The shock rise of #Brexit, #Trump and #PokemonGo all earned a spot among 2016's top Twitter trends.
But England's perennial football failure still delivered the UK's most tweeted moment this year.
The embarrassing tournament-ending 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 saw 128,000 tweets a minute fired off after the final whistle.
Meanwhile #Euro2016 was the fourth largest Twitter trend across the globe.
The twin political shocks of Brexit and Donald Trump's election were also among the top 10 trends of 2016 - though #Rio2016 got the most people tweeting.
The top 10 global trends:
Twitter stats showed One Direction fans remained devoted to the intricacies of the boyband's lives throughout 2016 - despite them taking a break.
Harry Styles led the list of the UK's most followed celebrities with 29.5 million followers.
Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne both earned spots in the top five while former bandmate Zayn Malik was sixth.
The top 10 most followed UK celebrities:
The most talked about TV show of the year was Celebrity Big Brother as Stephen Bear took the reality show's crown.
CBB beat off competition from the Great British Bake Off and Love Island.
The UK's top 10 trending TV shows:
Finally, the second most talked about moment in the UK - after England's shock Euros exit - was also provided by football.
It came as Leicester City's remarkable Premier League title triumph was confirmed with Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Chelsea in May.
The five most-tweeted UK moments: