Skiddle's end-of-year-review 2023

What happened in 2023? If you’re struggling to remember, check this out to refresh your memory. From memes to serious moments, here’s what happened this year.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 27th Dec 2023

Time moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes we swear something that happened a few months ago was actually over a year ago. And with how fast pop culture moves thanks to the internet, this seems to happen more and more often. 

Lucky for us all, we’ve been keeping track of some of the wildest, funniest, most newsworthy, and most important moments of the year. From the silly to the serious, here’s some of what happened in 2023. 


Scarborough’s NYE visitor

Before the year even started, Scarborough’s New Year’s Eve celebrations were halted (namely the firework display) when Thor the walrus washed up on the harbour. As walruses are pretty rare in the UK, a curious crowd gathered to see him. There's no nice way to put this... Thor the walrus was having a wank. The walrus was wanking. In front of a crowd. After chilling for a few hours, he left. 



The PM got fined for not wearing a seat belt

Uploading on Instagram to talk about the levelling up scheme but it didn't really matter because all anyone noticed was him not wearing his seatbelt. Lancashire Police fined him (the usual fine is £100, £500 if it goes to court). Seatbelts save lives, kids! 



We celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop!

This year, we celebrated a genre that brought us some of the best, most innovative music. Coming from the predominantly black area of New York, hip-hop started at parties before growing to the massive, world-dominating genre it is today. 

Still a relatively young genre, it’s incredible how far hip-hop has developed, giving us subgenres including trap, alternative and experimental hip-hop, emo rap, drill, cloud rap, and so much more. If you’re curious to see how this beautiful genre flourished, check out Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix!  



The Lionesses almost took home the World Cup trophy

In a nail-bitingly tense final against Spain, England’s Lionesses fought tooth and nail for the World Cup title but just missed out when the whistle blew, signifying Spain’s 1-0 win. Despite not taking the trophy home, English footie fans were insanely proud of how far the Lionesses had come.

And we all fell in love with Mary Queen of Stops and her obvious delight at each save she made - we couldn’t hear her, but we all knew what she said. It just made her that bit more relatable. And if you don't know what we're talking out, head to 3:40 in the video.



Charles had a big crown put on his head

Following the Queen’s death, it was Charles’ turn for a coronation. Of course plenty of memes and jokes came from it, like Princess Anne blocking Harry’s view with a giant feather coming out of her hat or the major “fight in the car” energy. And, naturally, everyone was buzzing for another bank holiday - who wouldn’t be?



Trump’s mug




Orcas have been ramming boats all year

The boat-ramming started in July 2020, but we heard loads about it this year. Orcas in southwestern Europe sunk yachts and fishing boats by ramming into them but leading scientists said we shouldn’t judge them as they were probably just trying to be playful. The takeaway? Orcas aren’t resentful, and they apparently have the ability to start fads (again, according to scientists), which might be why it happened so much this year. Like when planking went viral in the human world, “playing” with boats might’ve gone viral in theirs. 




People planned a whole day of cinema, watching both Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day, sparking debate about which order we should see them in. And, of course, everyone was wondering which would do best at the box office. It was Barbie. Slay. 



We all wondered why men are so obsessed with the Roman Empire

Somehow, someone figured out that men seem to think about the Roman Empire all the time. It led to many asking the men closest to them how often they do and being stunned when they gave answers like “every day.” From here, the “this is my Roman Empire” meme spawned, basically just meaning something you think about all the time. 



Eurovision came to Liverpool

As always, we did terribly. But at least it was on our turf so we could attend loads of viewing parties close to the action! 



The OceanGate Titan sub implosion 

A submersible operated by a video game controller in Canada went on an expedition to view the wreck of the Titanic. The US Navy said it detected sounds "consistent with an implosion" not long after the sub lost contact during its descent. Believed to have collapsed due to water pressure, experts are trying to figure out what went wrong. As they do, people online took the p*ss. 



Shakira and the jar of jam

Shakira was in a relationship with ex-footie player Piqué for twelve years. She went on holiday with her sons and came back to find someone had been eating the strawberry jam. Piqué apparently doesn’t like strawberry jam, so she figured out he was cheating on her - with a 22 year old, no less. Incredible detective work, if you ask us. She then released a diss track - BZRP Music Sessions #53 - which became the biggest debut for a Latin song on YouTube with over 63 million views in the first 24 hours. 



Some of us loved our new robot “friends” while others were more sceptical 

We saw AI take it up a level this year. From ChatGPT to AI music, we were split on whether or not we like these new tools. Will they rise up and destroy us all Terminator-style, or will we have access to endless possibilities and easier lives? Time will tell… 



Hollywood writers went on strike

Speaking of AI, a bunch of Hollywood writers went on strike for a few reasons, with AI potentially threatening their livelihood by reducing their roles being one of them. Another threat was streaming services, which cut their pay massively. There are many more layers to it, but that’s the gist. 



We saw the opening of a massive, mad new venue in Vegas

Iconic Irish band U2 opened the Las Vegas Sphere, a giant, immersive new venue. The project launched in 2018 and was completed in September this year, costing a mind-boggling $2.3 billion. But just… imagine a rave there…



Some books by massive celebrities were released

Britney Spears and Prince Harry both released books this year. In his, Harry referenced his “todger” over 15 times, which… you know the internet, you know what happened there. 

And the Princess of Pop, almost two years after she was released from her court-ordered conservatorship, revealed all sorts in hers, including the tragic circumstances of her abortion, her childhood, and her rise to stardom. 



(formerly known as Twitter)

Elon landed on a super tech-bro name and logo for Twitter, replacing the cute little bird on a blue background with a huge black and white X. But did it catch on? No. No matter where you read about it, you’ll see “X (formerly known as Twitter).” Reminding everyone what your app actually is is certainly the sign of a super successful rebrand.



Susi just wanted to share her thoughts on store-bought pesto 

One woman simply wanted to share her dislike of pesto in the shops and show us how she makes her own. She just wanted more garlic. But hundreds of people stitched her video to tell the craziest stories, each wilder than the last. If you're in the mood for a wild, gripping story time, Susi stitches are the way to go. 



One uninvited guest stole the show at the Met Gala 

Oh, and Jared Leto and Doja Cat both went as cats. 



Snoop Dog announced he’s going smokeless

Salt and pepper. Beer gardens and summer. Snoop Dogg and a blunt. These things naturally go together. But maybe not anymore. Snoop announced he’s quitting the smoke, inspiring others like Meek Mill and Coi Leray to quit, too. Turns out it was a marketing stunt for some kind of smokeless barbecue or something. 



No. 10’s unexpected guest

A car very slowly “rammed” into the gates of number 10 Downing Street while Rishi was in there. It was pretty dramatic, and they had to lock down the area, but no one was hurt, no bombs, nothing - thankfully. Later, Rishi zoomed out in a Range Rover with a police escort. They towed the car away, barely damaged because it wasn’t moving very fast when it collided with the gate. The bloke who owned the car about five years before the incident said the car was cursed. 



Sam Smith wore some kind of inflatable gimp suit 

Iconic, pretty funny, and a bit uncomfortable-looking, Sam Smith turned up to the Brit Awards in an outfit designed by HARRI. The memes were golden, the look was memorable, and Sam took home two awards. A cracking night for everyone! 



We were jealous of everyone who got tickets to the Renaissance tour 


Photo: Beyonce / 

We’re devoed we missed out, it looked absolutely amazing. But hey, at least we can watch the concert film. 



We all waited for a terrifying alert text

In April, the UK braced itself for the test of the emergency text alert, a service to warn us if there’s a danger to life nearby. Most of us didn’t even get it, and the rest of us were caught off guard at it pinging off at 2:59 instead of 3pm, when we’d been told it would go off. But generally, it was a lot of fuss over nothing.



A certain someone sent searches for “buzzcut” through the roof 

Harry Styles got a buzzcut, and reactions were mixed. Some loved it, some hated it, some thought about getting a buzzcut themselves, and others felt like they were living in a simulation since his signature curls were no more. 



Kevin James meme 


Enough said. 



Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show

The first Barbadian to headline the Super Bowl halftime show, Rihanna absolutely killed it, and used the opportunity to announce her second pregnancy. 



It was all about Taylor 

Named Spotify’s most-streamed artist in 2023 and Time's Person of the Year, Swift has had a huge year. Add to that the Eras tour and movie, and her reaching billionaire status, and she’s pretty much all we’ve heard about this year. 



Everything Everywhere All at Once dominated the Oscars 

The film secured seven awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Original Screenplay. Michelle Yeoh became the second woman of colour to win Best Actress after Halle Berry in 2002, and Ke Huy Quan became the first Vietnam-born actor to win an Oscar.



And Hugh Grant did a not-so-great interview

On the red carpet at the Oscars, Hugh was pulled for a quick interview. Many deemed him demeanour and answers rude. But if you ask us, he was just being honest. Sure, his answers could’ve been better but the man was clearly just there for the vibes. 



Doja triggered loads of people’s trypophobia 

Trypophobia: an aversion or repulsion to objects like honeycombs and sponges that have repetitive patterns or clusters of small holes. People with trypophobia are disgusted by the pattern of holes. 



Michael Bibi’s heart-warming and iconic return to the decks

Earlier this year, DJ and producer Michael Bibi announced that he had been diagnosed with CNS Lymphoma, a very rare cancer that affects the brain and spine. He continued posting on Instagram to announce he completed his first round of treatment, reducing the tumour by 40%, and that when he first arrived at hospital, he was barely able to walk. Bibi posted a pic of him walking about the hospital, and a week later, the legend was back behind the decks at Ibiza's DC10. We were all in tears. What a legend!  



Kim K was seen with a Guinness on Paddy’s Day

What can we say? People were in stitches. 



Fyre Fest announced its “return” 

Can a festival return if it never actually happened in the first place? We’d say no. 

Despite the emergency tents, the saddest-looking cheese sandwiches you’ve ever seen, the whole “I’ll do whatever it takes” guy (above) who really was ready to do whatever it took to get some water, and so much more chaos, the festival’s apparently making its “return”. 

The first 100 tickets sold out in August, and Billy, the convicted conman who owns it, and the Fyre website are currently promoting "survival training: water" which, if the last "fest" is anything to go by, sounds like they’re about to repeat all those disasters from the first edition but chuck you into the sea as well. They’re calling it an "underwater concert" but we’d still recommend watching some Bear Grylls before going, and only securing your tickets if you’re, for some reason, keen on having such a sh*tty time you wish you’d never been born. 

Supposedly going down in late 2024… don’t cancel your Netflix subscription yet because you’re going to need it.



Cole Sprouse didn’t pass the necessary vibe check to smoke indoors 

That’s all. That’s literally it. 



Someone lobbed their mum's ashes at Pink

Literally what is going on? Please don’t throw things, be it your mum or something else, at artists on stage. Or even off-stage. Don’t throw things at people. 



Miranda Sings and the ukulele

Getting serious for a minute, Miranda Sings was accused of some pretty terrible things. There are screenshots to back up claims that she was manipulative, a predator, and simply inappropriate with her younger fans, which is, of course, not on at all. So why she chose to make an apology/denial song with a ukulele is beyond us but, naturally, the internet has been all over it since. 



The Chanel fashion show came to Manchester 

For Mancs, it was all a bit surreal. The Skiddle office was all chatting about the rumours around it like who would be attending - our guesses being the Kardashians, Beyoncé and Jay, and Timothee Chamalet, we were wrong - and then loads of people lost their sh*t because of that Aldi/Kate Moss PR stunt before realising she was just a look alike. 



00s pop girlies made comebacks 

Sugababes dropped a single, did a Boiler Room, and played Drumsheds, while Girls Aloud announced a tour. 



We said goodbye to some legends

It’s always hard when an artist or actor passes away. We identify with their art and relate to their character, so, even if we never met them, we feel the pain of their loss. Here are just a few of the artists and actors we lost this year: Sinead O’Connor, Tina Turner, Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, Gangsta Boo, Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell, Fred White of Earth, Wind & Fire, Matthew Perry, and Andre Braugher. RIP. 



Finally, some honourable mentions to the bedbug infestation, people taking the p*ss out of The Weeknd’s because of that one line from The Idol, Ariana Grande’s relationship with SpongeBob SquarePants musical actor Ethan Slater, and the Pedro Pascal eating video/meme. 

Overall, a bit of a bland year, if you ask us. 2022 was definitely a wilder ride. But still, all in all, it was a pretty good year. Especially for music - so many brilliant albums were released this year, and there were so many fantastic tours, raves, and festivals. We’re buzzing to see what 2024 brings. 

On the topic of 2024, have you sorted your NYE plans yet? Find the best New Year’s Eve events near you now to kick off 2024 with the celebration it deserves



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.