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These Top 10 Reddit Posts Are the Perfect Reflection of 2016

By Published on .

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Looking back on the year in Reddit is like looking into a funhouse mirror and seeing a crazy reflection of the internet. What rose to the top of Reddit -- a mix of memes, conspiracies, political comments and inside jokes -- is almost a perfect summation of 2016, and represents the heart of digital discourse for the year.

Reddit is, after all, the self-anointed front page of the web. Here are the top 10 posts on the site, which are all submitted and voted on by users.


10. Remember Linerider?

This post is almost perfect internet humor. It blends some of Reddit's favorite themes -- nostalgia, GIFs and nudes. Linerider is an internet game from last decade.


9. ObiWan Kenboni

Reddit No. 9 2016 - Me as the official ObiWan Kenboni.
Reddit No. 9 2016 - Me as the official ObiWan Kenboni. Credit: StanGibson18 via Reddit

Ken Bone made the most of Internet fame after he stepped into stardom during a presidential debate. He parlayed his 30 seconds of live TV exposure into brand deals with Uber and Izod. He also turned out to be quite the Redditor, and he earned a spot in the top posts of the year with this Star Wars Halloween ensemble.


8. Pokémon Con

Well, this was a bit of a cheat, but it is the one Pokémon themed post in the top 10 on Reddit, and that video game craze deserves a mention. This Redditor appears to have manipulated his way to the top of the site by promising free copies of the latest installment of the Pokémon game to anyone who upvoted the post. Making good on the offer would have cost about $3 million, according to one commenters' estimate.


7. Plague Games

The Rio Olympics made it to the top of Reddit, and not in a good way. In fact, the International Olympic Committee definitely would not appreciate this appropriation of its logo. This joke blended the Olympic logo with the design from the game Plague, referring to all the health hazards reported around Brazil.

Reddit No. 7 2016 - Due to all the health hazards surrounding the Rio Olympics, I figured they could use a new logo. [OC].
Reddit No. 7 2016 - Due to all the health hazards surrounding the Rio Olympics, I figured they could use a new logo. [OC]. Credit: Nephelus via Reddit

6. Bernie or Bust

It wouldn't be a true reflection of Reddit if Bernie Sanders didn't make an appearance. Mr. Sanders was basically a Reddit god, and his supporters used the website to transform politics in the digital age. This post says it all about who Reddit wanted to win the presidency.

Reddit No. 6 2016 - Should have been Bernie
Reddit No. 6 2016 - Should have been Bernie Credit: Zykium via Reddit

5. Leo's Oscar

It was a long time coming, but Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Academy Award for the movie "The Revenant." Reddit celebrated with him with the simplest post possible: "Leo gets the Oscar!"


4. Panama Papers

The word of the year should be "leaks." Hacked e-mails and documents dominated news coverage and the presidential elections. One hack in particular captured Reddit's attention – the Panama Papers. These banking documents allegedly exposed the corrupt dealings of global elites, and they came in the middle of the election. Reddit spent countless man-hours combing through the trove of documents looking for any smoking guns to expose any powerful people who might be mentioned. The Panama Papers were seen as the proof of Bernie Sanders' claims that millionaires and billionaires ruled the world from the shadows.


Reddit No. 3 - 1 dad reflex 2 children.
Reddit No. 3 - 1 dad reflex 2 children. Credit: iswearidk via Reddit

3. Superdads

One of Reddit's inside jokes is that dads seem to have unnatural reflexes when it comes to the safety of their children. You are guaranteed a lot of upvotes with any post that shows off these "dad reflexes." This post rose to No. 3 for the whole year with the amazing feat from this father saving two children with his uncanny reaction time.


2. Thanks, Obama

The joke "Thanks, Obama" is a Reddit favorite. It even had its own subreddit, a forum dedicated to "Thanks, Obama" jokes. The joke is that President Barack Obama's critics seemed to have blamed him for every wrong ever suffered. Well, this post was a sincere thanks to the outgoing president. It's a sentimental farewell from all of Reddit.

Reddit No. 2 2016 - Thanks, Obama.
Reddit No. 2 2016 - Thanks, Obama. Credit: Itsjorgehernandez via Reddit

1. Guardians GIF

This GIF is the ultimate in Reddit jokes. An inside joke inside a joke inside a GIF. To understand it, you almost have to be fluent in Reddit culture. But all you really need to know is that, first, anything related to "Guardians of the Galaxy" is well received. This GIF is from the trailer to the sequel, and it repurposes one of the scenes to show a character teaching another character how to properly use Reddit. Salty Redditors are often frustrated when they see reposts, clearly stolen and recycled, get voted to the front page. But here, Groot isn't listening to the seasoned Redditor about not rewarding old, stolen reposts with upvotes.

Reddit No.1 2016 - Guardians of the Front Page.
Reddit No.1 2016 - Guardians of the Front Page. Credit: iH8myPP via Reddit