The Top Bing Searches of 2016

Editorial note: This article was originally written in 2018. Although the information is not current, we've opted to leave the article in the Lifewire library for historical reasons. 

Bing, one of the most popular search engines on the Web today, collates their most searched for queries at the end of the year and releases them to the public, giving us an interesting glimpse into what the world was searching for. 

One thing that differentiates the list this year is the fact that Bing has put this massive data into a little bit of a different format; rather than compiling lists of overall top searches in various categories such as news and events, the emphasis is more on overall trends and searches that had deep cultural impact by category. It's a fascinating way to understand what we were searching for on Bing in 2016; especially as a few of these categories are unconventional choices, as well as giving us a quick look into what we're looking forward to for 2017. Here are the top Bing searches of 2016. 

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Video Games

Two buddies playing video games.

Robert Deutschman / Getty Images

Millions of people are playing some sort of video game all around the world, and this pastime is reflected in Bing's collection of the top video game searches for 2016. 

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Overwatch
  3. Fallout 4
  4. The Sims 4
  5. Battlefield 1
  6. No Man's Sky
  7. Quantum Break
  8. FIFA 17
  9. Doom
  10. Dark Souls 3
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Viral Moments

A woman taking a selfie.

Emma Innocenti

What was the most trending, viral content of 2016? Bing has collected it here, anything from looking up the most recent Powerball winner to the most globally played augmented reality game ever released. 

  1. Ryder Cup heckler
  2. Villanova's piccolo girl
  3. Powerball
  4. Aston Martin winner
  5. Who's the mom? 
  6. Evgenia Medvedeva
  7. Harambe the gorilla
  8. #DaysoftheWeek
  9. Cats of the Internet
  10. Pokemon Go
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A gymnast at the Olympics.

Robert Decelis Ltd / Getty Images

As in any year where there are Olympics, searches for anything related to this worldwide sporting event usually top the search charts. Here are the top searched for Olympians for 2016. 

  1. Michael Phelps
  2. Gabby Douglas
  3. Ryan Lochte
  4. Simone Biles
  5. Katie Ledecky
  6. Usain Bolt
  7. J'Den Cox
  8. Hope Solo
  9. Aly Raisman
  10. Missy Franklin
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A hand placing a candle among other burning vigil candles.

Elerein / Getty Images

2016 was a year of significant losses in the entertainment industry, as seen by the top searched for results below:

  1. David Bowie
  2. Prince
  3. Alan Rickman
  4. Antonin Scalia
  5. Paul Kantner
  6. Glenn Frey
  7. Maurice White
  8. Gene Wilder
  9. Muhammad Ali
  10. John Glenn
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Animated Television Shows

A cartoon of superheros against a cityscape.


yogysic / Getty Images

Search trends pointed towards the following results for the most popular animated television shows; showing our culture's fondness for irony, humor, and of course, cutting-edge animation. 

  1. The Simpsons
  2. South Park
  3. Family Guy
  4. American Dad
  5. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  6. Archer
  7. Happy Tree Friends
  8. Robot Chicken
  9. Squidbillies
  10. The Venture Bros
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Dogs in a car.

Diane Collins and Jordan Hollender / Getty Images

One of the more intriguing top searched for trends on Bing this year was the collection of "stories"; content and events that the world found most interesting in a relatively short period of time. Here are the top "feel good" stories that people looked for using Bing in 2016:

  1. Cubs win the World Series
  2. Cam Newton hops fence, tosses football with students
  3. Reykjavik turns off street lamps to view the Northern Lights
  4. Two New York sisters found a year after they disappeared. 
  5. Steph Curry continues amazing season

And here are the top searched for "strange but true" stories:

  1. Top searched strange but true stories
  2. Australian town blanketed by "hairy panic" tumbleweeds
  3. Huge triceratops left in the middle of British roadway
  4. Thousands of sharks congregating off Florida
  5. Countless jellyfish wash ashore on south Florida beach
  6. Red crabs swarm in "cloud". 
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What's Coming in 2017

A gloved hand opening a fancy car.

Erik Snyder / Getty Images

Another intriguing feature of the Bing top searches this year: forecasting what people are already interested for in 2017. 

According to search volume on Bing over all of 2016, here are the top anticipated movies of 2017:

  1. Star Wars: Episode VIII
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2
  3. Wonder Woman
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  5. Fifty Shades Darker
  6. Transformers: The Last Knight
  7. Alien: Covenant
  8. Underworld: Blood Wars
  9. Justice League
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Another search trend that surfaced in 2016 on Bing: searches for these hotly anticipated new cars coming out in 2017:

  1. 2018 Mercedes-Maybach Pullman
  2. 2018 Ferrari Dino
  3. 2018 Infiniti Q100
  4. 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
  5. 2018 Lincoln Continental
  6. 2018 Land Rover Defender
  7. 2018 Toyota Supra
  8. 2018 Honda Civic Type R
  9. 2019 Lamborghini Asterion
  10. 2018 Jeep Wrangler