"2013? I'm sick of hearing about 2013! If it's supposed to be 2013, how come I'm stuck driving this old beater instead of a flying car, eh? And why am I still wearing this threadbare old suit? Couldn't you give me something more dashing?"
The first uses of the year 2010 surged late in the 20th century as a Twenty Minutes into the Future date as the year 2000 was getting closer, apart from looking for something more original. The word "New" is used to distinguish the 2010s from the 1910s — arguably unnecessary since there are few people alive who remember The Edwardian Era (the current oldest living person was 12 when King Edward died, and she's from Japan; the oldest living Brit wasn't even 10).
While the decade chronologically began in 2010, most consider the cultural and social attitudes that have thus far dominated the era to have begun at some point between 2008 and 2012.
This transition, however, has not been uneventful, with the turbulent Bush Era giving way to the Obama Administration at a time the 1990's and 2000s economic boom ended with the Great Recession, the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression. While there have been signs of recovery around the US and Western Europe, these have been erratic for the markets and almost non-existent for the middle and working classes, who have been clamoring for more responsible governments with influential protests like Occupy Wall Street.
However, this has also created a growing polarization with populist-extremist movements like the Independence Party in the UK and the Tea Party in the States, which has capitalized from general anger also fueled by the Pyrrhic outcome of the War On Terror after Al-Qaeda forces have taken control of many areas even after Osama Bin Laden's death. To make matters worse, terrorism has crept to the West itself, with an onslaught of mass murders bringing on debates on gun control and other security measures.
Other parts of the world have been affected by social unrest. The "Arab Spring" in the Middle East marked mass confrontation against long-standing autocracies with results ranging from quick resolution (like in Tunisia) to civil war (like in Syria) with varying degrees of success. After a brief respite, the US has again become involved in Iraq following the rise of the militant Islamic State in Syria/Levant (also called ISIS, ISIL or simply Islamic State or IS) and their growing influence in the area. NATO/Russian tensions resulting from the confrontation between pro-Russian and pro-European factions in Ukraine reached such a point that many feared a new Cold War. Moscow subsequently regained an international presence in light of allegations of having a hand in the Ukrainian conflict, and this coupled with China's economic rivalry with the States and the end of Japan's "Lost Decade" has arisen calls of an "Asian Century" specially taking in mind the crises of the West.
There has been much discussion lately about internet freedom and personal liberties, prompted by events such as information released by WikiLeaks and the arrest warrant against Julian Assange in 2010, hacktivists Anonymous' involvement in many political affairs and retaliation against anti-digital piracy campaigns, the internet's protest against SOPA and PIPA in 2012, and the leaked info about NSA surveillance by Snowden in 2013.
The NSA scandal marked a turning point on how things are done in politics, with the U.S. gov't (supposedly) abandoning mass espionage and taking a more passive approach to its foreign policy. Locally, recreational marijuana use was legalized in Colorado and Washington in late 2012, and in 2013 the majority of the public in the USA turned in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreation purposes for the first time since national polling on the issue began in 1969. Support for same-sex marriage has been increasing world-wide, and polls show that the clear majority of young people are for it.
In cultural terms, the "new hippie era" of the late 2000s stretched into the early part of the decade, but Hipsters were the most familiar trend of the period, with their unconventional interests/habits, their affinity for mod/new wave style skinny clothes, and their use of sarcasm. "Selfies" and "memes" have also become known on a nationwide basis on most media (i.e. viral music hits like "Gangnam Style" or widespread media campaigns like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge). Given the uneasy climate of today, a nostalgic wave has begun to sweep in with 1990s pop culture in particular (along with that of the 1960s-'80s) becoming popular once again.
When it comes to media set in The Present Day and the future, Darker and Edgier entertainment reflecting grim headlines and cynical/resigned attitudes has thrived. Zombies and dystopias are the genre fiction elements of choice (i.e. The Hunger Games), dark, complex television dramas like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad have audiences talking, and even traditionally idealistic franchises such as Superman and Star Trek have been getting grim-and-gritty adaptations of late.
Check out the Useful Notes page for details on notable aspects of this era thus far.
See Also: The Roaring Twenties, The Great Depression, The Forties, The Fifties, The Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, and Turn of the Millennium.
In part, this is because 3-D requires either shooting the entire movie with two side-by-side cameras (expensive and time-consuming) or post-production work to add it manually (expensive and time-consuming, though not as much so, but it doesn't look as good as 'true' 3-D). CGI movies can just drop in a second virtual camera and re-render the whole thing.
All-CGI Cartoon: Major animation studios still prefer these to traditionally animated films. Disney is the key exception since 2009, but neither The Princess and the Frog or Winnie the Pooh were as popular as all-CGI films, and their original plans to release a 2D film every other year died when 2013's Frozen was switched from 2D to CGI.
Ironically, however, they have been working to create CG technology that accurately produces a traditional 2D appearance. The Paperman short for instance is a combination of CG and 2D animation. It also was a critically acclaimed short that won multiple awards.
The Alleged Car: Like it happened to subcompacts in The Seventies, hybrid cars have quickly become mocked for their flaws, most notably the Chevrolet Volt and now the Toyota Prius, with many of them being recalled. That these cars received federal stimulus didn't help (this became the core of the criticism against the Volt). In fact, recalls since 2011 have affected the entire car industry, putting into question the regulations that have been in effect since the mid-to-late 2000s.
Big Fat Future: The obesity epidemic hitting developed countries is truly beginning to take hold; plentiful, high-calorie food is making everyone go up a few pant sizes and stories portraying futures full of overweight people are beginning to emerge because of this.
Blockbuster Age of Hollywood: Movie grosses fell dramatically between late 2010 and 2013, and most films of the period didn't live up to their expectations. This went so far that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas expressed their fears about an inminent demise of the blockbuster model. And while things have looked somewhat better in 2014, the movie industry is in an awkward situation with rising competition from TV and Internet intensifying.
Boy Band: They're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! But unlike the late-90's wave, only One Direction has become notoriously successful, with the rest of this new generation of boy bands having generally been minimally popular, like The Wanted and Big Time Rush.
Corrupt Corporate Executive and Corrupt Politician: Sadly seemingly more prevalent than ever in the developed world, with these two tropes forming an unholy allegiance through lobbying and cronyism. It culminated in an attempt to impose net-wide censorship, and made Lamar Smith the biggest Scrappy amongst the current Congress, who are already widely hated for passing controversial laws while blockading laws that would actually do some good.
Hide Your Gays: Becoming more and more of a Discredited Trope during this decade as more LGBT people are making public of their sexual orientation. The repeal of laws such as "Don't ask, don't tell" heavily contributed to this. Regardless, being gay remains a contentious issue among some, as the public statements on the matter from Chick-fil-A's President Dan Cathy and the resulting controversy will attest.
Hipsters: Were on top of the world at the beginning of the decade, then began to (fittingly) suffer from It's Popular, Now It Sucks and became the butt of many jokes. Hardly a day ever passes now without someone proclaiming that "Hipsters are dead", with the fate of the subculture perhaps coming as a result of mainstream fashion appropriating much of their 'look' (See the entries for Nerd Glasses and Painted-On Pants).
Horizontal Lens Flares: Started somewhere in the late 2000s, early 2010s music videos can't seem to go without them. The 2009 Star Trek film probably helped/didn't help.
It's All About Me: The "selfie" craze begun in 2013 is an appropiate picture of this trope (no pun intended).
Japanese Invasion: While Asia has experienced many economic and cultural booms in this decade, Japanese Media on the other hand has been stated to be under a Dork Age over in some foreign shores due to shifts in audience towards the Lighter and Softer "Moe" genre and making a minimal effort to appeal to casual and foreign crowds. Coupled with cultural rival South Korea dominating the eastern music industry and even bringing their own talent to work with famous American musicians to help grow their international appeal, in contrast. It hasn’t been all doom and gloom however, with Japanese Culture still retaining warm receptions in Asia and Australia at least, while among other events, the resurgence of global popularity in Eastern Gaming and Visual Kei music, to go along with the revival of Toonami signifying an anime resurgence in the west as a result, signals a potential renaissance for Japanese media in the near future.
Long Runner Shows: Most TV shows these days actually begun during the 2000's. And if until The Eighties a show having five seasons was considered to be this, now if it runs for less than ten years is considered to be pretty short-lived.
Moe: While it's been all the rage in the east and becoming a more popular concept in the west, reception of newer anime series that feature this (most notably in the west) tend to be treated with either indifference or outright disgust due to either being generic adaptations of Harem or Romantic Comedy, or put in an inappropriate setting. It also doesn't help to note that this trope is constantly being applied to females and is sometimes seen as sexist within among the western fanbase. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has been extremely popular not only with its intended audience, but also with a large periphery demographic of older males and its Moe appeal has been commented on; the show is popular enough to have been exported back to Japan, and it has been cited as an example of rising interest in Moe in the west, albeit its own style.
Network Decay: Persists during this era, although some networks have started to return to their roots. Other networks have either shut down or re-branded entirely so at least their new themes fit.
The Nineties: The 1990s, not 1890s, has become a new nostalgia point for many people, although some 90's nostalgia was present from late in the 2000's and until recently most nostalgics were just teenagers bragging about their rights for being "'90s kids". However, it won't be very long until the Nineties gets its own version of Happy Days / That 70's Show. It also helps that the decade is remembered as a time of peace and prosperity, while the current era is... not.
Over 2013-14, the Furby craze during the holidays and the rather nostalgic Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show were probably turning points for this nostalgia boom. Not to mention the Ninja Turtles movie.
Disney is once more extremely trendy after having Regrown The Beard near the end of the previous decade. The fact that many of the new movies hearkens back to the style of movies they created in the nineties hasn't been missed.
While pop music is still reeling influence from 80s Synthpop, a few songs have harkened back to the style of the decade with considerable success: Meghan Trainor's debut single "All About that Bass" shot up to #1 (altho the song also has some 50s pop styles as well)
Actually the 90s have practically come back for Eastern Europe and Central Asia -specifically Russia, essentially all other post-Soviet states except perhaps the Baltic states and most especially the former Yugoslavia-, except for the fact that this decade was anything but a fun time for them. And while Russia seems determined to climb back to the status of the former USSR by any and all means (and doing quite well, for good or ill), the Baltic states and former Warsaw Pact states such as Poland or the Czech Republic have been doing comparatively well since the EU enlargement and the Balkans have somewhat recovered...for Ukraine, Moldova and especially the Central Asian former Soviet republics (with the exception of Kazakhstan), things have been only getting worse and worse.
No Dub for You: Becoming more prevalent as less English dubs are being produced for anime (though FUNimation is still producing English dubs for almost all of their licensed shows).
However this trope seems to be getting less-prevalent with Sentai Filmworks producing even more dubs than FUNimation annually, Viz Media licensing and dubbing a larger variety of shows, Saban back in the game, Aniplex USA dubbing a healthy portion of their shows, and the Japanese companies producing a few dubs themselves. Heck, even Media Blasters still dubs, despite being in financial ruin, and NIS America entered the game as well in 2014 with their English dub of Toradora!. 2009-2011 were somewhat dark years for the medium. The revival of Toonami and the introduction of Neon Alley streaming service indicates there is some demand for English dubbed anime for a few select titles and this trope is often applied to more niche titles (i.e. Slice of LifeSchoolgirl Series or Otaku pandering anime).
Painted-On Pants: Fashion so far has seemed to place a major emphasis on form-fitting clothing, as seen in the popularity of leggings for females and skinny jeans for both genders. In the business world, slim-fit suits have also undergone a revival.
Perpetual Poverty: Mostly averted, though since late in 2013 the income drains affecting the middle and working classes have become an important isssue, specially in the US and the UK.
Popularity Polynomial: Like it happened to The Sixties and The Eighties in the 2000's, the 2010's have gotten a lot of nostalgia towards the grunge and rap cultures of the 90's, but pop culture during this decade has been largely patterned after The Seventies (see below) with afros/sideburns, bell-bottoms and platform shoes for women being a fairly common sight these days.
Porn Stache: Some younger men have gone as far as implanting hair to have one of these (or the equally fashionable full beard).
Power Tattoo: More and more young people as well as celebrities are getting tattooed thanks to such shows as LAInk.
Scandal Gate: The current debate between security vs. privacy/personal liberties has caused some noise, most notably the NSA scandal of 2013, dubbed as the "NSA-Gate".note Although "Wiregate" would have served as a more appropiate title since the AP had uncovered some government wiretapping operations weeks before. This also became notable for being Barack Obama's first big trouble, and unfortunately, it wasn't the only for him.
Another noisy scandal regarding web privacy has been the "CelebGate" scandal, with many celebrities' being targeted simultaneously and gradually, as opposed to just one at a time every once in a while.
Sci-Fi Ghetto: The traditional science fiction genre is becoming less and less popular; as TV networks have been less inclined to make or renew Speculative Fiction programming (withafew exceptions), while the Sci Fi Channel has become a poster child of Network Decay alongside the likes of MTV, Cartoon Network, and Tech TV with many of its Sci-Fi programming being phased out for more reality shows. It hasn't been all bad for genre fiction, as Fantasy television and movies are experiencing possibly their greatest popularity ever, led by Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time on television, and the lingering aftereffects of the previous decade's Lord of the Rings film trilogy. And speculative fiction in general has been all the rage when it comes to film, comics, literature, and video games, giving fans hope of a possible reversal of the ghetto.
Sequel Gap: Due in part to Hollywood's growing aversion to untested properties, sequels to movies from previous decades are becoming common. Such examples include Toy Story 3 being released 11 years after the second one, Men In Black 3 10 years after the second, and TRON and TRON: Legacy seeing a 28 year gap between each other. In addition, Monsters, Inc. got a prequel 12 years after the original release.
Serial Killer: Became a hot-button issue with an ongoing wave of massacres since the summer of 2012, leading to the current gun control debate. Curiously (and/or terrifying) enough, the persons linked to these cases had ideas about the "liberal system" and the NWO.
The Seventies: Both decades have been increasingly compared, not only because of the pop culture/ Two Decades Behind nostalgia, but also the major social changes; the long, grueling wars; the underperforming economy and the espionage-related scandals (Watergate and the NSA respectively).
Sex Sells: Female pop musicians not being promoted through sexually charged imagery seems to be something of a rarity in this decade. Although hardly a new phenomenon, recent moves towards raunchier and Hotter and Sexier public personas by Miley Cyrus, Rihanna and Beyoncé amongst others have started to appear as attempts to 'outshock' each other.
Shaking the Rump: "Twerking" has become more viral in the hip hop culture, and was added to the Oxford Dictionary Online. Newfound popularity on social media sites like Vine and Miley Cyrus' infamous performance at the 2013 VMAs helps turn "twerk" into a household word.
Steam Punk: Has become the predominant genre of Speculative Fiction and Alternate History in the last three years, even influencing some of the fashion trends of the decade, with slim-fit suits drawing inspiration from pre-1925 styles.
Teen Idol: Male teen idols have seen a massive resurgence in the 2010s, and while many have started careers in the 2010s, only Justin Bieber and One Direction have reached a massive level of popularity. Austin Mahone has had some moderate success, but not at the same level as the former two.
The Illuminati: According to many people on YouTube, the best musicians on there are a part of this.
Tsundere: The concept is still strong, but it has gained a bit of a backlash in this decade, mostly due to the combination of oversaturation, poor writing and Flanderization of the Tsun-Tsun traits for comedy's sake. The subtrope of Shana Clone has undergone a similar criticism for a few of the same reasons. Ironically, male tsunderes haven't received much backlash like female tsunderes does.
The End of the World as We Know It: A radio host predicted the world was going to end May 21, 2011, which obviously didn't happen. There were also predictions that the world could end on December 21, 2012 due to changes in the Mayan calendar, and that didn't happen either. And with North America's brutal 2013-14 winter, there were whispers of Ragnarok.
Token Mini-Moe: Lolis are still very popular in Japan, but much like moe and tsundere character archetypes, this trope have received a lot of backlash among the western anime fanbase. This is mainly because many lolis are either portrayed to be too bland, idealizedLittle Sister Heroine or Tsundere, or pandering to lolicons and pedophiles. And much like the moe trope, lolis are seen to be very sexist among the western anime fanbase note It doesn't help to note that anime and manga have disporportionally higher portrayal of lolis than shoutas. Many North American licensors often stay away from anime that contains this trope (particularly if they are portrayed in a very sexual manner) with an exception of Sentai Filmworks.
Western Terrorists: The most prominent disasters so far involving them are the 2011 Oslo shootings, both the Century 16 (movie theater) shooting in Aurora, CO and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing (although that last one may not count, as the perpetrators were of Chechen background (albeit grown up in the US) and were, according to the investigation, motivated by Islamist extremism).
Worst News Judgment Ever: Only continues to worsen in this era, especially where 24-Hour News Networks are concerned. HLN, in particular, has become notorious for its saturation coverage of trials involving attractive young women charged with grisly murders (Casey Anthony in 2011, Jodi Arias in 2013).
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest takes place Twenty Minutes into the Future relative to the early-to-mid 1990s and is surmised by most to take place in 2010 give or take a year or two (although one theory puts it 2015), but since numbered years have been abolished to make way for years named after the corporate sponsor who pays for the naming rights, nobody can tell for sure.
In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt the Demon Sisters' Ghost Report for the second half of 2010 includes footage from every episode of the show to date, so it can be safely assumed that the show takes place, at the very least, after June 2010.
In Back to the Future, Doc Brown originally planned to travel 25 years into the future, October 26, 2010, before being interrupted by disgruntled Libyan terrorists.note Meanwhile, in Real Life, a Photoshopped picture of the DeLorean's control panel was passed around the Internet on July 5, 2010, suggesting that "we are the future." However, the film was set in October 1985, and Doc said that he wanted to see "who wins the next 25 World Series", making a trip to July sub-optimal.
In Real Life July 2010, many people fell for a hoax confusing this date with the film's 25th anniversary (July 5, 2010); see that year's section for details.
Towards the end of the original movie, Doc traveled to October 26, 2015, and after learning about the circumstances of Marty McFly Jr.'s arrest, travels back to 1985 to take Marty and Jennifer to 2015, kick-starting the second film.
The epilogue of the last Harry Potter book (published in 2007) would, according to the official timeline, take place in 2017. We don't really get to see what the Muggle world is like by that time, but at the very least they still have cars and driving tests.
We also know that they still have train stations and that they haven't found out about wizards yet.
Austin Aries: Returned in TNA in 2011. Greatest moment is winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in 2012.
Wade Barrett: Debuted in WWE in 2010. The most memorable part of his career was his time as the leader of The Nexus.
Daniel Bryan: After a brief suspension from WWE, returned in 2010; peaked in 2012 during his reign as World Heavyweight Champion, where he was best known for his YES! YES! YES! catchphrase. Has re-peaked in 2013.
Christian: After 14 years in the wrestling business, his greatest moment came in in 2011 when he won the World Heavyweight Championship in a ladder match.
Brodus Clay: Debuted in 2010 as a part of WWE NXT, Made his official re-debut as "The Funkasaurus" in January 2012.
Bully Ray: Bubba/Brother Ray rechristens himself as "Bully Ray" after turning on D-Von/Devon. He has become of TNA's top heels and won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in 2013 as well as being the leader of the Aces & Eights.
Dolph Ziggler: Peaked in 2013 when he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win his second World Heavyweight Championship (his first reign in 2011 lasted less than an hour, so it has next to no importance compared to his most recent reign).
3MB: A group of three midcard heels who got together in 2012 in hopes of more success. All of the members except for Drew McIntyre have debuted in this decade.
The Authority. The McMahons, HHH and Randy Orton join forces to screw over Daniel Bryan, Big Show and anyone else they don't like. In other words, the usual.
ChickBusters. AJ debuted in 2007. Kaitlyn in 2010 (that year also marked both of their debuts in WWE). The team in 2011.
Fortune. A band of TNA Originals united together by Ric Flair. Flair debuted in TNA on January 4, set the seeds on January 17 when he formed a partnership with AJ Styles, announced the group's formation on June 17, and declared the lineup complete on July 22, all 2010. All the other members had been in TNA for years beforehand, which played into the stable's mission statement.
The Nexus: A group of rookie wrestlers from WWE NXT who got together to take over WWE in the summer of 2010. All but two of its members (well-established second leader CM Punk and temporary "slave" John Cena) made their individual debuts in this decade. Spin off group "The Corre" debuted in 2011. Ezekiel Jackson, the only member who did not come from the Nexus, debuted in WWE in 2008.
The Shield: Debuted in 2012. Peaked (so far) in 2013 when they won the WWE United States and Tag Team Championships at Extreme Rules. All three members joined WWE in 2010, and one of its members, Roman Reigns, was virtually unknown until this decade.
Team Hell No. Debuted in 2012. Daniel Bryan, one-half of the team, was also new to the decade.
The Wyatt Family: A Deep SouthCult trio led by Bray Wyatt, formerly Husky Harris of WWE NXT and The Nexus. Wyatt/Harris debuted on WWE TV in 2010, but was with the company for a few years prior. Luke Harper joined WWE in 2012, but Brodie Lee was well-known prior to the decade's start. Erick Rowan was completely unknown in the 2000s.
Youtube Poop: While the quantity of new videos dwindled since the last decade, the Youtube Poops that did come out became much more sophisticated, with higher quality flash animation and sentence mixing, causing some to debate whether they should be considered the same genre as Youtube Poops from around 2007 to 2009.