2014 gave us lots of reasons to smile, from the infamous Oscar selfie to the inescapable Ice Bucket Challenge.

It was a year for standing up for what you believe in, setting records, and making a meme of everything.

Before we "Let It Go," let's take a look at the year's highlights in entertainment, tech, business, science, and world news.

Gay marriage became legal in 18 more US states.

Nevada State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (left) and Sherwood Howard tie the knot, becoming the first same-sex couple married in Las Vegas.

READ MORE: Court Ruling On Gay Marriage Causes Euphoria And Dismay »

Dennis Rodman struck up an unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.

In February 2013, Dennis Rodman traveled to North Korea with the Harlem Globetrotters for a documentary for media company Vice. He returned this year for a goodwill game with former NBA players.

READ MORE: Dennis Rodman Talks About His Controversial Trips To North Korea And Hanging Out With Kim Jong-Un »

American Eagle stopped Photoshopping images of its lingerie models.

READ MORE: American Eagle Stopped Airbrushing Lingerie Models And Sales Are Soaring »

Pharrell's trademark 10-gallon hat showed up everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

The "Pharrell's hat" meme was born at the 2014 Grammy Awards, when the singer-songwriter donned a 10-gallon designer hat.

READ MORE: Pharrell's Ridiculous Grammy Hat Became An Internet Meme After Arby's Made Fun Of Him On Twitter

SNL got with the times, adding two black women to its cast.

Sasheer Zamata (left) and Leslie Jones came on mid-season.

READ MORE: 23 Times Women Made History On 'Saturday Night Live' »

Russia spent $50 billion on the Olympics, and still couldn't build a proper bathroom.

READ MORE: This Ridiculous Photo Of Two Toilets Is Becoming A Symbol Of Waste At The Sochi Olympics »

A 15-year-old Russian figure skating prodigy stunned the world.

Fifteen-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia led Russia to gold in figure skating’s inaugural team event at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

READ MORE: 15-Year-Old Figure Skating Prodigy Destroys Everyone In First Olympics Routine »

Olympic athletes adopted Sochi's stray dogs.

US slopestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy brought home a family of pups.

READ MORE: American Silver Medalist Adopts A Family Of Stray Dogs He Found In Sochi »

Janet Yellen was sworn in as the first woman to chair the US Federal Reserve.

READ MORE: A Woman Virtually Nobody Has Heard Of Is On The Verge Of Becoming The Most Powerful Woman In The World »

Michael Sam became the first openly gay NFL player.

READ MORE: Michael Sam: 'I'm Determined To Be Great' »

Ellen deGeneres' "Oscar selfie" became the most retweeted photo of all time, with over 2.5 million shares.

READ MORE: This Star-Studded Oscar Selfie Breaks Record As Most Retweeted Photo Ever »

A "Wheel of Fortune" contestant had the best guess ever.

Contestant Emil correctly guessed "new baby buggy" with just two letters on the board, winning $45,000. 

READ MORE: You'll Never Believe This Guy's Crazy 'Wheel Of Fortune' Solution »

Tens of millions of people became obsessed with a math game.

2048, which racked up between 10 million and 50 million downloads on the Google play store, and Threes became really popular math games for the phone.

READ MORE: I'm Addicted To An iPhone Game, And I'm Genuinely Worried For My Life »

"12 Years a Slave" actress Lupita Nyong'o moved everyone to tears with her Oscars speech about race.

READ MORE: Here's Lupita Nyongo's Perfect, Heartfelt Oscars Acceptance Speech »

The Pope surprised everyone with his liberal comments on gay rights and evolution.

Pope Francis continued to shock the world as the most liberal pope in decades. He officially endorsed evolution and the Big Bang Theory, married couples who had been living together "in sin," and fostered more inclusive perspectives on gays in the Church.

SEE MORE: Pope Francis Has Officially Endorsed Evolution And The Big Bang Theory »

AND MORE: Pope Breaks Taboo By Marrying Couples Who Lived 'In Sin' »

An obscure book on income inequality became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

French economist Thomas Piketty poses with his book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" in the Turkish translation.

READ MORE: 'Capital In The Twenty-First Century' Named Business Book Of The Year »

Taco Bell finally introduced a breakfast menu.

READ MORE: We Tested Taco Bell's New Breakfast Menu — Here's The Verdict »

540 million people voted in India's largest-ever general election.

The recently elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed his inked finger to supporters after voting at a polling station in Ahmedabad, India.

READ MORE: The World Is Witnessing The Biggest Election In History »

"Frozen" became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. Nobody could stop singing "Let It Go."

READ MORE: Every Time You Sang Along To 'Frozen,' You Capitulated To Disney’s Carefully Orchestrated Marketing Plans »

Etihad unveiled a $20,000 "flying apartment."

READ MORE: 10 First Class Airline Seats That Might Be Better Than Your Apartment »

Michael Jackson moonwalked once more when his hologram performed at the Billboard Music Awards.

READ MORE: A Hologram Michael Jackson Gave An Amazing Performance At Last Night's Billboard Music Awarda »

Dr. Dre sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion and became the richest man in hip-hop.

READ MORE: The Fabulous Life Of Dr. Dre, Hip-Hop's Richest Man »

YouTube stars went mainstream. Top earner PewDiePie raked in more than $4 million this year.

READ MORE: Why 32 Million People Are Obsessed With 'PewDiePie' — The Biggest Star On YouTube »

The CIA joined Twitter with an awesome first tweet.

READ MORE: The CIA Is Trying Too Hard To Be Cute On Twitter »

LeBron James went home.

READ MORE: LeBron James Says His Homecoming Is One Of The Biggest Sporting Events Ever — Here's Why He May Be Right »

US goalie Tim Howard played the best game in World Cup history.

READ MORE: Tim Howard Nearly Saved The US With One Of The Best Performances In World Cup History »

A Belgian woman scored a modeling contract after the world fell in love with her photo during the World Cup.

READ MORE: 17-Year-Old World Cup Fan Gets Modeling Deal With L'Oreal After Photos Go Viral »

Victory! Germany went nuts after winning the World Cup.

READ MORE: Germany Wins The World Cup With A Goal In The 113th Minute »

A woman won the most prestigious prize in math for the first time ever.

Iranian-born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani was one of the four winners of the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics.

READ MORE: The First Woman To Win Math's Highest Honor Did So By Exploring This Mind-Blowing Geometric Structure »

"Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox made history as the first transgender woman nominated for an Emmy.

READ MORE: Photos Of 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast Having The Best Time Ever At NYC Pride Parade »

Millions of people dumped ice water over their heads for a good cause.

Bill Gates and George Bush had amazing ice bucket challenge videos.

READ MORE: Bill Gates Has The Best Ice Bucket Challenge By Far »

A 13-year-old girl pitched a shutout game at the Little League World Series.

Mo'ne Davis threw at 71 mph at the Little League World Series.

READ MORE: The Biggest Star At The Little League World Series Is A 13-Year-Old Girl Who Throws A 71 MPH Fastball »

Apple went big screen with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

READ MORE: Unboxed: The iPhone 6 »

And we found out what the Apple Watch will look like and we liked it!


A hedge fund shocked the world when it revealed that Olive Garden does not salt its pasta water.

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value published a 294-page manifesto against Olive Garden's management, menu, and customer service.

READ MORE: The 8 Most Scathing Criticisms Of Olive Garden's Business From Hedge Fund's 300-Page Takedown »

The Captain played his last game after a legendary, 20-year career.

Derek Jeter retired from the New York Yankees after 20 years of playing baseball.

READ MORE: Derek Jeter Receives A Standing Ovation As He Exits The All-Star Game For The Last Time »

Perpetual bachelor George Clooney finally tied the knot. And the world fell in love with his wife, Amal Alamuddin, a renowned human rights lawyer.

George and Amal on a yacht in Italy for their wedding festivities.

READ MORE: George Clooney Just Got Married »

Scotland decided to stick with the UK.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron shaking hands with Alex Salmond the First Minister of Scotland.

READ MORE: David Cameron To Scotland: Please Don't Go »

A Columbia University student started a national movement when she decided to carry around her mattress in protest of the school's sexual assault policies.

Emma Sulkowicz carried her mattress with the help of kind strangers.

READ MORE: A Columbia Student Is Carrying Around A Mattress Until Her Alleged Rapist Leaves Campus »

Alibaba had the biggest IPO ever at $25 billion.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma celebrating the company's IPO.


Michelle Obama cracked the world up with a Vine video.

READ MORE: Michelle Obama Made A 'Turn Down For What' Parody Vine And It's Amazing »

A 17-year-old girl from Pakistan became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history.

Malala Yousafzai accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

READ MORE: Watch Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Speech That Has Everyone In Awe »

Everyone started talking about street harassment thanks to a viral video of a woman being catcalled in New York.

Shoshana B. Roberts walks around NYC for 10 hours to show the street harassment that women endure on a day-to-day basis.

READ MORE: Disturbing Video Of A Woman Walking In NYC Shows The Prevalence Of Street Harassment 

Apple CEO Tim Cook came out.

READ MORE: Apple CEO Tim Cook Just Came Out As Gay »

Recreational marijuana use was legalized in four states and Washington, DC.

Alaska and Oregon joined Colorado and Washington in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

READ MORE: The Floodgates Could Open For Marijuana Legalization Today »

Taylor Swift proved that there's still money in music when her album "1989" sold a whopping 1.287 million copies in its first week.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift Is Taking Over »

Uber marched towards world domination with a $40 billion valuation.

READ MORE: Uber Raises $1.2 Billion At A $41 Billion Valuation, Vows To Become 'Smarter And More Humble' »

We landed on a comet!

November 12 was a history-making day for humans in space, when scientists landed the Rosetta spacecraft on a comet named 67P/Churyumox-Gerasimenko.

READ MORE: Humans Just Landed A Probe On A Comet For The First Time In History »

Odell Beckham Jr. made the greatest football catch of all time.

READ MORE: Giant Rookie Made What Is Being Called The Greatest Catch Ever »

More than 20 million people downloaded a podcast about an unsolved murder.

America has been captivated by the new podcast "Serial" — a week-by-week breakdown of a murder case that was supposedly solved more than a decade ago.

READ MORE: Redditors Are Trying To Solve A Murder That's At The Center Of The Wildly Popular 'Serial' Podcast »

Kim Kardashian attempted to #breaktheinternet ... and she released an app that brought in $200 million this year.

READ MORE: Kim Kardashian's Sex Tape Is Now The Best-Selling Of All Time, And Ray J Is Raking It In »

A Target worker from Texas became a national obsession after his photo went viral.

Teenage Target employee Alex Lee's viral meme landed him a guest spot on "Ellen."

READ MORE: This Teenager Who Works At Target Is The Internet's Newest Viral Meme »

After 8 years of construction, the Freedom Tower finally opened its doors.

READ MORE: One World Trade Center Is Now Open »

A cat with dwarfism made her owner very rich.

The famous Grumpy Cat.

READ MORE: Grumpy Cat Has Earned Her Owner Nearly $100 Million In Just 2 Years »

Royalty met royalty.

Music royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z meet actual royalty Prince William and Duchess Kate.

READ MORE: Prince William And Kate Got A Very American Welcome At NBA Game »

Let's look ahead to the new year ...

40 Under 40: People To Watch In 2015 »

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