Like blips on the radar, they flared up this year, and if Andy Warhol was right, they'll fade out soon enough.
From the unlikely candidate to the Internet sensation, from the instrument that makes an annoying sound to the woman who makes a lot of annoying sounds, below are 15 people, places and things that had their 15 minutes of fame in 2010:
Steven Slater: When this JetBlue flight attendant lost his cool, grabbed a beer and exited an aircraft by deploying the emergency slide, he landed instant stardom. Sure, Steven Slater lost his job and had to appear in court to explain his actions, but he was hailed as a working class hero and he recently stumbled upon a new career: rapping.
Antoine Dodson: Antoine Dodson turned a near-tragedy to triumph when his rant about the attempted rape of his sister got the "AutoTune the News" treatment, went viral, and rocketed to jam-of-the-summer status. Dodson performed "Bed Intruder" at the BET Awards and used the earnings from the song to buy his family a new house. Antoine Dodson, making lemonade out of lemons since 2010: Run and tell that, homeboy.
Anna Chapman: The fleeting-sex-symbol-of-the-year award goes to Anna Chapman, who in June, was accused of being a Russian intelligence agent. Her front: dating New York City's up-and-comers and playing a foreign party girl. Her media-coined monikers: "femme fatale," "the modern day Bond girl" and "the stunning SoHo spy."
The Vuvuzela: Who can reminisce about the victories of the 2010 World Cup without remembering the incessant buzzing that accompanied every move on the field? Vuvuzelas annoyed soccer players and fans alike, but spectators at the South African games blew into the tubular trumpets like there was no tomorrow, which, for the Vuvuzela, there probably won't be.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi: On to another noisy thing: 2010 was the year that Snooki, the pint-sized, poofy-haired ingenue of MTV's "Jersey Shore" broke out in a big way. She got arrested. She tried out a different hairstyle. She scored a new boyfriend. She was made fun of in The New York Times. If that's not a banner year for a girl who got famous off her ability to say "Wah!" and eat pickles, what is?
Alvin Greene: You might think that an unemployed veteran who was arrested for allegedly exposing a young woman to online porn would have a slim chance of winning votes for public office. But as Alvin Greene proved this year, you'd be wrong. The 32-year-old political rookie made headlines after winning South Carolina's Democratic primary. Beginner's luck ended there -- in the November midterm elections, Greene was walloped by GOP incumbent Jim DeMint.
Oksana Grigorieva: It didn't seem as if Mel Gibson could look worse than he did after his 2006 alcohol-fueled, curse-laden rant -- that is, until recordings purportedly of him cursing out Oksana Grigorieva, his former girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter, leaked online. Grigorieva used the opportunity to build up her own profile, appearing on "Larry King Live!" and the like to dish about how Gibson allegedly abused her.