1. Pumpkin the Racoon
Pumpkin is a raccoon who was rescued as a cub (did you know baby raccoons are called cubs? And a group of raccoons is known as a gaze. A GAZE OF RACCOONS!). Pumpkin is best friends with her doggy siblings, Toffee and Oreo, and she whiles away her days in the Bahamas eating watermelon with her tiny human hands, pining after coffee, and lazing about on the sofa. She’s living our dream life.
2. Pizza Rat
The determined rodent who carried a slice of pizza on its back down a flight of subway stairs only to flee when the slice fell, CHEESE-FACE DOWN, onto the dirty cement, is the paean to New York we needed. Its virality birthed Pizza Bear, Cigarette Crab, and a Sexy Pizza Rat Halloween costume (the pizza slices are pockets, a vital necessity for women everywhere).
3. Marnie the Dog
When you look at Marnie, the 13-year-old rescued Shih Tzu turned Internet sensation, you know that she feels your struggle. Tongue askew, head at a perpetual tilt, conveying ennui, curiosity, whimsy, and who-cares in a single look, Marnie contains multitudes, just like you or I. No matter what you’re feeling, whether it’s, “Mondaze, right?” or “Let’s get turnt,” you can look at a picture of the multitudinous Marnie and feel, “same.” Yes, of course she has a book! What are you, new?
4. Demi Adejuyigbe, aka @Electrolemon
Demi may be more commonly known as @Electrolemon to the many thousands of followers on his Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine (and also to fans of Paul F. Tompkin’s Werner Herzog character), rising to fame with his dead-pan and off-kilter mashups of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” Now he’s one-half of the Gilmore Guys, a podcast that get into the nitty and the oh-so-gritty world of Stars’ Hollow’s most beloved residents, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore.
5. Katie Notopoulos and Ryan Broderick of Buzzfeed’s Internet Explorer
Intrepid travelers to the darkest corners of the internet, Katie and Ryan are online ambassadors willing to go where the squeamish daren’t. This year they taught us about how ISIS uses social media, the origins of Bodybuilder forum regular Mr. Eggs, Youtubers on the fringes of society in India, catfishing popstars, Iranian bloggers, and Drake death hoaxes. Here’s to many more Minion take-downs and meme-splanations in 2016.
6. Louis Virtel
Comedian and tweeter extraordinaire Louis Virtel rose to fame this year after he appeared, and lost, on Jeopardy!, but not without making his mark with “the snap heard ’round the world.” Louis brought something fresh and unexpected to the 50+ year-old game show and made Alex Trebek and midwesterners eating their TV dinners snap to attention. Glom onto this self-proclaimed Snapdragon of 2015 by following his insights into Saint West and Tilda Swinton on Twitter.
[Cover image c/o @pumpkintheracoon]