1. They Knock You Off Your Feet!
At 45, portable grill tycoon George Foreman beat the 27-year-old Michael Moorer to regain the heavyweight championship that he’d lost two decades prior to Muhammad Ali … the longer the wait, the sweeter the comeback.
2. They Give Everyone Something To Talk About!
No one was bigger than the Spice Girls, and their reunion at the closing ceremony of was the most tweeted moment of the 2012 Olympics.
3. They’re Worth Celebrating!
Robert Downey Jr. was the critical darling of his generation in the 80s and early 90s, but then drugs and jail derailed his career. After years of rehab and smaller roles, 2008’s “Iron Man” capped Downey’s comeback, grossing $300 million nationwide.
4. They Make You Want To Dance!
John Travolta went from A-List in the late ’70s to starring opposite of talking babies in the early ’90s. But all it took was a supporting role in “Pulp Fiction” to get him back on top.
5. Everyone Gets A Kick Out Of Them!
“Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep … he waits.” So started the insanely popular (and screamingly hilarious) Chuck Norris Facts meme that catapulted Mr. Roundhouse Kick back to national stardom.
6. They Make People Fill The Streets!
Canada’s gold medal in hockey in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was a comeback of national importance, washing the taste of a disappointing 2006 out of Canada’s collective mouth.
7. They Catch You By Surprise!
Stanford (led by a young John Elway) was leading Cal with only four seconds left in a crucial late-season college football game. But a last-second kick return taught Stanford (and their band, which had taken the field in mistaken celebration) that it isn’t over till it’s over.
8. They Rock!
Punk icons Green Day were epic rock gods of the wild alternative ’90s. But it was their rock opera “American Idiot” in 2004 that brought them back into the national discourse … and into the hearts of a whole new generation of rebellious teens.
9. They’re High Impact!
By 1990, Mickey Rourke was a pariah from Hollywood due to his erratic nature. His comeback had to wait until the mid-’00s, culminating with 2008’s “The Wrestler,” which won Best Film at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.
10. They’re A Return To Form!
It used to be that if you saw someone using Internet Explorer, you’d be ethically obligated to snatch away their computer and install any other browser. Try that now and you might get decked, because the Browser You Loved To Hate is back, rebuilt for the modern internet.
11. They Make A Statement!
Reggie Miller is maybe the premier comeback artist in the history of the NBA, and this game-winning three with Michael Jordan on his tail was one of his very best.
12. They Can Make You A King!
Elvis Presley’s early fame faded when he joined the U.S. Army as a private, then spent years phoning in his performance in a handful of forgettable movies. But a Vegas concert in May of 1969 marked his return to the top, with the media dubbing him “The King of Rock and Roll.”