11 Of The Weirdest Human Interest Stories From 2016

You don’t need me to tell you that 2016 was, in many ways, the worst. It started with the armed militia in the Oregon wildlife building, ended with the too-troubling-to-be-exciting drama between Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, and had a whole lot of not-so-great stuff (ahem) sandwiched right in the middle. Another thing that came out of 2016? An apparent mass increase in human interest stories.

Of course, human interest stories existed before this year, and they will continue to exist long after this year ends. I minored in journalism when I was in liberal arts school, so I know from Wikipedia that a human interest story is a “feature story that discusses a person, or people, or a companion animal in an emotional way.” These pieces are often criticized (rightly) for being fluffy and distracting from other, more pressing issues at hand (Aleppo, Flint, North Carolina, etc.), but overall, they are harmless, fun, and a good way to trick yourself that the world isn’t an insalvageable dung heap that is set to blow at any moment.

And, since 2016 really did appear to be nothing but an insalvageable dung heap set to blow at any moment, it is not so surprising that one of the things that we were obsessed with this year were these fluffy, distracting human interest stories. They are so popular, in fact, that the process for constructing a story has taken on the formulaic quality of a very concise Mad Lib: This ___ (mom, dog, teen, Papaw) is ____ (trying texting for the first time, getting special reading glasses, proposing to their online girlfriend using customized emojis, making burgers for some grandkids) and it is _____ (everything, all of us, proof that love exists, going to break your heart). And, yet, they work. So, check out these inane but infuriatingly moving human interest stories that you probably (definitely) clicked on this year, and still aren’t quite sure why:

1. This Girl Got Stuck In A Barney Head And It Is All Of Us:


2. No One Showed Up To This Grandma’s Art Exhibit And It Will Make You Weep:


3. This Girl Emailing Her TA After Surgery Is LITERALLY You:


4. This Girl Opened Her Book To Study And Then Stopped And It Is Relatable, Okay?


5. These Students Threw Their Teacher A Surprise Party And What Happened Next Will Shock You (Not Really):


6. This Mom Was A Mom, And We Were All Like “Moooom:”


7. This Other Mom Is A Scammer And Slay And Goals AF:


8. This Dad Narrated His DAughter’s Makeup Tutorial, And, Like Everything Else, IT IS Everything:


9. This Dad Met An Alpaca And His Daughter Tweeted About It To Gain The Retweets She So Badly Craved:


10. Here, Cry Over This Pitbull:


11. This Is Papaw, Who Will Make You Unbelievably Devasted For Reasons You Can’t Quite Articulate Because We Hate You:

Did any of these human interest stories tug at your heartstrings? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.


19 Times 2016 Was A Messy Bitch Who Lives For Drama

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