Every Crazy Pop Culture Event You Forgot Happened in 2023

Believe it or not, Taylor Swift playing the field with Travis Kelce is not the only headline that dominated 2023. We looked back on all the other news stories that had us talking this year.

By Sarah Grossbart Dec 08, 2023 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Relive the Most Shocking Celebrity Drama of 2023

Ahem, Alexa, play "My Favorite Things" because we've got some recapping to do. 

Prince Harry's candor and Prince Louis' faces. Phoenix and London and Rocky and Riot. Swift and her squad making sports interesting. (Relax, dads, Brads and Chads, we're joking.) These are a few of our favorite things that took place in 2023. 

And if you kinda forgot that all of this happened this year, well, we're here to help. 

While there's been a lot of talk as of late about Taylor Swift dating the boy on the football team (again, kidding, all respect to Catching Kelce legend Travis Kelce), it's easy to forget that we were enchanted by a whole slew of other stories before the power couple teamed up. 

Like the time a cockroach pulled focus from Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez and every other immaculately dressed star on the Met Gala steps. Or when Rihanna won the Super Bowl by not just playing a 13-minute medley of her favorite hits, but also using the opportunity to let us know that she was three months pregnant while doing so. 

2023 Celebrity Babies

Then there's the Scandoval of it all.

Yep, that was this year. And wouldn't we just be the biggest worm with a mustache if we let you ring in 2024 without properly bidding adieu to everything that took place the past 12 months. So raise your glasses high and remember these really are the best days of our lives, what with Kourtney Kardashian announcing her pregnancy like the girl at the rock show she is and Gwyneth Paltrow captivating us all with her $1 legal victory

So, 2023, we wish you well. Bring it, 2024. 

Hailey Bieber Wears Her Nepo Baby Label With Pride

Jan. 6: Stephen Baldwin's model daughter Hailey Bieber made it her New Year's resolution to weigh in on the nepo baby debate with an iconic cropped message tee. "My point to having worn the T-shirt was not to poke fun at it or be like, 'Yeah, I'm a nepo baby haha,' type of a thing," she later explained on The Circuit With Emily Chang. "It was more so to be like, 'This is what everyone is saying and I want you to know that this is my way of responding to it.'" 

Austin Butler Brings Home the Golden Globe

Jan. 10: Turns out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association couldn't help falling in love with Austin Butler's portrayal of the titual music icon in Elvis. "I just am so grateful right now," the actor said while accepting his trophy. "I'm in this room full of my heroes."

Lisa Marie Presley Takes a Final Bow

Jan. 10: Just two days before passing away due to complications stemming from a small bowel obstruction, Elvis Presley's only daughter Lisa Marie Presley turned up at the Golden Globes in support of Baz Luhrman's biopic about the King of Rock.

Paris Hilton Becomes a Mom

Jan. 16: Managing to keep your parenting plans entirely under wraps? That's hot. "It's just been really important to me to keep this a secret," Paris Hilton explained of quietly welcoming son Phoenix with husband Carter Reum. (Even mom Kathy Hilton was in the dark.) "This is the first time that something was just mine." She served up a second helping on Thanksgiving, revealing the arrival of daughter London

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Welcome a Girl—and a Boy

Jan. 19: Cravings author Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend spent 2023 cooking up quite the surprise. Five months after the parents of Luna, 7, and Miles, 5, had daughter Esti, they revealed they'd welcomed a fourth child into their nest. Son Wren was born via surrogate in June. "It's fun seeing the little milestones that they reach together and separately since they're five months apart," Legend told E! News. "Esti is already close to walking. Wren is still not crawling yet. Just seeing them growing up, it's exciting and fun. We haven't had babies for quite a while now. Being in that baby phase with them is reinvigorating and fun."

Kylie Jenner Gets in Touch With Her Wild Side

Jan. 23: Why wouldn't Kylie Jenner top her custom Schiaparelli gown at the brand's star-studded Paris Fashion Week show with a faux lion head? No notes. 10/10. 

Noah Cyrus Frees the Nipple

Jan. 24: Noah Cyrus saw Jenner's lion head and decided to raise the Paris Fashion Week bar (though definitely not her neckline). Her cut-to-there Stéphane Rolland Haute Couture design featured a sizable chainlink attachment and not much else. 

TikToker Dylan Mulvaney Makes Her Grammys Debut

Feb. 5: TFW you're living your best life. Mere days after revealing the results of her facial feminization surgery, trans activist Dylan Mulvaney walked the carpet at music's biggest night in a stunning Christian Siriano gown. 

Donna Kelce Roots for Sons Travis and Jason

Feb. 12: Mama Kelce's game plan for the Chiefs-Eagles matchup at Super Bowl LVII? Root, root, root for the home and away teams. Wearing a split jersey, Donna Kelce cheered alongside Jason Kelce's very pregnant wife Kylie, who welcomed their third daughter Bennett 11 days later. 

Rihanna Reveals Her Pregnancy 

Feb. 12: S-O-S, please someone help E! because we were not prepared for the mom to then-9-month-old RZA to reveal she was expecting her second son with A$AP Rocky in the middle of a 13-minute Super Bowl halftime show. And even though she was already three months along, Rihanna put in the work, work, work, work, work, work to ensure her medley of 13 hits impressed. "As scary as that was, because I haven't been on stage in seven years, there's something exhilarating about the challenge of it all," she shared at at the Apple Music Halftime Show press conference. "And it's important for me to do this this year. It's important for representation. It's important for my son to see that."

Ariana DeBose Goes Viral With BAFTAs Rap

Feb. 19: We're gonna say it. West Side Story star Ariana Debose did the thing when she opened the BAFTAs with an epically memorable rap that lavished praise on nominees like Angela Bassett and Viola Davis. "That was the assignment, like, 'Come celebrate women,'" the Oscar winner explained. "I was like, 'Absolutely!' And we did that, and it was fun."

Jay Leno Reveals His New Face

March 1: Three months after Jay Leno sustained third-degree burns to his face, arms and hands in a gasoline fire, the comedian unveiled a whole new look during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "This is a brand new face," he declared, before joking, "Only for the second time in my career am I the new face of comedy. I got it once in the '80s and now I get it again."

Britney Spears and Husband Sam Asghari Separate

March 4: The way they were. Five months after Britney Spears paid tribute to then-husband Sam Asghari on her Instagram, the actor filed to end their 14-month marriage. Spears, meanwhile, emerged stronger than yesterday, releasing her memoir The Woman In Me in October. 

Cole Sprouse Smokes and Spills on Call Her Daddy

March 8: Appearing on the Call Her Daddy podcast (cigarette in hand!), Cole Sprouse was down to dish, talking about his "really hard" split from Riverdale costar Lili Reinhart ("I know we both did quite a quite a bit of damage to each other") and losing his virginity during a family trip to Florida when he was 14. Detailing how he turned up at the women's hotel room after meeting her on the beach, he shared, "I looked at her, and I was like, ‘So, are you like DTF?'"

Elizabeth Banks Pokes the Bear at the Oscars

March 12: Not only did we not have the premise for Cocaine Bear—loosely inspired by the real life black bear that ingested several kilograms of the illegal powder—on our 2023 Bingo cards, we never would have guessed director Elizabeth Banks would present the Oscar for Best Visual Effects with an actual real life bear. (Okay, fine, an actor in bear suit.) 

Taylor Swift Shows Why They'll Never Be Another Like Her

March 17: Twelve-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift reminded everyone she can still make the whole place shimmer when she returned to the stage after a five-year hiatus to kick off her ongoing 151-date Eras Tour. 

Gwyneth Paltrow Notches a $1 Legal Victory

March 30: Sorry retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, but you will not be rewarded the more than $300,000 you sought after claiming Gwyneth Paltrow plowed into you on the slope. But she does wish you well. "That whole thing was pretty weird," Paltrow told the New York Times. "I don't know that I've even processed it. It was something I felt like I survived." And we were gifted with this viral moment and a London musical

Ariana Madix SURves Up an Epic Revenge Dress

April 3: This one's for you tonight, was the message Ariana Madix gave ex Tom Sandoval when she turned up to film the Vanderpump Rules season 10 reunion mere weeks after learning of his affair with fellow castmate Rachel Leviss. Asked if her red cutout Mônot look was a revenge dress, she told host Andy Cohen, "I feel like it certainly looks that way. I think his eyes are gonna bleed." 

Millie Bobby Brown Gets Engaged

April 11: She's loved him three summers now, honey—but she wants 'em all. Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown announced her engagement to lover Jake Bongiovi—the son of singer Jon Bon Jovi—with an Instagram post and a Taylor Swift lyric. 

Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes Enjoy a Steamy Night at Coachella

April 14: When every touch is ooh, la-la-la you can hardly blame exes Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes for reuniting to enjoy a sealed-with-a-kiss night out at Coachella

Lindsay Lohan Officially Becomes a Cool Mom

April 16: How excited are we for Lindsay Lohan, who welcomed son Luai with husband Bader Shammas three months after her April baby shower? The limit does not exist. 

Ariana Grande Transforms Into Glinda the Good Witch

April 17: Who's to say if we've been changed for the better, but we've certainly been changed for good after spying this first bewitching glimpse of Ariana Grande filming 2024's Wicked

Sofia Richie Marries Elliot Grainge

April 22: Model Sofia Richie said au revoir to single life when she wed music executive Elliot Grainge in a trés chic wedding on the grounds of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France. The lavish affair featured a stacked guest list (including her dad Lionel Richie and sister Nicole Richie, of course), three Chanel gowns and a fireworks finale. 

Francesca Farago Gets Engaged to Jesse Sullivan

April 28: After stints on Too Hot to Handle and Perfect Match, reality star Francesca Farago found her well, you know, in TikToker Jesse Sullivan, who proposed in what Farago labeled "the most magical night ever." Now on the hunt for the perfect gowns, she told E! News, "I'm thinking of going all out for the ceremony dress, while keeping the reception and after-party dresses more romantic and sleek."

Doja Cat Dresses as Karl Largerfeld's Cat

May 1: Doja Cat understood the assignment. While many of the stars at the Karl Lagerfeld-themed Met Gala paid tribute to the late designer's beloved feline Choupette, the singer really let the cat out of the bag in custom Oscar de la Renta. 

Suki Waterhouse and Robert Pattinson Make Their Met Gala Debut

May 1: Sure, they were ultimately upstaged by an errant cockroach trying to climb its way up the famed Met Gala steps, but that doesn't squash our enthusiasm over seeing Suki Waterhouse and Robert Pattinson finally attend fashion prom five years into their romance. 

Pedro Pascal Shows Some Leg

May 1: Why, yes, Pedro Pascal did bring that Daddy energy to the Met Gala, skipping the more formal pantsuit for a set of Valentino shorts

North West Slams Mom Kim Kardashian's Met Gala Look

May 1: One day, you're giving your little girl her first Louis Vuitton, the next she's reading your style for filth. Such was the case when Kim Kardashian asked her eldest for her take on her Met Gala look. "There's way too much gaps in the pearls," North West said during a fitting with Schiaparelli creative director Daniel Roseberry that aired on a November episode of The Kardashians. "It looks like she's a Hawaiian girl with her dress all ripped." Continued the 10-year-old, "I like the pearls. I just don't like that it looks, like, from the Dollar Store."

Dannielynn Birkhead Pays Tribute to Mom Anna Nicole Smith

May 5: We, uh, guessed Dannielynn Birkhead and dad Larry Birkhead would turn up at the Kentucky Derby, the annual event a traditional outing for the Louisville-based pair. But the 17-year-old marked the 20th anniversary of her parents meeting at the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala by wearing a dress adorned with photos from Anna Nicole Smith's infamous Guess campaign. 

King Charles III Is Officially Crowned

May 6: Heavy was King Charles III's head when he finally wore the 4.9-pound St Edward's Crown at his and Queen Camilla's Westminster Abbey coronation. The monarch's big day took place eight months after Queen Elizabeth II's death at age 96

View More Photos From 2023 Year in Photos
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