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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's list includes some adorable animals, some delightful dancing, and a beautiful example of human connection.

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Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

It's officially December—can you believe it? That means 2022 is almost a wrap, which is wild. I mean, wasn't it just 2020?!?

For many people, December is the season of joy and giving and holiday gatherings, but it can also be a lonely or stressful time for some of our fellow humans. Family isn't a source of comfort for everyone, unfortunately, and challenges with relationships or finances can make for a difficult December. As we reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one, let's all commit to treating one another with an extra dose of kindness.

Let's also remember to celebrate small joys as the days get colder and shorter, like the coziness of a cup of hot cocoa, the sweetness of a child's laughter or the companionship of our furry friends. It's often a large collection of little things that add up to a good life, and thankfully, small joys are cheap and plentiful.


This week's list of things that made us smile is full of joys large and small, starting with some adorable animals and ending with some happy, helpful humans. We hope it brings a smile (or 10) to your face as you head through the weekend.

1. Human teaches doggo to rebound the basketball and doggo is pretty much a pro.

That is one smart and very fit dog. Look how excited they are to be helpful.

2. This bird playing peek-a-boo behind a LaCroix can is too cute.

It never gets old.

3. Cats having holiday photos taken should always be a thing, please and thank you.

Seriously, I need everyone who has a cat to have wreath photos done. These turned out so great.

4. Boy gets a surprise puppy and oof the emotion of it all.

Who's got the tissues? I need tissues.

5. Prairie dog politely makes it known that it wants more pets, please.

That little paw raise. Goodness.

6. The Rock returns to a 7-11 he used to steal Snickers bars from and makes things right.

"We can't change the past and some of the dumb stuff we may have done, but every once in a while we can add a little redeeming grace note to that situation — and maybe put a big smile on some strangers' faces." Love it. Read the full story here.

7. Billie Jean remix + awesome choreography to go with it = delightful.

So good. A shorter version of this video from Isaiah Shinn went viral on Instagram this summer, but this extended version is even better.

8. Elderly couple gets married in the mayonnaise aisle, right where they first met last year.

How sweet is that? Read the full story here.

9. This family's reaction to one of their own passing the California bar exam is just contagious joy.

These family celebrations never get old.

10. American soccer player hugs an emotional Iranian opponent after their match-up at the World Cup.

@upworthy

This is the true power of sports ⚽️❤️

There was a lot of political stuff that went along with this match, but sports are supposed to bring people together. This moment when Antonee Robinson hugged Iranian opponent Ramin Rezaeian at the end of the game says it all. (And in fact, there were several similar moments of human-to-human connection and comfort between the opposing teams after the game.) So beautiful.

Hope that brought some joy to your heart! Come back next week for another roundup of smileworthy finds and if you'd like to have them delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Pop Culture

The far-right is calling this viral Grammy performance 'Satanic.' Don't fall for it.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras' performance of "Unholy" left some calling it a satanic ritual.

K.G/Youtube

Sam Smith and Kim Petras performing "Unholy" at the Grammy Awards.

Depending on which corners of social media you call home, few happenings from the 2023 Grammy awards were as divisive as Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ performance of the song “Unholy.” Was it a historic moment of inclusion or a historic display of a Satanic ritual broadcast to the world?

On the one hand, the pair made music history. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Smith became the first non-binary artist to win the category, along with Petra who became the first trans woman to win the category.

However, not everyone was a fan of their live hell-themed performance, featuring Smith clad in red leather and sporting a top hat with devil horns and Petras dancing in a cage surrounded by dominatrixes.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to call the act “evil,” and his fury was quickly echoed by other conservative influencers who declared it an example of mainstream devil worship.

“Don’t fight the culture wars, they say. Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.” wrote conservative political commentator Liz Wheeler.

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Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

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Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

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And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

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Celebrity

Philadelphia Eagles player is bringing his pregnant wife’s OBGYN to the Super Bowl, just in case

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Philadelphia Eagles player is bringing his pregnant wife's OBGYN to the Super Bowl

Having a baby is an intimate, vulnerable experience, so people get pretty attached to their healthcare providers. I've met women who have planned an induction to have their baby with their preferred doctor and not whoever would be on call if they went into labor naturally. So it may not be a surprise to birthing people that Kylie McDevitt, Philadelphia Eagles player, Jason Kelce's wife, isn't taking any chances when she travels to Arizona for the Super Bowl.

Kelce made headlines with his brother Travis recently when it was revealed that the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs would be facing off for the Super Bowl, making the pair the first brothers to compete against each other for a ring. It seems that McDevitt didn't want to miss the history-making moment, even though she'll be two weeks shy of the standard 40 weeks of pregnancy.

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