Recap: ‘Big Brother’ Finale: What We Learned From Every HG

I don't know how to break this to you, but all you need to know about “Big Brother 16” is the following: Cody won the final HOH, could've guaranteed himself $500,000 by evicting Derrick over Victoria, and yet he didn't; that's because Derrick is too powerful a player with too much intuition and too much command, and he wrangled Cody into feeling obligated (I guess?) to give him $500,000. 

That is unthinkably sensational gameplay. It doesn't feel real. Week after week, we've watched Derrick move more pawns into place (or at least one pawn named Victoria) and choreograph a flawless victory for himself. It even feels like the look on Cody's face has been “silver-medal good sport” for about a month. I figured all along that Cody was this season's Shane from BB14, a studly gamer with a good alliance and no Machiavellian masterstroke, but he turned into this season's GinaMarie, a proud runner-up who couldn't even muster the nerve to argue for a victory.

So congrats to Derrick for creating the straightest possible line to $500,000 and never coming close to veering from that plan. He's the best winner in the show's history, and he never once felt obligated to be the most interesting player. He's the real deal. 

To make the ending of this season feel more satisfying and less like the anticlimactic end to a season that wound up arcing right into Derrick's pocket, let's remind ourselves what we learned from every individual houseguest.


If your personality is defined by recycling, you will be trashed like so much non-biodegradable styrofoam. 

If you are a woman with the nerve to start an alliance against the prevailing alliance, you will be ostracized by a terrible man. He will also soon be ostracized.


If you look like you're constantly wearing the cheapest available H&M gear, no one is that sad if you leave the game.

DJs are barely people.


It's only a good idea to be paranoid if you're also smart. 

You might not be a great game player if Brittany can save herself just by muttering, “I'm a mother” at you.


If there's a prevailing alliance in the house and you're not in it, stop seeming smart immediately. That's why Victoria is here on Day 97 and Brittany isn't.

You can't pretend calling other people “fake” is a relevant criticism when you're playing “Big Brother. I think this show is called “Fake People Bein' Fake Lol” in Korea.


If you're being stalked in the “Big Brother” house, remember: Yikes, that's scary. 

I'm just sorry about that whole situation, Amber. You go, Amber.

Also, you look like a silhouette of young Whitney Houston in the “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” video. Soar, dear.


Ring, ring. Who's there? My entire reason for watching this season, that's who. 

Jesus heals all! Except the marks left on your neck from a chintzy bow-tie. He doesn't play that.

Why am I handing out life lessons when Jocasta gave us the best and most inspirational quote of the season with, “I've been with men! I've been with women! My past is my past!” 


It's hard to trust a player who ends most of his sentences with, “And I also need a kiss from Nicole.”


Oh, Zach. I trusted you until you called Frankie the “smartest, funniest” person you know. Then I didn't trust this world.

“Fruit Loop Dingus” isn't funny. But when said with enough gusto, it can be… loudly unfunny.

Zach is the one player this season whose problems would be over if he was given a juice box or a nap.


If there's one thing I know about Donny, the mild-mannered, lovely, quaint man who always told us the whole truth, it's that he's secretly ex-military.

I still think Donny is in a secret alliance with a caterpillar and an apple. They'll have that forever.



It's hard to trust a player who is ending this game with kisses from Hayden.


Mack on the women when you're a cocky, unrepentant dude? Get called a legend. Mack on a man when you're a friendly lady? Get slut-shamed on national TV.

If you're not the dominating member of your alliance and you're a woman, get called a floater. If you're not the dominating member of your alliance and you're a man, get called $50,000 winner Cody Califiore.


If Rupert Murdoch would sound ridiculous calling himself a mogul, maybe you sound ridiculous calling yourself a mogul.

Opening your eyes really wide is not the same thing as having a personality.

I give it two years before he's on the new season of “RuPaul's Drag Race.” And may the best Victoria drag queen win!


Don't vote out your best alliance member just because he's a troll doll in Bugle Boy shorts.

If you have a Final 4 deal, that's not the same thing as a Final 2 deal, is it?


Here is all I remember of this person:


He didn't win the pageant. But he definitely won the swimwear portion.

This kid. This kid.


Your entire personality is undercover if you're smarter than everybody. 

There is such a thing as “Big Brother” perfection. Even Zingbot is bowing down.