The Best of 2018
3.5k voters

All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Updated September 1, 2020 43.7k votes 3.5k voters 92.8k views70 items

List RulesVote up the people, places, things, ideas, memes, and other ~stuff~ that most defined 2018.

In 2018, news, culture, and people in general just moved a lot faster, turning days into whirlwinds of news updates, Instagram stories, and your high school friend's fifth consecutive motivational Facebook status of the day. To help catalog the year, here are 2018's trending topics, from the biggest news stories to the most popular trends. Some of them directly influenced 2019's most popular topics, but 2018 was truly a tale all its own.

The Royal Family had a baby and a wedding, while Facebook's previously unshakeable hold on the internet began to wane. More and more evidence came forward about election meddling by foreign powers, there was a historic summit with North Korea, and we all argued with our families about Yanny and Laurel. From important topics to notable memes, this is everything that went viral in 2018.

What were the biggest and most famous topics in 2018? What happened in 2018 that left a mark? Which of these things did your mom ask you to explain?

  • 1
    Avengers: Infinity War

    The Marvel film brought the Avengers and various other Marvel names together to fight Thanos.

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  • 2
    Wildfires In California

    Wildfires In California

    Throughout November, multiple wildfires burned in both northern and southern California. The Camp Fire was the deadliest US fire in 100 years, taking the lives of 85 people and burning over 150,000 acres in Butte County. The Woolsey Fire burned over 96,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and three people lost their lives.

  • 3
    Black Panther

    The 2018 film broke box office records.

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  • 4
    The Thai Boys Soccer Team

    The Thai Boys Soccer Team

    On June 23, a Thai boys soccer team hiking in a cave became trapped after seasonal flooding cut off their exit. Thai Navy SEALs ultimately freed all team members and their coach after 18 days and multiple rescue missions.

  • 5
    George H. W. Bush's Passing And Funeral

    On November 30, the 41st US president passed. He had suffered from a form of Parkinson's disease. His state funeral took place on December 5 and was attended by all living US presidents and numerous foreign dignitaries.

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  • 6
    North Korea Meetings And Nuclear Disarmament

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June 2018.

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  • 7

    Between the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verseand the Spider-Man PS4 game, Peter Parker's star shone brightly in 2018.

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  • 8


    2018 marked a midterm election year and saw celebrities and public figures across America encourage voting like never before.

  • 9

    Child Immigrants Being Separated From Their Parents

    The Trump administration's severe crackdown on immigration resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents by the government.

  • 10
    Meghan Markle, Duchess Of Sussex

    The biracial actor married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018.

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  • 11
    2018 FIFA World Cup

    2018 FIFA World Cup

    The international tournament took place in Russia between June 14 and July 15, 2018.

  • 12
    Hurricane Florence

    Hurricane Florence

    The Category 4 hurricane devastated the Carolinas and surrounding regions, with up to 35 inches of rain, severe flooding, and winds up to 140 mph. Many roads and highways remained flooded for weeks following the storm and at least 42 people lost their lives.

  • 13
    Aretha Franklin's Passing And Funeral

    The Queen of Soul passed on August 16 from advanced pancreatic cancer. Many notable people attended her funeral, held in Detroit, while others paid their respects during two days of public open casket visitations.

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  • 14
    March For Our Lives

    March For Our Lives

    The student-led demonstration in support of tighter gun control took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, DC, following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

  • 15

    The 2017 co-op sandbox survival game gained further popularity and proved its staying power in 2018.

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  • 16
    2018 Winter Olympics

    2018 Winter Olympics

    The Games, held in South Korea, made stars of Adam Rippon, Chloe Kim, and many other world-class athletes.

  • 17
    Yanny Or Laurel

    Yanny Or Laurel

    What did you hear? The audio clip caused rifts between friends, families, and coworkers.

  • 18
    Red Dead Redemption II

    The latest installment in the series was widely praised by players and critics and spawned all manner of hilarious memes.

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  • 19
    thank u, next

    thank u, next

    Ariana Grande's hit single took the pop charts by storm on November 3. Naming four of her exes, including Pete Davidson, the song broke multiple records and debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. On November 30, Grande released a music video for the track which pays homage to the films Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, and 13 Going on 30.

  • 20
    Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

    Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

    Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 about Dr. Ford's sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.

  • 21
    Jason Momoa

    The Game of Thrones star broke out of Khal Drogo's ponytail and into household name territory with a star-turn as Aquaman and a slew of feel-good press.

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  • 22
    Moth Lamp

    Moth Lamp

    A new meme. Don't overthink it.

  • 23
    Childish Gambino

    The rapper performed the song "This Is America" on Saturday Night Live and debuted the accompanying video shortly beforehand to wide appeal.

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  • 24
    Smart Horror Movies

    Smart Horror Movies

    Including such releases as A Quiet Place, Hereditary, Suspiria, Little Stranger, They Remain, and Annihilation.

  • 25
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