Imagine living during a time when you had to actually open up a book in order to find an answer to a question. Those days are now thankfully well in the past thanks to the glory of the Internet. Google has become such a vital part of our lives that the name of that website is often used a verb. Rather than saying that we are going to search for something online, we say that we are going to “Google” that term. Topics that are searched by a high amount of people during a specific time will trend on Google for as long as users continue to be interested in that person, place, event or other entity.
The topics that cracked into the Top 10 Google trends for 2015 spread across a wide variety of stories. Three movies – one about a man who is seen as an American hero, a film about prehistoric beasts being resurrected because apparently humanity never learns any lessons, and the latest installment of a successful series – made the cut. Three athletes were among the Top 10 Google Trends for 2015 for very different reasons. Then, there were two sorrowful events that were widely discussed all over the world, terrorist attacks that shocked and saddened many and that reminded us all to be grateful for every day.
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10 American Sniper
The first topic to make it into the top 10 Google trends for 2015 is a Hollywood blockbuster based on the life and times of former US Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper starred in American Sniper, the movie that has received positive reviews from Rotten Tomatoes but also one that Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone said was “almost to dumb to criticize.” It is worth noting that Kyle was posthumously named in a defamation lawsuit that was won by former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. There was also a controversy involving the use of a fake baby during certain scenes.
9 Caitlyn Jenner
The individual previously known as Bruce Jenner was in the news throughout 2015 when she publicly changed her first name to Caitlyn and announced to the world that she was transgender. The retired Olympic champion and reality television personality was featured in multiple noteworthy interviews and also TV shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, 20/20 and I Am Cait. Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award by ESPN during the 2015 edition of the ESPY Awards, and she has, intentionally or not, become arguably the most famous transgender person on the planet. Jenner's celebrity status will likely only grow in 2016.
8 Ronda Rousey
2015 ended rather harshly for Ronda Rousey when the rowdy one was knocked out by Holly Holm in November. That loss ended Rousey's professional unbeaten streak, but it did not change the fact that Rousey remains the biggest celebrity competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. While Rousey did suffer a brutal loss that should have her rethinking how she trains before fighting Holm a second time, there is little question that the rematch will mean big business for the UFC and for the two women who enter the cage on that night. Rousey should break into the Top 10 Google Trends for 2016.
7 Fallout 4
Video game aficionados received a post-apocalyptic early Christmas gift in November when Fallout 4 was released. The game, which features a character learning how to live in a world that has been demolished by a nuclear war, has largely received positive reviews. Peter Brown of Gamespot referred to Fallout 4 as “an excellent addition to the revered open-world series.” Dan Stapleton of IGN was so fond of the game that he scored it a 9.5 out of 10 in his review. Along with receiving high praise from critics and from gamers, Fallout 4 was also featured in television advertisements in November and December. Those commercials likely helped Fallout 4 rise higher on the list of top Google Trends for 2015.
6 Furious 7
Did you think that the Fast and Furious series was going to be in decline in 2015? If so, you were way off the mark. Furious 7 was, as of the middle of December, fourth on the list of the highest-grossing films for 2015. The movie was widely discussed on social media platforms such as Twitter even before it was released in part because of the tragic death of actor Paul Walker. Walker, one of the most recognized individuals from the Fast and Furious franchise, passed away in a single-vehicle accident in November 2013. Parts of the film understandably had to be reworked to account for real-world events, and the movie's soundtrack includes a song that is dedicated to Walker.
Eyes all over the world were on the breathtakingly-beautiful capital of France in November 2015 when coordinated terrorist attacks rocked Paris and shocked those who watched the events unfold via live television coverage. A total of 130 people were reportedly lost on that horrific evening when innocent civilians were mowed down by gunman. People simply enjoying a night at restaurants and at a concert hall were taken from their loved ones, and it was the Islamic State that claimed responsibility for the attack. Security at high-profile public events and at airports and other transportation centers was increased, and that is expected to continue up through the conclusion of 2015.
4 Jurassic World
It was written in the stars when the first commercial for Jurassic World aired on television that the movie would finish the year among the Top 10 Google Trends for 2015. Jurassic World currently sits at third on the list of the all-time highest-grossing movies worldwide, and it is set to end the year with a rating of 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While movie goers obviously could not get enough of seeing dinosaurs being unleashed upon humans, the question does have to be asked: Why, in the fictional universe in which Jurassic World exists, would anybody try to resurrect this idea? Did we learn literally nothing from the past?
Of all of the different types of video games that existed throughout 2015, one topped the list regarding the Top 10 Google Trends. Agar.io is a multi-player game that is available on multiple platforms, and it grew in popularity in part because users are able to play against others located all around the world. Agar.io has positive reviews heading into 2016 – ratings of 4.5 out of 5 on both iTunes and Google Play – but not everybody is particularly fond of its updated version. Users on both Google Play and iTunes have complained about experiencing heavy lag following recent updates. Those complaints continued to be posted on Google Play as recently as December 17.
2 Charlie Hebdo
It is the second of the two top Google Trends that made the list because of a terrorist attack that occurred in France. The headquarters of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo were invaded by a pair of gunman who killed ten people associated with the publication and also two police officers. It is believed that Charlie Hebdo was a target, in part, because the magazine had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Those on the Charlie Hebdo staff who were not killed in the attack continued on publishing new editions, and “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) became a slogan for freedom of speech and freedom of the press movements.
1 Lamar Odom
Raise your hand if you predicated in January that Lamar Odom would be atop the list of Top Google Trends for 2015. You can lower your hand now, because everybody knows that you are obviously lying. Odom, who had publicly experienced multiple personal setbacks and other problems over the years, was found unconscious inside of a brothel located in Las Vegas. The former National Basketball Association player who is married to Khloe Kardashian survived that scare, but Emy LaCroix of Hollywood Life claimed in December that Odom was “struggling with walking, speech, and memory” because of the overdose. We wish Odom the best in his recovery.
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