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The Year in Things We’ve Already Forgotten

From dadbod to manicures, a catalog of subjects we briefly cared about in 2015.

Rob Carr / Getty Images News

Memory is faulty, it’s said, and on top of that it’s hard to describe. There are different kinds of memory and as many varieties of remembering: we can remember how to do things, that events happened, and the particular circumstances in which they occurred. The end of the year is a time to reflect, to remember the particular series of pasts that led here. The list that follows—a list of what we’ve already forgotten this year—is biased and necessarily incomplete, but hopefully you remember it as accurate enough.

Left Shark

Left Shark was born at this year’s Super Bowl—his mother was Katy Perry, and his twin brother was Right Shark. The brothers sprang directly from Perry’s head, an ironic take on the story of Zeus and Athena. 


Three llamas went on the lam after escaping on hoof from an Arizona assisted living facility in late February; one was quickly caught, but the other two were at large for more than an hour, according to the Los Angeles Times, while helicopters filmed from above. Where were you when you heard about the llama drama?


Men’s style was popular this year, with two big trends we all know and love. First up: Man buns. A man bun is a topknot, but on a man. Wow!

Next, there was dad bod. Basically, if you’re a man, you let yourself go until you’ve gone soft and flabby (extra points for paunch!). This trend was hot after a sophomore at Clemson University, Mackenzie Pearson, wrote about her love for men with bad bods. “The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’”

Health Goth

All of the health goths died in 2015. Sorry everyone, this trend is over. 

“Uptown Funk”

This song debuted on November 10, 2014, but has apparently been on the top 40 charts for more than 54 weeks (!!!!!), so, yes, it is the soundtrack to 2015. (The #teens love it!)

Pluto Flyby

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, flew past Pluto this summer and sent back stunning images of the planet—it’d only been a pixelated blur before. Another small step for man, another leap for mankind. If you’ve forgotten about this already, you hate space, probably.

Never-ending Winter

It didn’t stop snowing on the East Coast until… April? Regardless, Boston was annihilated:

…for those of us living here, it’s not a pretty picture. We are being devastated by a slow-motion natural disaster of historic proportions. The disaster is eerily quiet. There are no floating bodies or vistas of destroyed homes. But there’s no denying that this is a catastrophe.

Mother Nature loves irony, though: This winter is shaping up to be one of the warmest on record, because of an unusually strong El Niño and more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Manicures Are Bad

New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nir spent a year investigating New York’s ubiquitous cheap nail salons. What she found was a sordid tale of systemic exploitation and ethnic bias. Jury’s out on whether New Yorkers are back to shellacking.

Laudato si’

Pope Francis published an encyclical on the state of the world today; it’s notable for his emphasis on caring for the environment and focus on climate change. 

Cecil the Lion

Walter Palmer, a Minneapolis dentist, nearly sparked an international incident after he hunted and killed Cecil, a lion that lived primarily in a Zimbabwean national park. Palmer’s Yelp page has also paid the ultimate price.

Peas in the Guac

The New York Times trolled its readers—and the rest of the nation—after it boldly published a recipe calling for peas in guacamole. It was outrageous. Both President Obama and Jeb Bush agreed that peas should stay out of guac. We at the New Republic concur.

It’s been a long year. To quote Bertrand Russell: “This analysis of memory is probably extremely faulty, but I do not know how to improve it.” Here’s to 2016.