The Best of Overthinking It in 2016

Although it has been a rough year, we had all kinds of smarter fun together in 2016.

Sure, 2016 was full of heartache, but here at Overthinking It, we had a pretty damn good year. Thanks to our new membership program and all of the awesome folks who have signed up to support the site with some cash, this year we were able to ramp up content production, bigly: in 2016, we released 355 posts, podcasts, and videos, a 33% increase over 2015. Here’s what rose to the top.

Most Read Article

In “Revealing the Real Box Office Champion,” John Perich makes the astonishing revelation* that Crocodile Dundee is the highest grossing movie of the last 30 years, besting the likes of Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


*Controlling for inflation, population, number of theaters showing the movie, and a whole bunch of other caveats. That said, CRIKEY, MATE!**

**Different Australian, I know. BUT STILL, CRIKEY!

Most Listened To Podcast

In Episode 393, “Be the Thing that You Claim to Be,”we had a great conversation with actor Jonathan Kite. Although he’s best known for his role as Oleg in Two Broke Girls, we spent most of the conversation talking about TV comedies throughout the years, stand-up comedy, and acting methodologies. Give it a listen in case you missed it the first time. (And leave a comment! Did we mention that we re-opened comments on old articles?)


Most Watched Video

2016 was our third year of wall-to-wall Eurovision coverage, and we really outdid ourselves this time around. This year’s breakaway hit video was our review of Lithuania’s entry, “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night.”

In typical Overthinking It fashion, we combined equal parts close-reading analysis with All-American Snark in this video, just as we do with all of our Eurovision reviews. For some reason, this one really resonated with its audience, who came in droves to watch the video, downvote it, and leave a nasty comment:


Ah, YouTube commenters, you’re the best. And by “best,” I mean “worst.”

Most Commented Upon Article

Speaking of comments, we do much better when the action stays within our own safe haven of thoughtful conversation and mutual respect. Check out the comments of “OTI Glossary: The Ghost Ship Moment” for some great examples of Ghost Ship Moments as well as new ideas that complicate our theory of what does and doesn’t constitute a Ghost Ship Moment.

GSM art-img

(Did we mention comments are back open for old articles? Jump back into the fray and keep the conversation going!)

Most Frequent Commenters

Did we mention we love our commenters? You guys are the best, especially when you “well, actually” us. Here are the top 5 commenters in 2016, based on number of comments (as of December 26):

  1. jmasoncooper – 67
  2. An Inside Joke – 37
  3. yellojkt – 36
  4. clayschuldt – 35
  5. Crystal – 29

An Inside Joke: tallying is closed, so you can’t post 30 comments between now and the end of the year to claim the top spot. But you can save up those hot takes for 2017. (Not that it’s a competition. Even though I just strongly hinted that this might be a competition.)

Longest Article by Multiple Authors

Six authors contributed 5,863 words to 2016’s longest Overthinking It article, “Ownership, Acquisition, and Inheritance in The Force Awakens.” (All of the words in the Dragonball digression are Fenzel’s, though.)


We’re a little nuts for Star Wars. We know.

Longest Article, Single Author

Also Game of Thrones, apparently. Ben Adams contributed 3,055 words to his recap of the Season Six finale, in which [SPOILER ALERT] he ascends to the Iron Throne of Discoursteros.


Did I mention we’re nuts about Game of Thrones? There’s plenty more where that came from. Catch up on the rest of the Season Six written recaps here, and listen to our podcast TV recaps for previous seasons here.

Your Favorites


That was the best of Overthinking It in terms of eyeballs, ear canals, hearts, and minds reached. But that’s only part of the story. What did you enjoy from this year that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments!

(Note: in spite of the illustration, we managed to not write anything about Taylor Swift in 2016, other than a brief mention in our analysis of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo. May that be one of many ways 2017 will be different from 2016.)

3 Comments on “The Best of Overthinking It in 2016”

  1. Dane #

    To be fair, that video about Lithuania’s Eurovision entry was kinda dumb. Anyone can riff on a video, OTI should be a cut above. Competing with Oancitizen rather than… pretty much every other reviewer out there.

    That said, my favourite articles of the year were focused on the music of 1991, especially the dichotomy of Slash vs Axl. Some of my favourite music, viewed from an entirely new angle. That was some great work.


  2. jmasoncooper #

    Commenter Champion!
    I would like to thank for hosting the most interesting, complex, and nuanced discussions of pop culture I have found on the web. I also want to thank all the Overthinkers who respond to my comments, promoting dialogue and learning. Socratic method FTW! In addition, I would like to thank all of the people who leave comments on this site, as I find them to be well articulated, nuanced, and meaningful. Many of my views have changed on a plethora of subjects since I found this site in fall of 2014, in no small part thanks to the many people who express themselves on this site.
    I love you guys/girls/non-binary gendered humans!


  3. DeanMoriarty #

    I’m catching up on all the end of the year (and beginning of the year) overthinking it now that I’m not so busy, and wanted to leave a note of gratitude to all the editors and commenters on this site.
    It really is quite a joy to be able to have one place on the internet where I can have the kind of fun, overly-brainy, respectful conversations I so enjoy.
    Thanks and happy New Year!

    P.S. even though I’m not even a dabbler in the TMNT canon/universe and know next to nothing about hip-hop, a favorite article was the deep analysis of the various Turtle Raps throughout the years.


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