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27 Photos To Remind You That 2021 Wasn’t Completely Terrible

2021 put us through the wringer, but it wasn't all bad. We look back at some of the more pleasant moments of the year.

Posted on December 24, 2021, at 10:56 a.m. ET

Paul Crock / AFP via Getty Images

A butterfly lands on Japan's Naomi Osaka as she plays against Tunisia's Ons Jabeur during their women's singles match on Day Five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Feb. 12.

Three girls on a swingset while one hangs upside down from the top bar
Lauren Crew for BuzzFeed News

The emerging punk band and internet sensation the Linda Lindas pose for a portrait for BuzzFeed News.

Misan Harriman / The Duke and Duchess of Sussex via Getty Images

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose with son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on March 8. The image follows their announcement during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that the couple are expecting a baby girl.

Olivia stands at the podium while Jen stands on the side
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Singer Olivia Rodrigo joins White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during the daily press briefing in the James Brady Room at the White House on July 14.

Alberto Pizzoli / AFP via Getty Images

A man in a Spider-Man costume who performs in hospitals for sick children hands a Spider-Man mask to Pope Francis as they meet at the end of the weekly general audience on June 23 at San Damaso courtyard in the Vatican.

Bella Hadid wearing a necklace in the shape of the bronchial tubes in lungs that covers her otherwise exposed chest
Valery Hache / AFP via Getty Images

Model Bella Hadid poses as she arrives for the screening of the film Tre Piani at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in France on July 11.

Two girls hang out on the dock of a lake, and in a second photo, two girls braid each other's hair
Stella Blackmon for BuzzFeed News

Family and neighbors hanging out on the 4th of July in Missouri. This image was part of a series looking at how Americans celebrated across the country.

Derek Gardner for BuzzFeed News

A car with flames painted on it drives through Brooklyn on July 4. This image was part of a series looking at how Americans celebrated across the country.

A smiling pregnant woman with her hands up crosses the finish line of a race
Ben Garvin

A runner crosses the finish line at the Boston Marathon in November. For more, see our full story.

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Bowen Yang as "the Iceberg That Sank the Titanic" and anchor Colin Jost during the Saturday Night Live "Weekend Update" segment on April 10

JoJo Silwa kisses her girlfriend on the red carpet
Leon Bennett / Getty Images

Kylie Prew and JoJo Siwa attend a drive-in screening and performance for the Paramount+ original movie The J Team at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 3 in Pasadena, California.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband, Doug Emhoff, holds the Bible during the 59th presidential inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Jan. 20.

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates winning the women's 100-meter final at the US Olympic Track and Field Team Trials on June 19 in Eugene, Oregon.

A crowd of smiling people with their arms raised and holding banners and signs
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Free Britney supporters celebrate after hearing that a Los Angeles Superior Court judge formally ended the conservatorship that controlled Britney Spears' life for nearly 14 years on Nov. 12 in Los Angeles.

A Chihuahua licks the face of a woman seated at a picnic table
Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for BuzzFeed News

Prancer, the dog who resembled a "haunted Victorian child stuck in the body of a small dog," with his new owner in New Haven, Connecticut

Xinhua News Agency / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

An aerial photo taken on Aug. 9 shows a herd of wild Asian elephants walking in Yuanjiang County of Yuxi City in southwest China's Yunnan province.

Man sitting in a small enclosure and a close-up of tomatoes
Meron Menghistab for BuzzFeed News

Meron Menghistab in the garden that he planted during the pandemic to reclaim his time, photographed on Aug. 26. "The process humbled me and broadened my understanding of my place in the greater ecosystem."

Sergei Bobylev / Sergei Bobylev/TASS

People wave Japanese national flags in a café ahead of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Simone Biles of Team USA competes on the balance beam during the women's qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 25. Biles later withdrew from part of the Games while experiencing the twisties, a form of the yips.

Gabby Jones / The New York Times via Redux

People gather for a protest rally and march near the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan on June 27. New York's pride celebrations and protests came back with a vengeance over the weekend, after a muted celebration last year because of the pandemic.

Ryan Young for BuzzFeed News

The skater and influencer Brooklinn Khoury pets a dog in Los Angeles.

Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

Left: ASAP Rocky and Rihanna attend the 2021 Met Gala, or Costume Institute Benefit — In America: A Lexicon of Fashion — at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sept. 13 in New York City. Right: Billie Eilish attends the 2021 Met Gala.

Adam Powell for BuzzFeed News

Scooby and the gang take a seat in Washington Square Park in New York City on Halloween. See the full story here.

Ben in a bow tie gazes at J.Lo
Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez attend the red carpet of the movie The Last Duel during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 10 in Italy.

A pair of giant whales, seen beneath the surface, comes up to a man fishing in a boat
Hannah Reyes Morales / The New York Times

A person fishing feeds whale sharks in the waters around Tan-Awan, a small town in Cebu province in the Philippines in September. The chance to swim with the world's biggest fish drew tourists to the town, but conservation groups denounce the hand-feeding that keeps the gentle creatures around.

A man holds a baby under the waterfall as other people sit nearby
Oded Balilty / AP

Israeli Arabs stand under a waterfall during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday at the Gan HaShlosha national park near the northern Israeli town of Beit Shean on July 21.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Yerin Hong gets a hug from her boyfriend Soomin Kim after her arrival on a flight from Germany at the international terminal at O'Hare International Airport on Nov. 8 in Chicago.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.