There’s no way around it: 2020 was a shit show. The year started with an impeachment and Kobe Bryant’s death, soon enough COVID-19 arrived, and that was followed by the most sustained period of civil unrest in decades.
The year was so bad that murder hornets barely registered as a story.
Even in the dark and stormy year that was 2020, the internet brought flashes of humorous light to remind us all that life is also beautiful. Few things bring as much joy unto others as a self-own, and this year was filled with some of the most epic self-owns in the history of the web.
So, as 2020 finally comes to a close, let’s recall its greatest Twitter self-owns of the year.
The best Twitter self-owns of 2020
That time Ben Shapiro accidentally admitted he’s bad at sex
For reasons unknown, right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro took it upon himself to discuss Cardi B’s hit song “WAP” in August. After correctly noting that women discussing their “wet-ass pussy” is empowering, Shapiro analyzed the song literally. He should’ve quit while he was ahead.
“As I also discussed on the show, my only real concern is that the women involved—who apparently require a ‘bucket and a mop’—get the medical care they require. My doctor wife’s differential diagnosis: bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, or trichomonis,” he tweeted.
Twitter had a field day.
Among the bemused replies: “BOTH ME AND MY WIFE AGREE THAT VAGINAS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DRY. — Ben Shapiro,” “Ben you don’t have to proudly announce on Twitter that you make your wife drier than the Sahara desert,” “Ben, does your doctor wife tell you she can’t get wet because she doesn’t have these medical issues?” and more.
To his credit, Shapiro took it in stride. In that same tweet, however, he claimed that he’s had paternity tests done on his children, making him something of self-own royalty, second only perhaps to James O’Keefe.
That time Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tried to dunk on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Feeling what one can only assume was clever, in April, after Gretchen Whitmer signed an order creating fines for violating social distancing guidelines, Ted Cruz tweeted a photo of her with several others who weren’t complying.
“As I count it, that’s $11K right there…” Cruz snarked.
There was just one problem: The picture was more than a year old.
Whitmer called Cruz out like a boss.
“I know you would never intentionally mislead the public,” she tweeted, “so I’m hopeful you’ll correct this mistake… Stay safe, & happy Easter from Michigan.”
The senator of seriously concerning facial hair quickly deleted the tweet, making the score Whitmer: 1, Cruz: Owned.
That time Shaun King tried to call out a senator over Medicare-for-all
Shaun King is kind of like the Hawaiian pizza of civil rights advocates: some can’t get enough of him, others can’t stand him.
In the spring, King gave his critics fresh ammunition when he responded to Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) about the preventable mass deaths caused by COVID-19.
“Do you support Medicare-for-all right now?” King fired back.
Schatz is one of the Medicare-for-all bill’s co-sponsors, a fact he quickly pointed out.
King crept away in deleted-tweet fashion. Ouch.
That time the Trump campaign used MS Paint to diss Biden
Things get really weird right before an election. In 2016, videos of Hillary Clinton laughing maniacally and pointing at people in the audience clinched the trophy for most bizarre.
This year, President Donald Trump’s campaign handily won the prize for weirdness.
Someone on the campaign that raised nearly $1 billion apparently used MS Paint to erase part of the Washington Monument, dropped in cranes that, if real, would have to be hundreds of feet tall, and captioned it: “This would be Joe Biden’s America.”
Laughter at the hilariously bad picture rang across the internet.
“The Washington Monument was made out of butter the whole time!” commented @Procrastamom.
That time Brad Parscale got owned by a grandma on TikTok
Speaking of Trump, the campaign hosted its first in-person rally in June, seemingly deciding that they’d enough of avoiding the pandemic. Expectations were high.
In the days leading up to the Tulsa, Oklahoma rally, no one seemed to be as excited as campaign adviser Brad Parscale. Parscale tweeted that 800,000 had signed up for what he expected to be an epic event.
Ultimately, a few thousand showed up, leaving Trump shouting his usual talking points to a bunch of empty seats.
Parscale really shouldn’t have been surprised. Because, as the Daily Dot reported five days before the June 20 rally, a grandmother on TikTok had gone viral for challenging people to sign up, then not attend.
People were highly amused.
Ordinarily this might not be a self-own, but Parscale’s literal job was data and digital strategy for a presidential re-election campaign, so maybe he could’ve read one of the thousands of comments and tweets warning them about the TikTok challenge before the rally. Just a thought.
That time Herman Cain’s Twitter posthumously claimed COVID-19 isn’t that deadly
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain passed away from COVID-19 in July. However, whoever runs his Twitter account decided not to let a pesky thing like death stop them from continuing to use his verified account to spread the message.
Bizarrely, one of the messages they chose to spread is the false assertion that COVID-19 isn’t deadly.
“It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be,” it tweeted on Aug. 31, mere weeks after Cain’s death.
Bizarrely, they kept up the COVID-19 denial even after “Zombie Herman Cain” became a thing.
Stop, Cain Gang. Just. Stop.
Basically every time Trump tweeted since the election
Losing is tough. It’s even tougher if you’re Trump, who’s known to even be a sore winner.
Trump has spent much of the nearly two months since he lost to President-elect Joe Biden getting laughed out of court and rage-tweeting lies about widespread election fraud.
Naturally, his many trolls can’t get enough of correcting him. And Twitter itself, which had heretofore been largely hands-off on Trump tweets, is getting in on the fact-checking fun.
Trump’s account is littered with notifications that, “This claim about election fraud is disputed,” and, best of all, “Election officials have certified that Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election.”
By this point, Trump has to know that he’s going to get called out on every lie. Yet he keeps doing it over, and over, and over, like someone sticking their tongue on a nine-volt battery. It’s like watching someone troll themselves in real-time.
And that kind of self-own will bring a smile to even people who’ve lived through a year like 2020.