Throwback Thursday: Modern Family

The films, books and TV shows we were all obsessed with in 2009

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To mark the 10th Anniversary of Stylist’s first issue, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. Here’s all the culture, trends and events we were googling at the end of the noughties, for the ultimate throwback Thursday.     

2009 was a whirlwind of a year. From the peak in popularity of Gavin and Stacey (who knew it was ten years old already?), to Obama’s inauguration, the noughties feel like a whole world away. 

But thinking about the pop culture of 2009 can take us right back to that time ten years ago, and there’s no better way to gauge what we were obsessed with than taking a look at what we typed into Google Search.

In the 21st century, our google habits have become the best way to understand and find out more about the workings of the human mind. From finding out what that nagging headache means to conducting a deep-dive into the lives of our favourite celebrities, our internet searches can give us a great idea of all the things we were talking about, listening to, watching and experiencing in any given time.

So in celebration of Stylist’s 10th birthday celebrations this week, we decided to take a look at the trends, events and culture ruling the world at the time of our first issue. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride: welcome back to 2009. 

The most popular films in 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The second instalment of the Twilight series hit cinemas, and teenagers all over the world were full-to-bursting with screaming excitement. Posters of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner were probably plastered across many teenage girls’ bedroom walls, and vampires and werewolves were officially cool.

The Hangover

The beginning of the trilogy debuted in 2009, and it’s safe to say critics and audiences alike were pretty tickled by this bachelor party-turned-great adventure. “The Hangover rocks the house with funny,” Rolling Stone wrote.

Hannah Montana Movie

Featuring instant classics such as The Climb and Hoedown Throwdown, this movie special from everyone’s favourite normal girl-turned-international super star was a serious banger, and we officially fell in love with Miley Cyrus.

17 Again

Zac Efron… need we say more? 17 Again, which also features Friends star Matthew Perry, follows a dad who feels stuck in life after a failed marriage, only to be given the chance to be 17 again. Clever title.


The purest film known to man was released this year, and the world was all the better for it. Carl and Russel set off on a beautiful and crazy adventure in this nostalgic, weird and wonderful animation, that’s a favourite of Rose McGowan’s.


James Cameron’s Avatar was released at the end of 2009, and became the highest grossing film in history 41 days later. The sci-fi film, which features the likes of Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington, remains the second highest grossing film ever, but the sequel is yet to arrive (currently, its got a release date of 2021).

My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper is a powerful tearjerker based on Jodi Picoult’s novel of the same name. The film follows the story of the Fitzgerald family as they navigate the realities of terminal cancer.

The most popular TV series in 2009

Glee fans
Most popular TV series in 2009: What you probably looked like during your 2009 Glee obsession.


Glee was pure feel-good content that finally made uncool the new cool. Focused around themes of difference and self-acceptance, we could laugh, sing and cry all within one episode. The amazing covers featured in the show made it a sure hit… many of which still have a secure place on our Spotify playlists.

Gavin & Stacey

Gavin & Stacey holds a special place in most of our hearts, and it appears we were just as obsessed with the series 10 years ago as we are now, as we await the hotly anticipated 2019 Christmas special. A true piece of comedy gold, Gavin & Stacey has the potential to leave us in stitches even when we’re watching an episode for the fifth time. Will we ever know what happened on that boat trip?


Misfits followed the story of a group of six troubled young offenders with newly-gained special powers, and it quickly became a favourite to tune into. Full of unexpectedly lovable personalities and some fantastic humour, it wasn’t long until we were all heavily invested in their lives.

Modern Family
Most popular TV series in 2009: Modern Family, aka the iconic sitcom of 2009.

Modern Family

This American sitcom had us all hooked from the moment it was released in September 2009, and is still going strong 10 years later. The show, which is currently in the middle of its 11th (and final) season, celebrates everything it means to be part of a “modern family” – and we love it.

The Vampire Diaries

In 2009, we were clearly very obsessed with vampires, and The Vampires Diaries was perfect for feeding our obsession for fangs. 

The most popular books in 2009

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Most popular books in 2009: Catching Fire, the second book in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy, hit the shelves.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hit the shelves as the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian YA trilogy, and the buzz around this future box-office hit grew exponentially. 

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

After the film’s release in 2009, it seems many of us were keen to return to source text, and the 2006 novel by Stephanie Meyer returned to the top of our Google Search lists.

The Help

After several setbacks in her literary career, Kathryn Stockett finally published The Help in 2009 after a series of setbacks. The book follows the story of a young white writer as she listens to and records the stories of African American women working in the white households of 1960s Mississippi.

One Day
Most popular books in 2009: One day, we'll stop talking about One Day.

One Day

Named Galaxy Book of the Year in 2010, One Day by David Nicholls follows the story of Dexter and Emma over a period of 20 years, tracking their relationship through a series of relatable ups and downs. Each chapter picks up on 15 July of each year of their relationship, giving us a unique insight into the evolution of their bond.


1Q84 is a three-volume dystopian novel from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Following the story of the book’s protagonist Aomame, 1Q84 explores a fictionalised version of 1984 compared to the one happening in the “real” world, and what happens when she sets out to discover what “real” really is.

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With words by Georgina Smith and Erin Kelly.

Images: Getty/Courtesy of publishers

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.

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