Twitter alerted us to The Kelly Clarkson Show and its dystopian in-studio zoom audience.
September 27: The New York Times confirmed that we all pay more taxes than Trump.
October 2: Claudia Conway told TikTok her mom had COVID-19.
October 5: Fringe conspiracy theorists tried to convince us that Trump is an immortal alien who got COVID-19 as a cover to shapeshift. Makes sense.
October 5: Nigerian activists launched the #ENDSARS movement, the country’s largest mass protest in almost a decade, calling for the end of corrupt policing.
October 6: Wendy Williams said “cornova.”
October 6: Astrophysicists told us that supermassive black holes might really be 'traversable' wormholes, whatever that means.
October 18: AMC said you can now rent an entire movie theater for $99.
October 19: A giant, 2,000-year-old cat drawing was accidentally discovered in Peru.
October 23: Indigenous land defenders in Canada overturned a school bus as a blockade.
October 26: We learned the moon is wet!!
October 29: Lil Wayne got dumped for being a Trump supporter.
November 2: Scientists accidentally figured out that platypus fur glows.
November 4: A handful of drugs became decriminalized in certain states, and weed passed as recreational in multiple states.
November 4: A second QAnon supporter got elected to congress.
November 4: Mysterious radio waves got traced to a source in our galaxy. Aliens again?
November 7: Trump accidentally held a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a warehouse between a sex shop and a crematorium. (There’s no way you’ve forgotten this, but we had to bring it up again.)
November 19: During a news conference in which he falsely claimed the U.S. Presidential election had been stolen via democratic voter fraud, Rudy Giuliani’s hair appeared to melt down the side of his face. A perfect encapsulation of our year.
See you in 2021.