The Best of 2018 All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked  

Mick Jacobs
27.5k votes 2.9k voters 71.2k views 73 items

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

In 2018, news, culture, and people in general just move 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 and left a mark? Which of these things did your mom ask you to explain?

list ordered by

1
877 437
Avengers: Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

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

Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Torn apart after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers join forces with the Guardians ...more

2
743 441
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The 2018 film broke box office records.

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics character, directed by Ryan Coogler. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) ...more

3
382 188
Wildfires in California is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
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, killing 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 killed three people.

4
487 295
North Korea is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, in the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The capital and largest city is Pyongyang. North Korea ...more

5
433 259
The Thai Boys Soccer Team is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
The Thai Boys Soccer Team

On June 23, a Thai boys soccer team went hiking in a cave, becoming 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.

6
498 359
Child Immigrants Being Separat... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
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.

7
255 148
George H. W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

On November 20, the 41st US president passed away. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease. His state funeral took place on December 5 and was attended by all living US presidents and numerous foreign dignitaries.

George Herbert Walker Bush (June 12, 1924 - November 30, 2018) was an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. Prior to assuming the ...more

8
327 214
Voting is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Voting

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

9
765 621
Fortnite is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The 2017 co-op sandbox survival game gained even further popularity and staying power throughout 2018.

Fortnite is a co-op sandbox survival game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly, the former also publishing the game. The game was released as a paid early access title for Microsoft ...more

10
474 357
2018 FIFA World Cup is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
2018 FIFA World Cup

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

11
427 320
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The biracial actress married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018, and gave in to wearing panty hose for royal appearances.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (born Rachel Meghan Markle; August 4, 1981), is an American-born member of the British royal family, and a former film and television actress. Markle was born and ...more

12
187 107
Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

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

Spider-Man is a fictional superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) in the Silver ...more

13
357 284
2018 Winter Olympics is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
2018 Winter Olympics

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

14
226 156
Ranker Video
Hurricane Florence

The Category 1 hurricane devastated the Carolinas and surrounding regions, with up to 40 inches of rain, severe flooding, and winds up to 90 mph. Many roads and highways remained flooded for weeks following the storm and over 40 people died.

15
235 170
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The Queen of Soul died on August 15 from advanced pancreatic cancer. Thousands attended her funeral, held in Detroit, and many others paid their respects during two days of public open casket visitations.

Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was ...more

16
311 255
March For Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
March For Our Lives

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

17
410 366
Ranker Video
Yanny or Laurel

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

18
205 160
Supreme Court Confirmation Hea... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
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.

19
328 303
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

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

Donald McKinley Glover, also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is an American actor, writer, comedian, rapper, singer, and producer. He first came to attention for his work with Derrick ...more

20
269 237
Smart Horror Movies is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Smart Horror Movies

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

21
169 130
Red Dead Redemption II is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

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

Red Dead Redemption 2 (stylized as Red Dead Redemption II) is a Western-themed action-adventure video game developed and published by Rockstar Games. It is scheduled to be released for ...more

22
205 180
thank u, next is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
thank u, next

Ariana Grande's hit single took the pop charts by storm in 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 paid homage to the films Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, and 13 Going on 30.

23
218 196
Venom is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Venom is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Ruben Fleischer, based on the Marvel Comics character. The origin story of how reporter Eddie Brock transformed into Venom.

24
249 233
Moth Lamp is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Moth Lamp

A new meme. Don't overthink it.

25
134 97
Jason Momoa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

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

Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa is an American actor, model, director, writer, and producer. He is known for his television roles as Ronon Dex on the military science fiction television series ...more

26
244 252
Is This A Pigeon? is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Is This A Pigeon?

A meme inspired by a scene in the anime series The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird.

27
236 253
Net Neutrality is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Net Neutrality

Obama-era protections were rolled back by the FCC; the repeal went into effect on June 11, 2018.

28
122 127
Elon Musk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Tesla and SpaceX CEO drew an SEC investigation after tweeting on August 7 that he planned to take Tesla Private. In September, he settled with the SEC and tweeted the music video for Naughty by Nature's "O.P.P." Tesla stock soared and crashed repeatedly throughout the year.

Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born, Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and ...more

29
204 243
Facebook is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a movement started to leave the social media platform.

Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate ...more

30
285 359
Cardi B is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The rapper's album, Invasion of Privacy, put her on the map. She also gave birth to a daughter, Kulture Kiari Cephus, on July 10.

Belcalis Almanzar (born October 11, 1992), known professionally as Cardi B, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and media personality. Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, she first ...more

31
208 255
Russia is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The country's relationship to the Trump campaign and the 2016 election kept it in the headlines.

Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic. At 17,075,400 square kilometres, Russia is the largest ...more

32
149 180
Nike's Colin Kaepernick Campai... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Nike's Colin Kaepernick Campaign

To mark the 30th anniversary of the athletic brand's famous "Just Do It" campaign, Nike enlisted Colin Kaepernick. His likeness appeared alongside the copy "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything."

33
179 238
Ariana Grande is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

On June 15, Ariana Grande and SNL star Pete Davidson announced their engagement after just a few weeks of dating. Conspiracy theorists got busy. In October, the couple broke up. In December, the exes also became embroiled in Twitter beef with Kanye West.

Ariana Grande-Butera, known professionally as Ariana Grande, is an American singer and actress. She began her career in the Broadway musical 13, before landing the role of Cat Valentine on the ...more

34
177 248
IHOP is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The International House of Pancakes rebranded as IHOb for a period in June to promote its burgers.

IHOP is a United States-based restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods. It is owned by DineEquity, with 99% of the restaurants run by independent franchisees. While IHOP's focus is ...more

35
96 128
Serena Williams is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

After being banned from wearing a catsuit during play - a suit which was helping treat post-pregnancy blood clots - the tennis star took to the court for August's US Open matches wearing tutus (one black, another in lavender).

Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on ...more

36
146 214
Plaid Shirt Guy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Plaid Shirt Guy

On September 6, 2018, high school senior Tyler Linfesty, AKA 'Plaid Shirt Guy,' stood behind President Trump as he gave a speech in Montana. Linfesty did not openly mock or heckle the president, but apparently, his lack of enthusiasm got him booted from his prime spot. 

37
120 172
Prince Louis of Cambridge is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The Prince, born on April 23, 2018, is fifth in line for the British throne.

Prince Louis of Cambridge is a member of the British royal family. He is the third and youngest child and second son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He ...more

38
111 162
The Climbing Raccoon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
The Climbing Raccoon

In June, a raccoon climbed a Minnesota skyscraper and capture the hearts of the nation.

39
64 86
A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Bradley Cooper's remake of the classic Hollywood tale wowed audiences and critics alike. Cooper and costar Lady Gaga had a red carpet / PR lovefest. Everyone on earth listened to "Shallow" on repeat for weeks.

A Star Is Born is a 2018 American musical romantic drama film directed by Bradley Cooper. A movie star (Cooper) helps a young singer/actress (Stefani Germanotta) find fame, even as age and ...more

40
67 92
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Fans let Eevee ride on their head and some even paid $50 for a Pokeball-shaped controller to increase their fun.

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are role-playing video games (RPGs) developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company for the Nintendo ...more

41
108 162
Robert Mueller is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Mueller, who served as FBI director from 2001-2013, spent 2018 leading the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Robert Swan Mueller III served as the sixth Director of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation.

42
100 153
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers for his 16th NBA season. 

LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Standing at 6 ft 8 in and weighing 250 lbs., he has started ...more

43
137 217
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

Beyonce headlined Coachella and reunited Destiny's Child for the occasion.

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and ...more

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74 111
The Haunting of Hill House is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The Netflix series took October by storm, receiving rave reviews from critics and horror fans alike.

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018) is an American supernatural horror television series created by Mike Flanagan, based on the novel by Shirley Jackson. The story of five siblings who ...more

45
105 172
The 30 Year Old Whose Parents ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
The 30 Year Old Whose Parents Kicked Him Out

In May, Michael Rotondo's parents began court proceedings to have him evicted from their home.

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120 203
"Very Stable Genius" is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
"Very Stable Genius"

President Trump used these words to describe himself in early January. 

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114 197
Stormy Daniels is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

The adult film actress and her legal dispute with President Trump dominated headlines in early 2018. The city of West Hollywood, CA, gave her a key to the city in May.

Stephanie Gregory Clifford (born March 17, 1979), professionally known as Stormy Daniels, Stormy Waters or simply Stormy. She is a member of the NightMoves, AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. In 2009, ...more

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22 44
Instagram is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked

For a few hours on the morning of December 27, Instagram switched from a vertical scrolling feed to a horizontal one. The internet was upset and Instagram quickly reverted the change. Memes were made. Instagram called it a bug.

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking ...more

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73 144
Being Worried About Data is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
Being Worried About Data

Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, and other scandals brought the issue to the forefront.

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48 98
P.J., Tobin, and Squee is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list All The Things That Were A Thing In 2018, Ranked
P.J., Tobin, and Squee

In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh referenced three high school friends with distinctive names and nicknames.