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12 fads from the past 6 years we may have forgotten

Posted June 30

Fads are something that have been around throughout history. We often see a cycle of people getting hooked on one thing very intensely for a while before they eventually become bored and forget about it.

Some of the most recent fads seem to be unicorn foods such as Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino that came out for five days in April and fidget spinners, which were created to help kids focus and are now owned by children and adults alike.

Perhaps the only thing that is timeless about fads is the existence of them. Here are some popular fads from 2011 through 2016 that you may have forgotten about:

2011

Planking

Oscar Martinez from NBC’s hit television series "The Office" explained planking best when he said, “Planking is a very stupid and dangerous trend. Basically, you lie like a plank in weird places. That’s it. Sometimes you get run over. Welcome to the internet.”

Planking first took off in Australia in 2009 as a prank on dance floors, according to BBC news. It quickly spread to lying in strange, and often dangerous, places. It became an internet craze and spread to the U.S. in 2011. Police heavily advised people to stop due to an increase in deaths, injuries and trespasses made in the name of planking. After hanging onto popularity for a while, the trend of planking seems to have calmed down and become a thing of the past.

YOLO

“YOLO” became the hip thing to say in 2011, usually said before making a poor life decision. The term is an acronym for “You Only Live Once” and became popular after the rapper Drake released his song “The Motto”. He has since argued that he coined the phrase. “YOLO” had been heard in popular media before then, but it didn’t catch on until Drake. The trendy phrase died out almost as quickly as it started and had mostly stopped being used by mid-2012.

2012

Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat made her first debut on Reddit in September 2012 and became an internet sensation almost immediately. Grumpy Cat, who lives in Arizona and is named Tardar Sauce, became a meme, often depicting the cat saying what she was annoyed with. The peak of Grumpy Cat’s popularity spiked in December 2012, though her pictures still occasionally pop up on the internet to express her annoyance with life.

Gangnam Style

2012 was the year Justin Bieber no longer claimed the most viewed video on YouTube. Korean Singer ‘Psy’ broke the charts in July 2013 with his song “Gangnam Style,” which was the first YouTube video to hit 1 billion views, according to Forbes. While the song’s popularity has declined since December 2012, it still holds the title of the most viewed video on YouTube and can occasionally be found playing on the dance floor.

2013

Doge

The shiba inu, a small dog from Japan which was dubbed the meme “doge”, has brought “much wow” to the internet since her first appearance in 2010. The doge meme features the shiba’s face with illogical, grammatically-incorrect thoughts written in colorful, comic sans font. One of these words is almost always “wow.” Though doge had been around for a while, it gained popularity at the beginning of 2013 and continued through 2014. Although these memes aren't seen as frequently now, doge hasn’t been completely abandoned and still appears on our social media pages now and again.

Harlem Shake

Before 2013, not many YouTube videos would have been found when Googling “Harlem Shake.” Now, that’s changed. The Harlem Shake starts out with one individual dancing to a dubstep song while being surrounded by random pedestrians. After a few seconds, everyone begins dancing.

Celebrities, sports teams, companies and more jumped on this trend and began filming their own very creative Harlem Shake renditions. This trend started after a comedian played the dubstep song that accompanies Harlem Shake videos. NPR reports that today’s idea of the Harlem Shake is completely different from the original. The Harlem shake has been around for decades and roots back to a street dancer named Al B who would entertain crowds at a basketball league in Harlem. The trend tapered throughout 2013 and was dead by the end of the year.

2014

The ice bucket challenge

Of all the past trends, this one probably had the most positive effect. Videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their head began to spread quickly throughout the nation to help raise money and awareness for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) association.

The challenge was originally not tied to any charity. ALS and the ice bucket challenge linked together after a video of a man doing the challenge for ALS awareness went viral, according to Times Magazine. The New York Times reported that the ALS Association ended up raising over $115 million during the fad which went toward research, patient and community services, professional education and fundraising.

Bae

Bae is a term used to refer to one’s boyfriend or girlfriend, and it became the thing to call your significant other in 2014. The Atlantic reports that bae was introduced to pop culture by rappers back in 2005. It became mainstream in 2014 after Pharrell William’s song “Come Get It Bae” was released. “Bae” brought a lot of confusion to the public as nobody really knew what it was. The most widely accepted definition is bae is an acronym for “before anyone else.” Time Magazine reports that there are other competing definitions, such as a shorted version for the word “babe” (because apparently that word was too long to begin with). The term bae is still thrown around on social media, but still less than it was in 2014.

2015

Man buns

Putting your hair in a messy bun crossed over from women to men in 2015 with the appearance of “the man bun.” According to the official man bun website, the buns first started to spread in 2014 after celebrities began sporting the style. Man buns reached their peak mid-2015, according to Vox and Google Trends.

Though the popularity of man buns have dropped, it will probably be with us for a while longer as Barbie’s new Ken doll got a makeover— one of which includes a man bun.

Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

Trying to artificially obtain the big, plump lips of reality television star Kylie Jenner became a popular thing in 2015. According to the Washington Post, hundreds of people — mostly young teenage girls — filmed themselves attempting the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” by sticking their lips into a shot glass and sucking in for a good amount of time.

The result? Plumped lips that usually last one to two hours. Other symptoms included pain, swelling, bruising and blood blisters on and around the lips. Because of this, doctors strongly opposed the trend. Even Jenner didn’t participate in the challenge. It appears the phase has since passed, as Google Trends shows that the peak of the challenge was April 2015, dropping to almost nothing after that.

2016

Pokemon Go

Seeing hoards of people glued to their phones while surrounding libraries, parks, churches, shopping centers and other public places was common in 2016 with the birth of Pokemon Go. First announced in a Super Bowl ad in January 2016, the augmented reality game Pokemon Go quickly hit the charts as one of the top downloaded apps when it became available in July 2016, according to the New York Times. The app even became a safety hazard as people attempted to "catch ‘em all" while driving.

Although people are no longer seen in large groups searching for Pokemon, Business Insider reported that Pokemon Go is still doing well with around 65 million users.

Mannequin challenge

The mannequin challenge became 2016’s planking, quickly gaining popularity in November. The mannequin challenge involved a group of people frozen in time like mannequins being videotaped. The trend was first introduced in October after a group of students in Jacksonville, Florida, tweeted a video of themselves frozen in time with the hashtag #mannequinchallenge. After that, it quickly took off.

Celebrities, politicians, colleges and the general public all got into the trend, and there are now thousands of mannequin challenge videos on YouTube. According to Google Trends, the mannequin challenge hype ended by the end of the year.

What other fads do you remember from the past decade? Let us know in the comments.

Camilla Stimpson enjoys reporting on politics, crimes, and her own awkward moments on 50shadesofawkward.com. When not writing, she can be found watching '30 Rock' or 'The Office,' napping, planning trips she can't afford and googling dogs she can't h

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