Giphy’s most-viewed gifs of the year reflect the global emotions of 2020

Virtual hugs, a dumpster fire and a guy throwing out his trash feature among the top 25 most popular gifs, each having been shared hundreds of millions of times.

1 December 2020


Giphy has revealed its always popular list of most-viewed gifs of the year, a visual summation of 2020’s global emotional rollercoaster. Dominated by love, support, gratefulness and virtual hugs, the list also depicts isolation and a smiley dumpster fire – exemplifying the past 12 months’ events. Each of the gifs has been shared hundreds of millions of times, showing how the platform can act as a litmus test for how online society is expressing itself.

In a blog post announcing the list, Giphy’s team sums up the difficult year taking into account the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and the presidential election, stating: “It’s safe to say we haven’t experienced anything like it before.” So when preparing this annual list, looking at the emotions most searched for during the turbulent months, they “truly did not know what to expect,” yet the results were “actually very encouraging.”

The top gif tipped the scales into over a billion views, a “Thank You” to all those working on the frontlines. Second was similarly appreciative, a simple grateful gesture viewed by almost a billion people. In the top 25 gifs, five were unabashed displays of love, two sent virtual hugs to loved ones from a distance, and the overall majority looked to spread positivity in a difficult time.

On the flip side, a super cute dumpster fire exemplified the “grin and bear it” attitude that was often necessary this year when faced with endlessly dire news. Team this with a guy very elegantly throwing out his trash, alongside Jasmine Masters declaring “I’m Done,” and you get a picture for how a lot of people see 2020. There is also a brilliant illustration of fitness in quarantine, ie putting on your yoga gear only to eat a bowl of snacks, by Jason Clarke; and a supremely adorable high five by Mochimochiland to express teamwork and enthusiasm in knitted character form.

A part of its announcement, Giphy also revealed its top five most-viewed artist channels this year, with Nora Fikse taking the top spot, followed by Megan Motown, Sarah Palmer, A is for Ai and Mat Voyce.

See the full list of 2020’s most-viewed gifs and read more about them on Giphy’s Medium post and see a few of our favourites below.

GalleryGiphy: Most-viewed gifs of 2020


100% Soft: Trash Chibi (Copyright © 100% Soft, 2020)


Kochstrasse: Work Hug (Copyright © Kochstrasse, 2020)


Into Action: Corona Social Isolation (Copyright © Into Action, 2020)


Jason Clarke: Work From Home Quarantine (Copyright © Jason Clarke, 2020)


Sherchle: Friend Accept (Copyright © Sherchle, 2020)


Robert E Blackmon: Trash Reaction (Copyright © Robert E Blackmon, 2020)

Hero Header

Mochimochiland: Stop-Motion Yes (Copyright © Mochimochiland, 2020)

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.

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