There are plenty of people who would be happy to shut the door on 2016 and forget it entirely. But as bad as 2016 was (and it was often very bad), it was also a year of stunning upsets, victories, and excitement. However optimistic or pessimistic you might be feeling in the waning days of December, there is no argument that the events of 2016 are going to have long-lasting reverberations.

So, how best to sum it all up? Here are a few attempts to nail down exactly what this messy (and occasionally beautiful) year has been all about.

2016 was the ...

Year of extremes

Year of surprises

Year of the underdog

Year of massive upsets

Year of the uneventful drive

Year of diversity in clinical trials

Year of the mediocre film

Year of the Hollywood flop

Year of TV bubbles

Year of the demagogue

Year of the man

Year of the pussy

Year of Beyoncé

Year of the colored diamond

Year of the carrot

Year of gin

Year of the DDoS attack

Year of online extortion

Year of virtual reality

Year of AI made real

Year of the hybrid job

Year of the English garden

Year of the celebrity death

Year of the "tearleader"

Year of "post-truth"

Year of "we did it"

Year of the "white men" slur

Year of "realizing stuff"

Year of the boring VP pick

Year of ridiculously silly DJ names

Year of the social media detox

Year of Snapchat

Year of Zika

Year of melting ice, monster storms, and Australia's big wet

Year of terror, war, and political turbulence

Year of living precariously

Year of voting dangerously

Year of paralysis in the face of certain disaster

The worst year in history?