There’s no denying 2018 has absolutely tested our patience, but it turns out the year hasn’t been complete trash.
Beyond some of the most important aspects of life like your loved ones and your health, 2018 has truly given us a lot of good. From social justice initiatives like Time’s Up and March for Our Lives, to pop culture masterpieces like Queer Eye, Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again, and “thank u, next,” the year had its share of hopeful, joyous, entertaining, and positive moments.
So when times get tough and it feels like there’s not much to be happy about in the world, here are 50 things to be thankful for.
1. Time’s Up launched. 2018 started off strong with a group of more than 300 women in the entertainment industry coming together to form Time’s Up — an initiative dedicated to standing up against sexual harassment.
2. Laverne Cox made history on the cover of Cosmo. In January, actress and producer Laverne Cox also made history as the first ever trans covergirl for Cosmopolitan Magazine. Cox graced the cover of Cosmo South Africa’s February issue.
3. The Fab Five came into our lives. It may feel like Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski have been inspiring us all to eat, dress, groom, self-love, and decorate to the best of our abilities for a lifetime, but Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot only premiered in Feb. 2018.
4. Drake’s “God’s Plan” music video. Remember pre-Meek Mill beef when Drake gave away nearly one million dollars and filmed himself doing all those good deeds like paying for people’s groceries? That was nice!
5. The Parkland teens. Though 2018 was full of an unfathomable amount of tragedy and gun violence, the year also inspired a heartwarming amount of youth activism in America. After the deadly Parkland shooting in February, a group of teen survivors from the Florida high school shooting has consistently stood up to government officials and publicly advocated for gun control.
This year alone they’ve formed March for Our Lives, led school walkouts, inspired others (both young and old) to register to vote and protest gun violence, and even inspired the Obama’s to write a heartfelt entry in the Time 100 issue.
6. Mirai Nagasu landed a triple axel. The Winter Olympics also took place this year! There were many standout moments but Mirai Nagasu absolutely slayed, making history by becoming the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel in the Winter Olympics. Thankful we got to witness this moment.
7. Black Panther came out. We were truly blessed this year by the arrival of the record-breaking Marvel’s cinematic masterpiece, Black Panther, and the talented actors, fierce as hell soundtrack, and on-screen representation it brought to our world.
8. Jordan Peele’s Oscar win. Speaking of movies, Peele’s film Get Out won “Best Original Screenplay” this year, making him the first black screenwriter to receive the award.
10. Beto O’Rourke. 2018 was the year of Beto, burgers, and a Beyoncé midterms endorsement.
We just want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible. Everyone who made us feel hopeful, everyone who inspired us. Everyone who became the most amazing campaign we could have ever hoped to belong to. Grateful that we got to do this with you. We love you. Goodnight! pic.twitter.com/1j6JnhtP0f
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 7, 2018
11. A Quiet Place. John Krasinski directed and starred in a horror film alongside his IRL wife that was so quiet and terrifying people were too nervous to eat snacks in theaters. What a time to be alive.
12. Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer. Remember when the rapper was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his fourth studio album, DAMN? Hell yeah!
13. Beyoncé at Coachella. Beychella was THIS YEAR. We knew she would slay but nothing prepared us for the sheer magnitude of her powerhouse performance, or Destiny’s Child, or the movement she inspired.
14. The Royal Wedding. When the world needed a distraction from the bad and an escape from reality, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were there for us. And for that we thank them.
15. Brooklyn Nine-Nine was saved. For several terrible, horrible, no good, very bad hours Brooklyn Nine-Nine was cancelled. But thankfully, after a whole lot of love from fans, NBC picked it up for a sixth season.
16. Won’t You Be My Neighbor reminded us of Mr. Rogers’ magic. We needed a heavy dose of Fred Rogers’ pure and wholesome goodness to get us through the year and this film did just the trick.
17. Ava DuVernay made history. DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time led her to become the first black woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million at the box office.
19. We still have dogs. No matter how bad things get we still have furry companions to turn to, and play with, and occasionally throw cheese on.
20. Eighth Grade filled us with middle school anxiety. Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade reminded adults how stressful growing up can be and gave teens an emotional look at middle school through a more relatable lens.
21. Crazy Rich Asians was a smashing success. The film dominated box office sales and served as an important milestone for Asian representation in American pop culture. And guess what? It’s getting a sequel.
22. Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again! Love. Pregnancy. Death. Flashbacks. Dancing. Singing. Abba. Meryl. Cher. Andy García. Help!
23. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra. 2018 has seen the rise (Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin) and fall (Ariana and Pete) of celebrity relationships. But through the ups and downs of the year Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s love never seemed to waiver. We’re thankful this nice, soon-to-be-wed couple is here to restore our faith in love.
24. LeBron James opened up a school. The NBA star opened his “I Promise” school in Akron, Ohio, to give 240 third and fourth grade students a life-changing educational opportunity.
25. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before captured our hearts. Netflix introduced the world to the film adaptation of Jenny Han’s young adult book and after Peter Kavinsky’s “woah woah woah,” our hearts will never be the same. Not to mention it inspired dozens of Lara Jean Halloween costumes.
26. That quirky, super high-maintenance cat was adopted. Remember Bruno, the thicc, polydactyl cat that Wright Way Rescue Animal Shelter in Morton Grove, Illinois, was trying to find a home? He found one :’).
27. A sixgill shark was discovered. This is cool because most sharks have five gills. It’s also a reminder that we should be thankful for oceanographers, researchers, and all those who explore the our vast and mysterious oceans.
28. India strikes down gay sex ban. On Sept. 6, members of India’s Supreme Court unanimously voted to make the landmark ruling that eliminates the ban on consensual gay sex.
29. Moth memes lit up our lives. The year was filled with good memes but those moth/lamp memes? Pure joy.
30. Amy Sherman-Palladino and all those Emmys. Amy Sherman-Palladino has always been genius. Gilmore Girls? Bun Heads? Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? It’s about time she’s properly celebrated, so we’re thankful The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won four Emmys. We are also thankful for her husband, Dan Palladino.
31. Twitter did one good thing. We have no edit button and there’s still bots and harassment a-plenty, but at the very least, Twitter brought back the chronological timeline.
32. Gritty came into our lives. Can anyone even remember a world without the Philadelphia Flyers’ new hairy orange mascot?
33. The Office is back … sort of. While fans of the NBC comedy are still holding out hope for a revival, 2018 treated those nostalgic for the days of Dunder Mifflin to a charming off-broadway musical.
34. Speaking of The Office — be thankful for Steve Carell. He stars with Timothée Chalamet and Amy Ryan (Holly Flax) in Beautiful Boy. He’s got Welcome to Marwen coming out, which looks, uh interesting. He’s on SNL. And he’s making his triumphant return to television!
35. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper gave us life. A Star Is Born came out this year, along with a kickass soundtrack and some perfect memes. We will never be the same.
36. Fat Bear Week ran our lives for 7 days. Much love to all the fat bears out there who distracted us for an entire week just by living their lives.
37. This throwback baked potato costume. Halloween costumes are great but this throwback baked potato get-up really made us smile.
39. We have a new anthem: “Party For One.” How did Carly Rae Jepsen know we were in desperate need of a song to dance in our underwear and eat a large pizza alone to? And the music video! UGH!
40. And there’s no musical praise without discussing Ariana Grande. The warrior of 2018, Ariana Grande, has given fans so much love, inspiration, and hope throughout the year. Not to mention, the ultimate independent BOP: “thank u, next.”
i’m so ….. fuckin ….. grateful
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 11, 2018
41. BDE came to be. Speaking adjacently of Pete Davidson, for better or worse 2018 also gave us Big Dick Energy and that’s something we’ll never forget.
42. Netflix still delivers. Netflix has an entertaining social media presence and continues to create quality original shows and movies.
43. There was an increase in voter turnout. 2018 proved Americans are standing up for what they believe in and exercising their right to vote. Voter turnout for midterm elections reached a 50-year high, and young people voted at historic rates.
44. Midterm results showed a refreshing amount of diversity. It was a night of historic firsts — from over 100 women elected to Congress (the highest number ever) to wins for the LGBTQ community and more.
45. The Detective Pikachu trailer looks delightful. Another cute as hell movie to look forward to? Yes please.
46. Cher’s Twitter is hilarious. Twitter is sometime awful but not Cher’s account. That’s always good.
47. All of the books. The world has so many books just waiting to be read — books for when you’re mad at the patriarchy, books for hikers, books all about pride. And some great books written this year.
48. All of the great TV shows. Streaming aside, there are dozens of phenomenal shows airing on television this year, like Superstore, The Good Place, This Is Us, Killing Eve, and more.
49. Sports are still a thing! We’ve got football, we’ve got soccer, we’ve got basketball, baseball, hockey, and so many more. Sports bring people together!
50. All the people working to keep others safe, informed, and up-to-date with the news. It’s been a tough year for news, mass shootings, and natural disasters, which is why we’re thankful for all the hard working journalists, reporters, news anchors, first responders, weather forecasters, and hurricane scientists.
So remember: No matter how bad things may seem there are always some bright spots in the world.