Families all across the U.S. will sit down together this Thursday and recount what they’re grateful for. Treasured moments with loved ones, landmark life events and general warm and fuzzy feelings are typically listed as things people are grateful for. Here at MTV News, we’re super into our families too, but realize that there’s so much in pop culture to thank the universe for this year as well.
Read on for 50 people, moments, movies, trends and more we’re thankful for this year, listed in no particular order. What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments!
1. Baby North (And Her Chubby Cheeks)
Sorry, Blue Ivy is so last year. This year, our favorite haute infant is the lol-ariously named and heartstoppingly cute North West. She may not have made her debut on the cover of Vogue, but she’s certainly in vogue.
2. ’Gravity’s’ 13-Minute Opening Shot
We mean, hahaha, what? And a follow-up question: have you ever? The massive opening sequence to Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” utilizing technology created specifically for the movie and appearing as one nearly quarter-hour shot, was — dare we say it? — heavy.
3. Bruce Dern In ’Nebraska’
He’s 78 and has been making movies for 50 years, and this is still one of the great performances of his career. Dern’s portrayal of a stubborn patriarch in Alexander Payne’s tragicomic black and white ode to Middle America is heartbreaking and one of the best of the year.
Let’s all stand together and remember 2013, the Year of Yeezus. From becoming a baby daddy to asking Kim Kardashian to pleeease marry hiiiiiiiim to dropping one of the biggest albums of the year, it’s safe to say ’Ye has been a busy guy.
5. Kanye’s Couture Masks
Anyone (arguably) can put on a concert, but nobody can put one on quite like Kanye. Try getting someone to pay you to rap through a couture mask and see how well you make out.
6. Any Outfit Miley Cyrus Wore In 2013, But Especially This One
Her nude patent leotard may have been involved in one of the most talked about pop culture moments of the year, but let’s talk about girlfriend’s other fierce looks. For example:
7. Miley’s Onstage Joint
Miley Cyrus and antics go together like peanut butter and jelly. We’re thankful for this particular conversation-sparking (get it?) moment at this year’s EMA in Amsterdam.
8. Mike Tyson: Spoken-Word Performance Artist
Mike Tyson seems to have hit the phase of his life where he’s ready to just have fun being Mike Tyson. And what having fun being Mike Tyson entails is reciting Justin Timberlake’s “TKO” and singing a Justin Bieber song.
9. J. Cole’s “Let Nas Down” And Nas’ Reply, “Made Nas Proud.”
F— diss tracks, it’s a love track. It’s moments like this when rap is at its greatest.
10. Kendrick Lamar’s ’Control’ Verse
Kendrick got everyone talking about the importance of lyrics again and riled up top guys like Drake and Meek Mill. The middle of the verse reads like the VIP list at a club, and the countless responses it inspired provided amusement and food for thought.
11. ’Bound 3′
We’re thankful this year that the Internet is a beautiful place where movie stars can insta-parody a Kanye West video. (If you’re wondering, both are infinitely GIF-able.
12. The ’Doge’ Meme
According to KnowYourMeme, the “doge” reference dates back to 2005. So sorry, we’re going to have to go back and revise our thankful lists for the past eight years, because this’ll never not be funny. What do dogs even think about, right? Dogs don’t know anything! They’re so bad at spelling! Very meme. So doge.
13. Everything Rob Ford
OK, so we’re not recommending that any local politicians follow in Rob Ford’s footsteps, but there’s no denying that this whole debacle has been a pop culture goldmine.
14. Dolly Parton rapping
The queen of Dollywood (and her blonde fro wig) stopped by Queen Latifah’s to “just say howdy” and, um, rap. Not only is there a spandex bodysuit involved, but we get to hear Dolly refer to her chest as her “wrecking balls” and utter the word “twerk.” Words have failed us, and punctuation will have to suffice: !!!
15. ’The X-Files’ 20th Anniversary
Awareness is key, and anniversaries mean awareness. While we’ve got you here, can we talk to you about the possibility of a third XF feature film? Thanks.
16. Famous Movie-Type Folks Do Theater
All the world’s a stage, and some of our most notable screen stars have been taking the Bard to heart this year. Zachary Quino, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Rachel Weisz, Orlando Bloom and Daniel Craig, among others, made appearances on the Great White Way.
17. Joss Whedon’s Return To TV
“Buffy” fans, rejoice! Ten years later, another Joss Whedon show has grred and arghed its way onto the air. Sure, it’s not starring a petite blonde with a high sass to class ratio, but we’ll take what we can get. If we’re sharing the couch with superhero enthusiasts while we watch, then so be it, as long as we get our one-liners.
18 Dana Brody Changed Her Name And Moved Out
There’s only so much wobbly lipped angst one show can take, and Claire Danes has filled most of the quota for “Homeland.” So sorry, Dana, but in the immortal words of Billy Joel, we could not be happier about your “Movin’ Out.” See you in another life, where hopefully your dad’s not a terrorist.
19. The Return Of Great Scripted Network TV
Have you seen “Elementary”? Watch “Elementary” and then get back to us. We’ll hold hands and coo about how happy we are that there are still network shows as good as, if not better, than what’s on cable/Netflix/Hulu/Amazon.
20. ’Day Of The Doctor’
The 50th Anniversary episode not only paid tribute to the past, but drew in hordes of new younger fans, teased the future, and with its hopeful attitude proved an anathema to the increased dark grittiness of most of genre culture.
21. The End Of ’Breaking Bad’
Was this the best finale of all time? After years of shows having mixed results with endings, “Breaking Bad” went out on a high note, and truly stands as one of the greatest achievements in television history.
It was the announcement that just kept on giving, and opened up so many possibilities for jokes. How do you like dem apples? Argo f**k Batman. Remembering “Daredevil.” It’s OK, bring it on, he can take it. Let’s all savor this cultural moment before Ben Affleck is relegated to the hall of Handsome Batmans Past.
23.Harry Styles Shirtless And Working Out On 1D Day
Remember the time you couldn’t stop staring at Harry Styles’ giant butterfly tattoo while dude pumped iron? Thanks for that, universe!
Pharrell had a hell of year. If it wasn’t for Skateboard P, we’d have no “Blurred Lines,” no “Get Lucky,” no score for “Despicable Me 2″ and no “Happy.” Thanks, Pharrell!
26. The Return Of Indie Rock
A ton of amazing garage/punk bands are getting major label signings, signaling that rock ’n’ roll will be making a major comeback in 2014. Congrats SKATERS, Orwells, together PANGEA, etc.
27. McConaissance: Year Two
Just when it was looking like the 2012 was peak McConaughey, here comes 2013 serving up two more heaping helpings of drawl, chest pounding (“Wolf of Wall Street”) and riverside folktales (“Mud”), with promise of a big 2014. That’s the thing we love about McConaughey, he gets older, and he just gets better.
28. Chris Evans’ Cameo In ’Thor: The Dark World’
What does it mean when the best part of Marvel’s latest movie is a cameo by an entirely different movie? We’re not sure, but as much as we loved the new adventure of Thor and Loki, Captain Steve Rogers stole the show, even if it was all just an illusion.
29. ’Upstream Color’
If you’re in need of a Netflix-watch that doesn’t look or sound like anything else out there, you can’t do much better than the latest film from “Primer” director Shane Carruth. The story of two strangers with an inexplicable connection was one of the bravest movies of 2013 and is absolutely worth the second viewing it make take to figure everything out.
30. Robert Downey Jr.’s Facial Hair
As someone who wishes for pristine facial hair we’ll never have, it’s the pinnacle of everything.
31. ’The Mindy Project’
It’s refreshing to have a leading female character who is confident, successful, a mess, insecure, and funny. She’s more relatable than Liz Lemon, but not afraid to be a little unlikeable. Her sense of humor and unwavering belief that she’s awesome keep the show from cringe-worthy and make it a must-watch. Thank you, Dr. Lahiri!
32. Miley Cyrus’ Original Twerking Video
The booty pop that started a revolution.
33. TLC’s Reunion
Crazy, Sexy, Cool…nostalgic. The movie didn’t hurt, either.
34. Josh Hutcherson Can’t Stop Saying ’Penis’
Traveling around the world in nine days on press duty for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” can’t be easy, and we can’t say the same wouldn’t happen to us, but that doesn’t make Hutcherson’s inability to spit the word “peetniss” out any less hilarious.
35. The Return Of R. Kelly
After years of lying dormant, R. Kelly is back. He’s partnered up with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber on tracks, and his new album, Black Panties, is dropping (see what we did there?) next month. Welcome back, Kellz!
36. Destiny’s Child’s Super Bowl Reunion
“Survivor,” indeed. Kelly and Michelle, come back! Stick around! We loved to see them there, and hated to see them go.
37. Jennifer Lawrence Falls At The Oscars
As if we hadn’t already fallen hard for her….
38. One Direction’s ’This Is Us’ Documentary
A fascinating hour and a half spent with the people we care about most? (Sorry, Mom.) Sign us up!
39. Justin Bieber’s Shirtless Selfies
If a Bieber takes his shirt off and there isn’t a smartphone to capture it at arm’s length, did it ever really even happen at all? If it does, we sure as heck don’t know about it. We’ve seen dozens of Bieber nipples this year, and for that, we’re thankful.
40. Kanye’s Rants
Even when the dude is not happy with us (about that Hottest MC list…), we still love to hear him rant. Nobody does it quite like him.
41. The Super Bowl Blackout
Our personal theory: Beyonce was so hot, she fried the stadium’s systems. Kelly, can you handle this? Michelle, can you handle this? Beyonce, can you handle this? I don’t think you can handle this. We certainly can’t handle this, and neither could the Superdome.
42. Bat Kid
If you’re ever feeling down, just remember that time the entire city of San Francisco came together to make a 5-year-old feel like Batman for a day. It happened, it was so great, it was tearful. Just admit it: You cried. Oh, you’re still not crying? Remember that his little brother dressed up as Robin? Yeah, here’s your tissue.
— patricia wilson (@pilarwish) November 15, 2013
43. Finding Out Who ’A’ Is On ’Pretty Little Liars’…. Maybe.
It’s been three years, and now we finally know who the mysterious A is. Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps. GAH. Well, thanks, we guess?
44. J-Law’s Red-Carpet ’Hunger Games’
Before she was a Best Actress winner, Jennifer Lawrence just really wanted some fries. On the red carpet Oscar pre-show, Lawrence worked her way down the gauntlet of reporters, progressively complaining about how hungry she was, calling an assistant to pick up McDonald’s for her, and fretting over whether ketchup would be included with her order. Stars: they’re just like us! Jennifer Lawrence, we’re thankful for your real talk.
45. Instagram Video’s Debut
Now we can hear what your lunch tastes like and see you eat it. Before, we just had to settle for a single image. Now we’ve got the complete picture!
46. ’Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Comic-Con Footage
The most impressive reveal of the convention was the result of 13 days of filming, and it was the only footage to feature a talking, gun-toting raccoon. James Gunn and company cut together two weeks of work and make-up tests to give a very early look at what is sure to be Marvel’s strangest and perhaps funniest project to date, and the crowd rightfully ate it up.
47. ’Breaking Bad’ Episode “Ozymandias”
How do you follow up an episode that closed with a cliffhanging shoot-out? A flashback to Season One, of course! Even though the Rian Johnson-directed episode was the antepenultimate hour of the show, in many ways it was the conclusion of Walter White’s emotional arc. His meth-making hobby ends in a tragedy, and it’s all his fault. Anyone who complained that the finale was too neat simply needs to rewind two hours to see just how poorly things ultimately went for the Great Heisenberg.
48. Tom Hiddleston’s Dancing
He may play the trickster god Loki in this year’s “Thor: The Dark World,” but Tom Hiddleston has effectively proven that he’s the Lord of the Dance. It’s Hiddleston’s dance floor, we’re just here to watch.
49. Josh Hutcherson Singing ’Your Love’ On ’SNL’
Peeta had a mullet and mad lip synching skills on a recent episode of “Saturday Night Live.” We learned several things about Hutcherson during his stint as host, actually: Dude has no shame (see above: mullet), but he does have range (we were convinced that he was into that turkey lady in the final sketch). He’s also very wee.
50. NSYNC Reunion
Somebody call Sisqo, because we just unleashed the (fangirl) dragon. The much-rumored boy band reunion that took place onstage at the VMAs was the highlight of our year. (Sorry to all those couples that got married and babies born, but we have to be honest.)
What are you thankful for? Sound off in the comments!