Pop culture returned in a big way in 2021. Cinemas were filled with new movies, libraries stocked with new books, and TVs crammed with new series of your favourite shows.
In our era of pop culture franchises, they were inevitably often populated by familiar faces but not all fictional characters are created equally.
Creating a character with true impact is rare, which is why this list gives such a good insight into what kinds of things people want and expect from their fictional creations. It seems the answer is anthropomorphised creatures and people with amazing powers.
Read more: The most searched for movies of the year
These were the pop culture characters Yahoo users were searching for the most in 2021.
Tom Hiddleston's Loki has always been a popular character in the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the self-styled God of Mischief enjoyed a surge of interest in 2021 thanks to the launch of his hugely popular Disney+ show.
9: Tom and Jerry
Age is just a number for the perennially popular cartoon double act Tom & Jerry. Created in 1940, the cat and mouse act are in their ninth decade of entertaining kids, but they received a boost this year with the release of their first live action film.
With Spider-Man: No Way Home breaking box office records with the second-biggest global box office debut ever, Marvel's webslinger has never been more popular, and that's reflected in the searches on Yahoo.
7: Ted Lasso
A surprise new entry here for Apple TV's fish-out-of-water American soccer coach, who returned in 2021 for the second season of his self-titled comedy.
Read more: The most searched TV shows of the year
Portrayed by Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso has transcended his roots as a commercial skit into a bona fide sitcom icon.
6: Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson's Marvel character was finally afforded her own solo movie in 2021, and while it might be the last time we see Natasha Romanoff as Black Widow in the MCU, it opened the door to her replacement in the shape of Florence Pugh's Yelena.
5: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman continues to outpace her DC cohorts Superman and Batman when it comes to search on Yahoo, which is perhaps a reflection of actor Gal Gadot whose grip on the role seems assured for now.
4: James Bond
Casino Royale — the book that introduced the world to Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 — turned 68 in 2021, but it was the enduring appeal of the 007 films that drove search for him in 2021. No Time To Die, the 25th Bond film, hit cinemas and became the biggest film of the covid-era.
3: Harry Potter
There have been no new Harry Potter novels since 2007 and no new films starring Harry Potter since 2011, but The Boy Who Lived's appeal endures. Thanks to the timeless appeal of the books, and the continuing merchandising efforts, he gathers new fans with every new generation.
2: Peppa Pig
After dominating the 2020 version of this list, Peppa Pig has finally been dethroned as the easing of lockdowns led to parents relying less heavily on the animated character to entertain their kids.
1: Doctor Who
Doctor Who has knocked Peppa Pig off the top of the most-searched characters list for the first time in 2021. Jodie Whittaker's incarnation returned for a third season in 2021, which was revealed to be her last full series in the role. She'll bow out of the show in 2022 (along with showrunner Chris Chibnall) with three specials ahead of the show's 60th anniversary year.
Before then, we have a New Year special Revolution of the Daleks to look forward to on 1 January, 2022.