The 50 Biggest Stories of 2012, in GIFs

A moving picture is worth a thousand words.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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While we could probably say this about every year since forever, 2012 has been crazy. Legit crazy. First of all, we lived through the last date in our calendar that will ever feature three repeating numbers (12/12/12). Second, 2012 was when the Mayans said we would all die (that could still happen this Friday). Third, fourth, and fifth, we re-elected a president, endured an insane hurricane, and hovered on the edge of a metaphorical cliff that could cost us all a lot of money and awesome benefits. And let's not forget how we somehow made it through the Jelena breakup (and reunification...and breakup). 

Although Complex loves to read and watch the news, we feel there's an even better, faster, more efficient way to spread the word: GIFs. With GIFs, you get the picture and the movement you would while watching CNN or MSNBC without the annoying blather. You don't have to waste minutes of your life reading information you're likely to forget in five seconds anyway, and with some of these little packages of goodness, you even get a laugh. What's not to love? 

With that in mind, we bring you The 50 Biggest Stories of 2012, In GIFs, so you can relive the best, the worst, and the most cringe-inducing moments of the last 12 months. Now you won't have any excuse for thinking that Pussy Riot was a porno.  

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RELATED: The 50 Hottest Women of 2012, In GIFs

Compiled by Valeriya Safronova (@vsaffron)

Drake and Chris Brown Brawl

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50. Drake and Chris Brown Brawled at W.i.P.

Date: 06/14/12

Chris Brown exhibited his newfound Zen approach to life when he rose above the petty squabble at club W.i.P. in New York City and stayed cool as a cucumber. Gotcha! No he didn't. He got into a fight with Drake and left another New York establishment in shambles.

Mitt Romney Sparked an Internet Wildfire with Binders Full of Women

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49. Mitt Romney Talked About His Binders Full of Women

Date: 10/17/12

Some politicians have skeletons in the closet, but Mitt Romney told audience members at a town hall debate that he has women in binders. Excellent pro-female campaign, Mr. Always-A-Candidate, Never-A-President.

Katie Holmes Divorced Tom Cruise

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48. Katie Holmes Divorced Tom Cruise

Date: 06/29/12

Katie Holmes took her daughter Suri and fled Tom Cruise's life for good, then moved to New York. Run, Katie, run!

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Broke Up

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47. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Broke Up

Dates: 11/11/12, 12/01/12, 12/15/12

The tragedy! The horror! Jelena stopped being Jelena and the two pop stars resumed their separate identities. Kidding! This modern Romeo and Juliet pair is meant to be. Just ask all the girls who have Bieber fever.

Oh wait, hold on, they just broke up again while we typed that.

Whomp, whomp.

Apple Released the iPhone 5

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46. Apple Released the iPhone 5

Date: 09/21/12

With great fanfare, Apple gave the world the iPhone 5, and promised it would be longer in length and endurance. Men promptly began using "iPhone 5" as a euphemism.

Kim Jong-un Got Married

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45. North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, Got Married

Date: 07/25/12

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, son of late great looky-loo Kim Jong-il, got hitched. He no doubt dictated that his bride look happy about this.

Washington and Colorado Legalized Marijuana

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44. Washington and Colorado Legalized Marijuana

Date: 11/06/12

And not just for medicinal purposes! You can hold up to an ounce without interference from the po-po, so good Kumar here is still screwed.

Kristen Stewart Cheated on Robert Pattinson

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43. Kristen Stewart Cheated on Rob Pattinson

Date: 07/24/12

Breaking news! Kristen Stewart is not an obsessed nunnish virgin like her character in Twilight. She's a woman with needs and she gets what she wants when the vampire doesn't satisfy her.

Miami Heat Won the NBA Championship

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42. The Miami Heat Won the NBA Championship

Date: 06/22/12

LeBron James got his first ring when the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship. Teammate Chris Bosh got some raised eyebrows as he celebrated with a curious looking shower (of champagne). 

Putin Re-Elected President

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41. Russia Re-Elects Vladimir Putin President

Date: 05/07/12

Despite a string of massive protests across Russian cities, Vladimir Putin was re-elected president. (After serving as prime minister. After serving as president.) Don't judge, he's just a humble servant of the people.

Clint Eastwood Talked to a Chair

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40. Clint Eastwood Talked to a Chair

Date: 08/30/12

One thing can be said for Clint Eastwood's conversation with a chair during the Republican National Convention: It was unique. Effective? Not especially. 

The Young Royals Announced Kate Middleton's Pregnancy

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39. The Young Royals Announced Kate Middleton's Pregnancy

Date: 12/03/12

When Kate Middleton was hospitalized because of extreme morning sickness, the world found out that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were expecting. Then, as expected, British tabloids went ape shit trying to snap photos of a baby bump.

Replacement Referees in the NFL

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38. NFL Replacement Referees Ruined Everything

Dates: 05/12-09/12

Every talking head and sports blogger piled on the NFL's replacement refs until this botched, game-deciding touchdown call forced the league to sort things out with the regular officials.

NASA Rover

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37. NASA Provided A Live Feed of Its Rover Descending On Mars

Date: 08/06/12

NASA semi-fulfilled our childhood dreams of becoming astronauts with a live feed of its rover landing on Mars. No little green dudes spotted, sadly.

Rafael Nadal Won French Open

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36. Rafael Nadal Won the French Open, Again

Date: 06/11/12

The Spanish tennis don kicked rival none-too-pleased Novak Djokovic's ass again, taking home his seventh French Open title.

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian

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35. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Coupled

Date: 04/05/12

Honestly, we were expecting this one since the first time Yeezy popped up on Kim's reality show. Every drama queen needs her drama king.

Governor Walker Won in Wisconsin Recall

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34. Governor Scott Walker Won the Recall Election in Wisconsin

Date: 06/05/12

This was basically a referendum on his decision to cut collective bargaining rights for public employees. In other words: Unionize deez!

Blue Ivy Carter Born

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33. Blue Ivy Carter, Hip-Hop Princess, Was Born

Date: 01/07/12

The King and Queen of Hip-Hop finally produced an heir: Blue Ivy Carter. In honor of her birth, Jay-Z promised to stop using the B word (bitch, obviously). Thank god for back catalogs.

Frank Ocean Came Out of the Closet

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32. Frank Ocean Came Out As Bisexual

Date: 07/04/12

The crooning member of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All identified himself as a bisexual with an open letter to his first love, a man. Chicks continued to drop panties at his shows.

Bloomberg Tried to Ban Sugary Drinks

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31. Mayor Michael Bloomberg Passed a Ban on Sugary Drinks

Dates: 09/13/12

The war on fun continued when New York City's Board of Health approved Bloomberg's ban on the sale of large sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts, and movie theaters. Sharp drug dealers began slangin' sugar water by the gallon.

Minorities Saw Progress with Congressional Elections

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30. Minorities and Women Saw Progress with Congressional Elections

Dates: 11/06/12

The elections for Senate and the House of Representatives saw a number of wins for minority groups: Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay senator, Tammy Duckworth was the first disabled women to make it to the House, and a record number of women were elected to serve in Congress.

Johnny Manziel Wins the Heisman

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29. Johnny Manziel Became the First Freshman to Win the Heisman

Date: 12/08/12

Johnny Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football," became the envy of every teenage boy when he won the Heisman during his first year at Texas A&M. Oh, and it turned out that his girlfriend is a model. Step your game up, boys.

Gabby Douglas Wins at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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28. Gabby Douglas Won Big at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Dates: 07/27/12-08/12/12

The 16-year-old gymnast stunned the world with her gorgeous performances at the 2012 Olympics and became the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics.

Lance Armstrong Loses Titles

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27. Lance Armstrong Lost His Tour de France Medals

Date: 12/22/12

In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged iconic cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who long denied doping when he won the Tour de France a record seven times, with using illegal drugs. USADA banned him from the sport and stripped him of his titles.

Facebook IPO

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26. Facebook Went Public

Date: 05/18/12

Facebook went public to lots of initial excitement, but ended up disappointing a lot of people with a lot of money because of overpriced shares, computer malfunctions, and potential cheaters who alerted insiders to Facebook's earnings a tad early. Oops. 

Psy Gangnam Style

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25. Psy Took Over the World, Gangnam Style

Date: 11/24/12

Korean pop artist Psy's music video, "Gangnam Style," became the most-watched YouTube video ever. World domination never looked so fun. 

Usain Bolt

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24. Usain Bolt Did Not Disappoint

Dates: 07/27/12-08/12/12

The Jamaican sprinter shut up critics when he became the first man in history to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic sprint titles, and also won gold in the 4×100m relay. He did all this while continuing to slow down and celebrate before crossing the finish line. That's fast.

Mitt Romney and the 47 Percent

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23. Mitt Romney Alienated 47% of the Country

Dates: 9/17/12

Speaking at a fundraising dinner, Mitt Romney cemented his status as an out-of-touch candidate by essentially claiming that almost half of the country is made up of lazy, no-good, tax-evading leeches. You can't fire citizens, Mitt.

Greek Crisis Continues

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22. The Greek Crisis Continued

Dates: All of 2012

The financial situation in Greece saw little improvement as the economy continued to suffer and politicians did little to help (besides slap the crap out of each other).

Kony 2012

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21. Kony 2012 Sparked Controversy and Drama

Date: 03/05/12

While Kony 2012 was at first a viral hit with liberal "white knights" across the nation, it soon devolved into scandal as many questioned its authenticity, ethics, and creator's self-serving antics (such as Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell getting drunk, vandalizing cars, and masturbating in public before San Diego police stopped him).

Egypt Problems

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20. Problems Continued in Egypt Before, During, and After the Elections

Dates: Most of 2012

Many hopes for the Arab Spring seemed to fizzle out as Egypt struggled with power grabs, continued corruption, further protests, and violence. 

General David Petraeus Discovered Having an Affair

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19. Gen. David Petraeus Was Caught Having An Affair

Date: 11/09/12

After a federal investigation uncovered evidence of his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, Gen. David Petraeus resigned from his top position at the CIA—that agency that's supposed to be good at keeping secrets.

Innocence of Muslims Protests

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18. YouTube Video Innocence of Muslims Sparked Protests

Date: 09/11/12-09/29/12

The anti-Islamic video clip understandably upset many Muslims around the world, and sparked debates about free speech and censorship.

Neil Armstrong

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17. Neil Armstrong Died at 82

Date: 08/25/12

Neil Armstrong, astronaut, aerospace engineer, and the first man to walk on the moon, died from complications incurred during a cardiovascular procedure. Pour out a little moonshine for the American hero.

Pussy Riot

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16. Pussy Riot Captured the World's Attention

Date: 2/21/12

Three members from Pussy Riot, the anonymous Russian punk-rock collective, were put through a farce of a trial after staging a guerrilla performance in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Civil War in Syria

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15. The Civil War in Syria Got Worse

Dates: All of 2012

The conflict in Syria between Bashir Assad's government and insurgents escalated as the horrors, including civilian massacres and murdered children, piled up. 

Costa Concordia

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14. The Italian Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Sank

Date: 01/13/12

Though close to shore and sailing through calm seas, the Costa Concordia not only sank, but also took more than six hours to evacuate its passengers, leaving at least 30 dead. The captain notoriously shirked his duties and lost his honor. 

Michael Phelps

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13. Michael Phelps Makes a Big Splash at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Date: 07/31/2012

After a weak start, Michael Phelps still managed to outshine nearly every other swimmer by becoming the most decorated Olympian ever. 

Trayvon Martin

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12. George Zimmerman Shot and Killed Unarmed Trayvon Martin

Date: 02/26/12

George Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin, a black, unarmed teenager carrying Skittles and iced tea, sparked nationwide outcries and protests against racism and the "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida. 

Violence Between Israel and Palestine

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11. Israel and Palestine Broke Out in Violence

Dates: 11/14/12-11/29/12, though dates are kind of an existential question in the scope of this conflict

Palestine and Israel started fighting again, most nations around the world voted to upgrade Palestine's UN status, Israel planned more settlements, and Anderson Cooper barely missed a beat. 

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

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10. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Duked It Out

Dates: 10/16/12, 10/22/12, 10/03/12

President Obama and presidential nominee Mitt Romney had a few moments during the debate season when they became so intense that pundits later joked that they thought one of them might actually swing at the other.

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan

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9. Joe Biden's Sass Swept the Debates

Date: 10/12/12

If there were an award for largest range of looks exhibiting disbelief, Joe Biden would have secured it in the first 20 minutes of his vice presidential debate against Paul Ryan.

Todd Akin

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8. Todd Akin Made Disgusting Comments About Rape

Date: 8/19/2012

Congressman Todd Akin said utterly ludicrous things about rape that had zero factual basis and then stayed in the race! Delusion must be a great place to live. 

Fiscal Cliff

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7. The Fiscal Cliff Had (Has) Us On the Edge of Our Seats

Date: Still going strong

Congress holds the nation by the balls as our politicians attempt to cut a deal that will prevent the disastrous effects of numerous planned spending cuts and the expiration of all of the Bush tax cuts.

Supreme Counrt Upheld Obamacare

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6. The Supreme Court Upheld Obamacare

Date: 06/28/12

Despite major continuing controversy, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ensuring that major changes will be continue to be made to the health care and insurance industries. 

Obama and Biden Supported Gay Marriage

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5. Barack Obama and Joe Biden Came Out in Support of Gay Marriage

Dates: 05/06/12, 05/09/12

Following Biden's decision to voice his support for gay marriage, Obama made a historic choice to do so as well.

Jerry Sandusky Convicted

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4. A Jury Found Jerry Sandusky Guilty of Child Molestation

Date: 06/22/12

The pedophile football coach at the heart of the Penn State sexual abuse scandal finally began paying for all the damage he did to kids under his care. Thankfully the game clock never runs out in hell.

Hurricane Sandy

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3. Hurricane Sandy Ripped Across the East

Date: 10/22/12-10/31/12

The second-costliest Atlantic hurricane after Katrina destroyed huge portions of the East Coast and killed 253 people.

Barack Obama Won the Election

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2. Barack Obama Won the 2012 Presidential Election

Date: 11/7/2012

Though the race seemed tight at times, Barack Obama won the 2012 presidential election by a clear majority. Yes, Fox News, he really did.

Three Mass Shootings

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1. Three Mass Shootings Broke the Nation's Heart

Dates: 07/20/2012, 08/05/2012, 12/14/2012

In the span of less than five months, America was repeatedly shocked and devastated by mass killing sprees in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Connecticut that left countless victims of all ages and broken-hearted families in their wake.

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