The Biggest Losers of 2021

The people, apps, and mannequins we disliked the most this year.

Group of young diverse people giving thumbs down, hands in closeup. Multiracial corporate HR manager...
Gawker Staff
year-end content

Well, 2021 absolutely blew. And it doesn’t look like 2022 is going to be any better. In fact, it will in all likelihood be worse. Best not to dwell on it, though. Let’s take one last big sniff of all the biggest losers of 2021, as judged by the staff of the revived Gawker (one shining light in the dark year, everyone can agree), and then be done with it.

Mayim Bialik

FOX/FOX Image Collection/Getty Images

I felt that I had to do one last roast of my enemy to close out the year. Mayim is one of the biggest dweebs alive, is bad at hosting Jeopardy, and has this horribly smug demeanor that I think she thinks is cute but is utterly charmless. What's the Orson Welles quote about Woody Allen? "Anybody who speaks quietly and shrivels up in company is unbelievably arrogant. He acts shy, but he loves himself; a very tense situation." That's how I feel about Mayim. — Olivia Craighead

"Hot Vax Summer"


Lol. — Brandy Jensen


SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

It's pathetic how much they're trying to be TikTok with reels but nobody wants to record original content for Instagram anymore so it's all recipes and vlogs you already saw weeks ago on TikTok or stuff that isn't very good. Also nobody posts to grid anymore which makes it pointless for snooping because I'm not crazy enough to make a burner (using a burner email of course) for stories. — Tammie Teclemariam

Tom’s House

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Tom’s house was broken into, and he confronted the burglar and then he had to go have eye surgery and then my son had to go over and help and then, my son, he rolled over his car five times on the way home. — Sarah Hagi

The Real Real Mannequin

The Real Real

The Real Real

She makes everything she wears look dumpy even though her proportions are like a Fibonacci sequence, and she never learns to do better. — Claire Carusillo

Darcie’s Refrigerator That Was Manufactured in 1997

It sucks and I hate it although it still does an ok-to-good job at keeping things cold. This further frustrates me, because if it was showing signs of its age, I would feel better about nagging my landlord for a replacement. Instead, I feel extravagant, wasteful, carelessly luxurious. In my heart, I know 1997 is too old for a refrigerator. But my brain thinks that maybe it is virtuous to continue to use it, through thick and thin. But then I wonder if replacing the appliance is more responsible — it can't possibly be getting good mileage, energy efficiency has surely improved since the Clinton administration. But who am I? Surely if I were more in control of my surroundings — namely, civilization's progression towards "improvement," obsession with "innovation" — I might not need a refrigerator at all. Is it not a little obnoxious to demand a box of impossibly cold air within arm's reach at all times? It seems like potentially a grotesque manifestation of humanity's worst impulses. Playing God, trying to stop time, throwing caution to the wind in our impossible quest for life's luxuries. I considered reverting to an ice cooler, for novelty but also asceticism. Then I remembered my ancestors in East Harlem, likely with their little iceboxes. (Which then leads me to wonder about the invention of the residential refrigerator, and also my family's immigration to America, and what the landscape of the neighborhood was at that time, late 1890s.) How do I live life on life's terms? Do I need a refrigerator, (I love cold water and the large ice cubes), or just want one? Are common conveniences necessary? It's not a question of what is "natural" but of what is perverse, unrealistic, extravagant. But then I recall my oil lamp order from last month, when I figured oil lamps would be a better way to illuminate my home. It did not work, and I nearly poisoned myself, as well as learned a lot about fire safety and why so many fewer people die in fires lately. Maybe innovation is good. Also no matter how much I scrub my refrigerator, no matter how clean it is, it always looks like there is a layer of grime atop it. A very thin layer, but there. — Darcie Wilder


HUM Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Did you know that the TSA often, in tests used to measure their effectiveness, fails to find the fake bombs? And that they only really existed post-9/11 as a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, which was only founded in November 2002? Unfortunately a lot of anti-TSA writing is on Reason dot com, and by other libertarians who suggest replacing them with "more effective" private sector evil corporations. I think it is unfair that the TSA still exists, especially now that more people are dying of preventable illnesses than died on 9/11 or any other American-soil terrorist attack. Probably all of them put together! I do not like the way they demand we show feet at the gates, and deny us food and water. They are so mean! One of them said I had no common sense, but I was very panicked I was in fight or flight! But this is not a mere personal vendetta. Even on the most basic level, the way they structure their lines on first come, first serve ... serves no one! It would be far more effective if it was arranged by whose flight leaves first. This does not punish the early arrivals, it guarantees that everyone will enter the airport as they need to. The present system punishes latecomers, but it also does a disservice to early arrivals. One day they will be running late, and the tables will turn. It is not a reward to loiter an airport terminal for longer. I also think this would decrease the work airline employees attend to rescheduling flights. Thank you for your time. — Also Darcie Wilder

The 18-Year-Old Who Went to “Space” With Jeff Bezos

Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Imagine your daddy paid $28 million for you to take an 11-minute trip to the edge of space with Jeff Bezos, and then on top of that already damning fact, Olivia wrote a post about how you’re jerking off up there. Enormous loser. — Kelly Conaboy

J.K. Rowling

MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images/MediaNews Group/Getty Images

This person is addicted to being a loser. — Allie Jones

Miranda Hobbes


Like all millennial fans of Sex and the City, I adore Miranda Hobbes, the most practical, dryly cutting, sharply tailored character in the show’s universe (though I am not personally a Miranda, but rather a Stanford/Margaret Cho/Jewish mother of Justin Theroux mix). But wow — And Just Like That…, the ill-fated SATC reboot, has really destroyed her. She is racist? She cites Robin D’Angelo with pride? Her son is so annoying and keeps having sex all the time in public? It honestly makes perfect sense that Miranda, a Brooklyn brownstone mom and Harvard-educated corporate lawyer, would make that turn, but it is still unpleasant to witness. And I love alcoholics and have close relationships with several, but it is not fun to watch her order a 10 a.m. chablis.

I am excited for Miranda’s queer journey, though. Syd from season one is vindicated. — Jocelyn Silver

Several Miscellaneous Things and People (From Tarpley)

NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images


A) The MTA B) Cockroaches C) Cuomo brothers D) Colin Powell E) Donald Rumsfeld F) Sheldon Adelson G) Rush Limbaugh H) Lilibet Diana I) The New Years Ball


A) Broken B) Too many of them in New York C) Fired D-G) Dead H) She'll never have a Substack I) How does it get so round? — Tarpley Hitt

Everything That Was Brought Back This Year


Why must we bring things back from the dead? TV shows, movies, even websites? Why? Terrible idea. — Leah Finnegan