28 Random Things We Were All Obsessed With In 2016

Each year, for me at least, is marked by what was trendy at the moment. When I think about 2001, I remember the height of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fame, pop-punk music, and jeans that laced all the way up the sides. When I look back on 2014, I think of feminism becoming more mainstream and “cool,” crop tops becoming huge again, and how we were all insanely obsessed with avocados. The ’90s are a blur of glittery makeup, platform sandals, and Spice Girls lollipops; 2013 always makes me think about boyfriend jeans; and 2009 feels like it was all about the dawn of smart phones. At the end of every year, I look back on the previous 12 months, and wonder what trends I’ll remember from them. Thanks to Internet culture, there were a lot of big trends of 2016, and it’s hard to pick just a few iconic ones.

Like most trends, it’s hard to say where these came from. Are some coming from high up in the fashion industry, as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada spoke about? Were these trends born from Instagram photos? Who decided that succulents were going to be the most popular plant ever? Who is responsible for the way rose gold took over everything? I don’t know, and maybe I never will. But I do know that whenever I look back on 2016, I’m going to think of these trends (as well as the fact that this was the year that started the downfall of America – KIDDING, I hope). Check out the most random things we were obsessed with this past year, and let me know what I forgot in the comments below.

1. Tassels

I don’t know why tassels suddenly became huge in 2016, especially more towards the end. They’re cute, they’re stylish, and they’re fun, so I guess if you’re into that, it works!

2. Galaxy Anything

From galaxy makeup to galaxy print, well, anything, you couldn’t escape this magical version of the solar system. I’m not complaining – it’s been very aesthetically pleasing – but I’m also not sure where this came from.

3. Pineapples

See that gold pineapple that’s just a random piece of home decor? It was hard to look at any lifestyle section of any store or site without seeing some version of that. Pineapple home decor was huge this year, as were pineapple crafts, clothes, and accessories.

4. Millennial Pink

In case you didn't know the items in the @glossier black tie set are now available individually ?still obsessed with the pink polish!

A photo posted by Sabrina | the beauty look book (@beautylookbook) on

See that shade of pink all over this photo? That shade was EVERYWHERE this year. NY Mag even wrote about it. It’s a gorgeous color and it is very aesthetically pleasing, and I can only hope we don’t overload ourselves with it so much that we can never look at it again.

5. Unicorns

It’s hard to shop anywhere – in stores or online – without stumbling upon some sort of unicorn thing. It might be slippers, clothes, accessories, makeup, home decor… anything. It could literally be anything. Unicorns are magical and perfect, so I get it.

6. Pom Poms

In case you haven’t noticed, pom poms are taking over. They’re on beanies, on keychains, on handbags, clothes, shoes, jewelry, rugs, and more. I… don’t know why.

7. Rainbows 

traveled straight to Brooklyn for these bad boys ? #NewYArkCity #rainbowbagel #thebagelstore

A photo posted by Madison Means (@madisonmeans) on

Yeah, rainbows are cool, but I think 2016 has officially ruined them for me. If I see one more photo of someone holding their rainbow bagel up against a cool background, I might scream.

8. Cool Girl Makeup

What do I mean by “cool girl makeup?” Well, for starters, anything made by Glossier or Milk Makeup (both awesome brands that are also a little over-priced and possibly over-hyped). “Cool girl” makeup is a Thing right now. It’s all about the “no-makeup makeup” look, as well as aesthetically pleasing packaging that is minimalist yet beautiful (and just waiting to be Instagrammed, which really, is the packaging strategy of some of these brands). It’s sold only online or in stores like Urban Outfitters because it is too cool for mainstream makeup shops like Sephora and Ulta. And it’s everywhere right now – and probably not going anywhere any time soon.

9. Overpriced Planners/Stationary

Anyone who is truly into planners knows that they’ve been popular, in a certain circle, for a long time now. But 2016 was the year where we really reached Peak Planner. Agendas became overpriced and even sold out – the brand ban.do has a waiting list for their new ones, and I once saw a sold out one on Amazon for $150. Are they necessary? No, but they definitely make organizing your life a lot more fun, so I can’t say anything bad about this trend (except it might be nice if they were cheaper).

10. The Dog Filter

I will try to use the dog filter on my selfie voff voff. ✨?? #snapchat #thedogfilter #selfie #pretty #lol #happy

A photo posted by ∞Belieber is a Lifestyle∞ (@maaddestyle) on

I can’t say anything bad about the dog filter from Snapchat. It is The Best. I look at my face in the dog filter every single day, especially when I am feeling sad about the way my skin looks. The dog filter was invented in 2016 (probably the best part of the year, tbh), and it’s one of the only Snapchat filters that has stuck around despite the constant changes. People are obsessed with the dog filter, probably because it’s cute and makes your face look nice, but also probably because it is weirdly sexual (which I attribute to Kylie Jenner using it while eye f***ing the camera and wearing a tiny crop top). It should never leave us.

11. Bullet Journals

Planner mania eventually turned into bullet journal obsession, which honestly, is crazy to me. Bullet journals are essentially planners on crack, full of organization and creativity and all sorts of habit trackers. I even started one and I am not very organized. If you have not yet started one… you should.

12. Calvin Klein Underwear

Waking up in my home away from home…?

A photo posted by ALEXIS REN (@alexisren) on

If, five years ago, someone told me that, in 2016, we would all be obsessed with photos of skinny girls with great abs showing off the bands of their Calvin Klein bras and underwear, I would have laughed at them. Who knew that such minimalist cotton underwear, that never seemed sexual before, could suddenly become the peak of sexy items in 2016?

13. Furry Bag Charms

Why did we all start putting fuzzy bag charms on our handbags this year? I literally have no clue, but we did.

14. White Sneakers

Remember two years ago, when you literally could not go anywhere without seeing at least one person wearing a pair of black Vans slip on sneakers? I went to New York Fashion Week and even saw them on editors there. Well, this year, the slip on sneaker trend turned into the white sneaker trend. No longer are these mom shoes, and I can’t complain. They’re comfortable, they go with everything, and they’re relatively inexpensive. Go us!

15. Making Old Cartoons Inappropriate

This year, Internet users took over old cartoons and made them a little bit more, uh, mature. The biggest cartoons we couldn’t escape were Spongebob Squarepants, Arthur, and Kermit The Frog, but there were so many more inappropriate memes it’s hard to know where to start.

16. Poke

Livin that #poke life at @thepokespotny! ? #DEVOURPOWER

A photo posted by #DEVOURPOWER (@devourpower) on

The only thing I know about poke is that Gurl writer Ashley eats it for lunch pretty much every time she’s in the office. Other than that, I’m assuming it’s like sushi? I am clearly very out of the loop, but this highly Instagrammed food was everywhere this year.

17. Stickers, Patches, Pins

Excited #patches

A photo posted by Cha? (@charlynea) on

I love cute patches, stickers, and pins, but even I am getting a little sick of seeing them everywhere. 2016, please do not ruin this trend.

18. Being Petty

It’s weird to call a personality trait a trend, but being petty was definitely one of the most talked about things during 2016. Suddenly, it went from being immature to being totally acceptable, if not expected.

19. Succulents

I don’t know why succulents became, like, the coolest thing you can own, but I LOVE IT. Succulents are cute AF. I don’t know why, they just are. They’re also extremely easy to care for, so I’m very down with this trend continuing into 2017.

20. Tumblr Signs As Posts


If you went on Tumblr at all this year, then you definitely saw a “Signs As” post. It’s the 2016 version of horoscopes – a Tumblr user picks a theme, then explains how each astrological sign would feel about it. This fun way of describing ourselves barely showed any sign of stopping, and honestly – relatable content is the best.

21. Human Interest Stories
I strongly suspect this trend was created by Buzzfeed, which is, like, annoying, but whatever. Anyway. Remember when we all couldn’t stop reading the relatable GIF post stories that went something like, “10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Walk Fast!” (a story that I, myself, pitched, only to realize there was nothing to it other than, uh, walking faster than everyone)? Well, this year, we moved away from those, and onto human interest stories. You’ve seen them all over Facebook and Tumblr, and they are annoying AF. Think the PawPaw story, a headline about how THIS girl got mad at a teacher and did something you’ll LOVE, or THIS guy said something you’ll TOTALLY agree with! It’s the new clickbait, and honestly, I hate it.

22. Cooking Videos

Okay, so this was DEFINITELY created by Buzzfeed, right? Buzzfeed’s Facebook page, Tasty, blew up in 2016, and I think everyone we know has shared at least one Tasty video at some point. I can’t say I blame everyone – they make cooking look simple, delicious, and fast.

23. Matcha

Every year has a popular superfood, and this year, it was matcha. Much like other popular healthy foods, matcha is something people either love or hate, it’s going to be a trendy health food even if it isn’t always healthy, it’s expensive AF, and it’s aesthetically pleasing. What more do you need?

24. Versions of Pigtails


A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

I love Dutch braids and space buns as much as the next millennial, but guys, can we chill a little bit? Maybe?

25. Doing Weird Things With Makeup

100 layer challenge. #lipcream by #mizzyonlineshop #100layerchallenge #challengeaccepted

A photo posted by Honey Uy (@zehanzachary) on


26. Donuts


A photo posted by Jessica Booth (@jboothyy) on

Okay, yes, donuts are bomb, but we cannot let 2016 ruin them the way other years ruined Crumbs cupcakes and cronuts. OKAY??????

27. Relationship Goals 

Guys, like… I can’t see one more unrealistic, ridiculous, absurd, clearly fake #RelationshipGoals photo, or I will melt.

28. Round Towels

Did you know that many of these round towels, aside from being very cute and Instagrammable, also cost, usually, over $100? Who the EFF is spending that much on a towel?????

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