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Twitter’s trending topics may often be filled with silly things, spam and a lot more that isn’t worth looking back on once the year is over. But once in a while, a hilarious, endearing, or significant hashtag comes along that generates thousands of tweets to make it a special Twitter moment worth remembering.

As 2013 is coming to an end, we’ve decided to take a look back at the most memorable hashtags that came to pass this year. From natural disasters to the death of a great man, from the end of an immensely popular TV show to a 5-year-old boy’s biggest wish coming true, 2013 has seen it all.

#Madiba

On December 5, people took to Twitter to share their personal stories, memories and thoughts on Nelson Mandela. South Africa’s former president was mourned on television sets, radios, and, of course, on Twitter. Whether by using the hashtag, #RIPNelsonMandela, #NelsonMandela, or most fondly, #Madiba, some of his best known quotes were shared on Twitter, together with photos of Mandela himself, or of impromptu tributes taking place all over the world.

#TimePOY

As Time took the vote for its 2013 Person of the Year, it called on readers to vote on Twitter using the hashtag, #TimePOY. This method added a new dimension to the poll, because it gave users the chance to add a personal message or even an image to their vote, making it all the more meaningful. The result? Over half a million votes were registered via Twitter, and the people’s choice ended up being Egypt’s Minister of Defense, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was closely followed by Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with third place going to pop star Miley Cyrus.

The only drawback to TIME’s decision to open the voting to Twitter users with a hashtag? Far too many seem to think that voting is still open, and days after the poll closed, continue to cast their votes.

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#batkid

One of the most touching moments captured by social media took place in San Francisco in November. Arranged by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the day revolved around 5-year-old Miles Scott, who is in remission from Leukemia. It wasn’t just San Francisco that got to know Miles on November 15, when the entire city was transformed into a 5-year-old’s ultimate dream. Reaching out on social media, including Twitter, they called for people to line the streets as Miles joined “Batman” in battling the bad guys around the city. Miles quickly earned the title #Batkid.

Over 78,000 tweets went out that day, including some from some pretty big names such as Ben Affleck and US President Barack Obama.

#JFK50

2013 also marked the 50-year anniversary of American President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. With the United States commemorating the death of its 35th president, photos from the past and present flooded onto Twitter. With people sharing photos of their encounters with Kennedy, including a photo of a 17-year-old Bill Clinton, and photos of their commemorations for the day, at Arlington Cemetery, for example, remembrance of a very personal American moment became a global experience on Twitter.

#Haiyan

It seems that disaster always brings people closer together. In 2012, we saw that happen when Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern shore board of the United States, and this year, the same was seen when a devastating typhoon hit the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan hit the island country and an outpouring of support was seen through Twitter. Long after the Typhoon dissipated, its after effects are still felt in the Philippines and the hashtag continues to appear on the social network in connection to fundraising efforts and more, giving rise to another hashtag  #ThereAfterHaiyan.

#bostonstrong

Another example of support that flooded Twitter’s pages was seen earlier in the year when the Boston Marathon was struck by a bomb killing three and injuring hundreds. #bostonstrong became the mantra of support, and continues to be a commonly used hashtag to this day. #bostonstrong was not a new hashtag, however. It was used before the bombing by Red Sox fans, and became a symbol not just for the city’s baseball team, but a symbol for the city as a whole.

#GoodbyeBreakingBad

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, not everything on Twitter is as serious as these hashtags might have you think. It’s only fair that a few hashtags in this list honour that wacky side of Twitter that allows things like #CrapSuperPowers to become a trending topic. While Twitter users can easily rally around a silly and imaginative hashtag, they can also rally around significant TV moments. Whether it’s the Oscars, Grammys, VMAs, the Superbowl, or any other significant TV show, Twitter is having a collective viewing party online. Nowhere was this more vibrant and creative as with the Breaking Bad finale. As the popular TV show ended its fifth and final season, Twitter users took to the internet to share their thoughts on the show. 

What Does 2014 Hold?

While these hashtags were all powered by a significant offline moment that generated a lot of buzz, there’s no reason you can’t generate a bit of buzz yourself in 2014. It’s all about choosing the right hashtag #RandomDoesntCutIt: How To Choose The Right Hashtag For Your Tweet #RandomDoesntCutIt: How To Choose The Right Hashtag For Your Tweet Hashtags have become something of an integral element in today's social media but so many people misuse, abuse them, or simply don't know how to choose the right one. Read More  to help you reach a wider audience Hashtags - The Key To Reaching a Wider Audience On Twitter Hashtags - The Key To Reaching a Wider Audience On Twitter Hashtags have made their way across social networks, but there is nowhere they shine more than on the social network where they first started - Twitter. The feature, first introduced by a Twitter user, has... Read More . If you need some tips on how to use hashtags, be sure to check out these 5 tools that will help you use hashtags the right way These 5 Useful Tools Will Help You Use Hashtags The Right Way These 5 Useful Tools Will Help You Use Hashtags The Right Way With so many hashtags out there, how can you tell which ones are best to use? Which are actually popular, and which ones did you just make up? What do some obscure hashtags even mean? Read More .

What hashtags would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

  1. deelirium
    December 12, 2013 at 1:15 am

    What about #dunkinthedark? You forgot the first part of the year.

  2. Stephen Nutbrown
    December 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    More memorable than:
    - Woolwich machete attack?
    - Special olympics?

    • dragonmouth
      December 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      If you care about it, then it's memorable. If you don't, then you forget about it the very next day.

      Out of the seven, only JFK50 is memorable. Couple are in the "OK, that's the news" category and couple are "who the heck gives a damn" category. Overall, the 6 other than the JFK50 are eminently forgetable.

  3. Richard
    December 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    "Most memorable" Of course they're memorable if all of them are from the second half of 2013, half of them being from the last month..

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