23 of the most important weird trends of 2016
And equally, there’s been a number of times when we’ve been collectively embarrassed.
But one thing is for sure – there are moments when we have laughed and cried and cheered and clapped as a nation.
As this rollercoaster year draws to a close, now is the perfect time to round-up some of the moments in 2016 when we Brits chuckled and cheered as a single nation.
1. Boaty McBoatface:
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) thought it’d be a great idea to involve the public in the naming of their new polar research vessel.
Until some wit suggested Boaty McBoatface, which captured our overactive imaginations and topped the poll with over 124,000 votes.
Sadly, the NERC plumped for the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which placed fourth with just over 10,000 votes.
Happily, the people’s choice lives on – the NERC named the research vessel’s hi tech remote operated sub-sea vehicle Boaty McBoatface instead.
2. Olympics and Paralympics:
For a tiny nation, we do punch above our weight.
We’re the only country to exceed our medal count in the Games after hosting the Olympics (67 medals in 2016, two more than in London).
Likewise, our Paralympians captured 147 medals in total, obliterating the 120 they’d won in London.
3. Shakespeare Live:
Proving that theatre and the Bard isn’t beyond the wit of the average viewer, the cream of British acting royalty took to the stage to argue how ‘To be or not to be’ should be said, with Tim Minchin leading the way.
David Tennant, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen were all roundly put in their place by HRH Prince Charles, who had the final word in a hilarious six-minute sketch.
4. Escape of the baby iguana:
The opening episode of the epic Planet Earth 2 brought us the terrifying racer snakes, preying on baby iguana.
They slithered out as one from the rocks and began the chase.
One little fella ran for his life but was caught and engulfed by a ball of the racers, only to find daylight and slip through.
Leaping for safety as snakes fell around him, he made it to mum.
5. This tweet:
6. Prince Harry and the press release of threat:
We cheered on Prince Harry as he gave the media a written punch in the face for the unchivalrous treatment of the lady in his life.
It couldn’t have been any plainer – come near my girl again and I’ll have you.
Don’t we all wish we had one at home like him?
7. Strictly Ed Balls:
Waking up one Wednesday morning to find out Trump had been elected POTUS left everyone in a state of shock and bewilderment.
It was almost as though the Strictly producers thought, we’d better schedule something fun this weekend, just in case.
And they gave us Ed Balls, Gangnam Style.
Proving that politicians aren’t nearly as scary when they’re kept away from politics.
Who’d have thought the live stream of a puddle could bring a nation together?
The large puddle, blocking a popular pathway in Newcastle City Centre, became the unlikely star of a Periscope live feed way back in January.
According to the user, Richard Rippon, there was a ‘kind of British resilience’ to crossing it – ‘No-one has turned back yet.’
One person brought a surfboard, one brought a lilo, one brought a ‘caution – wet floor’ sign.
A bottle of it was even auctioned on eBay. Classic.
9. Mel, Sue and Mary too:
Shock news as Channel 4 swoop in and swipe the Great British Bake Off from the BBC.
The show became what it is thanks to the warmth and wit of the judges and presenters.
So when Mary, Sue and Mel all stated they weren’t going with the dough, Channel 4 effectively paid £75m for a tent.
Just desserts, anyone?
The aftermath of Brexit showed our sense of humour is completely intact – particularly on Twitter, who combined it with our Euro 2016 exit to great effect:
It could only be surpassed by the guffaws at the announcement of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
MORE: People are describing what it means to be British with hilarious hashtag
MORE: 23 classic British condiments ranked from worst to best
MORE: QUIZ: How stereotypically British are you on holiday?