2014 was a good year for pop culture. Kimye solidified their eternal union, Taylor simultaneously maintained her good-girl and terrifying-ex-girlfriend image, and we learned that Channing Tatum’s email game is on point. Some of our favorite moments were perfectly captured by professional, amateur and self-photographers.
Here are our favorite photos from 2014, the ones that made us go Man, that was this year? What a good year.
At this year's Grammys, Pharrell first introduced us to his
Arby's Pharrell hat.
Justin Bieber’s mug shot, taken in January after the pop star was arrested for drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license while drag racing at 4 a.m. in Miami Beach, is an excellent reminder of how young and generally scummy the Biebs is.
The Oscars brought us the selfie that changed the world, by proving that retweets are meaningless and favorites are lies.
The Internet was quick to criticize Vogue for placing Kim Kardashian on its cover in March, for vaguely classist reasons. But even Kim haters should recognize this photo as one of the best of the year; a commentary on living your life on screen, ignoring the moment for the sake of Instagram, and reminding us all that Kanye West is a genius auteur/genuine vampire.
The epic Met Gala elevator brawl is one for the ages. TMZ published security footage from the incident back in May, showing a wild Solange attempt to beat the daylights out of Jay-Z as a fembot-like Beyonce looked on. We may never know what happened that day, but we do know that the paparazzi-caught aftermath speaks to how real that fight was. Plus, the scandal was covered internationally, confirming the fact that the Beyonce family is the closest we have to royalty.
During the VMAs, Beyonce performed songs from her pro-woman sex album “Beyonce,” in front of the word “FEMINIST.” Now, feminism is cool. Thanks Bey.
Anyone who's anyone took the Ice Bucket Challenge this year, but the celebrity who made the best "I've made a terrible mistake" face in the moment was Benedict Cumberbatch:
We already know that Taylor Swift is a creepy 4chan lurker, but now we know that she knows we know, thanks to this self-referential “No It’s Becky,” t-shirt. The phrase refers to a Tumblr post, supposedly written about the author’s friend Becky who died from smoking too much pot. When a commenter points out that the accompanying photo is of Taylor Swift, the author replies “No It’s Becky.”
Kim didn’t quite succeed in breaking the Internet with her increasingly NSFW Paper photos, but she did remind us why she’s famous in the first place.
The photos also spawned some pretty creative riffs:
Finally, 2014 brought us this incredible photo of Ariana Grande correctly responding to standing beside a presumably 10-foot-tall bewinged Victoria’s Secret model.
Now we're ready for 2015.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.