2017's Year in Happiness: All the Best Moments That Made Our Days a Bit Brighter

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year in happiness 2017
Getty Images/ Warner Bros. Pictures/ Walt Disney Studios

Look, this was a really, really depressing year for a lot of people. While natural disasters, tragedies, uncertainty about the world and misconduct allegations are certainly nothing new, there seemed to be an almost daily barrage of all of the above in 2017 -- the year that saw many people’s gloomy reflections on 2016 and “hold my beer’d” us right into a January to December that was a lot of the time… pretty rough.

Without the intention of minimizing all that so many people went through, however, there’s got to be some value in also remembering the better times of the year, if for no other reason than as a testament to human resilience and our ability -- amid whatever challenges we’re going through -- to hold our heads up, laugh, come together and even feel joy.

So, as we take the leap into 2018, let’s gather with our friends and loved ones, throw back a beverage or two (if that’s your thing), and look back on some of the happiest moments in 2017 that hopefully, no matter what your circumstances, made your days just a little bit brighter.

1. Chrissy Teigen Shows Luna Her Dad John Legend’s Sesame Street Appearance

Teigen’s documenting of her daughter’s sweetest moments on Instagram has brought a plethora of smiles to our faces, and the most endearing to this point has to be when she showed Luna her dad’s cameo on Sesame Street. Teigen explained that Luna had been sick and unable to attend the episode taping late last year, and when she opened her eyes, adorably cooing, “Dada?” as she watched on in amazement, it was the very first time she’d seen it.

2. Beyoncé Wins All Pregnancy Announcements

For a lesser being, you’d wonder if it was possible to top a pregnancy reveal that can live up to  Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” performance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, when she revealed the baby bump that would become her and JAY-Z’s now 4-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter. But Queen Bey of course was able to complete the feat -- this time, with the most liked Instagram photo of 2017.

“We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over,” she wrote, noting that the two were expecting twins. “We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes.”

Let’s hear it for Sir and Rumi Carter!

3. Busy Philipps’ Instagram Stories

From her BFFness with Michelle Williams to her brilliant, hilarious musings on the internet and everyday life, there may have been no greater joy in social media than the Vice Principals star’s stories. 

If you aren’t familiar, it’s worth taking a moment to catch up on her moments, if only to drastically and immediately improve your life. Here’s a fun compilation from The New Yorker’s profile of the actress, to start.

4. Gal Gadot Slays as Wonder Woman

While the increasingly crowded two cinematic universes of superheros still has a long way to go in diversifying past its overwhelming white maleness, it was so satisfying to see Gadot not only break through that mold, but absolutely crush it, as she delivered a widely praised take on the classic superheroine, breathing new life into a DC Comics franchise struggling to match the depth of its Marvel competitors’ roster of beloved characters.

Gadot, along with director Patty Jenkins, helped make Wonder Woman an easy Justice League-favorite with her first standalone film.

5. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Beautiful Engagement

While we’re kinda gonna miss Harry the bachelor, with the prince’s engagement to Markle, royal wedding fever is officially back on, as we gear up for the couple’s May 19 nuptials. The next few months will be a dream for anglophiles, and for those of us that aren’t, we still have the fact that the two are a legitimately great pair and can look forward to more sweet couple moments like the one above.

6. Kids Interrupt Dad’s Live TV Interview

Good god, these kids are a joy. But what makes this video so truly amazing is how each beat comes together to make a perfectly heightened comedy sketch that happened organically, right before our eyes.

First, you’ve got the premise. What if a dad was giving a live TV interview from home. Then, the first game move -- daughter wanders in and he reacts by awkwardly trying to push her away, never breaking his eyes from the camera. Next, comes a younger child, not walking, no, but rolling in in a wheeled-baby chair. Next, Mom comes frantically rushing in to get the kids out of the room. And just when you think the moment has passed, Mom CRAWLS into the room, this time slamming the door shut behind her. Dad, still laser focused on the camera, can do nothing but utter in exasperation, “My apologies.”

Gold.

7. Black Panther Trailer

Circling back on the white maleness of superheroes thing from above, many have their hopes set high for Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther film, and, while you can’t judge a movie by its trailer, if this one is any indication, it’s going to be freaking epic.

From moment one, the intensity of the first trailer, which dropped in June, raised anticipation for the film -- due out Feb. 16 -- to dangerous levels. Basically everyone who gets screen time, from Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o to Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett, absolutely dazzle in their performances.

8. Winona Ryder Baffled by David Harbour at the SAG Awards

When Stranger Things won Best Ensemble at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Harbour’s rousing acceptance speech on behalf of the cast was a bona fide “sermon to the freaks,” so to speak, that left many of us baffled by its beautiful, sheer intensity, including his co-star, who, by standing right next to him, had all of her brilliant reactions witnessed live on television. 

Seeing her face contort and head turn with each of Harbour’s passionate remarks is enough to turn any frown Upside Down.

9. Asahd Khaled

We’re not positive, but at 14 months old, DJ Khaled’s adorable son may be the youngest record producer in the game (he’s officially listed as an EP on Khaled’s Grateful album). However you feel about Khaled’s over-the-top antics and hype-man-on-steroids style of showmanship, easily the most endearing thing about the 42-year-old musician is how unapologetically he adores his son, reminding us at every chance he gets.

10. The Solar Eclipse

It may seem as though “collective experiences” are becoming rarer than ever, which is why it’s worth appreciating that, for one August day in 2017, we all got together and spent a few moments staring at a cool thing in the sky (hopefully, with the proper safety protection on our faces.)

11. Porgs

For The Last Jedi, the Star Wars franchise introduced tiny, round, beakless bird-things to its lore. Why do they exist? Does it really matter? They’re impossibly cute, bring light to a relatively dark Episode VIII and Chewie loves them, so that’s all we need to hear. #PorgNation is here to stay.

12. Knife Kid

So succinct, so pure, so perfect. As much as he makes us laugh, what makes this short, five-second video so powerful is Knife Kid’s exuberant embrace of life, the present and unsafety in all its glory.

...But seriously, someone get that knife away from him.

13. BTS Stealing Our Hearts Over and Over Again

The Korean hip-hop group’s seven members, V, RM, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, Suga and J-Hope, had already been winning hearts worldwide with their unbelievable choreography, infectious music and unbelievable charm, when they decided to take over America, from their Billboard Music Awards debut to their chart-topping album, Love Yourself: Her. It’s hard not to be happy for these guys, not only for their success, but for how much they support one another, which you will witness if you go down the rabbit hole of watching their videos on YouTube.

For more on BTS, check out our recap of the group’s biggest moments of the year.

And with that, let’s wrap this year up! Here’s to finding the bright side when life throws challenges your way.

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