The Best & Worst of Everything in 2012: A Mega, Meta Mashup

By Adam L. Penenberg , written on December 22, 2012

From The News Desk

 We read through through dozens of year-end lists – and, yes, checked them twice – to bring you Pando’s curated best and worst of 2012.

This is the ultimate aggregation, virtually every word taken from those other year-end lists.

It’s so, well, meta.

It’s not easy saying goodbye to 2012. Whether we were cheering at The Avengers, dancing Gangam style, or tracking the bad guys on Homeland, this was a  year of big moments, from global games to historical elections and everything in between.  The end of the year is a time for lists, more lists and endless lists, a flood of valedictory lists and wrap ups, accountings and scorecards. From their lazy fingers to your scratchy eyeballs, journalists are now transmitting their “year in review” articles and “best of 2012″ lists. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of beat reporters, political columnists, gossip columnists, tech columnists, and art critics of every denomination will type out their arbitrary listicles about the best and worst of the year and otherwise describe the 11-and-one-half-months just past. Today, if you have access to the internet and a bag full of opinions you can make your Top 5, 10, 100 and beyond, of anything you like and be guaranteed someone will read it.

They run the gamut: The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012, 100 Best Companies to Work For, 50 Shows With the Most Social Buzz, Billboard’s 10 Best Albums (Critics’ Picks), eOnline’s 10 Hottest Bods of the Year, the Top 5 Financial Technology Companies, and the best movies, TV shows, albums, songs, and videogames of 2012. They cover best books, best games and game music, best new cars and best US car lease deals, best holiday greetings, best celeb feuds, best wines, and the best lessons in business.

Has anyone made a top 10 list of the top 10 lists of 2012 yet? How about 10 Top Social Media F-Ups of the year, Top 10 Tech Blunders, and Top Apps. There’s Top Marketing Lessons from 2012, Top 10 Mobile Devices of 2012, Top 5 Smartphones, and The Top Towns for Sales of $10 Million Dollar Homes. Sample The 12 Biggest Food News Stories of 2012: The Year In Twinkies, Go-Go Juice and Guy Fieri, The Very Best and Very Worst of 2012’s Fashion Magazines, and From Tampons to Tablets: The Best and Worst Product Names of 2012. Then there’s The Top 10 Reasons I Hate Year-End Top-10 Lists.

Worst of the worst 2012? Why, there’s 15 Worst Holiday Gifts for Men, [including] nose bath products, nose hair trimmer, and anything “as seen on TV.” The Atlantic Wire offers An A-to-Z Guide to 2012's Worst Words. Check out The Worst CEOs, The Worst Films, The Worst Passwords, The Worst Jobs, The Worst Political Ad, The Worst Food, The Worst of the Red Carpet, and The Worst Dressed Men of 2012.

Meanwhile, Google and Facebook weighed in… on the string of year-end summations, with both companies releasing their lists of the top searches and trends of year. Hopping on the year-end-list train is the mighty iTunes. Apple's all-encompassing media library/store names the top-performing music artists, TV shows, books and movies. iTunes lists the best of 2012. TIME’s social media editor Allie Townsend & social media associate Amy Lombard pick the 140 Twitter feeds that are shaping the online conversation in 2012.

Sick of the end-of-year listomania? There’s always next year.


1. EW Staff, E Online

2. Google Zeitgeist 2012

3. Alison Nastasi, IMDB

4. C. Max Magee, The Millions

5. Jack Shafer, Reuters

6. Helen Herimbi, iOL

7. The Free Dictionary


9. CNN/Money

10. Bob Al-Greene, Mashable

11. Billboard

12. E! Online

13. Ryan Caldbeck, Forbes

14. Jason Dietz, Metacritic

15. Aaron Gleeman, NBC Sports

16. Goodreads

17. Gamespot

18. Michael Frank, Popular Mechanics

19. US News & World Report

20. Mark Bivens, The Rude Baguette

21. Opposing Views

22. Jeff Leve, Wine Cellar Insider

23. Rick Spence, Financial Post

24. @NotBillWalton

25. Jessica Galliart, Redeye

26. John Cook, Geekwire

27. Lisa Arthur, Forbes

28. Dan Rowinski, ReadWrite

29. Aloysius Low, CNET

30. Robert Frank, CNBC

31. Brooke Viggiano, Houston Press

32. Alex Rees, New York Magazine

33. Laurel Sutton, Marketing Profs

34. John Roderick, Seattle Weekly

35. Freedom House

36. Jeffrey Trull, Christian Science Monitor

37. Jen Doll, Atlantic Wire

38. Sydney Finkelstein, Forbes

39. A.V. Club

40. Olivia B. Waxman, CNN

41. Victoria Brienza, CareerCast

42. Chris Cillizza, Washington Post

43. John Mariani, Esquire

44. Stylist

45. Mark Byrne & Andrew Richdale, GQ

46. Haley Tsukayama, Washington Post

47. Korina Lopez, USA Today

48. TIME

49. Tom Mann, Faster Louder

50. There’