Some things are so bad that you have to share them. For example: When we were sent a bunch of potato chips with novelty flavors like "cupcake" and "waffle" a few months ago, we immediately turned to our deskmates and said, “Taste this...it’s disgusting!"
It's also why when you find something truly aggravating online, you immediately post it on your Facebook wall, perhaps with a GIF to indicate your horror. It’s a process we’ve dubbed “the hate-share,” and we were all about it in 2014.
To be clear, it’s not hate like the justified, burning hatred you feel about gross injustice or human cruelty. More like when we write about a bit of celebrity gossip and you say "OMG, I hate this!" and then go on to share it endlessly.
So, as the year comes to an end, we’re looking back at some of our favorites. Here's an ode to 2014's most groan-worthy people and things that we felt the need to share.
With any luck, next year, Facebook will add a thumbs-down button.
When Kim tried to break the Internet...with her ass.
Remember that time when Kim Kardashian and her oiled rump appeared on the cover of Paper Magazine and the Internet broke? Of course you do: You probably helped with the breakage, posting it yourself on your Facebook wall. When you did, was it with a comment of celebration? Did you write, “Hark! A powerful and brave role model?” No. You did not.
The hate-shares were abundant with this one. It was quickly followed by parodies, copycats, criticism, and — of course — photoshopped additions. It was enough to almost make us feel bad for Kim. Almost.
When a bunch of strangers made out
Nothing was more beautiful, touching, and then eventually annoying as the "First Kiss" video. The three-and-a-half minute clip (which has been viewed a whopping 95 million times and counting) showed strangers awkwardly locking lips in a social experiment of some kind. At first, it was sweet, giving people hope that love prevails and people are accepting. Then it was revealed that the video was actually an advertisement for a women's clothing company called WREN.
And then the parodies. Oh, God, the parodies: 20 strangers slapping each other in the face for the first time, 20 strangers licking each other, 20 dogs sniffing each other, and nary a week later, the "First Handjob" parody.
This is why we can't have nice things.
When the 463rd celebrity dumped ice on his head
In the end, the ALS Ice Bucket challenge was a very good thing. It raised tons of awareness and millions of dollars for a disease, ALS, that lots of us had never heard of, and it did so in a creative, fun way. Plus, you got to see that cute dude from high school wet and shirtless.
Yes, in the end, it was great. But the middle? Not so much. Somewhere between when it started, when you did it, and when it all finally ended, it got…cloying. What was it for you? The fifth video of the little boy crying from the cold water? The third impassioned think piece about why it was all actually terrible? The B-list celeb just hopping on the PR train two weeks late?
Somewhere in there, you did it. You laughed, cringed, and hate-shared. Sorry, we're not sorry, Ice Bucket Failures.
When Justin Bieber did...everything
It really wasn’t JB’s year. In January, Biebs' Calabasas crib was raided by the police after the singer allegedly egged neighbor's home. In June, a video surfaced of him singing a crass, racist parody of one of his hits. In August, he was clocked doing 136 mph in an absurd sports car in Miami — while drunk. He also hosted a terrible episode of SNL, maybe stole some girl’s cell phone, crashed his ATV, got fake-baptized in a bathtub, and took his shirt off way more than necessary.
Remember when he was just a floppy-haired Canadian with a sweet soprano voice?
When U2 invaded your computer
Remember when Beyonce dropped her secret album in December 2013 and it was both a genius marketing ploy AND the best part of our year? This was the opposite.
In September 2014, U2 dropped a secret album…and convinced Apple to sneak it onto all of our devices. Songs of Innocence appeared in an unsuspecting half a billion iTunes users' iPhones and/or iPads.
Some were angry about the invasion of privacy, some were angry about the hogging of storage space, some were just mad at the arrogance of U2 to assume that everyone likes them. And some people were just baffled (like all those tender young souls tweeting “What the fuck is a U2??”)
When "Happy" took over
The song, the man, the famous Smokey the Bear hat. Pharrell's "Happy" took the Internet by storm, infusing everyone with good cheer...until the entire world caught onto it. Suddenly, more than 1,800 tribute videos were made and the catchy tune became like nails on a chalkboard. Everywhere we turned, "Happy" played on incessant repeat and images of dancing children and happy foreigners started to receive the loathing of millions of frustrated social media users. Hate-shares became abundant, crying for people to stop the madness, but to no avail. We won't be escaping "Happy" for a very, very long time.
When Mariah Carey let us down
Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" is arguably the greatest Christmas song of all time. It's poppy, it's boppy, and there's nothing like Mariah Carey singing her face off to get one in the holiday spirit. Which is what made this such a tragedy.
A few weeks ago, at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony, Mariah's vocals left the Internet stunned — haters were hating, fans were scared, everyone was in an uproar — she yelped, went flat, and just straight-up missed notes. In other words, she sounded like a normal person trying to sing along to a Mariah Carey song. Everyone hate-shared the hell out of it.
(For the record, guys: It was really cold out, she didn't have time to warm up, and for heaven's sake, she still looked great.)
When we learned about this monster
On October, Scientist Piotr Naskrecki introduced the Internet to the world's biggest spider — the South American Goliath Birdeater.
These things are the size of small puppies, and the Internet reacted as if their darkest nightmares had come true. Even if spiders didn't freak someone out before, this Goliath changed everything. Twitter was electric with horrified responses such as "GODDAMNIT!!!!!!!" and "OMG!!" and "im officially done with life" — but the image kept going around and around in a hate-share circle.
When Christopher Walken danced on live TV
Last year’s The Sound of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood, was one of the most popular hate-watching television experiences of the year. So they tried to do it again.
The anticipation surrounding NBC’s three-hour long, televised musical Peter Pan Live was immense. Everyone was drafting their live-tweeting jokes weeks in advance, imagining Allison Williams and Christopher Walken flouncing about in front of millions and millions of viewers and hopefully flubbing their lines or crashing spectacularly in mid-flight.
Then it happened and it was just...boring. Boring and a little weird. Hate-watchers turned off their TVs and took to the web to share how disappointed they were that there was nothing to make fun of. It was a quiet disaster of underwhelming proportions and we hate-shared the hell out of it.
When the Smith kids pontificated
There’s a fine line between adorable and annoying, and this year, the Smith kids showed us where it is. In November, T published a joint interview with teenage famous people Jaden, 16, and Willow Smith, 14, to discuss "prana energy, the experience of time and the meaning of art.” Perhaps it's because we weren't raised by a pair of beautiful super-celebs, but Jaden and Willow's insights struck many as bananas.
Eyebrows all over the world furrowed when Willow revealed her relationship with time: "I can make it go slow or fast, however I please, and that's how I know it doesn't exist." People passed out cold trying to understand what Jaden was trying to explain with this gem: "Because your mind has a duality to it…When you think about an apple, you also think about the opposite of an apple." Or Willow’s mellow line about the novels she writes or Jaden’s quiet assurance car accidents are why he doesn’t need to take driver's ed.
Teenage cockiness with a dose of deliberate weirdness, refracted through the lens of super-fame? Don’t tell us you didn’t groan.