As we reach the 10-year mark for some of Gen Z’s core childhood memories, it's hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia for the movies, shows, songs, and events that defined our formative years. Here is a list of cultural touchstones that might hold a special place in your heart. Some of these titles turning ten might come as a surprise to you.
Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the 10-year anniversary of some of the most influential and beloved pieces of pop culture from our childhood.
Released on November 19, 2013, the film became a huge cultural phenomenon, breaking box office records. The movie's song, "Let It Go," became a massive hit, winning lots of awards. Still today, you can see Frozen merchandise, theme park attractions, and even a Broadway musical adaptation everywhere.
Released on November 22, 2013, the film, based on the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, was a smashing success, grossing over $865 million worldwide. The movie, centered around the themes of rebellion and social justice, easily resonated with audiences. The movie fell onto the list of great teenage dystopian movies, including Maze Runner and Divergent.
Released on May 3, 2013, Iron Man 3 received mixed reviews from critics but overall was a commercial success, grossing around $1.2 billion. This film explored Tony Stark's vulnerability and PTSD following the events of The Avengers, showing viewers a new side of Marvel.
Released on November 8, 2013, as another 2013 Marvel movie, the film introduced new characters and continued to develop existing ones. Despite mixed critical reception, the film grossed over $644 million worldwide. It also spawned merchandise and spin-offs, developing the MCU that we have today.
Released on August 30, 2013, the documentary film about the British-Irish boy band One Direction grossed over $68 million worldwide. It cemented One Direction's status as one of the most popular boy bands of all time. It gave fans a fun insight into the lives of their favorite band members.
Released on July 3, 2013, the film grossed over $970 million worldwide. This movie helped launch the popularity of the Minions franchise. The film's success led to spin-offs, including Minions and The Rise of Gru. The film also helped launch merchandise, video games, and theme park attractions centered around Gru and the minions. Despicable Me 2 remains a beloved film for audiences of all ages.
Released on May 24, 2013, Fast and Furious 6 was a huge hit, grossing over $788 million worldwide. The film was praised for its diverse cast and strong performances at the time. Since number six in the franchise came out with immense success, it helped solidify the movies as a cultural phenomenon for the 2000s and 2010s.
Released on August 9, 2013, Planes was a 3D animated sports comedy hit. It was a spin-off of the popular Pixar Cars franchise and tells the story of Dusty, a crop-dusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The film inspired merchandise, a theme park attraction, and a sequel titled “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” Many young children would agree that Cars and Planes hold a special place in their childhood nostalgia.
Released on June 21, 2013, the Monsters, Inc. prequel holds a place in many Gen Z’s hearts. Exploring the backstory of how Mike and Sulley met and became best friends, the film grosses over $743 million. Like many Pixar movies, the colorful and imaginative world of Monster’s University quickly wrapped many of us up in the story of friendship, perseverance, and self-discovery.
Peaky Blinders, a British crime drama series created by Steven Knight, first premiered on BBC Two in September 2013. Set in the aftermath of World War I, the show follows the Shelby crime family in England. The show is known for its writing, cinematography, and performances. It has also gained a dedicated following worldwide. Peaky Blinders has influenced fashion trends, music, and discussions about class, masculinity, and violence in popular culture.
Thhis Netflix original series premiered on July 11, 2013, and has been running for seven seasons. The show follows women's lives in a minimum-security federal prison and is known for breaking barriers in diversity and representation in television. Its brutally honest depiction of issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, mass incarceration, and mental health has created a space for fans to discuss heavy topics.
It premiered on September 17, 2013, and ran for 8 seasons. It won two Golden Globe Awards. The show's comedy created a space to discuss social and political issues, and its diverse and inclusive cast made it a cultural touchstone for the world of Hollywood.
The Disney Channel show aired in 2013 and ran until 2017. The show follows the lives of identical twin sisters, Liv and Maddie. Viewers got to watch the two go to high school and how they learn to embrace individuality. At the end of a very good decade of Disney Channel shows, Liv and Maddie inspired a generation of young girls to pursue their passions and be proud of who they are, even if that doesn’t match what society expects.
Released on August 27, 2012, this song was a commercial and critical success. It reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earned a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance later in 2014.
Released on March 26, 2013, this song topped the charts in several countries and became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also sparked controversy and criticism for its sexually suggestive lyrics and music video.
Released on March 8, 2013, this song was the lead single from her debut album, "Pure Heroine." The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and Lorde earned many awards for her work, including two Grammys.
This song was released on March 25, 2013. It reached top ten in multiple countries and earned a Platinum record in the United States. This song helped to speed up Ariana Grande’s success.
Released on February 26, 2013, this song reached the top 10 in over 20 countries and earned numerous awards/accolades.
Released on April 19, 2013, it became an instant hit, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries.
This song was released on August 25, 2013. The music video features Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball naked, generating significant controversy and became a viral sensation. Nonetheless, the song topped the charts in several countries and solidified Cyrus's status as a pop superstar.
Released on July 22, 2013, the song served as the lead single from their third studio album, "Midnight Memories." It reached the top ten in multiple countries. The music video also went viral, and the song has since become a fan favorite and a staple in One Direction's discography.
Other influential events:
Thinking back to your childhood, do these events feel like they were actually ten years ago? The enduring popularity of these movies, shows, songs, and events speaks to their ability to capture something universal and timeless about the human experience. As we continue to make new memories and embrace new cultural phenomena, it's important to take a moment to appreciate the ways in which the past has shaped us and the things that continue to bring us joy and inspiration. Here's to the next 10 years of unforgettable moments and cherishable memories!
Edited By: Liz Coffman
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