Finally, it seems like the perpetual train wreck we’ve all come to know as 2016 has almost completely finished smoldering into ashes. One of the more notably shitty years in modern history, 2016 was full of ups and downs, and not all of us made it out alive—literally.
More importantly, I think we can all agree that 2016 will be known as a year where a lot of people said a lot of different shit. Some of it was exceptionally profound and interesting, and a lot of it was just… well, stupid.
Personal dispositions aside, a lot of memorable stuff came from the mouths of our celebrities, politicians and other public figureheads over the last year. Whether it was Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally cry, Kylie Jenner’s deep Nostradamus-like prophecy that 2016 would really be about “like, realizing things,” or literally any of Kanye’s various Twitter fiascos, 2016 will forever be remembered as the year everybody spoke, but no one said much:
This was it, guys—the quote that started it all. When I think of accurate and damn-near prophetic commentary, Kylie Jenner isn’t ordinarily a person that comes to mind.
Well, she hath proven me wrong. In her New Year’s episode of her YouTube vlog series, KYLIE UP CLOSE, Jenner made the above statement and, at the time, it seemed innocuous, if not completely vapid.
Well, look who’s laughing now. This year wound up being one filled with realizations of all shapes, sizes and colors, and we all got a front row seat to all of its absurd, ridiculous and sometimes downright horrifying moments.
Trump Card Slogan
Of all the ridiculous shit President-Elect Donald Trump said throughout his quest for the White House, the statement we all remember most was his battle cry: “Make America Great Again.”
It was what his supporters yelled at you on Facebook after you said crazy things like, “Hey, a woman’s right to choose is important,” or, “Hey, climate change is a very real and serious problem.”
It was also fodder for political pundits, who used it to poke holes in his colorful rhetoric. It was also stamped onto those obnoxious hats. The point is, whether you supported Trump or not, you became very familiar with his slogan throughout the year.
Grabbing All the Pussies
Is it fair that Trump has two spots on our Top 10 list? Probably not. But pretend you didn’t immediately think of this quote—even briefly—when you started thinking of the most memorable quotes of the year. No? You can’t? I rest my case.
Anyway, the Trump campaign was marred by word vomit, but this particular “gem” popped up back in October, after a 2005 video surfaced of Trump talking to Billy Bush, then-hose of Access Hollywood.
Trump talks about how celebrities can mistreat women (i.e. “Grab ‘em by the pussy), and not have to gain consent or worry about retribution. It was particularly cringeworthy and loathsome even by his standards, and followed him throughout the rest of his campaign.
Yeezy Trash Talk
Honestly, I feel like I could have put this list together with just ridiculous Kanye Tweets. Yeezy said a ton of absurd shit on the Twittersphere this year (“I am the Jordan and Steph Curry of music, meaning I’m the best of 2 generations,” “My Tweets are a form of contemporary art,” and “BILL COSBY INNOCENT!!!!!!!!”), but by far, his most memorable bit came during his top-shelf Twitter beef with Wiz Khalifa and former flame Amber Rose.
The “You stole your whole shit from Cudi” line was just one in a string of quotes where Yeezy absolutely trashed Wiz Khalifa. He spoke about Wiz’s tight-ass pants, his kid, his former wife Amber Rose and… just everything, honestly. And we all still remember it like it was yesterday. Get well soon, Kanye, you fucking maniac!
Gawker’s Hulking Mess
It’s kind of sad that we were all so caught up in the political dumpster fire of this year’s election, because some truly crazy shit happened. This quote was tweeted by Hogan a few days after he was awarded $115-million in damages from Gawker Media after they published a small section of a sex tape featuring Hogan and his then-friend’s wife.
Perhaps more important than the quote was the meme which accompanied it—a beautiful graphic of him body slamming the Gawker logo in the middle of a wrestling wring. The Gawker case set an incredible precedent against tabloid journalism, and it ultimately resulted in Gawker filing for bankruptcy back in June.
With All Due Respeck
Awwwwwww shit. You all remember this one. Back in April, Cash Money Records Co-Founder and hip-hop OG Birdman made an appearance on The Breakfast Club, a massively popular radio show in New York. Birdman was apparently upset that the show’s hosts, Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee had been making a fool of him. He offered no explanation for his outburst, but who gives a shit about rationale, anyway?
Instead, he insisted that the hosts put some “respeck” on his name whenever they use it, and then abruptly left the interview with his entourage. Naturally, the internet did what it does, and swiftly beat it to death. Nevertheless, we all remember it.
Syria’s Struggle Continues
Abdulkafi al-Hamdo isn’t some famous politician or movie star. He’s a teacher and father currently living in a war-torn city in Syria called Aleppo. His words sent a chill across the internet last week as he gave what he thought would be one of his final messages.
As pro-government forces began entering the city to fight off anti-Assad rebels, they reportedly began firing on anyone and everyone in the city limits—women and children included. Al-Hamdo’s desperate plea for help and remembrance spurred literally dozens of other Syrian innocents to broadcast their own goodbye messages, all while pleading with foreign governments to help demand a ceasefire.
This one is a recent event, but there’s no doubt that it qualifies as one of the biggest quotes of the year.
Last May, keepers at the famous Cincinnati Zoo made a grave decision to kill a critically-endangered Western lowland gorilla named Harambe after a three-year-old boy managed to hop into the zoo’s gorilla enclosure. The decision to kill the gorilla was met with overwhelming criticism and anger.
The internet flooded with Harambe memes that promised the people would never forget about the dead primate. Dicks our for Harambe developed into one of the main catchphrases for the hordes of angry people, and the internet ‘memery’ got so bad that the Cincinatti Zoo literally asked people to stop making memes. Of course, the internet didn’t listen to that shit.
Justin Bieber Dumps Instagram
At first glance, it seems almost unconscionable that I could include a quote about some rich celebrity threatening to delete one of their social media accounts in a list of the world’s most important quotes of the year, especially when some of those inclusions involve end-of-life farewell messages, and messages about the future of our country.
But whether you like it or not, Justin Bieber is a massive influencer and inspiration to our generation. Was I choking down vomit while I typed that? Absolutely. But this quote is really all the proof I need. Back in August, when the internet was being a bunch of meanie weanies to the Biebs about his then-girlfriend Sofia Richie, Bieber threatened to make his Instagram private if everyone didn’t stop.
Unexpectedly and without warning, Bieber deleted his Instagram account altogether. Poof. Just like that, one of the world’s most popular social media accounts was removed from the spectrum forever. In fact, this quote wasn’t a heavy contender for inclusion on this list, until I realized that Bieber’s Instagram account is STILL disabled. That ominous message was literally the end of Justin Bieber’s Instagram account. Damn.
For more on the year in internet culture, check our the biggest memes of 2016.
- Lead image: Hannan Hussain