Big in 2012
May 28, 2012 10:11 PM   Subscribe

What cultural fads and crazes have hit the big time in 2012? In other words, what are the ZUMBA, Atkins diet and Crocs shoes of today?

Some online examples might include Pinterest, and the "Shit XXXXs Say" video phenomenon on YouTube. But I'm also looking for offline fads. Trends which peaked late last year are also OK.
posted by dontjumplarry to Society & Culture (54 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
The gluten free thing really seems to have hit saturation within the last year or so. "Paleo" seems to be the Atkins diet of the moment.
posted by brennen at 10:28 PM on May 28, 2012 [12 favorites]

Dubstep seems to have become a Thing around the end of last year. (Google Trends)
posted by verbyournouns at 10:38 PM on May 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Extremely bright neon clothing.
posted by John Cohen at 10:41 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Instagram (everyone is a Photographer). Big tech IPOs redux (Groupon, Zynga, FB). That one Adelle song that got played relentlessly. Occupying (here, there and everywhere).
posted by quadog at 10:43 PM on May 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

Maxi dresses and hi-low hem skirts?
posted by onlyconnect at 10:51 PM on May 28, 2012

The Brony phenomenon. While there's a strong online component to it, the number of offline meetups and full on conventions is pretty impressive for a show that only has two seasons under its belt, as is the coverage by mainstream traditional media.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:52 PM on May 28, 2012

Extremely bright neon clothing.

The 80's are back!
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:55 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Kickstarter and rage faces seem to be starting to really hit the mainstream now
posted by caliban at 11:01 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Shawarma, at least since May 4th.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:20 PM on May 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

posted by lunasol at 11:32 PM on May 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dang, radwolf. You're sure not wrong about the shawarma thing.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:34 PM on May 28, 2012

GIF animations are starting to make a comeback.
posted by astapasta24 at 11:40 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Froyo? That's been a thing for awhile, I guess.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:54 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! I forgot Kony 2012! But then again I think everyone has already forgotten Kony ...
posted by caliban at 11:58 PM on May 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've seen a lot of ankle-high, lace-up boots in the last 6-7 months. Not always Doc Martens but that same style.
posted by book 'em dano at 12:22 AM on May 29, 2012

These. The new Hot Dish 2012.

Also the phrase, "the new Hot Dish." It's a thing.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 1:26 AM on May 29, 2012

Juice cleansing.
posted by dogwalker at 1:32 AM on May 29, 2012

posted by Sourisnoire at 1:40 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Nail art.
posted by hot soup girl at 1:41 AM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

The Hunger Games
Lana del Rey
Tons of memes in the format of a picture w/ white block letters ("macros")
posted by ichomp at 1:46 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

In interior design: chevrons/geometric shapes and ombre ombre everywhere

Draw Something, the game
posted by guessthis at 1:53 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Austerity. I think that even people who believe in austerity are tired of hearing that term by now.
posted by sbutler at 2:05 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Plug-in hybrids
posted by drlith at 3:02 AM on May 29, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey. *shudder*

Samples-of-the-month subscriptions, e.g. Birchbox.

Colored skinny jeans.

Donuts seem to be the new cupcakes.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:59 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and food trucks!

And sewing is taking off as a hobby.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:13 AM on May 29, 2012

Maybe this started before 2012 but it seems like everywhere I go there's women in TOMS shoes.
posted by beekept at 4:32 AM on May 29, 2012

Ebooks. From my personal observations of reading them for many years (and somewhat avidly following the public conversation re: the technology, sales/rights/distribution models, marketing, and adaptation of ebooks and ereaders), it seems like this is the first year that when the topic is raised (among western readers, anyway; Japan has been forging ahead, I think), more people are actually engaged in discussions about reading/acquiring them, or about the publishing industry's reaction to the digital challenge, as opposed to just grumping about how they are evil and don't smell like paper books, etc.

I wouldn't say that it's necessarily approached critical mass, but now that ebooks can be accessed on a range of mobile devices, and not just dedicated e-readers (which have also, helpfully, come way down in price), many more people – and not just the digirati – are integrating ebooks into their reading habits, so to me it seems they have just recently reached the level of general viability.
posted by taz at 5:02 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pantone Tangerine Tango - 2012 Color of the Year
posted by mireille at 5:22 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hats for women have made a big comeback. Every store carries floppy sunhats, and fascinators are definitely becoming a thing. (Can elbow-length gloves be far behind?)
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:59 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by Hanuman1960 at 6:20 AM on May 29, 2012

posted by Gortuk at 6:27 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

If I see someone reading a book on the subway there's a serious chance it was written by either Suzanne Collins or George R.R. Martin.
posted by Smallpox at 6:28 AM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

Onesies, for adults.

'Banter' as a concept and a method of discourse. (Search for the #banter or #lad hashtags on Twitter.)

Jubilee tat, though that might just be over here.

Jessie J - she was an also-ran popstar a few years ago, now she's treated as part of the A-list - maybe because she's an openly bi mainstream popstar and is therefore interesting?

Samantha Brick bashing.

Homemaking - there are several Pinterest-y blogs which write about crafts in the context of 'nesting' or making a home. Cherry Menlove is a good example - a woman who has branded herself as a sort of housewife avatar.

Scandiwegian dramas - The Bridge, The Killing (Forbrydelsen, not the US version), Borgen. Absolutely huge in the UK right now. The low-culture equivalent seems to be Take Me Out.
posted by mippy at 6:37 AM on May 29, 2012

Elly May Clampett cut-off jean shorts.
posted by acm at 6:40 AM on May 29, 2012

Pinterest seems to have hit pretty widely.
posted by k8t at 7:26 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by Hanuman1960

I think that when steampunk has been lampooned in a mainstream network channel sitcom such as Two Broke Girls, one might argue that rather than being the "big thing" for 2012, it's sell by date actually expired a few years ago.

I'd agree to an extent with food trucks, except I think that they hit critical mass and popularity in DC last year (although still going strong).
posted by kaybdc at 7:35 AM on May 29, 2012

Isn't ZUMBA the ZUMBA of today? I may have heard of it last year, but now it seems to be EVERYWHERE.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 8:02 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Automotive development testing at the Nurburgring. Seriously. It's getting a bit nuts.
posted by Chutzler at 8:40 AM on May 29, 2012

Fashion and home decorating wise, I have seen ikat prints everywhere.
posted by medeine at 8:50 AM on May 29, 2012

posted by ljesse at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2012

TOMS shoes were 2011. It's Keds now.

Attachment parenting is having a moment.

Girls are shaving the sides of their heads and the napes of their necks, and volume at the crown of the head is the new messy bun.

And horizontal stripes. They are out of control right now. So many shirts have horizontal stripes in sort of classic lacrosse colors: college red, navy blue, forest green, warm yellows, off-white ...
posted by purpleclover at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh, and last year the hot sunglasses were brightly colored plastic (lemony yellow, electric purple) in classic shapes, but bow they're clearish white or buff-colored plastic.
posted by purpleclover at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2012

Red pants, specifically Nantucket Red's.

But I was totally into red pants before any of the 2012 johnny-come-latelies.
posted by deanc at 9:27 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I couldn't really think of one thing for which 2012 has been the breakout year; "the thing" as opposed to something that I just started noticing (like I almost suggest tables as while they are not new in 2012, I have noticed that more and more people have ipads or other tablets, but maybe I just noticed it this year because I just got one). So I did a quick online search and found this ppt titled 100 things to watch in 2012. Things/trends that they include are apps geared to oldsters, app overload, zink (zero ink printers), Zimbabwe and Myanmar as travel destinations, and mushrooms as a "functional food," etc. I would quibble with a couple of their picks (restaurants serving traditional food? really? doesn't seem all that new to me) and a there are several that are in areas about which I know so little as to not have an opinion, but all in all, I thought that it was an interesting list.

Specific to your question,, according to the ppt linked above, Batuka is the new Zumba.
posted by kaybdc at 10:22 AM on May 29, 2012

Recipes for food in jars (refrigerator oatmeal parfait/cheesecakes/fruit crisps, etc)
Drinking things out of Mason jars
Pastel buntings (triangular flags on strings) used for interior decoration
Making fun of the 2010-2011 bird decorative element aka. "put a bird on it" skit from Portlandia
Everyone taking blurry, retro looking Instagram photos of their lives
posted by pluckysparrow at 10:51 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Red pants, specifically Nantucket Red's.

I used to be the only guy rocking the reds but now they are EVERYWHERE
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on May 29, 2012

Not buying a car. I think this is the year you find more young urban, suburban and smallish town people asking for bike improvements and joining services like zipcar than buying cars. Even if they can afford it.

Also $5/gallon gas by July 4th. Gag.
posted by fshgrl at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Red pants, specifically Nantucket Red's.

I might be wrong, but I think that's a symptom of a broader adoption of Northeast Prep as a fashion, which seems to be a 2012 thing.
posted by lekvar at 12:17 PM on May 29, 2012

yeah we're at like peak Prep right now, it was bubbling for a while but it's all over the streets.
posted by The Whelk at 12:18 PM on May 29, 2012

BB cream.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:45 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Game of Thrones.
posted by fullerenedream at 1:20 PM on May 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'd only add that many episodes of South Park basically riff on what's popular in the moment. So you may want to check the recent episodes. There was one that featured various crude versions of "planking" that came out within the past year. They're pretty good at spotting these things.
posted by quadog at 1:56 PM on May 29, 2012

Cake pops

Sports teams making "Call Me Maybe" videos.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:59 PM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Coconut water, kombucha, drinks with chia seeds in 'em (can you tell I work at a grocery store?)
nthing gluten-free stuff, raw food, local produce, local anything.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:28 AM on May 30, 2012

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