Wow…2016 has been some year. From celebrity deaths to divisive politics, 2016 has brought a lot of turmoil on a massive scale. And it’s also hit close to home for many personally, even within the Nerd Lunch family.

However, for as bad as the maligned 2016 has been, it’s had some bright spots, too and the Nerd Lunch Podcast had some great moments this year.

We released 45 regular, numbered episodes this year. Additionally, we gave you six extra helpings. We took the summer off, but didn’t leave you hanging as we dipped into our archives and gave you four weeks of summer reruns that included a little bit of new content. We also launched a new “sub-show,” Down the Rabbit Hole which had two episodes. All together, that’s 57 audio files delivered to you.

It’s not entirely fair to newer episodes since older ones have had a longer chance to build up downloads. Although, that said, some of these are still from the last third of the year. Here are our top ten most downloaded episodes in 2016:

10… 242: Our Favorite Wrestling ThingsGet in the ring with Jeeg and a wrestling roundtable featuring Jay Ryan, Charlton Hero, and Mike Downs. The fellas discuss their all time favorites in several obscure categories including pre-match attire, foreign objects, and wrestling video games. Almost all corners of the pro-wrestling world from 1980s WCW to present-day WWE to Japan are covered in this heavyweight episode. Grab your favorite steel chair, tear open a turnbuckle, and enjoy.

9… 248: Celebrating 75 Years of Wonder WomanCT and Pax welcome Michael May and Stacey Rader to have a discussion about Wonder Woman in order to celebrate her 75th birthday. Talking through the first encounters with this monumental character to how the crew continued to follow her adventures. Favorite stories, villains, artists and more are covered, plus a look at the complexity of the character and why that’s made her so challenging to translate into other media over the years. Put on your satin tights and listen now!

8… 237: Raiders of the Lost Ark Drill DownWe begin a new series of movie drill down, this time, we dig deep into the Indiana Jones series. Starting with the first film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, we are joined by Kay and Todd to find out what we liked about the pulp serial-inspired film. And as a bonus, here lots of real and fake facts from Todd!

7… 238: Beyond Star Trek BeyondStar Trek Month begins! The Nerd Lunch crew kick off a four week long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. They welcome William Bruce West and postulate on the future of Star Trek. What will the new series be like? Where does Star Trek need to go in order to survive another 25 years? Great nerdy discussion!

6… 219: Knock-off Food BrandsMarvo from the Impulsive Buy and the Nosh Show takes over the Fourth Chair this week as we discuss some of our favorite and weirdest knock-off and store brand foods. We also put each other to the test in creating new knock-offs for some beloved brand name products. This episode’s Nerd To-Dos feature the Fantastic Four movies, the Force Awakens (again), Chappie, and Triumph’s Election Special.

5… 223: Downton Abbey Wrap-Up While other podcasts talk about superheroes fighting, this week Pax and Jeeg wax poetic about the recently completed British costume drama, Downton Abbey. Joining them in the Fourth Chair is first time guest John Vanover from the Action Figure Blues podcast and What did it mean for Lady Edith to find happiness? Could they forgive Barrow’s dastardly deeds? Should Lady Mary have ended up with Gillingham, Blake, or Talbot? Were there enough tissues to mop up the tears during the series finale? The nerds tackle all these questions and more in a conversation worthy of a free tote bag.

4… 249: 2016 Halloween EpisodeJeeg and Pax are joined by Jay from Sexy Armpit and Will from Casserole of Disaster to discuss Scary Movie Menus.  We are each assigned a scary movie and a restaurant and we have to come up with an appropriately themed menu.  Expect to hear Trick or Treat, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, White Castle and Shoneys.

3… Extra Helping: Batman v Superman ReactionAfter years of talking about the DC cinema plans, the Batman v Superman movie has descended upon us like a vigilante in the night. And Pax and CT have now seen this along with friend from The Atomic Geeks, Michael DiGiovanni. And boy, we all have got some things to get off our chest. Disclaimer: These are our opinions and should not be construed as us imposing our beliefs on you. I know that’s the popular thing to do on the internet, but we’re interested in genuine discussion.

2… 222: Video Rental Store MemoriesThis week Shawn Robare returns to the show to reminisce about video rental stores. We talk about the first video rental stores we remember popping up in our towns, we discuss renting the actual VCRs, VHS vs Betamax and what the brick & mortar video rental situation currently looks like for us. Join us for a fun, nostalgia filled discussion.

1… 212: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Drill DownMay and Kay come back to the show to discuss Star Wars The Force Awakens.  We talk about how many times we’ve watched it, we discuss what we liked, what we didn’t like and we speculate what could be coming in further movies.

Honestly, it’s consistently funny and frustrating to me that episodes I think should do better actually don’t. While I like all of the episodes, some that we’ve done this year have risen to the top due to their extra levels of creativity. None of my personal top five made the above list, so I include them here.

5… 246: Food Mascot Family TreesThe nerds delve into the weird world of food mascot families with Fourth Chair guest Dubba from On Second Scoop and The Nosh Show. First up is a discussion of actual in-canon family members of mascots from burger chains, cereals, and baked goods. Then the crew creates families for some lonely food mascots that need them. From McDonaldland to the dairy department, it’s a family reunion not to be missed.

4… 244: Down the Rabbit Hole 5 (and 6)CT and Pax welcome back Jeff Somogyi and invite new guest Mike Westfall on for our final “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Wait…FINAL?! Yes, but fear not, this episode has a special announcement about plans for our rabbit holes. For this episode, the twist is that we have three links from good ol’ Wikipedia. Can we get from one to another and work in the third in the middle? And a new rule for the game will bring greater challenges and fewer Channing Tatums. Also…stay tuned for an extra helping later in the week for our actual final Rabbit Hole episode as this particular show is a miracle episode.


3… 221: The Trial of Zack SnyderThe Nerd Lunch court is called back into session and this time, director of Man of Steel, 300, Sucker Punch, The Watchmen and the upcoming Batman v Superman, Zack Snyder, is being put on trial for his crimes against entertainment. Is Snyder a hack or does he truly have a vision? Evan Hanson prosecutes, Nerd Lunch’s very own PLee defends while Andrew Bloom of the Classic Film Jerks judges. Jon Cross from the After Movie Diner and Robert Zerbe of 2 The Escape Hatch are called as witness in this historic trial. Listen now!

2… 250: Trapped in Shawn’s FridgeThis week Nerd Lunch is celebrating their 250th episode!  To mark this special occasion Shawn Robare and Jaime Hood have invited Pax, CT and Jeeg over to Branded HQ for dinner.  While touring the house, the fellas get trapped in Shawn Robare’s Ecto Cooler Cooler and begin reminiscing about all of their favorite episodes of the podcast.

1… 243: Dragon Con Con – In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Nerd Lunch Podcast, CT and Pax visit Dragon Con in Atlanta. They are under the impression they are to be hosting a live Nerd Lunch panel as a means of celebrating five years, but things don’t go how they expect. Along the way they meet Evan Hanson and Geek Kay. Celebrate five years of Nerd Lunch with this very special episode.

What was your top few Nerd Lunch episodes in 2016? What do you look forward to seeing us do in 2017?