The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Flower Power Botanicals in Fort Collins Celebrates ‘420’ all April with these amazing Deals & Promotions:
April 15, 2024

In Colorado, April is always the month to celebrate, especially if you are a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary in Fort Collins. On...

Pop culture trends of 2016

Pop culture continues to have more relevance in our society as each year passes, and 2016 proved that. With pop culture stores such as Hot Topic, Boxlunch, and 2nd and Charles opening in every mall and Star Wars and Marvel heroes plastered among the inventory of every major retailer, it is no question that people in 2016 love pop culture. Here are some of the biggest trends we saw in pop culture in 2016:

Movies and Television:


“Stranger Things”

By far the biggest series was “Stranger Things.” The 80s era horror-fiction follows three children who meet a super powered girl named Eleven who helps them on their search for their missing friend Mike. The 80s called, they want their TV back.

Superhero Movies

Two of the biggest movie crazes of 2016 were both Marvel’s “Deadpool” and “Captain America: Civil War.” “Civil War” was the highest grossing movie of 2016 at over $363 Million. DC Comics’ “Suicide Squad” produced one of the biggest trends of 2016, but it may have been a letdown to fans. Cosplaying and Halloween costumes would have been nothing without Harley Quinn.

Harry Potter

With a new play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and a prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” released at the end of the year, Harry Potter was back at the forefront of people’s attention. Many are excited for the new movie series which was announces after the success of “Fantastic Beasts.”

The Walking Dead

Although the comic-based zombie ridden series is in its seventh season, none of which have been shy of success, the death of a major character, Glenn, and other major conflicts in the show caused it to be all the talk of social media every time it aired on television.




When Beyonce dropped her new single at the Superbowl Halftime show and then announced a tour for her new album during a commercial, the internet went insane. Beyonce fans, old and new, could not contain their excitement that Queen Bey had new material for them to love. Her album “Lemonade” and its singles went on to be nominated for nine Grammy awards.

Kanye West

Kanye West had a very eventful 2016 to say the least. With a new album, a few hit singles, a sold out tour that he then cancelled before it ended, the announcement of a run for president in 2020, constant talk and scrutiny in the media, eight Grammy nominations and so much more, it is easy to see why Kanye West was the talk of 2016.

Twenty One Pilots

The Ohio-based two piece alternative-rock band went from playing bars to stadiums over the course of a year. With hit songs “Stressed out,” “Ride” and “Heathens” from the Suicide Squad movie along with five grammy nominations, Twenty One Pilots became the biggest band in the world in 2016.


After a few years of hiatus, Adele finally released an album at the end of 2015, and its singles filled the radio stations. She was constantly praised by media outlets everywhere. Her 2016 tour for the album sold out every single date in just minutes.


Timberland Boots

The trend that first started in New York made its way to Colorado and the rest of the world this fall and winter. The tan suede boots, which retail anywhere between $180-$300 dollars, could be seen on guys, girls, children and adults everywhere.

Baseball caps

Caps have been a trend for as long as they have existed, but this year, it seemed as though every person sported a curved brim or “strapback” rather than the usual snapback that was worn more frequently in past years.


Especially among college students, the Patagonia logo could be seen graced upon backpacks, hats, t-shirts, beanies, jackets, sweatshirts and everything in between. It even became a trend to wear items with the Patagonia logo altered to say a different word or phrase.

The return of the 90s

Nineties clothes made a comeback starting a few years ago, but the trend took off in 2016. Choker necklaces, scrunchies, converse high top tennis shoes, crewneck sweatshirts, chunky sweaters,windbreakers and high rise jeans were the most common items seen being worn by young adults this year.


Kermit the Frog

The green muppet first took over 2016 at the beginning of the year with the “but that’s none of my business” meme which featured Kermit the Frog sipping on a cup of tea and looking away from the camera. At the end of 2016, before the tea Kermit meme even had time to fade away, the “dark Kermit” meme was seen in every other social media post. It featured Kermit the frog talking to another Kermit the frog, but this one is wearing a black hood over its eyes and encourages other Kermit to do things that he shouldn’t.


When the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla names Harambe was killed when a little boy fell into his living area, the internet couldn’t help but make fun of the people who were distraught over his death, and it turned into the biggest meme of 2016. At one point, it seemed as though you couldn’t go 10 minutes without hearing some mention of “rest in peace, Harambe.”


For unknown reasons, memes of the childrens’s show “Arthur” took over this year. A picture of Arthur’s fist became the most common picture to add to a post about being angry or frustrated.


The election produced hundreds of new memes, but Hillary Clinton’s “delete your account” tweet to Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s love for Barack Obama were the most popular. A Vine video of a boy saying “Damn, Daniel. Back it again with the white Vans” produced one of the craziest social media frenzies ever, which died nearly as fast as it was created. Speaking of Vine, it was in 2016 that Twitter decided to discontinue it. And, let us never forget the #KimEndedTaylorParty where Kim Kardashian defended her husband Kanye West against claims from Taylor Swift that he included a sexist phrase about her in his song “Famous” by posting videos of her giving consent for him to say what he did.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *