Want to Feel Old? 10 Pop Culture Moments That Are Turning 10 in 2020

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As this decade comes to a close with Game of Thrones and Disney+, with rising and shining and being sorry to this man and storming Area 51, there is no better time to look back on where we began. Like how in 2010, our now-president's reality TV series was in its 10th and least-watched season. The more things change, uhhh, the more they stay the same?

This list also doubles as a reminder that yes, these seemingly indelible pop culture moments were that long ago, and that cruel mistress time flows like sand through the hourglass, faster and faster, on our march to the grave.

Anyway, here are the moments that will celebrate their 10th anniversaries come 2020:

Feb. 4, 2010: The Old Spice Guy

"I'm on a horse." Four words do not a viral commercial make -- unless, as it turns out, they're delivered by a shirtless Isaiah Mustafa at the end of a non-sequitur-filled monologue about body wash. Sure, the advert -- a 30-second spot for Old Spice's Red Zone After Hours titled "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" -- traded in pointlessly gendered bathroom products, but it was 2010. We thought it was fun that he was on a horse!

The ad won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial that year -- did you know the Emmys had an award for Outstanding Commercial? -- and remains so memorable that Mustafa reprised his role of The Old Spice Guy...for a 2019 Hulu commercial. In addition to co-starring in IT Chapter Two, that is, which was one of 2019's biggest horror films.


March 2010: Bieber Fever

2010 didn't introduce us to Biebs -- he'd dropped an EP the year prior, after being discovered on YouTube by Scooter Braun -- but it was the year you couldn't listen to the radio without hearing "Baby, baby, baby, oh!" or turn on the TV without seeing his signature swoop on SNL and CSI. He released his debut album, My World 2.0, in March and every mall signing included a screaming tweenage girl with a homemade sign: "SWINE FLU? NAW, BIEBER FEVER, BABY!" He had a branding deal with Silly Bandz and in red carpet pictures, Selena Gomez hugged him, looking like his proud big sister.


May 2010: Sad Keanu

Did Keanu Reeves' have the biggest glow up of the 2010s? Amidst our thriving Keanussance -- what with Toy Story 4 and the John Wick trilogy, with forthcoming reboots for Bill & Ted and The Matrix -- it's hard to imagine a time when Reeves wasn't top of mind. However, the start of the decade came a couple of years after The Lake House and a few years before the first John Wick. Enter this paparazzo photo of him sitting on a park bench in New York, stoically eating a sandwich, and thus was born the "Sad Keanu" meme.

Sad Keanu was photoshopped riding a roller coaster, sitting next to Obama in the Situation Room and into everything from Watchmen to Where's Waldo?. For his part, Reeves got a kick out of the meme -- and wasn't actually that sad.


May 23, 2010: The Lost Finale

While the Golden Age of Television of the 2010s saw the premieres of countless brilliant, must-watch (or binge, as it were) new shows, it also saw a number of long-running series come to an end. Finales are no easy feat, so we saw the good (Breaking Bad), the bad (Game of Thrones) and the eternally polarizing: to this day, perhaps no series finale is more detested, more defended, more dissected than Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof's Lost finale, appropriately titled "The End," which had to explain away polar bears and smoke monsters and any number of mysteries about the island, tie up dozens of separate character threads and find a compelling answer to the question: So, were they dead all along?


June - July 2010: One Direction Auditions for The X-Factor

"You're not as good as you thought you were. But I still like you," Simon Cowell told a 16-year-old Niall Horan as a particularly brutal bit of feedback following his X-Factor audition in season seven. Horan, who was likened to an "Irish Justin Bieber," continued on in the competition, as did fellow hopefuls Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles, who was working in a bakery at the time and planning to go to college to study "law, sociology, business and something else -- but I'm not sure yet."

Singer-songwriter Matt Cardle eventually won their season, while One Direction -- formed by Cowell in the bootcamp stage of the series -- went on to become the biggest boy band in the world...until Zayn de-banded in 2015 and the rest eventually followed suit. Ten years later, they have the solo careers they'd originally auditioned for. 


July 28, 2010: Kanye West Joins Twitter

In the earliest days of @kanyewest, how could we have ever known that 'Ye would eventually use the platform to tweet out sentiments like "#NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK" (best case scenario) and "BILL COSBY INNOCENT !!!!!!!!!!" (worst)? In the last decade, West has quit and rejoined Twitter too many times to count, beefed with Drake and apologized to Beck, and revealed that sometimes he gets emotional over fonts.

But on July 28, 2010, West just wanted to inform his followers that he was, "Up early in the morning taking meetings in Silicone Valley." A few minutes later, he tweeted again: " Lol I spelled Silicon wrong ( I guess I was still thinking about the other type of silicone ITS A PROCESS!! : )"


July 31, 2010: "Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife"

In a case of the internet doing what the internet is going to do, we took a local news story about an attempted assault and we autotuned it. The star of the clip is 23-year-old Antoine Dodson, who told WAFF-48 News, "He's climbing in your windows, he's snatching your people up-- So y'all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, 'cause they raping everybody out here." The remix, "The Bed Intruder," went platinum, while the video was YouTubed hundreds of millions of times into viral infamy. (If you're looking for an update on Dodson, BET interviewed him in 2018.)


Aug. 26, 2010: Jersey Shore's Anonymous Letter

Unaware that they would be crafting one of the most important records of history, Snooki and JWoww retreated to a cyber café during season two of Jersey Shore to compose a message for Sammi Sweetheart: "SAM, THE FIRST NIGHT AT BED WHEN YOU LEFT CRYING, RON MADE OUT WITH 2 GIRLS AND PUT HIS HEAD INBETWEEN A COCKTAIL WATRESSES BREASTS. BOING." It was not written in pink font.

Cut to now, and it's like nothing has changed. Jersey Shore is still on MTV -- now as Family Vacation -- and Ron is...well, not exactly lucky in love. (His latest issues are worse than "grinding with multiple fat women.") And to this day, the note -- iconically known as "The Note" -- is still one of the best memes. ("Gonna tell my kids this is the Declaration of Independence.")


Sept. 12, 2010: Lady Gaga's Meat Dress

By 2010, Lady Gaga had dropped two records -- The Fame and its reissue, The Fame Monster -- and donned everything from geode dresses to latex bodysuits, with every sort of avant-garde sunglasses imaginable. At the VMAs, she was the year's most-nominated artist and certainly dressed to impress: Following two custom-made designer gowns, she accepted the award for Video of the Year in a Franc Fernandez dress made entirely of beef. "I never thought I'd be asking Cher to hold my meat purse," Gaga joked onstage. Time declared it the year's top fashion statement, though you'd be hard-pressed to think of a look by Gaga -- or anyone else -- that tops it this decade.


October 2010: Gyllenswift

Before Joe Alwyn and Tom Hiddleston and Calvin Harris and Harry Styles -- but after Joe Jonas and Taylor Lautner -- there was the brief but beautiful few months at the end of 2010 when Taylor Swift was dating Jake Gyllenhaal. Though it didn't last, the romance gave us so much:  Well, mostly those paparazzi pictures of them on Thanksgiving, laughing and drinking lattes, and (by all accounts) the song, "All Too Well," complete with a hat tip to Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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