2021 Pop Culture Rewind



A lot can happen in a year, for instance a pandemic, but there are the moments that will stay in our minds for the next couple of decades.

2021 was a hard year. COVID-19 is still prevalent in our lives with seemingly no end in sight. It was manifested to be better than 2020, yet somehow it was so much worse. That being said, it did produce some of the most iconic pop culture moments that will live on for years to come.

Bernie Sanders’ Mittens

If you have not seen the image of Bernie Sanders and his giant mittens during the inauguration, you have not experienced this year to its full potential. A photo was taken of Sanders sitting in a chair with giant mittens on his hands and it quickly spread over the internet. There was a bombardment of memes, merch and videos created from this one photo. Not only did Bernie become an internet sensation, getting thousands of memes in his honor, the original creator of the mittens, Jen Ellis, made more to raise money for charity.

“Friends” Reunion

“Friends” premiered in 1994 and to this day is still one of the world’s most beloved TV shows. It took 17 long years to finally get a “Friends” reunion but it was worth the wait. Seeing such familiar faces back on the screen during times of uncertainty felt tremendously comforting. Viewers got sneak peeks behind the scenes, found out what the actors were feeling and more exclusive content. We found out that Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer almost dated in real life, which we could only imagine.

“Montero” Drama

Oh boy. There are not a lot of things quite as entertaining as watching Lil Nas X tease the release of his album “Montero.” The American singer and rapper first gained popularity in 2019 with a single called “Old Town Road.” The release of his debut album was set for Sept. 17 and Lil Nas X did not hold back on the promotions. From the blood shoes to the TikToks filled to the brim with Gen-Z humor, it was a rollercoaster of a ride. The release of the “Call Me By Your Name” music video also sparked a lot of controversy due to openly queer visuals and references to homophobia in the bible.

Eurovision 2021 Drug Scandal

This year, Eurovision was back on our screens but not without drama. The Italian Rock ‘n Roll group, Måneskin, took the title but was later accused of using drugs while performing. The claims were soon debunked, but the internet still had a field day with the accusations. Currently, Måneskin is gaining popularity in the U.S. and is rightfully living up to the title of 2021 Eurovision winners.

No More Kim and Kanye

If you have been “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” you know that the all-powerful duo of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West is no longer together. There is only speculation as to why their relationship ended. However, they seem to be doing well as Kardashian has recently moved on to comedian Pete Davidson.

Adele is Back

Finally, after many years of waiting, Adele has returned to the music scene with the album “30.” It’s inspired by, as Adele so eloquently put it herself, “Divorce, babes, divorce.” It’s her most critically acclaimed album to date and was worth the wait.


The Free Britney movement this year really showed the power of social media. Spears’ fans were concerned about the singer’s well-being and started the movement to bring light to the situation. The singer had supposedly been under long-term conservatorship, the appointment of a guardian or a protector by a judge to manage the daily life of another person due to old age, physical or mental limitations. This guardianship was enforced by her father. Fans protested on the internet advocating for the end of this conservatorship and allowing Britney to gain control of her life again. Thankfully, it worked!

Astroworld Festival Chaos

On a more serious note, ten people were killed during a Travis Scott performance due to the vast overcrowding of the venue. People simply trampled over each other. Scott continued the concert despite the chaos going on in the crowd. This led to reckless endangerment allegations towards not only the organization team but the artist himself. Scott is allegedly facing up to $2 billion in fines but has requested for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Breakout Star: Olivia Rodrigo

It’s not uncommon nowadays for young singers to quickly rise to fame, but Olivia Rodrigo has done it like no one else. The 18-year-old first gained popularity by starring in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” In 2021 she released her first single “driver’s license” off her debut album “Sour” which quickly rose to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singer has also earned seven Grammy nominations this year.

Although 2021 did not live up to the expectations we all had for it, there are some good things that it produced. These pop culture moments were enough to keep us sane, entertained and distracted this year.