On-demand viewing went from being an option at the dawn of 2010 to becoming the norm. With so many potential viewers going by their own personal schedules, that’s meant fewer chances to experience moments on TV that can galvanize those watching. But even with those dwindling numbers of instantaneous, must-watch events, there were still plenty of moments where live TV offered the possibility that anything could happen.
Many of these moments fall into the triple silos of sports, award shows, and politics. What’s maybe more interesting to track is how the lines between those blurred more than ever over the last 10 years, and how one live moment can represent a turning point in our culture.
Here are the 10 most memorable live TV moments of the decade, ranked: