In its second season, Big Mouth introduced a new devilish character: the looming, judgmental Shame Wizard. In the universe of the show, the Shame Wizard was responsible for maintaining healthy levels of embarrassment in his subjects. To the teens he watched over, he appeared scary and malicious, and yet his presence ensured the children could function as humans and not become oblivious adult babies like Coach Steve.
One crucial element of thirst is that the person displaying it seems, to the weary observer, less able to experience the psychological effects of shame. And so they thirst and they thirst... and they thirst. It’s a common trait among the entities on this list. There is no end to their pursuit of love and attention. Of fame and approval. Here are the 30 thirstiest people and things of 2018, in no particular order, as deemed worthy by the Jezebel staff. Drink up.
1. Noah Centineo
Noah Centineo, a frustratingly fine 22-year-old, lit a horny yet wholesome flame in our loins with his portrayal of Peter Kavinsky in the Netflix film adaptation of the YA novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. But like many hotties before him, he flew too close to the sun: as soon as we became thirsty for Peter Kavinsky, he became even thirstier for us. So we broke up with him.
2. Instant Pots
3. Olivia Nuzzi
Remember Nuzzi’s entirely too generous profiles of Kellyanne Conway and Mike Cernovich, and her professed “love” for Milo Yiannopoulos? She really outdid herself this year with this, essentially a word-for-word transcript of Donald Trump’s rambling stump speeches. It’s never a good look when White House officials are pleased with your writing.
YouTube is the ideal platform for those who desire fame and fortune but lack the discernible talent to get there. This was another year full of the aspirational, hungry-as-hell, dumb-as-rocks YouTuber, in the form of poorly behaved, potentially un-parented children (Lil Tay); BeauTubers aka makeup influencers (Laura Lee); and that weird Christian couple who faked a wildfire evacuation. There are more, but do you really need to know about them?
Gritty once topped our fall crush list, but now that the cool winter weather has finally settled in, it’s clear that it was a one-season fascination. The new, endearingly fucked up Philadelphia Flyers mascot was unveiled in September, skating straight into the blackened hearts of Philly’s phreakiest residents, bringing smiles to all who bore witness to his luscious orange floof, his unmistakable belly roll, his fight with that one child that one time. But now the loyal, mischievous, snow-eating, hot dog-downing East Coast monster just wants it too much.
6. Katie talking about CBD
Our resident amateur CBD expert Katie McDonough has spent the majority of her time at Jezebel not editing The Slot and actually just sitting at her desk consuming CBD while shopping for CBD items and wearing a t-shirt that says “I love CBD.” She is mastermind behind the Jezebel Does CBD video and the only reason any of the staffers know anything about CBD while at the same time knowing nothing about CBD or CBD’s legit effects. She’s lucky that her thirst mirrors that of the nation at large. As the New York Times wondered in their piece “Why Is CBD Everywhere?”: “Is this the dawning of a new miracle elixir, or does all the hype mean we have already reached Peak CBD?” Indeed, why is CBD everywhere and why is Katie always talking about it?
7. Louis CK and men making comebacks
Not only have men like Louis CK, Aziz Ansari, Charlie Rose, and more crept back into the culture after *stares down at watch* barely a year since being accused of sexual misconduct, they’ve managed to make the accusations a crucial part of their brand. Charlie Rose wants to interview other men who’ve been accused, Aziz makes jokes about outrage on Twitter, and Louis CK wants everyone to know he lost $35 million in an hour. We get it, you’re the ones who’ve really suffered.
8. James Cameron
Avatar is a movie about blue people and humans, who can somehow become these blue people via virtual reality, even though we technically exist in the same solar system…? Oh, and it’s about colonization, or something. Needless to say, it was bad, but James Cameron would like to make FOUR sequels for it even though the movie came out a decade ago. Why? Because he’s thirsty as fuck.
9. Justin Timberlake
Clearly on a journey to redeem himself from releasing “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” the theme song for the movie Trolls, Timberlake released the new album Man of the Woods this year. He advertised it with photos of himself frolicking in flannel and the woods, all of which seemed to beg us to reconsider the Timberlake. For some reason, the album is 16 songs long and includes a song where Timberlake’s child calls him “da-da.” Can you remember a single song from it? Stick to SNL cameos, dude.
10. Pete Davidson
If it hadn’t been for Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson would’ve remained a bit player on Saturday Night Live, with a tall, lanky body and an oddly hot face; he would’ve spent most of his career being a teenager in classroom skits and making jokes about how he doesn’t smoke weed anymore during SNL’s Weekend Update. Because of Ariana Grande, though, Pete Davidson’s comings and goings became news; after the breakup, Davidson milked it for work and, mercifully, has ceased. None of this is particularly thirsty. Telling Howard Stern that he thanked Ariana Grande profusely each and every time they had sex, however, is.
11. Bari Weiss
Finally something more annoying than mansplaining! Frequently positioning herself as the voice of reason so as to temper the left’s unruly tendencies, Weiss compresses complex issues, revising with broad strokes so that she comes off as smart to dumb people (but mostly for the clicks and coveted spots on Real Time with Bill Maher). Remember when in 2017 she decided cultural appropriation was good while completely overlooking the legacy of minstrelsy? Or when she decided the slogan of MeToo was “Believe all women” and not just “believe women”? Or when this year she tried to dunk on her “fellow feminists” by dismissing the prevailing discourse around Aziz Ansari?
But Queen Actually’s most grating tendency might be doubling down when she’s proven wrong: After she tweeted “Immigrants: They get the job done,” in response to Team USA Olympian Mirai Nagasu’s triple axel, she followed it up by saying of course she knew that Nagasu was born in California, that in fact, she was referring to her parents who are immigrants (I suppose in that reading, “the job” refers to procreation). Additionally, she referred to the exaggerated ire directed at her for saying something so fucking stupid while misappropriating Hamilton was “another sign of civilization’s end.” Ya know, we’re starting to think it’s not soon enough.
12. Elon Musk and Grimes
Well, thank god experimental pop maestro Grimes has become the labor expert she was clearly put on earth to be. A blindfolded pelican tapping out Morse code with his toes, while a relatively anthropomorphized cartoon fish leaned out of his gullet to sing a fatalistic love song, would do a better job of explaining the absurdity of these two people than mere words. Maybe next year.
13. Lindsay Lohan
Where to start??? Lawyer.com? Her admission that she’s been “stalkerish” about making a Mean Girls sequel? Her public seeking of endorsements? #dothelilo? Signing on to do another reality show (because Lindsay went so well for her). Her attempt to woo Tyga in his Instagram comments? It’s been quite a year for Lindsay, and we loved watching every second of it. May she never be quenched.
“Everyone has a podcast” is the joke that this year ceased to be funny, both because we’ve been hearing it for so long and because it moved uncomfortably close to reality. Amy Schumer has a podcast. So does Lena Dunham. Alec Baldwin. Snoop Dogg. Even grocery store chains and co-working spaces are getting into the action. Meanwhile, podcasts will do anything to get and keep you listening—curveballs, cliffhangers, exploitation, emotional manipulation, and journalistic meandering leading to nowhere. They just want your earholes. They want them real bad.
It’s the little embarrassment sitting in the top right corner of Instagram. The cutesy TV icon that you have only ever clicked on by accident. IGTV, Instagram’s longform video platform, was launched over the summer with fanfare and celebrity support. It was going to be the new YouTube! But these few months later, despite Instagram’s every effort to make it a thing, it is very much not a thing. Just recently, Instagram notified users of the new ability to share IGTV video previews to Stories, which is a bit like having your mom text your exes to say that you’re still single and looking. One day it’ll get the hint.
16. Democrats who call for civility
Whether it’s from an elected official or your typical holier than thou Resistance! Twitter cretin, Democrats calling for civility on the left in the face of increasingly callous and inhumane treatment from the GOP and far right gotta go in 2019. It won’t, of course, because there will always be someone there to draw up some false equivalence and liken leftists interrupting Ted Cruz’s dinner as an act of protest to a far-right goon ramming his car into a crowd of leftists protesting. But here’s hoping???
17. Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. is so thirsty for attention that it’s almost impressive, the lengths he goes to get that thirst quenched. He tweets bad takes that get gassed up on Twitter, screenshots those bad takes and posts them to his Instagram account and gets gassed up even more, and has done this ad nauseam in 2018. His Instagram is a particularly cursed place where photos of his children are interspersed with right-wing propaganda or awkwardly angled selfies he took after (or during!!!) a gym workout. Enough!!!
18. Face Masks
I had lived most of my life blessedly unaware of face masks. But in 2018, the beauty fad has seemingly become a staple in “self care,” promising to “rejuvenate,” “liberate,” “cleanse,” “restore,” and “renew” my skin, as if my skin were a repressed, tired, overworked mother of 27 children on the verge of a midlife crisis. They are full of ingredients that I associate with either exotic salads and farm animals, like goji berries and mud, neither of which are things I particularly want on my body. If you’re one of the poor, misguided souls not regularly slathering pomegranate essence and penis foreskin on your face, you’re probably destined for acne-ridden skin and a lifetime of rejection—it’s science.
19. Michael Avenatti
Even in 2018, there are few figures thirstier than Michael Avenatti, disappointing ex-Zaddy and #Resistance darling who, until recently, represented Stormy Daniels in her suit against Donald Trump. Avenatti, who loves to call out Trump on Twitter, is not-so-secretly using his newfound platform to chum it up with Democratic politicians. He is mulling a 2020 presidential bid, and thinks he’s the right man for the job, because, according to him, the next Commander-in-Chief “better be a white male.” Since then, he has been arrested for domestic violence—a claim he denies—and he and Daniels have had a falling out. As Daniels considers representation, she told the Daily Beast that Avenatti has “not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client.” Michael Avenatti, please…. #Basta.
20. Alternative milks
In the beginning, there was soy: innocuous, a gift to the lactose intolerant and vegans, fine-tasting if you got the sweetened variety. But soy milk launched America’s obsession with increasingly distressing kinds of alternative milks: almond (fine), cashew (gross), coconut (pass), hemp (excuse me?). They used to be reserved for special occasions or needs, only available upon request; now, in certain neighborhoods of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, you might get a weird look for asking where the regular milk is and then rudely reminded they don’t serve any. Oat milk is the only good alternative milk, but it is also too thirsty; it got so popular that you almost couldn’t buy it anymore—but lo, bodegas and cafés swiftly restocked their shelves with more. Big Oat just wants what Big Almond and everyone else wants: a bigger and bigger piece of the pie, which in this metaphor is your wallet, your refrigerator space, and your non-dairy lifestyle.
21. Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj really doesn’t have to try so hard. In the past year, she released a single with Tekashi 6ix9ine and refused to back down; released an album that charted No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and viewing that as a failure, blamed Travis Scott’s baby for it; she maintained a petty beef with Cardi B, only to have it blow up in her face (and then acted like everything was all cool to begin with). This habit of making noise for the sake of making noise is beneath her. She constantly curates a public list of her enemies and invents new entries when she fears things will get too boring. She doesn’t realize she’ll be fine if she learns to chill—just a smidge. Because this need for attention, for any kind of attention, is backfiring on her a little bit; kind of like when she rhymes “yes, I’m King Kong” with “yes, miss King Kong.”
22. Bradley Cooper
There can be 100 people in the room, and Bradley Cooper will always be the thirstiest among them. The actor made his directorial debut this year with the thoroughly fine A Star Is Born, in which he starred alongside Lady Gaga. He also debuted a new side of himself: the Oscar-hungry auteur who wants us to think that he’s above such Hollywood politicking. He says he hates celebrity profiles… in a New York Times profile he agreed to do. He refuses to do a photo spread for W magazine’s cover story about him because he wants to be appreciated in the context of his work, but... he’s still on the cover of the magazine because it’s a cover story?? Did Lynn Hirschberg hold a gun to your head or something?? Just say you want an Oscar! If you don’t want an Oscar, don’t make an Oscar bait-y movie and then campaign for an Oscar!
23. Amy Siskind and other resistance grifters
Life is mostly dumb and always unfair, a lesson we learn anew every day. Seth Abramson, a prolific Twitter user and professor of communication arts and sciences at the University of New Hampshire, recently published a book based on his threaded conspiracy tweets based on other people’s reporting. “The reality, though, is that if Vladimir Putin is using a tape involving urine to blackmail our president, we have to love America enough to speak of urine publicly and objectively, without snickering or frivolous humor,” Abramson wrote in his book proposal, which was subsequently and inexplicably picked up by Simon & Schuster. Abramson’s grift is largely interchangeable with the Amy Siskind and Eric Garland-types who are also currently confusing your impressionable aunt when screenshots of their tweets get reposted to Facebook. It has to end. Please think about the aunts.
24. Male allies
The worst thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life after The Family Stone happened as I was leaving the first Women’s March in New York City last year. As the march dissipated somewhere up in Midtown and those who had assembled splintered off to East and West, I walked by a group of four young men, huddled in a circle, angrily shout-chanting, “HER BODY, HER CHOICE! HER BODY, HER CHOICE! HER BODY, HER CHOICE! HER BODY, HER CHOICE!” I always think of this when I see self-identified male allies in action, the men who bum-rush the microphone to denounce sexism and misogyny without seeing all the women they shoved aside to do so. Do you want to be a good ally to women? Just listen to women I mean Countess Luann and be cool. Don’t be all, like, uncool.
25. Meghan Markle’s sister
Basic-cable Christmas prince movies have taught us that every fairytale needs some manner of scheming villain. When Meghan Markle burst onto the international scene, plucked from the relative American obscurity of the USA Network and thereby supplying the world with a romance practically made for TV, her half-sister Samantha was more than happy to slip into the roll of shit-stirring antagonist. In the run-up to the royal wedding, she took seemingly every tabloid invitation to insinuate that Meghan was a rude little diva practically from birth. She switched from “Samantha Grant” to “Samantha Markle.” In September, she flew to London to “confront” Meghan (who understandably did not make herself available). Somebody get this woman a glass of water, because she is entirely too thirsty.
26. Chip & Joanna Gaines
The final shiplap-slinging episode of Fixer Upper aired in April, with much fanfare and, presumably, tears for lost revenue at HGTV. By November, the couple were back on Late Night, talking about how they were in negotiations for their own very network. There is nothing—NOTHING!—thirstier than leaving and coming right back. We see you, Chip and JoJo.
27. Horse girls
For what are the horse girls thirsty? Is it attention? Is it freedom? Is it beautiful blue prize ribbons? Is it an outsized place in the annals of children’s literature? Frankly, I’m not sure, but only thirst explains the sheer level of dedication involved.
28. The Wing
Insta-friendly décor is a thirst giveaway in all instances, but it is not the thirstiest thing about The Wing. The women-only social club, which began in New York City and is expanding to cities like Washington, DC and London, is fundamentally okay in concept—working women gather in a fancy place to do laptop stuff and socialize and go to dinners with Jennifer Lopez. But its seeming desire to subsume every prominent and famous feminist is parched. Isn’t one of the most freeing characteristics of feminism the idea that not everyone needs to like us? It’s okay if not everyone likes us.
2018 was the year that every columnist and pundit was “desperate” for nuance, but none of them could seemingly find it. Meghan Daum wanted nuance, as did Bari Weiss, Conor Friedersdorf, and everyone who (rather hysterically) describes themselves as a member of the “intellectual dark web.” And yet, despite a year spent writing and desperately tweeting about the flattening of “discourse,” and the absolute need for nuance, it remained elusive—especially for those so eager for it to appear. Nuance may have had a thirsty year, but maybe next year those nuance-hungry writers will figure out what it is rather than just yelling the word into the empty void of the internet.
We regularly post extended-play thirst traps and call them “product diaries.” We attempt to ruin the careers of good, honest men because we’re sexless, jealous, hysterical hags whose dogs won’t make out with us anymore. We said we wanted to phuck the Phanatic. We must be stopped! Or at the very least, canceled.