Trends and events that shaped 2020


“Tiger King” was one of the most popular documentary series this year. Shortly after becoming available on Netflix, this series began trending on social media.

Mikaela Chambers

The year 2020 was unforgettable in many ways, not only did COVID-19 lead to a worldwide pandemic and a new way of life, but people were able to take a while to reflect on things they love. This resulted in many new trends to arise that were never expected. 

Although there were many trends that occurred in 2020, the most talked about subject was COVID-19. As the new norm contained social distancing and wearing masks, this virus made all lives change in every way possible. Many people found hobbies by helping their community, which consisted of creating masks and donating to shelters around them. 

The Black Lives Matter movement made news this year during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Protests and meetings with government officials all over the country were just a few ways this movement continued their work.

An app that became well known in the year 2020 was TikTok. The app spread thousands of new social media trends that are still being used. Remember learning the short dance to “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion? This was one of many dances people learned and shared with their followers while social distancing.

There were also trends on TikTok that brought a smile to one’s face during an uncertain time, including the #PatienceChallenge, where children were tested to see if they would listen to their parents and not eat candy in front of them when their parents left the room. 

TikTok’s influence did not end with these trends though. Tie-dye loungewear went viral this year in regards to trending fashion. TikTok users shared DIY tips to make your own but many fast-fashion brands also hopped on the bandwagon. This trend gave the already popular “athleisure look” a little bit of boldness. 

While many people stayed home during the pandemic, developments in technology rose a significant amount. In November, the PlayStation 5 came out and became the number one gift of the year for Christmas. With this product selling out in minutes after stores restocked, all ages were determined to get the PlayStation 5. To this day, it is still difficult for anyone to find and purchase the PlayStation 5.

Not only was the PlayStation 5 a trend that became well talked about this year, but so was the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch game “Animal Crossing” generated attention on social media. The game’s popularity became almost synonymous with spending days furloughed from work or dismissed from school.

In the beginning of the pandemic, Netflix subscriptions skyrocketed. The streaming service began to add many new shows, movies and documentaries. There were a few shows in particular that caught eyes all over the world. “Tiger King,” “Love is Blind” and “Too Hot to Handle” became the most talked about shows on Netflix, which drove millions of people in to see if they were as good as everyone was saying. 

In connection to TV shows, the biggest shock of 2020 was when the Kardashians announced their last season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” The high-rated show on E! began airing in 2007, but the decision came after the family felt their careers were taking off in different ways. After 14 years of filming 20 seasons, the reality TV show will air its last season in 2021. 

Potentially one of the most surprising trends of 2020 was the return of the mullet and shaggy curtain haircuts. These trends were not exclusive to men. Miley Cyrus and Sky Ferreira both tried out the choppy haircut this year and gave rise to the trend. This type of cut brought many different opinions, but it seemed like lots of people hopped on the trend.

Each year, Disney continues to find new ways to impress their audience of viewers. This year, Disney made the decision to create their first openly LGBTQ+ characters. In recent years, the company has made moves to better represent the LGBTQ+ community. This year, Disney released the movie “Onward,” which had a character who was gay. Disney was praised by many fans for this move as many have been asking for this type of representation for many years now.

Zendaya, the celebrity that started on Disney’s “Shake It Up” but who became even more popular when the hit series “Euphoria” and high-rated movie “The Greatest Showman” was released, was the most-talked-about actor in 2020. It came to no surprise that she received an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in the show “Euphoria.” She became the youngest woman to receive an Emmy. 

After reflecting on the trends of the past year, we can understand how they shaped 2020 and how they will influence 2021. With the pandemic bringing many people into their houses, technology, DIY projects and many other trends were helpful ways people could either stay occupied or up to date on the world.