It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes something ripe for target practice in EW’s Bullseye, our back-of-book pop culture archery lesson that directs readers toward the week’s hits and misses — some of the latter of which are so far from on-point, they almost don’t even make it into the margins of the magazine.
But forget the week! It’s December, and like soot in a chimney, the entire year has piled up its zeitgeist-y goodies into an overflowing mountain of shocking fashion, bizarre behavior, inexplicable photography, and outrageous headlines too ridiculous to ignore.
So let’s clean up that chimney. Far too large for the pages of the magazine, here’s a not-quite-chronological list of the 100 most Bullseye things — that is, the best, worst, weirdest, wildest, funniest, strangest, most WTF in pop culture — that happened in 2015.
1. A New York town protested this scary statue of Lucille Ball
Ball’s hometown was right to revolt, considering the horrifying sculpture was a nightameatavegimare.
2. Shia LaBeouf’s rat tail
In a year punctuated by strange quarterly decisions from Shia LaBeouf (including #AllMyMovies in November and that time he yelled a motivational speech at you in August), his simple, disgusting, Elsa-from-Frozen haircut was his most offensive choice of 2015. The damage is evident in first known co-conspirator Matt Damon’s equally gross ponytail.
3. When Kanye fans thought he discovered Paul McCartney
As a byproduct of teens being teens, this year brought a bizarre misremembering of history, like when young fans of Kanye West apparently thought he had found raw talent by featuring Sir Paul McCartney on “FourFiveSeconds.” “He’s gonna blow up,” they cried, and some were only joking, but others were gravely serious. Lady Gaga did similar philanthropy when she discovered 80-year-old Julie Andrews at the Oscars.
4. The “How Old Am I?” app
Watch out, Rebel Wilson!
6. When Madonna’s cape pulled her off stage
Definitive proof that Madonna has never seen The Incredibles.
7. The rumor that Prince Harry and Emma Watson were dating
It made sense in just about every way: the millennial prince courting a perfect British role model, a Kate Middleton everygirl but on a global scale. Emma Watson would have been the world’s princess. Devastatingly, the rumor wasn’t true, but fun fact: If you were drunk when this report broke, you definitely cried!
9. When the guy from Foxcatcher went on a Twitter rampage
Mark Schultz just seems like the kind of guy you can grab a possibly homophobic rant with.
10. When Taylor Swift pretended her legs are worth $40 million, trademarked “this sick beat,” and made Lorde hold her foot
There were better T-Swift stories this year than the “Bad Blood” cameo-r-g-y. Among Taylor’s best moves? Joking that her legs are insured for more money than most people will ever see in a lifetime, trademarking three words in a consecutive order she didn’t actually invent, and forcing her new friend Lorde — who this year officially transformed her entire wardrobe from Hot Topic to The Gap — to hold her majesty’s foot in a group shot. We’ll never be royals but we will be ottomans.
11. When Dutch television ordered a Lipstick Jungle remake
I would even argue that Girls From the Herengracht is probably the best show out there about the Herengracht.
Kunis stopped aging at 23, so it’s obviously not true.
13. When Wal-Mart promised to stop playing Celine Dion music because they thought it decreased employee morale
Wal-Mart somehow decided that employee happiness would be boosted if the company put an end to Celine Dion and Justin Bieber music in stores. The very fact that there’s a sentence, much less a corporate strategy, linking Celine and Justin into the same thought is near and far from wherever logic are. But for what it’s worth, I think “My Heart Will Go On” actually improves employee morale by the sheer virtue of soothing whistle tones.
What’s the movie about? Nothing could matter less. Remember in 2005 when the off-camera romance between Brad and Angelina on Mr. and Mrs. Smith was much more important than the actual movie? Dirty Grandpa was just like that, but Brad Pitt is now Zac Efron’s abs and Angelina Jole is the breezy freedom of shirtlessness.
16. “Peeno Noir”
In 63 seconds, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Tituss Burgess became one of 2015’s most important comedic contributions to the Hollywood talent pool. Pinot noir isn’t even the best kind of wine, but it’s by far the year’s best song about wine. (An honorable mention: Kimmy Schmidt‘s equally catchy theme song.)
17. The Von Trapp family grandchildren formed a hipster indie band
I’m Liesl, I’m 16 years old, and I DON’T need gluten.
18. Justin Bieber’s butt pic, dick pic, and the Calvin Klein ad that exaggerated both
First, there was the infamously Photoshopped ad that left Bieber with at least one less lonely bulge. Then, when the singer voluntarily exposed his backside and involuntarily revealed his frontside, he left a collection of penile puzzle pieces so nothing was left to the imagination. Fans can put the clues together and reconcile the illusions of genital reality. Basically just like The Da Vinci Code.
19. When Jennifer Lopez pretended to be interested in what Meryl Streep was interested in
Jennifer Lopez obviously cares about gender pay equality, sure, but dare to watch the GIF below and tell me she wasn’t just going to applaud quietly during Patricia Arquette’s galvanizing Oscar speech until seat-neighbor Meryl Streep grew increasingly incensed.
20. When John Travolta apologized to Idina Menzel for “Adele Dazeem,” but then did this:
21. And this:
So, like, two steps backward, Zuko.
22. Ricky Martin’s death hoax
Arguably the saddest Internet death hoaxes are the ones where a lack of public interest means you’re not actually entirely sure whether the person is really alive. But honestly, Ricky has just been livin’ la vida low-key.
23. Grown-up Glen on Mad Men
Some people say that Mad Men was Sally’s show all along, but it was actually just about a boy growing into his sideburns.
24. The Dress
It took a non-name-brand blouse (of, let’s be clear, very questionable attractiveness) to captivate a nation by challenging our notions of colors and proving that, whoa, human brains are so weird!! The more important takeaway: If you didn’t use the pick-up line “Excuse me, but what color is The Dress?” when you went out the weekend of Feb. 27, did you even really exist?
25. Llamas led a viral police chase in a retirement community in Arizona
ON THE SAME DAY AS THE DRESS.
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26. Zayn left One Direction
The boy band departure shook the country — nay, the world — and catapulted thousands of pre-pubescent girls into the throes of hormonal despair. The darkness would only grow blacker and more inhospitable as heated tweets (my drag name, coincidentally) became the new normal until finally, the Zayn-less band announced a straight-up hiatus for Q2 2016. Looking back on it, Zayn’s exit from One Direction was seismic in its magnitude. But the great quandary is whether anyone would have cared if it was, like, Louis?
26. McDonald’s introduced a sexy new Hamburglar
Who obviously has not touched a hamburger since his bar McMitzvah.
27. Archie introduced sexy new Archie
In a bid for abs and relevance.
28. Lena Dunham’s wig on Scandal
Those bangs were B613 shades of uneven.
30. “Pretty Girls”
All around the world, pretty girls (and normal people) cruelly denied Iggy Azalea and Britney Spears in their bid for 2015’s Song of Summer. Everything looked like it was in place for a hit — a retro-fab music video, great album art, and the pairing of a pop queen and non-rapper — but the only problem was the actual song itself. Insanity is listening to “Pretty Girls” over and over expecting a better hook.
31. Everyone pretended to be into boxing
Pacquiao vs. the other one!
32. Everyone pretended to be into horse racing
American Pharaoh vs. the other ones!
33. Everyone pretended to be into supermoons
Supermoon vs. the other moons!
34. America pretended to be into Cecil the Lion
35. Jan Brady memes
2015’s meme-dom kicked off in a very küle way with the out-of-effing-nowhere resurgence of 1995’s The Brady Bunch Movie, featuring Jan Brady’s imaginary boyfriend George Glass and Marcia’s iconic pronunciation of the place where she learns:
36. Aloha was racist
Only a few months have past since Emma Stone played an Asian-American woman named Allison Ng in Cameron Crowe’s flop Aloha, but Stone now thinks she’s free to joke about the decision. Too bad the wound is still too fresh and too far from funny, like a rancid pineapple praying for sweet death.
There’s statement jewelry and then there’s the Interjections! by Schoolhouse Rock collection.
38. The Slap
Guess what? A show about an earth-shattering slap doesn’t work if the audience doesn’t care about any of the slappers or slapees. Also, Uma Thurman was on The Slap. Uma Thurman was also on Smash, and look how that turned out for everybody.
39. The international titles for Trainwreck
Such poorly-Google-translated global gems include France’s Crazy Amy, Germany’s Dating Queen, Italy’s Disaster Girl, and Russia’s A Girl Without Complexes.
40. When Jane Fonda ripped off her eyelashes (and by proxy Viola Davis) in Grace & Frankie
Wow, Jane, groundbreaking, wow.
41. Live-action movies based on non-human Disney characters
Mulan, sure. The Sword in the Stone, great. I can even get on board with whatever hell-soaked nightmare The Little Mermaid is going to do to Ursula. But the idea of live-action treatments for Dumbo, Chip ‘n’ Dale, Winnie the Pooh, and the how-will-this-possibly-look-in-live-action Genie from Aladdin require an imaginative capacity far beyond this reporter’s Disney vault.
42. Movies based on non-Disney inanimate objects
But let’s at least commend Disney for utilizing characters that actually talk. Other head-scratch-inducing cinematic announcements from this year included a live-action movie about Play-Doh, an animated film based on Pez Candy dispensers, and an entire film about emoji (I’m actually not opposed to that one as long as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play Two Dancing Girls).
43. Whoever sat Taylor Swift next to Sarah Palin at SNL‘s 40th anniversary special
44. When Revenge killed off Victoria Grayson twice
Arguably the most consistently entertaining part of Revenge, which itself stopped being consistently entertaining the second Emily Van Camp stopped using a red Sharpie, was icy Madeleine Stowe. In a desperate final attempt to reenter the zeitgeist, Revenge killed off Victoria, then brought her back, then killed her again. Cold.
45. This crucial Friday Night Lights captioning typo
We expected more from someone involved in Fargo, but to be honest this was pretty in line with State of Affairs.
47. Jake Gyllenhaal doing Little Shop of Horrors
Sometimes you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone. Thank Audrey that at least Jake’s one-weekend-only performance romancing 64-year-old Ellen Greene will stream forever on YouTube.
48. Kathy Najimy’s facial expressions in Descendants
Yaaaaaaas, (Snow White’s Evil) Queen.
49. Ariana Grande’s donut lick
In the biggest pastry-based scandal since American Pie, the high-ponied pea pod of pop showed up at a donut shop, and licked a display case donut. She then caused an Internet fury and was forced to issue a non-apology apology about hating America. Because obviously America is the reason Grande can’t “Focus” and “Break Free” of her “Problem” with “Licking Complex Carbohydrates.”
50. Jeff Bridges’ Sleeping Tapes
One of the year’s underrated gems is still waiting for your discovery: a series of self-help sleeping tapes from renowned actor and, as we learn, unsettling narrator Jeff Bridges. My evening with Jeff remains one of my top three weirdest moments in 2015 (after realizing I was really attracted to Ike Barinholtz and hearing the announcement that they cast Julianne Hough in Grease).
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2015 was a good year for Annie Lennox, who shocked the industry with a surprise comeback performance where she took everyone to church with Hozier at the Grammys. But it was an even better year for Missy Elliott, who dropped a similar metaphorical mic a week earlier when she popped out from behind Katy Perry’s curtain at the Super Bowl and went on to release this delightful bop about cultural appropriation.
52. When Jennifer Aniston didn’t invite Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry to her wedding. And when Lisa Kudrow got Emmy-nominated for The Comeback but Aniston didn’t get Oscar-nominated for Cake. And when terrible theories almost ruined the Friends legacy, because nothing says lighthearted nostalgia like fans thinking Friends was an allegory for Ross’s depression.
The music streaming service is like a first-time surfer who buys the most expensive board but still can’t catch a single wave. (LOL! We do ocean jokes here sometimes.)
55. That time Adam Levine got sugarbombed
We technically never found out if the assailant was actually aiming for one of Maroons 2 through 5.
56. Ralph Fiennes dancing at this press event
57. Tom Selleck getting accused of stealing water to supply his ranch during California’s drought
Doubly ironic since Selleck has already spent so many decades causing thirst.
59. The boy in the Barbie commercial
The beauty of 2015: There’s a boy in a Moschino Barbie commercial. The horror of 2015: There’s a Moschino Barbie.
60. Bryce Dallas Howard’s heels in Jurassic World
The real star of Jurassic World (after Chris Pratt’s dimples) was the pair of put-upon soles that carried BDH through the muddy jungle. Were they a representation of feminine empowerment, or an embodiment of a patriarchal jail for her feet? It’s funny how the debate over the heels’ merit lasted as long as it did when Jurassic‘s real crime of fashion was that tragic bob (the long-lost follicular sister of Evangeline Lilly’s in Ant-Man).
61. The CW’s “gritty” dystopian Little Women reboot
Nothing says hyper-stylized dystopian Philadelphia like four girls blossoming into womanhood with maternal cyborg Marm-E.
62. Duck Dynasty: The Musical
A massive failure in the practically slam-dunk market of Las Vegas, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that nobody wanted to see a Duck Dynasty musical. Anti-gay family stories and the theater community don’t exactly go together (except in Malaysia).
63. Pizza Rat
Humanity’s most disgusting discovery since Bones.
64. Smash’s one-night-only Bombshell concert
A mere 1,621 attendees witnessed the final verdict: Ivy. It’s always been Ivy.
65. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson getting into the music video game
Carly Rae Jepsen is a lot of things (a great singer, an enthusiastic spirit, a 30-year-old) but most surprising of all, she’s a Tom Hanks whisperer, because how else could she convince the Oscar winner to appear in her “I Really Like You” video despite his visible discomfort? But not to be outdone, Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson also got in on the music fun, releasing her “Girls Night In” and immediately breaking Olivia Pope’s record of Most Pours of Chardonnay in Three Minutes.
66. Rose Byrne’s performance in Spy
Hands down the underrated comedy performance of 2015. Nobody has ever made you want to go out and buy a dolphin trainer wetsuit faster.
67. Hollywood apologizing for old projects
It’s not a new trend, but it’s one of the season’s most cathartic ones. Among their-a culpas this year: Sam Raimi on Spidey 3, Peter Jackson on The Hobbit, Damon Lindelof on Star Trek’s Khan secret, and Mariah Carey unmasking the horror of her American Idol stint.
68. Enrique Iglesias slicing his fingers trying to catch a drone
If only he had a hero who could kiss away the pain!!!
69. The poster for Lila & Eve
Entertainment Weekly raves, “It is a poster.”
70. Adam Brody and Leighton Meester got married
Seth Cohen marrying Blair Waldorf was a combustion of nuptials and nostalgia that made our teenage hearts burst with pangs of happiness and jealousy that the boy next door married the girl next Upper East Side.
71. Rita Ora’s “Lady Marmalade” remake
If “Lady Marmalade” must be dragged back into 2016 with a fresh update, there’s a long, long, long, long, long list of artists we’d rather see participate before UK Kids’ Choice Award nominee Ora.
2015 was clearly a möre subdued year för her.
73. Ryan Gosling’s open letter to Costco
Have you also felt the absence of Gosling since, like, Ides of March? He’s back in The Big Short, yes, but he first returned to the public consciousness this year when he penned an open letter to Costco about chicken cages. It’s exactly the kind of activism-meets-strong-jawline attitude that made Gosling his own best “Hey, girl” meme. Surprisingly, “Hey, Costco” never really caught on.
74. LEGO Laura Dern
Just one step closer to LEGO Enlightened and LEGO The Mom in Fault In Our Stars!
75. J.K. Rowling basically writes another Harry Potter book on Twitter
Wow, did you know McGonagall had diabetes and Justin Finch-Fletchley was color-blind and Moaning Myrtle was agnostic and some Hogwarts portraits were made of crayon and The Three Broomsticks only had a B rating and Hagrid liked Wilson-Phillips and Hogwarts briefly had a musical theater department.
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76. Everything gets a reboot
You will never guess what Full House, X-Files, Twin Peaks, Coach, Star Trek, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Beetlejuice, Gremlins, Shaft, Prison Break, Inspector Gadget, Magic School Bus, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Rambo, The Odd Couple, Uncle Buck, Poltergeist, Baywatch, Scream, Heroes, The Muppets, Vacation, Urban Cowboy, League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Sister Act, Teletubbies, Spider-Man, Xena: Warrior Princess, Galaxy Quest, Hart to Hart, Charlie’s Angels, Fantastic Four, and Tremors have in common!
77. The actors who play Tommen and Myrcella on Game of Thrones dated in real life
The craziest example of life imitating art since Dre and Anika from Empire starting cookie-ing each other’s lyons.
78. Rooney Mara’s offensive craft-store headdress in Pan
Fun fact, she wears the same exact one in Carol.
79. Sarah Jessica Parker’s offensive headdress at the Met Gala
What do you mean, nobody’s extinguished her yet!?
80. Susan Boyle’s offensive Native American headdress
81. The Ohio movie theater that played Insidious instead of Inside Out
From the same people who brought you Goodfellas instead of The Good Dinosaur.
82. Kim Kardashian’s book of selfies is hailed as the “Catcher in the Rye of the Instagram generation”
Technically it’s probably a lot more like Les Miserables.
83. This episode of Sesame Street I happened to catch one day while home sick, where Zoe was trying to teach Elmo a dance but wasn’t being patient enough with him (and you could just sense Elmo’s visible frustration)
85. The phenomenon that is Lip Sync Battle
The year’s biggest mystery is how the wizards behind the scenes of SpikeTV’s viral video-churning karaoke machine land participants like Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Queen Latifah, and Hoda. HODA!
86. Cher expands her presence on Twitter with political commentary
A caucus debate doesn’t exist unless Cher tweets about it in all caps.
87. Anything having to do with Jared Leto’s Joker
88. Mariah Carey’s “Infinity” lyric video
It might be difficult to believe, but Mariah Carey doesn’t only appear for three magical weeks every December! This year, she took on a residency in Vegas, released a greatest hits album, made her directorial debut (but, to be clear, for a Hallmark movie), and debuted “Infinity,” accompanied by what had to be the year’s worst lyric video about corn chips.
Written by Nick Carter, obviously. Can you believe they were all available?!
90. Amy Schumer’s “Girl You Don’t Need Makeup”
Real talk: Amy Schumer dominated 2015 dozens of times, but one of her brightest moments was Inside Amy Schumer‘s One Direction spoof about boy bands and their message to women.
91. Blythe Danner in I’ll See You In My Dreams
Has there ever been a more Blythe Danner-y picture ever taken?
92. Drake’s feud with Meek Mill
Somewhere between “Hotling Bling” and Pepperidge Farm lies a Meek Mill, who rose to fame this year for calling out Drake on, basically, being more successful. Hilariously, Drake got nominated for a Grammy for the very track on which he dissed Meek. No celebrity feud has ever ended better.
94. Adele’s nails
Adele’s nails are quite simply the most iconic fingers we have in the zeitgeist. I challenge you to even think of a close second. “Hello” would not have been the grand return it was without those gorgeous golden digits. For proof, try to listen to her new album and not picture those beautiful phalanges.
95. The Henleys on Quantico
We’re preemptively awarding an Emmy to the show’s costume designer for finding the impossibly perfect cut of FBI training uniform that makes every cast member look Abercrombie-worthy. (Bonus points for the academy’s other uniform standard clothing including pajama, bathing suit, and capri pant.)
96. Lenny Kravitz’s penis
A thing we saw this year which, if we wanted to show it to you, we would probably put here.
97. The current plot of Once Upon a Time
As told by EW’s OUAT recapper Andrea Towers: “Captain Hook stole Excalibur from the daughter of Snow White (to save her family from the Underworld) after Rumplestiltskin engineered it unbeknownst to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.”
98. Learning how to pronounce “Cara Delevingne”
Congrats, you mastered it just in time to learn how to pronounce “Saoirse.”
100. This picture of Britney Spears from the Grammys
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