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19 things you won’t believe happened in 2017

You've definitely forgotten some of these

19 things you won’t believe happened in 2017
21 November 2017

Do you ever stop and get nostalgic about 2016?

No, not because it could be described as good by any stretch of the imagination, but because there was still hope that things would stop being bad.

This year has been, to put it mildly, exhausting. Both in terms of the impact of the day-to-day news on our mental wellbeing, and on the sheer volume of stuff that’s happened.

October seems as though it was a year ago. June feels like 2006. The end of February might as well be the previous century, and as for January? Well, it feels so long ago that none of us were even born then.

However, despite appearances, 2017 has only gone on as long as all normal-length years go on. Want proof? Here are some things that seem a lifetime away, but actually happened in the last 12 months.


Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe was the talk of the internet after footage emerged of him creatively slicing and seductively salting cuts of meat. That’s literally all there is to it.

Plenty copied the human meme, including a couple of footballers of Turkish origin, while he was snapped with A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio. This all happened since the original clip of Gökçe, or ‘SaltBae’ as he became known, spread online from the second it was uploaded on 7 January.

Shia LaBeouf’s performance art

Shia LaBeouf seems to have been standing outside chanting for several years, but no, He Will Not Divide Us has only been running since January. When the project began, LaBeouf and his collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner told us it would continue for the duration of the Trump presidency. So far it has been 10 months, including a novel way of dealing with a Neo-Nazi interloper.

John Hurt dies

Hey, remember when everyone died in 2016 and a bunch more people died in January this year so we thought we’d be in for more of the same? John Hurt was one of those people, sadly passing away just four weeks into the new year.

However, luckily - and we’re not ruling out an absolute celebrity bloodbath before our the New Year comes around - this year hasn’t been too bad for losing iconic figures.

Lee Hurst ties a hypothetical baby to a timebomb

In January of this year, comedian Lee Hurst asked a question which has plagued humanity for generations:

“Your baby is tied to a timebomb. You have the terrorist. He tells you you have 1 hour. Do you #torture him to find your baby or let it die?”

Yes, he hashtagged the word ‘torture’. No, I’m not sure why he couldn’t have just said ‘bomb’ rather than ‘timebomb’.

The thought of Lee Hurst being relevant feels far more 1997 than 2017, but even ignoring that, this feels as though it happened years ago rather than months ago.

Cash Me Ousside

Yes, technically Danielle Bregoli’s first Dr Phil appearance was in December 2016, but the teenager only truly arrived when she became a meme this year.

Future generations will see photos of Bregoli and ask what she’s famous for. When they hear the answer “she said ‘catch me outside, how about that” but it sounded like “cash me ousside howbow dah” they’ll wonder how our generation didn’t somehow wipe out all future life on earth. Actually, given global warming, we are working on that I guess.

Roll Safe

Can’t be a year old meme if you’re actually from February 2017.

David Hockney redesigns the Sun logo

Was this a joke? It feels like it must have been one, and yet… David Hockney. Famous artist David Hockney. Redesigning the logo for The Sun. The newspaper The Sun. By…get this…keeping it exactly the same but adding a child’s drawing of the actual sun, all emanating rays and shit, in the top left. Was it just an emperor’s new clothes thing, or would that require people to have actual opinions about it. It was just there, really, until it stopped being there. Was it just a collective fever dream at the start of the year?

Kim Jong-nam found dead

North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has been a busy man this year, what with that whole threatening nuclear war thing, so much so that we even went all the way to the country’s London embassy to try to iron things out. Which makes it hard to believe it was this year that his half-brother was assassinated at an airport. Yeah, we all kinda let that one slide on by, huh?

CCTV footage of one of the suspects


Anyone who’s watched this conversation between Kourtney and Leonard has probably taken ages to recover and pick their heart back up off the floor. It’s impossible to think you’d be capable of rebounding from such devastation in just nine months, so fair enough for convincing yourself it’s actually from another era, rather than February. Well done on taking less than a year to come back from being emotionally broken, I guess. 

Wayne Shaw/Pie-Gate

It says a lot about the standard February lull that a man eating a pie on live TV could dominate the news cycle for a good couple of days, and yet here we are. Shaw was in breach of FA betting rules for his antics during Sutton United’s cup game against Arsenal, after one bookmaker offered odds on him eating a pie, but it has been pointed out to me that once he got wind of the bet, surely he was in a lose-lose situation. Eat the pie, and he’s at risk of violating betting rules. Don’t eat it, and the same dilemma applies. Poor Wayne.


February was clearly the month for taking a foodstuff and adding the suffix ‘gate’ at the end of it. Let’s ignore whether you can put something on the end of a product that’s perfectly round and has no ‘end’ per se, and get to the crux of it all.

The short version is someone put a bagel on a man’s head while he was on a train and it all kicked off. In reality, though, it was more like one of those cartoons you see at British seaside resorts, with so many layers and so much going on that it’s impossible to take it all in until the sixth or seventh viewing. It has to be seen to be believed.

Donald Trump admits he eats steak well done with ketchup

Look, Donald Trump has done plenty of worse things than this over the course of his presidency, but this one was notable for its ability to get idiots embarking on displays of verbal gymnastics to rationalise the concept of well-done steak with ketchup.

Straining to defend travel bans? Fine, your politics might err on the side of racist, but at least there’s an internal logic to it all. Doing the same for overdone meat? Someone’s put a bear-trap in the middle of an empty room and told you it’s there, and you’ve walked right in just to show them…well, to show them something – you’re not entirely sure what. 

Arsenal fans show up to a game with a ‘Wexit’ sign

Arsenal fans calling for Arsene Wenger to step down is a dance as old as time, but over the years they have found new and creative ways to demand the Frenchman’s head.

You might think a ‘Wexit’ banner must have been in 2016 – you know, when the actual Brexit vote took place. But no; like Arsenal themselves, they decided to respond to a problem by bringing it up nine months after the fact and without actually offering a solution.

Carter gets his nuggs

Carter Wilkerson was a very hungry man back in April of this year - hungry enough that he tricked Wendy’s into promising him free chicken nuggets for a year if he could get 18 million retweets.

He didn’t quite get that many, but his 3.6m was more than literally anyone else ever, thus earning a place in the history books and inspiring a thousand tedious copycats attempting the same ruse.

Dr David Dao dragged from plane

Fucking hell, this year’s been unrelentingly horrible. The American doctor was forcibly dragged from an overbooked flight, but somehow that wasn’t even the worst part: within what seemed like hours but was probably days, because everyone reading this has at best a flimsy grasp of time, folks were digging into his background and sharing criminal records, as if that made his treatment even vaguely okay. 2017, everyone – April, to be specific.

BBC journalist’s ‘sandwich hack’

When did you learn it would be cheaper to make your own sandwiches from supermarket-bought ingredients than to buy pre-packaged sandwiches? Probably when you were about six years old, I reckon.

For Dougal Shaw it was when he was definitely a fully grown adult man, with a smartphone and a job at the BBC. Or to put it differently, in May of this year. Still, at least he’s probably able to afford a house now.

Fyre Festival

Somehow that wasn’t even the most depressing sandwich story of the year. That honour goes to the ‘catering’ at Fyre Festival, the Ja Rule-led project described by one commentator as ‘a gulag for rich people’.

It happened just before the 2017 general election, and we’re still laughing now.

Put your hands on the car and get ready to die

What is it about the BBC that makes people forget how to act like a normal person? Fergus Beeley, who has previously worked as a producer for the corporation, tried to put an 11-year-old child under citizen’s arrest because…no, actually I’m not sure we ever really found out.

We should point out there is no actual connection between the BBC and telling someone to put his hands on the car and get ready to die, just in case anyone was worried there. Oh, and this was in July. Yeah, I know.

Robbie Tripp loves his woman and her curvy body

Now this one is a bit more explainable. After all, surely the idea of the internet heaping praise on a man simply for loving his wife can’t have happened as recently as 2017. Surely the bar isn’t still that low.

You know what’s coming, here. Robbie Tripp loved his “woman” and her “curvy body” as recently as late July. July!

Of course, the meme cycle takes a few days, and we only reached that stage the following month. And boy did we reach that stage.

Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know.

(Images: Instagram/Twitter/Pixabay/Rex Features)