A picture is worth a thousand words. A moving, repeating picture, however? Well, that’s worth infinitely more. That’s also why GIFs are the viral communication tool the internet can’t get enough of. GIPHY collected the most zeitgeisty looping clips of 2016, from President Obama’s mic drop moment to the friendly waving brown bear that Tinder users apparently love to send and receive in their search for romantic connection. To come up with the ten below, GIPHY’s editorial team surveyed several different factors, including “popularity, views and curation that best reflect the zeitgeist of 2016 in GIF form.”
Take a spin through GIPHY’s top ten here:
10. Obama Mic Drop
In a politically explosive year, it’s only fitting that GIPHY’s top GIF is the iconic mic drop from the departing president. Originally an actual thing that happened at the White House Correspondents’ dinner, this animated illustration of the moment by GIPHY artist Julie Winegard outpaced the real-life video to score the honor of being GIPHY’s top GIF of the year.
9. 2. Crying Jordan
Perhaps better known as a static meme, Crying Jordan never gets old, especially in motion.
8. 3. Sloth from Zootopia
Originally featured in the Zootopia movie trailer, the sloth’s ever-growing grin (is it of surprise or delight?) is widely applicable to many situations in life.
7. 4. Unamused Lady
It’s not just celebrities and cartoons that catch on: relatable regular people can, too. This GIF, of an unamused woman embodies the feeling in those moments when you just… can’t.
6. 5. Chris Christie
This clip of a random moment of Chris Christie applauding from the Republican National Convention turned out to be the most popular GIF of the whole year’s election cycle, thanks to the New Jersey governor’s lackluster expression. (No word on who exactly was speaking at the moment of this recording.)
5. 6. Broad City
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are queens of physical comedy and slang catchphrases; in this moment from their popular comedy series, Jacobson’s “yas”-filled enthusiasm speaks volumes (even if the word itself is just one syllable).
4. 7. Leo and Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes
As a regal-looking Lady Gaga walked through the crowd at last winter’s Golden Globes, a moment of pure hilarity ensued when the pop star brushed past Leonardo DiCaprio’s elbow. DiCaprio’s reaction? An Oscar-worthy eyebrow raise, preserved for eternity in this viral GIF.
3. 8. Hello Bear
According to GIPHY, this friendly, non-threatening image of a brown bear waving happily from behind a wire fence was the most popular GIF used on Tinder, the dating app. No word on how well those matches worked out.
2. 9. People vs. O.J. Simpson
Sarah Paulson’s Emmy-Award-winning turn as lead prosecutor Marcia Clark in the acclaimed TV series The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story also generated this powerful GIF.
1. 10. “Deal With It” Cat
This too-cool-for-school cat presumably helped people deliver some tough love to friends who needed a little reminder that sometimes, life doesn’t always come up rainbows and butterflies. But it will provide you with plenty of cat pictures.
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