Pop Culture in 2018: From KiKi to Shoefie & Everything in Between

2018 was a kicka** year for pop culture junkies. There were many trends that took the internet by storm. While some of them flourished, some met an inevitable end. Some, however, will be around for a while reminding us what a roller-coaster this year was - until the next ‘in’ pop culture reference takes over.

Here are a few gems that made 2018 what it was:

1. KiKi Challenge

Every year some challenge or the other takes the internet by storm. This time the KiKi challenge took the cake.

The song by Drake grew into an overnight sensation with people from all over the globe taking the ‘extra’ but also dangerous challenge.

Here’s the Drake original that inspired the viral challenge.

The challenge required one to open the door, get down from a moving car, dance on the road as the person driving the car records you dancing, while driving! Phew!

Seems like too much effort, no?

The challenge also saw some creative spin offs like this one from India where two young men replaced the car with a bullock cart!

Watch this desi rendition of Kiki challenge.

The challenge gained so much popularity that from famous celebrities to the geeky teenager next door, everyone was grooving to this song and many taking on the challenge.

The challenge also gained notoriety as it led to a string of accidents because of the “driving and dancing” part. For example, this viral clip of a man getting mowed down by an oncoming car while taking the Kiki challenge illustrated the perils of this dangerous challenge.

Mumbai police also issued an advisory against taking the challenge in India.

But, as most other challenges, its popularity was short-lived as it soon bit the dust and joined our #RIP gang.

2. #RIP: The Trends That Died

A minute’s silence to them.

As they faded away even before we could notice.

RIP Sarahah & Dubsmash!

Sarahah was a platform through which users sent and received anonymous messages. Some flattering, and some not so much.

What seemed to be an interesting concept, turned out to help in creating a toxic environment. Bullying, threats and abuses became frequent in these exchange of messages. After a petition over Change.org, both Google and Apple stores were quick to take it down.

Dubsmash was another trend that started off very strong but strangely enough, could not retain its popularity. It's a lip syncing app that allowed its users to recreate popular movie dialogue and songs. Dubsmash fever was everywhere, from sports stars to Bollywood celebrities.

Sadly, these are things of the past.

3. The Millennial ‘Vocab’

Millennials keep surprising us with their ability to add new words to their vocabulary. Empowered by technology and influenced by the internet’s readily available pop culture references, they never seem to disappoint.

Instagram has definitely been a culprit this year! Just think of how it has fostered the invention of new words in 2018:


As if the selfie wave wasn’t enough, this year we were introduced to the concept of 'shoefie'. Yes, it simply means taking photos of your shoes and posting them on Instagram.


As the name suggests, the hashtag refers to an Instagram posts related to fitness - mostly healthy eating and living.


Undoubtedly, the best one we have seen so far is 'plandid'. This is a saviour when you can't choose between a selfie and a candid to get that perfect shot. Here, you just have to pretend to not notice that you are being clicked - a planned candid photo.

(P.S: Isn't that what we have been doing all this while?)


Social media has always showered doggos with love through memes, GIFs, and videos. But this year they were actually given a proper label!

A ‘dogfluencer’ refers to a dog that can help increase the brand value of an organisation through its social media presence. Example: Cheeka, the pug, proved to be quite an influencer for Vodafone!

Cheeka, the Vodafone pug!

4. Noah Centineo- Internet's New BF

Noah Centineo a.k.a Peter Kavinsky from 'All The Boys I Have Loved Before' was the internet's new boyfriend this year. With his good boy vibes, sensitive character and boy next door appearance, Noah was able to make the girls go gaga over him.


Even though Noah’s popularity is just two rom-coms old (All The Boys I Have Loved Before and Sierra Burgess Is a Loser), his craze did not seem to die down throughout 2018.

This was evident by the sudden rise in his Instagram followers, which currently stands at 16 million. Before we knew it, Noah Centineo had become a mini phenomenon, inspiring memes, tweets, GIF's and think pieces from every corner of the Internet.

FYI, this craze might overlap to next year as well. As the much awaited 'All The Boys I Have Loved Before' sequel is set to hit our internet screens.

Also Read: Mad About ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’? Take This Quiz

5. Scary Time for Men-Really?

2018 will be remembered for a lot of things, one of the most significant being women coming up with stories of abuse, harassment and assault at the hands of men. They used the #MeToo hashtag and the world was forced to listen. We still have a long way to go but it’s a significant start.

As #MeToo gained momentum, there were also men responding with #NotAllMen. This hashtag ironically has been around longer than #MeToo or #Time’sUp. Men have been defending themselves much before women actually started calling them out. But the thing is survivors never said “all men”.

Among the flag-bearers of the resistance from men was Mr. Trump who called it a scary time for men in the US and many in India also echoed the same sentiment. They very vividly implied that “they have to think” before talking to women and watch what they say. That was the whole point, guys!

This US musician who then appeared on many late night shows, made a song on the “scary time for men” comment and women across the globe resonated.

Also Read: Erum’s Comics: To All The Boys Who ‘Survived’ #MeToo

Let’s see what the next year has in store for us.

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