The past year in entertainment news taught us many lessons: that seemingly fake reality-show weddings rarely end well; that anyone who plays a foil to Jon Cryer on “Two and a Half Men” will eventually experience a public meltdown of some sort; and that it’s a really bad idea to take nude photos of yourself with a cell phone.
In addition to providing teaching moments, 2011 also gave us many Hollywood-related memories, things we’ll never forget about the famous people we don’t know. Here are just a few. Consider these your celebrity and pop culture superlatives for 2011.
Kate moment that provided the most schadenfreude: the cancellation of Kate Gosselin’s “Kate Plus 8.” Mommy blogs that run on Gosselin snark were the happiest places on Earth when that news broke.
Kate moment that provided the least schadenfreude: the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
This event was so classy and heartwarming, the only thing to make sarcastic comments about were the silly hats. (And possibly Prince William’s goddaughter, three-year-old Grace Van Cutsem, who became a meme due to her expression in this photo.) But neither their silliness nor the buzzed-about dress of Pippa Middleton could detract from all that tastefulness.
Biggest singing error during a public event: Christina Aguilera’s Super Bowl botching of “The Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics. Aguilera felt strongly about the twilight’s last gleaming. So much so that she sang it twice.
Biggest singing error during a public event, part two: Scotty McCreery’s lip-synching screw-up during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We know the “American Idol” winner and everyone else who stands on a float doesn’t really sing, but at least maintain the illusion.
Biggest singing error during a public event, part three: Cyndi Lauper flubbing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics during the U.S. Open. This would have been a bigger deal if the error had been more major, and if more people watched tennis matches on Saturday nights.
Movie event that made us cry: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.” Saying farewell to Harry, Ron, Hermione and everyone from Hogwarts was truly the sweetest sorrow.
Best awards-show acceptance speech by a Melissa: Melissa McCarthy’s weepy, beauty-pageant Emmy Award win for best actress.
With tears in her eyes and a tiara on her head, McCarthy was all aw-shucks grace and charm. There she is, Miss America.
Worst awards-show acceptance speech by a Melissa: Melissa Leo’s f-bombed Oscar remarks. Leo, who won her first Oscar for her role as a feisty boxing mom in “The Fighter,” is a salt-of-the-earth, speak-her-mind kind of lady. We respect that. But someone needed to remind her that there’s no cursing at the Academy Awards.
Creepiest pretend celebrity crush: Jim Carrey’s love for Emma Stone. In an online video meant as a joke, Carrey confessed that he wanted to marry “The Help” star and have “chubby little freckle-faced kids” with her. Sort of funny. Also? Creepy.
Creepiest, seemingly real pseudo-celebrity marriage: Doug Hutchison and Courtney Stodden. The 51-year-old bit player on “Lost” married a 16-year-old who looks like a 35-year-old porn star, thereby ensuring they would become the subject of perverse Internet fascination.
Most memorable celebrity reference to blood: Charlie Sheen pretty much owned this one, thanks to his assertion during a “Today” show interview that he has both tiger blood and Adonis DNA.
Most memorable movie reference to blood: The thirst-quenching moment in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” when Bella Swan takes a big ‘ol slurp of human blood to satiate her unborn child, who Monica Hesse, Melissa Bell and I officially dubbed ReFetusMe.
Best Ralph Macchio moment: When he came out fox trotting and strong on season 12 of “Dancing With the Stars.” Ultimately, he missed the cutoff for the finals, but his performances, even the clumsier ones, still translated into an enjoyable comeback for Daniel-san.
Best unintended Ralph Macchio moment: Lady Gaga’s Jo Calderone switcheroo at the MTV Video Music Awards, a moment that prompted so many people to compare her to Macchio that the “Karate Kid” star’s name briefly trended on Twitter.
Weirdest celebrity baby name: While the celebrity baby boom presented many potential candidates, we still vote for Alicia Silverstone’s son: Bear Blu. Which celebrity baby will top that in 2012? The suspense is killing us.