No nepotism babies were harmed in the making of this list.
What. A. Year.
For many of us online, 2022 seemed more like 2020 (2) in terms of its chaotic moments. Unlike 2021, a relatively calm year compared to its eldritch horror of a predecessor, there were way too many memorable moments this year that greatly surpassed 100. 2022 was, in the words of Bwog’s Movie of the Year, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.
2022 was the year of homicidal robots dancing, of discovering that the Swedes are horrible hosts to their guests, of immediately bastardizing the new definition of “nepo baby” (Bwog’s Phrase of the Year), of Sky Ferreira both returning to music and immediately dipping again, of finally seeing Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita’s beautiful wedding, and many more. These moments didn’t even make it to the Top 100, demonstrating how crazy 2022 has been!
Now it’s time to get serious (if that’s even possible): continuing our three-year-long tradition of procrastinating finals, we at Bwog have sat down in our secret chamber, compiled a list of our 100 most iconic pop culture moments of 2022, and summarized and ranked them all for you. Yes, we have restored the list to its original number, and we had an absolutely wild time reminiscing.
So, without further ado:
Bwog’s Official Top 100 Iconic Pop Culture Moments of 2022
100. Tom Brady Family Shenanigans: Tom Brady retired from football. He and Giselle were still together. He went back to football. He and Giselle split. Now, he posts Instagram stories kissing his son on the neck.
99. Bad Cinderella: If you had a Hamilton poster on your wall in middle school, this one’s for you (and if you had strong opinions about John Legend’s performance in Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert this one’s REALLY for you). Andrew Lloyd Webber is bringing a new musical to Broadway in 2023: Bad Cinderella. If you’re bored of the ball-gowned, mice-conversing Disney princess, you can soon have…well…her, but…wearing leather pants? In a press conference the slated star, Linedy Genao, took to the stage with a can of spray paint in her hands. “I’m not your regular Cinderella,” she said, “I’m bad Cinderella.” (Chills. Literal chills.) Giving the cameras a girl-bossy smile, she (very slowly) spray painted the word ‘bad’ above the ‘Cinderella’ banner. It was an underwhelming and awkward moment that quickly spread across the internet. Who needs another Cinderella musical? Who thought this would be a good idea? Were we supposed to be impressed? The theater world is very excited for Linedy Genao, however, who will be the first Dominican-American to play Cinderella on a Broadway stage. (It’s her Broadway debut, too!) But that swaggerless spray-painting moment – avert your eyes.
98. Alexandra Daddario’s New Orleans Wedding: You may know Alexandra Daddario from hit shows like The White Lotus, or not so hit movies like the original Percy Jackson duo. You may have encountered numerous TikTok edits about her stunning New Orleans wedding, which followed the theme of light, airy, southern city in the summer. Daddario and her now husband, producer Andrew Form, got engaged in August 2022, and wanted a traditional, New Orleans style marriage. The bride and groom both wore white, with Daddario in a pleated Danielle Frankel dress with white florals on the sleeves, the back, and down the front, and Form in Brunello Cucinelli pinstripe suit. The airy summer theme was accented by hints of green throughout the day, with mint green dressing rooms, green and white florals, and aged copper signage on the front of the historic Preservation Hall, the wedding venue. After the ceremony, the couple walked down the streets of New Orleans to Bar Marilou, holding lace parasols and surrounded by a marching band. From the impeccable fashion to the wedding coverage in Vogue, Daddario and Form created such a unique and timeless celebration fit for Pinterest boards for years to come.
97. “The rats don’t run this city, we do.”: In October, New York City’s sanitation commissioner Jessica Tisch gave the city’s rodents a bitter, scathing ultimatum. Waging war against our beloved neighborhood pals, she announced plans to limit the amount of time trash bins are allowed to be on the curb. What does this say about our comrades on campus? Will we no longer be greeted by dense hordes of rats after leaving Butler in the middle of the night? This statement marks a turning point in the future of this city. The Common Era Gregorian calendar notations are now void—we only abide by B.R.R.T.C. (Before Rats Run The City) and A.R.R.T.C. (After Rats Run The City).
96. Our Flag Means Death said pirates are gay and in love with each other: Who would have thought a show starring a bunch of middle aged men from New Zealand/Aotearoa and written by a straight white man would be the most successful queer show in 2022? In a year where so much queer media flopped (with all due respect to First Kill, Heartstopper, and that one show about the gay Swedish prince), Our Flag Means Death emerged as something completely unparalleled. Not just is Our Flag Means Death actually good, it’s emblematic of the way diverse queer stories are truly becoming mainstream (and HBO-funded). The show isn’t a coming out saga; it’s not about white teenage boys; and, again, it’s not queerbaiting. Our Flag Means Death is, instead, a bonafide queer romantic comedy about middle-aged pirates. It’s a critique of colonialism, class, and ideas of masculinity. And Taika Waititi is Blackbeard. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
95. The Bone Choker(s): While dethroned former fashion It Boy Harry Styles was busy at the center of this year’s longest entry, someone else was stepping up to the plate: Columbia’s favorite former student, Timothée Chalamet. When he wasn’t busy filming Dune: Part 2, covering British Vogue, or haunting a Victorian orphanage, Chalamet was serving back to back looks. No look was more important than his outfit for the London premiere of Bones and All, which featured none other than a Vivienne Westwood diamond bone choker. The importance of this necklace to Bwog cannot be overstated. It was chemically-altering. Life-changing. World-saving, perhaps. As a men’s fashion moment, it was incomparable—until two months later, when Chalamet showed up to the Bones and All photo call in another Vivienne Westwood choker, this one an alternating pattern of bones and pearls. While ultimately, the London white suit look remains #1 in our hearts, we love a man who commits to the bit. What is a movie star, if not a vessel for Vivienne’s best chokers?
94. Every white man ever is in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer: The seemingly-endless announcements of actors joining the cast of Christopher Nolan’s new film about the development of the atomic bomb became my version of the NFL draft this year. So, to recap and end this entry the proper way, here is the running list of every white man in Oppenheimer. Feel free to sing them to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire:” Kenneth Brannagh, Matt Damon, Josh Hartnett, Gary Oldman, Alex Wolff, Casey Affleck, Josh Zuckerman. Benny Safdie, Matthew Modine, Gustaf Skarsgård, Tony Goldwyn, James D’Arcy, James Remar, David Dastmalchian. Dane DeHaan, Jack Quaid, Downey Jr., David Krumholtz, Josh Peck, Devon Bostick, also Cillian Murphy. Ehrenreich, Scott Grimes, Rami Malek (not white), Angarano, Schweighöfer, (not a man but) Florence Pugh!
93. Photos of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Movie leak: Margot Robbie, freshly escaped from her evil Chanel contract and in her Bottega era. Greta Gerwig, pregnant, still cruising on the legacies of Little Women and Lady Bird. Ryan Gosling. Pink. Barbie. The combination is lethal. The internet was abuzz after Warner Bros released promotional photos of Robbie beaming in a bright pink convertible, and Gosling’s bleach blond hair and acid wash jean vest. Combined with the rest of the A-list cast, including Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, N’Cuti Gatwa, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, and possibly even Dua Lipa and Saoirse Ronan, the internet as a collective got excited about every behind the scenes rollerskating photo, and costume reveal. Then, Gerwig released the teaser trailer, a shot-for-shot remake of 2001: Space Odyssey with the iconic vintage swimsuit Barbie towering over like a beach blonde goddess. Give us more!
92. Azealia Banks was (briefly) banned from Instagram: Azealia Banks is a known internet menace: from blessing us with the nickname “Apartheid Clyde,” to saying Grimes smelled like nickels, to knowing something was wrong about Kanye West before anyone else, the one woman allowed to abuse Instagram Stories was (very) briefly kicked off the platform in October. It was only a day (nothing like the permanent Twitter ban in 2016), but no one really knows why she was temporarily banned in the first place. Well, there are loads of reasons, and apparently it may have been something about Nicki Minaj, but we will never know which of her millions of offensive comments really crossed the line. Anyway, she’s still an active menace, which is culturally what’s important to us.
91. Madonna announces she’s bisexual over TikTok: It’s hard to remember anything that goes viral on TikTok because trends, celebrities, sounds, and dance moves pass through at lightning-speed rates. However, this particular moment stood out because, well…bitch it’s Madonna. The challenge was this: the TikTokker must throw something (rumpled up underwear, if you are Madonna) into a waste basket to prove you’re “straight.” Madonna missed the shot miserably and playfully laughed at the camera, confirming she is at least not straight. Truly a woman of every generation!
90. Jake Novak desperately wants to be on SNL: If you were on TikTok earlier this year, you probably have heard the name “Jake Novak” at least once a day—almost never in a positive light. Novak, a random millennial with clear-framed glasses and a voice and demeanor comparable to none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda, sang out his resumé via rap pleading to go viral so that Lorne Michaels (the Lorne Michaels) would see it. It’s kind of sad to see how quickly TikTok labeled him as cringe and immediately started to harass him, especially since he evidently was not aware that this silly rap about the reasons why he would be a good SNL member came off as unfunny and out-of-touch. It also sucked that actual former members of SNL (Leslie Jones, to be exact) saw his video and joined in on clowning on him. The hatred for Novak was arguably unfair and excessive—it’s just a silly, catchy song about SNL’s greatest moments—and this whole situation is basically a strong example of how brutal people can be to strangers on the internet. I do wonder if Lorne Michaels ever saw the video, though…
89. One performance of “Skyscraper” a day keeps the sexist demons away: Demi Lovato released another documentary about her life this year (like she does every year), but this time, it’s a series. In one episode, Demi decided to go to a haunted abandoned brothel with two ghost hunters, and she finds a ghost in one room, blowing up all the readers with its presence. At first she thought it was a “Star Person,” for those like Demi who find the “alien” word to be offensive, but whenever she asked any questions about being an extra-terrestrial, the ghost would remain silent. After asking the two men to leave, the ghost perks up again, giving Demi the impression that the ghost just…really hates men. She declares to the camera the ghost is still haunting the brothel because it’s traumatized by sexism, and then she proceeds to sing an acapella version of her song, “Skyscraper” into the empty room to soothe the spirit’s soul and help it through “any emotional time.” No one knows why she did this—why she thought “Skyscraper” would be the cure to eternal suffering—but it sure was random!
88. The Recess Therapy Series is absolutely adorable: Here’s the pitch for this: some guy named Julian who kind of looks like Jack Antonoff goes to a park in Brooklyn, finds children (and their parents are there, of course), and just asks them fun questions, posting all the results on YouTube and Instagram. The kids just talk about what they want—what their current fascination is, what they’re doing currently, what they like, what they have in their hands…their lack of filter and abundance of imagination are adorable! This podcast is also the origin of “Corn Kid” and the meme song “It’s Corn” (a song about the deliciousness of corn, believe it or not), but there were other cute moments, too.
87. Selena Justin Drama Once More: If you’re like me, Jelena was your ten-year-old self’s Romeo and Juliet. The couple dated on-and-off from 2011 to 2017/2018 (the timeline is highly debated, you guys). My fondest memory of Justin and Selena is when he sang “One Less Lonely Girl” to her on stage. They’re so cute it makes me giggle. But, as I’m sure you know, Justin is now happily married to model Hailey Bieber, Alec Baldwin’s niece. To the public, the pair’s relationship was heavily intertwined with Justin and Selena’s. Hailey and Justin started dating during one of the infamous Jelena splits in 2015, then broke up in 2016. Then, Selena and Justin started dating again in 2017, but Justin and Hailey got back together and married just a year or so after. In short, for many fans, Hailey is the Camilla to Selena’s Princess Di. Hailey, in an inspired move, went on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast to address the years-long rumors. She categorically said that she was never with Justin while he was in another relationship, but also refused to say Selena’s name. Totally strange. THEN, in October, a weird little photo of the two women from this year’s Met Gala was posted on Instagram. They look so totally comfortable with each other, right?
86. Lana Del Rey’s laptop got stolen: Ms. Lana Del Rey loves to…to put it nicely…say things. Earlier this year, she announced online that new music would be coming soon, so in Lana-speak that means she started writing a song, not that she finished an entire album, and she did not speak to her team about it at all. Then, she retreated to her state of radio silence for months (seriously, I remember her announcing new music early in the year but genuinely forgot when), and the fans carried on business as usual. Coincidentally, in October, she came back to say someone broke into her car, stole her laptop that contained all the music for her album as well as a 200-page book, and she lost everything! Nothing was backed up into the Cloud, so she was not getting any of that back any time soon. Well, I’d call the whole thing “bullshit,” mainly because “There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard” came out a month later with a full orchestra and tight production, and the promotional visuals and advertisements for the new album looked very well done. But also, I wasn’t there, and I am a Lana apologist. If girlie said her laptop was stolen, her laptop was stolen!
85. Kim Kardashian got sued by the SEC: Earlier this year, hardworking celebrity Kim K got into the crypto investment business, posting on her Instagram Stories about the hot new money-making service, EthereumMax. This is not to be confused with the Ethereum crypto currency; EthereumMax is more of an advertising scheme than a cryptocurrency, pulling in high-paying investors to promote the product without actually having a product. However, what Kim K did was totally not advertising, nor “giving financial advice”: in the Instagram words of Ms. Kardashian herself, she was simply “sharing what [her] friends tell [her] about the EthereumMax token.” Well, as the SEC revealed, it was, in fact, a paid advertisement for a “pump and dump” scam. And, on top of that, she did not make it 100% clear that it was a brand deal with EthereumMax in her Instagram Stories, which is 100% illegal in the eyes of the federal law. The SEC then sued her for asking her 250 million followers to speculate on a crypto token that may or may not exist, as well as promoting a company, getting paid, and not explicitly stating she was getting paid to promote EthereumMax.
84. Billy Eichner blamed homophobia for Bros flopping: Ok, so you make a movie that flopped: how do you deal with the repercussions? If you’re Billy Eichner—and you just wrote, directed, and starred in Bros, the first gay rom-com produced by a major film company—you rant on Twitter. You also deny that it was a flop by claiming you went to a packed theater that roared with laughter (but is the laughing crowd in the room with us now, Billy?). Then, in two other (now deleted) tweets, Eichner blamed straight people and homophobes for not seeing the movie, which caused it to be a box office failure. “Even with glowing reviews…, straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for Bros,” wrote Eichner in his lengthy Twitter thread. He seemed to have quickly gotten over the flop, though, for here are the tweets of an unbothered king.
83. Goncharov (1973): A lost film by Martin Scorcese. A tale of a Russian mobster losing his sense of self in the mafia scene of Cold War Naples. Star turns for Cybill Shepherd, Al Pacino, and Harvey Keitel. The symbolism of a ticking clock underscoring how little time these characters have to find any meaning in their bankrupt world. Barely subtextual homoeroticism. Instantly recognizable quotes. It’s all Goncharov. Oh, also—Goncharov’s not real, but instead the product of the entire user base of Tumblr fervently working together one late November weekend to churn out a beautiful mess of film analysis, artwork, and memes revolving around this loose concept of Goncharov. It broke containment, culminating in Martin Scorcese confirming that yes, he made that film, “years ago.” For the Tumblrinas out there, the week of Goncharov will go down in history as equals with feverish, surreal events like November 5, 2020 and Dashcon (ifykyk). For everyone else: is Goncharov a form of folklore being created in real time? A negative side of kids sitting around on the internet with too little to do? Eventually a real movie after all? Only time will tell—and time stops for no one, Katya, not even us.
82. Dua Lipa is now an honorary Ambassador of Kosovo: Imagine being such a pop icon that the president of your home country wants to meet you and formally declare you a national treasure…for pop titan Dua Lipa, this is reality. In August, the president of Kosovo gave Dua Lipa the title of Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo because she’s very well known, does a lot for inspiring women and young girls, and she’s from Kosovo.
81. Phoebe Bridgers gets engaged—or does she? In true celebrity romance drama mess fashion, there’s a little bit of history to this one. Early in his rise to fame, Paul Mescal met Bridgers, his #1 artist on Spotify Wrapped, when he starred in her music video for “Savior Complex,” directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and the rest was history. That was, until 2022. In October, Matty Healy—The 1975 frontman, ally, and apparent Phoebe Bridgers friend—inadvertently leaked that Bridgers and Mescal may or may not be engaged, and the internet was set aflame (in a good way). They were Sad Girls’ couple of the year. All seemed to be going exactly according to plan. But when we least expected it, Bo Burnham was Inside. In December, Healy returned with yet another groundbreaking post, this one featuring him and Bridgers playfully kissing as YouTube-turned-real-life comedian Bo Burnham stands behind them, captioned “Gay Poets Society.” It all seemed to be fun and games, until reports began to circulate that Bridgers had actually been seen out and about several times with Burnham, their interactions becoming increasingly less platonic. Paul Mescal, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found. But Bwog, you might be saying to yourself, that doesn’t mean anything! The whole internet already thinks they’re poly! Who cares if she kissed Bo Burnham? We understand. We, too, did not want to believe the downgrade of the century could be real, but sadly, the dutiful historians at Deux Moi reported that despite the rumors, Mescal and Bridgers are not, in fact, in an open relationship—they’re just separated, possibly as a result of Bridgers’ new relationship with Burnham. Please give Bwog some privacy at this time!
80. Grimes had a secret second baby: In April, Grimes agreed to be interviewed for a really long Vanity Fair article. The interviewer went to her house, asked her a bunch of questions about her interests in AI, NFTs, the intersections between art, science, and culture, and then a baby started crying in the other room. What?! Apparently, Grimes had a baby girl with her ex Elon Musk via surrogate in 2021 and (understandably) really tried keeping it a secret. After all, with the last kid she had, people never left her or her baby alone, and every single news article about her wasn’t that she was doing cool things with music, but that she was Musk’s manic pixie dream girl who named their child after an airplane.
79. Kourtney Kardashian’s Italianx Wedding: Last year’s pop culture roundup featured one of the most Iconic Italian love stories of all time—Pixar’s Luca. This year, however, those little fish boys may have been dethroned by the romantic event of the century—Kourtney Kardashian’s Portofino wedding to Travis Barker. This wedding had everything: a 16th-century castle, tiny portions of handmade cannolis and pasta, performances from Andrea Bocelli, and, of course, a Jersey Shore-chic Dolce & Gabbana corset mini dress paired with a cathedral-length veil bearing a hand-embroidered portrait of the Virgin Mary. Sure, it was actually the couple’s third time “marrying” each other, and sure, Khloe would later say of the dress, “… it was fine,” but for those few days in May, it was everything. Kourtney may not technically “be” Catholic, per se, but it was the best PR the Catholic Church has gotten in centuries.
78. Katy Perry (re-)enters her Right Winger Era: Okay, yes, former pop icon Katy Perry did post a photo of herself voting for anti-abortion, actually-Republican-but-running-as-a-Democrat Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Rick Caruso. Yes, it stoked the flames of the Twitter discourse dumpster fire for days. But here’s the thing: we all should have seen this coming. Let’s take a quick look back into Katy’s past—before her reconciliation with Taylor Swift (and before their feud, for that matter), before Russell Brand, and even before her smash hit “Ur So Gay,” the singer was on a much different path: Christian pop. Perry, the daughter of highly conservative Christian church-leader parents, began her career in the Contemporary Christian scene, releasing just one album, Katy Hudson (the singer’s birth name), before breaking into mainstream pop with One of the Boys. A mere seven years before Katy Perry released “I Kissed A Girl” and changed pop music forever, Katy Hudson could be heard popping it for Jesus with what Wikipedia calls “prominent influences of pop-rock.” With that in mind, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that her politics lean right. If anything, her endorsement of Caruso should be seen as returning to her roots. It’s Voting (Katy’s Version).
77. Philadelphia Man’s 40 Days of Rotisserie Chicken (Or, An Ode to the Human Condition): Desolate. Bleak. Hopeless. Colorless. I have just described to you Philadelphia, and I have also described to you life in 2022. Until September 28 this year, when Philly’s own Alexander Tominsky, a 31-year-old steakhouse server, invited the world to follow him on his journey of consuming a whole rotisserie chicken every day for a total of 40 days. His status updates led to viral acclaim, and by the time Alexander concluded his nauseating chicken odyssey, crowds were gathering on a pier near a Philadelphia Walmart to watch him partake in his final rotisserie indulgences (and he leveraged his popularity into support for local food drives and charities). In a world where everything is meaningless, nothing can truly be folly, and we should count ourselves lucky every day that we have people like Alexander Tominsky, brightening our lives with low-stakes rotisserie shenanigans. God bless you, Alexander, and God save your beautiful, fucked-up digestive system.
76. BB24: Big Brother all very Lord of the Flies-ian. There are physical/mental competitions and 24/7 cameras and voting. Within this, there’s often a strict racial and gendered divide in the House; the strong (white) men always stick together, the young (white) women try to stick together, and the (queer, non-white, old) “outcasts” are picked off, one-by-one. This year, Taylor Hale, a Black woman, won Season 24 (spoiler alert!), despite being bullied from the first moment she stepped in the House. In fact, a “Girl’s Girls” alliance formed specifically to kick her out of the house. Throughout her 12 weeks in the Big Brother house, she was villainized, bullied, blamed, and disparaged. Every time you thought she was safe, another cruel Houseguest would come out of the woodwork to attack her. But, though she was nominated for eviction six times and seen as a constant threat, she preserved; and, each week, one of her bullies left the House instead. Taylor also made history in Big Brother Season 24, by being the first Black woman to win the whole season and the first winner to also receive the $50,000 America’s Favorite Houseguest award. She walked away with $800,000, a cruise trip, and my heart.
75. Black Ariel Is Cast In The Live-Action The Little Mermaid: In September, Disney released a teaser trailer for its upcoming live-action remake of the classic animated The Little Mermaid, starring singer Halle Bailey as Ariel. Although the trailer sparked excitement among Black parents who posted their daughters’ thrilled reactions on social media, some white fans of the original complained that Bailey’s casting was an example of “wokeness” gone too far and too far of a step away from the 1989 animated film. Trevor Noah responded to the backlash, saying, “Once again, a bunch of internet racists are upset that a fictional character is being played by a Black person. This is so ridiculous.” He also said, “I hope this scandal doesn’t overshadow the rest of the movie. The Little Mermaid is a beautiful story about a young woman changing her core identity to please a man. Let’s not forget about that, people.”
74. The Morbius Saga: We didn’t watch this movie. If you want a summary, watch Eddy Burback’s review. Marvel, like Dr. Morbius, is a bloodsucking entity: they would rather extract all standards of film quality and churn out formulaic, money-making images of famous actors wearing dumb suits and punching each other instead. Morbius proved that. This movie became one of the most incessant memes in 2022, primarily because everyone didn’t see it but still made jokes about it (i.e. “It’s Morbin’ time”). There was even a powerful moment in meme culture when people on the internet motivated Marvel to re-release Morbius in theaters for a week so that people could actually see it this time (and let’s face it, Marvel just wanted to boost box office revenue). Well, Marvel clearly didn’t know trolls on the internet treat lying like a bloodsport, so no one showed up, saying “Wait, we were busy this week.” People also would “get morb’d” and be shown videos of Matt Smith “dancing” à la Rick Roll. It was an insufferable yet simpler time.
73. The Spring Awakening Documentary: If you know your herstory, you know about Spring Awakening, the 2006 rock musical about repressed, horny German teenagers having sex that turned Broadway on its head, won the Tony for Best Musical, and launched Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff to (musical theater) stardom. Or maybe you only know that last part, because this May, HBO released a documentary that focused basically exclusively on Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and Lea Michele showing Jonathan Groff her whole vagina. Nevermind that Spring Awakening was groundbreaking and worth discussing for a whole host of reasons: the fact that its cast was entirely composed of teenagers; the fact that one of the subplots positively portrays a gay relationship between two male students; the fact that people other than Michele and Groff, like Skylar Astin and John Gallagher Jr, had their first major roles in Spring Awakening, too. According to the documentary, we are all exclusively here to reminisce on how, yeah, being involved in a musical where you have on-stage sex and die from a botched abortion since you were 14 would mess with your head and give you a weird, intense relationship with the guy you keep having fake musical theater sex with, and ha, how crazy and special that is! Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff undoubtedly were central reasons why Spring Awakening worked, and, true, no matter how they might be offstage, they are both ridiculously talented. But couldn’t the documentary have at least included all of “Touch Me”?
72. Finnish Prime Minister Gets Busted: This summer, Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland faced backlash after videos of her singing and dancing with her friends in a club surfaced on the Internet. Marin took a drug test upon request from members of opposition parties, but said that she did not consume any drugs and only had some drinks containing alcohol. Although Marin received backlash on social media for her partying, other people have celebrated her behavior, and prompted discussion about how much of the criticism is due to her gender and how much social media tends to focus on women’s personal lives and physical appearances.
71. The Unrefrigerated Wonder of Pink Sauce: Over the summer, TikTok user Chef Pii—with no known culinary credentials—went viral after she posted several videos of her dumping her all natural sauce all over food. From tacos to burgers, no meal was spared. And although natural, the color stood out to viewers—there’s never been a sauce so brightly pink before. People went wild because of its novelty and questioned Chef Pii constantly about the ingredients, but Chef Pii was silent. Eventually, she released a vague ingredient list with food items like dragon fruit, honey, and chili. Brave consumers reported a taste similar to a sweet ranch. Or something else, it seemed to depend on your batch! Yet Chef Pii posted a video of the sauce sent like an envelope: without cooling and subject to the +100ºF heat wave temperatures hitting the nation that week. This was a perfect combination to pink sauce’s uncommunicated milk base. After critique, Chef Pii defended it as “a prototype” and homemade to explain shipment issues like exploding bottles, bloated bottles, expired bottles, misspelled ingredients, and other ill conditions (which, y’know, are great breeding grounds for botulism). But comments still came, pointing her to the FDA. To which Chef Pii questioned why she, as a food sauce entrepreneur, would need to respond to FDA regulations because ‘she does not sell medical products.’ (N.B. the F in FDA stands for Food). I think we might just have to settle for edible sauce over aesthetic sauce.
70. Mia Goth’s rise to fame: Mia Goth deserves a place here not only because she was every girl’s Halloween costume this year, but because she starred in two of the biggest horror movies of 2022: X and Pearl. This tiny, Victorian fairy princess dazzled crowds everywhere with her performances of Maxine Minx, a young porn star in iconic overalls, and Pearl, a crazy old woman (in X) and aspiring actress with a thirst for love and attention (Pearl). The X trilogy was also a cool concept, as it was a surprise for many of us when it was announced that the story of Pearl continued, and this certainly helped boost the British actress’ career. Now everyone is buzzing about her upcoming projects!
69. Chess Cheating Scandal feat. Anal Beads (?): Oh boy. Here we go. During September’s Sinquefield Cup, an invite-only chess tournament, Magnus Carlsen, who has held the title of chess world champion for nearly 10 years, lost while playing white, the color that moves first in chess. Throughout his career of 3203 games, Carlsen has only lost as white 20 times, which, assuming that he’s played both colors evenly, is about a 1% loss rate as white. He lost to 19-year-old chess prodigy Hans Niemann, and all was fine, until Carlsen abruptly withdrew from the tournament, posting a cryptic video to twitter. Two weeks later, the two played against each other in an online tournament, when, after making a single move, Carlsen resigned, all but confirming that he’s accusing Niemann of cheating. These accusations were solidified on Carlsen’s twitter days later, and the internet went wild. While Niemann has both been found to and admitted to cheating online, cheating over the board is significantly harder, which caused many to speculate as to how he did. Naturally, one of the most popular theories is that he was using vibrating anal beads to wirelessly communicate to him what the right move would be.
68. Kim Kardashian and North West’s TikTok: A win for healthy mother/daughter relationships online. Seriously, they are so normal, and it’s so…refreshing. Just don’t read any comments. The internet is a horrible place that hates joy.
67. Fat Bear Week ballots stuffed like fat bears: This year’s Fat Bear Week was particularly riveting. It was a tight race between Bear 747, a seasoned champion of mammalian corpulence, and Bear 901, an exceptionally rotund newbie and soon-to-be mother. All the bears in the running for the biggest beast were tough competition; no one could tell which fat bear was the fattest bear! However, that didn’t stop Fat Bear Week spectators from getting a little too passionate about their portly pals. Yes, when it came time to vote in the semifinals for the fattest bear in Fat Bear Week 2022, someone allegedly stuffed the online ballot, skewing the results so that Bear 747 would have been voted out and not get the chance to go head-to-head with Bear 901. The people monitoring the vote said that the same few IP addresses voted at an almost impossible rate for Bear 747’s semifinal opponent, so they had to delay the competition until the false votes were discounted. The Katmai National Park does NOT play around for Fat Bear Week!
66. Great British Bake Off, “Mexican Week”: Ay, Díos mio. Never in cooking competition television history was there ever a moment so embarrassing and culturally tone-deaf as GBBO’s “Mexican Week.” From peeling avocados with potato peelers, to pronouncing pico de gallo as “pee-koh duh gahll-io,” to not knowing that tres leches cake had three milks in it before the competition, to Noel straight up joking that Mexico was made-up and “exotic” country, the British people on the show crushed my poor Latino soul. How do you not know what guacamole is?! I never want to hear a Brit say that Americans never think other countries exist again.
65. Paramore is back: Considering that they went on an indefinite hiatus after After Laughter (2017), and that Hayley Williams had a double-album solo project, the fact Paramore came back way quicker than expected was huge. And they came back in full swing! Their first single “This is Why” was a Talking Heads-inspired banger, and “The News” also showed us how strong the next album is going to be. Plus, Paramore went on tour together again; more importantly, after years of refusing to do so, they started playing “Misery Business” again! Big news for all the fans out there.
64. Robert Pattinson’s creative decisions in The Batman: There is no other way to title this entry: Robert Pattinson is a batshit actor (pun intended) with insane creative decisions, and his portrayal of the famous comic book character was so iconic that we had to highlight it. Like, his Batman writes emo poetry in his diaries and purposefully fucks up his eyeshadow. He wears sunglasses indoors and looks like he would really love Beach House. He can’t speak basic Spanish, he can’t figure out the most known verses from the Bible, he has beef with incel-core Twitch streamer Paul fucking Dano, and he can’t look hot women in the eye or talk to them like a normal human being. As I said with my best friend the day we saw it together in theaters, we finally have a Batman that is a scrawny, wimpy, virginal loser—a man we can fix. A man we can love.
63. Brendan Fraser returns to acting for The Whale: Known for his seminal roles in The Mummy and George of the Jungle, 90s action It Man Brendan Fraser took a very long break from acting to deal with many personal issues. Well, Fraser is back, and he’s in probably the saddest film of 2022. He played the protagonist in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, a movie adaptation of a man eating himself to death, and how that affects his relationship with his estranged daughter. Discourse of the movie aside (because of course there was discourse), Fraser was highly praised for his role, showing that the large gap had no affect on his talent. He even got an 8-minute standing ovation at the premiere!
62. Beyoncé’s Renaissance: Beyoncé Beyoncé-d.
61. Spectacular stars with the James Webb Space Telescope: Launched on Christmas, 2021, it took over six months for NASA to release the first photographs of outer space captured by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). And boy, was it worth it. JWST offers what was thought to be impossible: images of space that are even more breathtaking than before. With lenses 100x more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, the cosmos can be seen in dazzling clarity. Stars, matter, galaxies are rich and intricate. The photos push what the average person might experience—and will certainly serve as the wallpaper on an uncountable number of computers. The glimpses into space are far from over, and we can only expect many more brilliant images to remind us—in a good way—just how brilliantly small we are in the universe. Here’s to a long life for the telescope, letting our pale blue dot grapple with the grandiosity of the universe and beyond.
60. Kylie Jenner names—then un-names—her newborn son: To paraphrase an ancient proverb, the devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder. This shouldn’t have been a fantastic year for the Kardashians, PR wise—from mostly-online discourse like Kim’s Met Gala dress fiasco and Khloé announcing a second child with Tristan Thompson shortly after the birth of his affair baby to real-life issues, like the continuing Astroworld fallout—so naturally, it had to be an excellent year for Kardashian PR stunts. And boy, was it. But beyond Kravis’ three weddings and the fall of Kim and Pete, another headline-making moment caught our attention this year: Kylie Jenner gave birth to her second child with rapper Travis Scott, a boy named Wolf. Then, six weeks after announcing her son’s name, Kylie backpedaled, writing “FYI, our son’s name isn’t Wolf anymore” on her Instagram Story. In a stark break from long-held Kardashian tradition, Jenner then made the decision not to share his new name (however, in keeping with long-held Kardashian tradition, she later threw Khloé under the bus for choosing Wolf in the first place). A month later, she revealed her son still didn’t have a name, telling ex-Balthazar customer James Corden that while the name is still legally Wolf, she and Travis Scott are working diligently on selecting a new moniker. No word yet on if or when the Baby Formerly Known As Wolf will finally be named.
59. Prince (of Pegging) William’s love affair: In a very British scandal almost as spicy as his father’s deeds in TamponGate, Prince William was under the public’s microscope this year, as it was revealed that he had an affair behind the back of Princess of Wales and queen of normcore, Kate Middleton. Apparently, he’s been seeing Marchioness Rose Hanbury for quite a long time now. Now, one man’s PR disaster is another, domming woman’s PR win. While Kate was over there in the corner wondering which beach sand-colored Gucci flip flops matched her J. Jill-looking white culottes best, Rose was apparently railing the brains out of William. Yes, she was pegging him. William was called the “Prince of Pegging” for a week, maybe more; apparently he had previous affairs outside his marriage where all he did was get pegged. Hanbury also became the girlbossiest girlboss in all of England because not only is she having an affair with the heir to the throne, but she’s also pegging him! Let Rose Hanbury be recognized as the rightful queen instead.
58. Miami Boys Choir: In a snazzy turn of events, the Miami Boys Choir hit TikTok this summer. With metallic vests and voices like angels, the deep cut home video vibes of these pre-pubescent Orthodox boys was exactly the wholesome content the universe needed this year. The early 2000s nostalgia hit hard, and the hyperpop class of these boys will live in our hearts forever (or at least until a few more trends have passed).
57. The Negroni Sbagliato interview: From the end of August through October, patrons of HBO Max were blessed with a new House of the Dragon episode each Sunday, which was accompanied by the compulsory press tour and twitter memes. Despite Emma D’Arcy being a fan favorite cast member and the show’s protagonist, they were noticeably absent from much of the PR. This then made every second of their presence in HOTD publicity even more cherished. In a mid October interview, D’Arcy and their co-star, Olivia Cooke, were asked to share their favorite cocktails. D’Arcy’s response, “A Negroni, Sbagliato, with prosecco in it” and specifically their suave and sultry delivery of the line went viral. The sound bite was included in endless memes and TikTok edits, and even remixed into a song. Even if you weren’t up to date with the show itself, and you spent more than ten minutes on the internet, you would likely be met by D’Arcy’s voice, their face, and their dapper pink dress-shirt and tie ensemble. Cooke’s response, “Ooh! Stunnin’!” became equally recognizable in the internet lexicon by the time the final episode aired.
56. Euphoria Season 2: Whether it was Maddy’s “you dumb fucking bitch, I’m gonna fuck you–” or Cassie’s “I have never, ever been happier,” we all heard the immortal words of America’s television It Girls reverberating around the internet. This was the season of bad choices and attempted redemption arcs, and we were emotionally invested the whole way through. Cassie hid in a bathtub. Fexi was a thing. We saw more penises. Dominic Fike stole the show in the finale—and not everyone appreciated it. For a second there, we felt bad for Cal. Overall, this second installment of era-defining television left Gen Z asking: “Wait, is this fucking play about us?”
55. Colleen Hoover: She is indeed the death of all things good and pure. BookTok should not be anyone’s sole source of book recs, because oh my god there are thousands of better options. If you’re looking for a predictable, mindless, story, then indulge in a Hoover book. However, she took the YA world by STORM this year, and we as a society can do so, so, so much better. Xoxo.
54. ABBA Holographic Concerts: The ABBA Voyage concerts graced a custom arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London in the spring of 2022. You’d be forgiven for taking a pause at this – wait, doesn’t ABBA belong in the 70s? Well, thanks to some freakishly accurate holographic imaging, ABBA fans worldwide could appreciate their favorite Swedish Europop Group in blazing (techno)color. George Lukas’ special effects company, Light and Magic, spent months creating the show, perfecting costumes, mannerisms, and dance moves. The result was impressive, if a little unsettling. They chose to display ABBA in their 1970s glory, significantly de-aging the band members. And while the band members (who are all now in their late seventies) were involved in modeling for the special effects teams, they aren’t involved in the actual concerts at all. For some, the ABBA Voyage concerts were a triumphant feat of technology and a way to honor a beloved band. For others, they signify a strange turn in music technology. If people will shell out big bucks to see holographic versions of their favorite stars (ABBAtars, as they’ve been nicknamed), what does that say about the value of a physical, breathing person? These concerts lead to larger questions about technology that have stumped the 21st century – how far are we willing to descend into virtual reality? Still, the concerts were undeniably a public hit – considered by fans and critics alike to be a pinnacle of the band’s classic, wizardy pop-maximalism.
53. Alex Jones screwed up his own trial: Earlier this year, conspiracy theorist and known foe of gay frogs Alex Jones lost a landmark lawsuit case against the parents of child victims of the Sandy Hook Massacre. Jones, since then, spread malicious rumors about the event and profited off the lies he told, becoming super rich. Well, there wasn’t much for him to defend in this trial: like, he lied… a lot… and there was mountains of evidence to prove it. However, there was still time before the inevitable for the Jones team to do something really funny. In standard court practice, there is something called “complying with court orders;” a wild concept, we know, but it is important that every person in the trial turns in as much evidence as possible to examine. Jones, claiming he “couldn’t find them,” did not turn in any of his text messages or emails relating to his business to the court. There’s no better way to write about this next part than the way the prosecuting lawyer delivered it: “Mr. Jones did you know that 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years and when informed did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protect it in anyway, and as of two days ago it fell free and clear into my possession and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text message about Sandy Hook? Did you know that?” Jones admitted it was a mistake that he didn’t send the messages, and that he knew where they were the whole time, to which we got the excellent retort, “You know what perjury is, right?” Anyway, he had to pay pretty much his entire company’s worth in lawsuit fees and additional perjury charges, and that… that is beautiful.
52. AnnaLynne McCord’s “If I Was Your Mother” address to Putin: In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early this year, celebrities on the internet immediately started trying to do their part by doing what they do best: making it all about themselves. 90210 star AnnaLynne McCord posted a video of herself on Twitter addressing Vladimir Putin with a spoken-word poem famously beginning with “Dear President Vladimir Putin: I’m so sorry I was not your mother.” Channeling her inner overbearing theater kid, McCord proceeded to spend two minutes somehow arguing that she could have fixed Putin in some weird Freudian alternative reality where she was around in his childhood to give him love and affection. Vulture magazine said it best: “At first, it seems an open letter to a world leader, before it dawns with increasing horror that McCord is actually rhyming.” Predictably, McCord’s video somehow did not dissuade Putin from continuing his invasion, and it joined the ranks of Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad and Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video in the time-honored tradition of tone-deaf celebrity commentary on monumental world affairs. (Also, McCord later doubled down by telling BuzzFeed News that she herself could very easily have become a dictator and a “darkly powerful person” if she had not received love and positivity throughout her life. Bizarre flex, to be sure, but a semblance of a slay. If only she had any shred of self-awareness otherwise.)
51. The end of Z-Library: Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that one of the largest online databases of free, totally-not-pirated books was shut down by the US government because people wanted to read Colleen Hoover books (see #55)?! And the owners of the website were two Russians hiding from the US government in Argentina this whole time?! Rest in peace to them, but this was our Burning of Alexandria.
50. Release week for Minions: The Rise of Gru: Originally scheduled for a July 2020 release, the fifth major film installment in the Minions cinematic universe was released this year, following a soundtrack full of absolute banger covers of classic songs by contemporary artists. Songs like “Desafinado,” “Shining Star,” “Hollywood Swinging,” “Goodbye to Love,” “Funkytown,” and “Turn Up the Sunshine” were recorded by the likes of Kali Uchis, Brittany Howard, BROCKHAMPTON, Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, and Diana Ross with Tame Impala, creating massive hype for the movie, even if not all songs were featured in the film. There was also, of course, the #gentleminions trend, in which people would dress up to see the movie, aided by Yeat’s “Rich Minion,” which was commissioned for the trailer. How the public perception of minions flipped from one of hatred to adoration overnight, we do not know, but at least everyone had fun!
49. Resurgence of the word “slay”: To some, this phrase never died. To others, this phrase was all they said in incoherent little bouts of expression this year. Is it appropriating gay Black culture to say “slay” without even thinking of its proper usage or history? Is it annoying? Will this trend die soon? That’s not up to Bwog (we drink fountain water here, sir) to decide, but we sure did notice the uptick in usage.
48. Matty Healy ate raw meat on the Madison Square Garden stage: Matty Healy, lead singer and frontman of The 1975, is many things, including (but not limited to): a performance artist, a singer, an art critic, an atheist, a Twitter fiend, and my favorite artist since I was 14. This year, Matty Healy launched the biggest project for his band: an international tour for The 1975’s newest album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language, which has become the largest success in the band’s history after their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep…(2016). This tour was going to be “at their very best:” there would be dramatic acting, a whole set design that looked like a two-story house, no flops, just bangers, and…meat? Yeah, at one point in the Madison Square Garden performance, Matty just stopped the show to do push-ups and eat a hunk of raw meat in front of the largest crowd of his life. He then did it again! We’re just praying this weird man didn’t get salmonella from that little stunt…
47. Austin Butler became Elvis: Austin Butler is from California. I need you to understand that American actor Austin Butler was born and raised in Anaheim, California. Earlier this year, Austin Butler starred in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis: a nauseating acid trip of a biopic, and the reason I have night terrors. In order to be Elvis, you need to at least have his Memphis southern drawl. To give Butler credit, he evidently practiced the Elvis speech patterns for a long time, but we cannot forget that Austin Butler does not actually talk like Elvis. Mainly because the man himself forgot that he does not speak like a 1950s Rock n’ Roll legend. He exclusively talks like Elvis now—I’m beginning to think the King of Rock possessed him the day he signed his actor’s contract—and it’s bizarre. Why won’t he realize that the movie project, like the singer himself, is dead? He got lost in the Presley sauce, I guess!
46. Kim Kardashian “Get Your Fucking Ass Up And Work”: Does anyone want business advice from the Kardashian-Jenners? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Unable to recognize that her massive, billion-dollar personal brand has greatly benefited her business ventures, Kim Kardashian had a pretty strict message for young female business owners: “get your fucking ass up and work.” The hypocrisy of delivering this message while posing for a Variety magazine cover was apparently lost on Kim.
45. Harry Styles’ Residencies: This year, Harry Styles was everywhere. Literally. Style’s 2022 Love On Tour consisted of four stadium residencies: 15 consecutive nights at Madison Square Garden, 15 consecutive nights at the Kia Forum, five nights at Chicago’s United Center, five nights at Austin’s Moody Center, and two nights at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. On his last night at Madison Square Garden, Hoda of the Today Show surprised Harry with an official, permanent, crazy fucking big banner celebrating his record-breaking 15 consecutive, sold-out concerts. It’s him, Phish, and Billy Joel up in the MSG rafters right now. Not to mention, he’s up for Grammys and maybe some movie nominations. He just did a lot this year. (Maybe just a little too much.)
44. Everyone left SNL: Everyone you loved on SNL has left. (I mean, almost everyone. 99% of the beloved, big icons.) Were you looking forward to seeing Kate McKinnon as Liz Truss in 2022? Too bad. Want Pete Davidson to talk about dating Kim Kardashian on Weekend Update? Sorry! Do you miss Baby Yoda? Sucks. Liked Aidy Bryant and Cecile Strong? I don’t have good news for you. Now the cast is headed by Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang, with a bunch of unremarkables and new cast members. Season 48 will be a brand new era for SNL. (Might not be worth the watch. Can’t tell yet.)
43. Phantom of the Opera shuts down its Broadway production: It’s been running for 35 years; it’s hard to grasp that this Andrew Lloyd Webber staple didn’t actually own the Majestic Theater after performing the same musical for the longest run in Broadway history. Thus, when it was announced that Phantom would be permanently closing by 2023, theater dorks, NYC dwellers, and tourists alike all felt a deep sadness—like culture itself had died…Who’s going to use the huge chandelier permanently fixed to the ceiling that’s only function is to dramatically fall mid-show?
42. Jennette McCurdy releases her long-anticipated memoir: iCarly star Jennette McCurdy’s recent memoir I’m Glad My Mom Died became an international and New York Times #1 bestseller. It was an eloquent, heartbreaking account of McCurdy’s mistreatment in Disney’s child-acting industry, and her mom’s abuse throughout her childhood. She discussed her experience retaking control of her own life through breaking out Disney and becoming a writer.
41. Heidi Klum dressed as a worm for Halloween: “I just wanted to make people smile!” said Heidi Klum, a world renowned supermodel, fashion icon, and former host of Project Runway said when explaining her grotesque, hyper realistic worm costume she chose for her annual Halloween party.
40. Every current event got a biopic: 2022 was the year TV producers said, “Enough with the original storylines! Tell us something we already know!” The Dropout; WeCrashed; Inventing Anna; The Staircase; Under the Banner of Heaven; A Friend of the Family; The Watcher—those are all just some of the miniseries based on well-known, real life events that were made this year. The quality of them was uneven, but with some standout performances (this is an inspiring step forward for ever-wonderful Amanda Seyfried, and I’ve never before been able to forget that Colin Firth is Colin Firth) and a satisfying way to scratch the itch of titillating familiarity, they definitely defined the TV landscape of the year. Does this say something about us as a society? Oh, absolutely. But I can’t hear you; I’m watching Andrew Garfield do his thing.
39. My Chemical Romance is officially back: The MCRmy in Bwog clearly were very passionate about this, especially because this fully was an entry in our list last year. But this time, it’s certifiably real. And now, for a brief moment of well-deserved hysteria. THEY’RE BACK! MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE IS BACK! AND THEY HAVE A NEW SONG RELEASED IN TWENTY TWENTY TWO! THEY WENT ON A WORLD TOUR AND WORE OUTFITS THAT MADE EVERYONE LOSE THEIR MINDS! OH MY GOD, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE IS BACK!
38. Kamala Harris being silly and goofy on camera: This year, Vice President Kamala Harris received quite a bit of attention for several counts of unabashed public goofiness, as the internet became inundated with random videos all seemingly taken moments after our vice president snorted Windex. She was horny for Venn diagrams. She sang “Wheels on the Bus” (more accurately, she recited the lyrics to “Wheels on the Bus” in a weird sing-songy tone). She showed her appreciation for good news. She showed off her dance moves. And she laughed a lot. (“Every time Kamala Harris laughs, an angel gets its wings”, one Bwogger quipped.) All throughout the year, at every turn, there was a new, slightly grainy video of Kamala evidently trying to appeal to the coveted demographic of the quirked-up and unhinged. Was it a serendipitous twist of fate that all of these moments happened to be captured by cameras? Are there countless more instances of Kamala being silly that we are not privy to, simply because nobody was there to record it? If a quirked-up vice president sings a silly little song or does a little dance and nobody sees it, did it really happen? Well, we don’t have long until the next election cycle gets moving, so perhaps we’ve only cracked the surface of goofy Kamala content.
37. James Corden gets banned, unbanned, and re-banned from Balthazar: In October, Keith McNally, owner of iconic (expensive) SoHo restaurant Balthazar, took to Instagram to share a weird, pixelated screen cap of James Corden, calling him “a tiny cretin of a man” and declaring the comedian was banned permanently from Balthazar after recent bad behavior there. Apparently, he was “the most abusive customer” in the restaurant’s 25-year history. Then, just six hours after his original post, McNally took to Instagram with a second weird, pixelated screencap, this time sharing that Corden had since apologized and as a result was no longer banned. All was forgiven—or was it? It wasn’t. Just two days later, The New York Times published an interview with Corden, conducted that morning, in which he declared “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level.” Unsurprisingly, McNally was having none of it. He quickly returned to Instagram with a third pixelated screencap to declare Corden was banned once again, ending on the bizarre note that he wished Corden would live up to his initials, JC. Legend has it James Corden is still standing on Spring Street in the cold, looking into the windows of Balthazar as he waits on his all-yolk omelette to this day.
36. Nathan Fielder’s The Rehearsal: If there’s one thing that’s gotten me through these last few years, it’s Nathan Fielder. This man is a genius. (I mean, of course he is—he graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades.) Fielder’s comedic work centers him as the stereotypical reality TV host, but he actually plays a character—his brand revolves around manufactured, over-the-top awkwardness. The Rehearsal sees Fielder as a wizard orchestrating the decisions of everyday people. In the first episode, Fielder’s team builds a perfect replica of a Brooklyn bar in a warehouse to help a man get over his fear of telling his trivia partner that he lied to her about his educational background. Fielder staffs the bar and even hires an actor to stalk the trivia partner, befriend her, and replicate her personality as a means of “rehearsing” for the real conversation. It’s so hilariously overdone that you just have to pause the show so your mouth can gape in peace. Stalking??? It gets better—throughout the remainder of the show, Fielder helps a woman rehearse 18 years of raising a child (accomplished through swapping child actors through a window, of course). The Rehearsal is an extremely unique, clever, shocking piece of comedy that also provides an interesting philosophical window into the process of socialization of 21st century American society.
35. Nick Cannon just kept having kids: With a family tree more chaotic and expansive than a Sims character, Nick Cannon, at the young age of 42, welcomed four new children to his rolodex of…7 other children. Like six of the seven others (except Monroe), these babies have really weird names that almost deserved a spot on their own. But unfortunately, baby names like “Beautiful Zeppelin,” “Onyx,” “Powerful Queen,” and “Legendary” aren’t as iconic enough as the 2020 winner for Best Baby Name, X Æ A-XII, so they don’t get their own entry. He’s also expecting a 12th child with a totally different woman, now expanding his repertoire of baby mamas from six to seven…Second weirdest polycule ever!
34. Trevor Noah left The Daily Show: Trevor Noah (every mom’s pick for handsomest comedian) announced this year that it would be his last year hosting the long-running Comedy Central TV show, The Daily Show. He’s been the host since 2015, succeeding the tough act to follow, Jon Stewart. Noah was then the first Black host of The Daily Show and revitalized the late-night talk show for the millennial audience, getting nominated for several Emmys and much acclaim in the media. He also was the only comedian who was able to transform his program to adapt to the limitations caused by the pandemic, which makes his departure even sadder. However, he’s moving onto bigger and better things, we hope; though, the conspiracy that all this news about him leaving was Dua Lipa’s fault (they went on ONE date, everybody) is very convincing…
33. Abbott Elementary Earns an A+: Abbott Elementary is a mockumentary sitcom that follows Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues as she begins her career as a second-grade teacher in a predominantly Black school in Philadelphia. The show is witty, empathetic, and savvy; its humor is refreshing and an exemplary evolution of the mockumentary format for the 2022 audience. And it didn’t take long for Brunson’s brainchild to receive critical acclaim from viewers, or from the critics: Abbott Elementary was nominated for Seven Emmys, winning three. Seeing positive viewer reaction, it was quickly renewed for a full second season that premiered in fall.
32. Celebrity Carbon Emissions: As the climate teeters closer and closer to the precipice of collapse, savvy internet users began employing technology to hold the wealthy and powerful accountable for their disproportionate contributions to harmful carbon emissions. Twitter accounts like @CelebJets, @ZuccJet, and @PutinJet tracked the flight movements of celebrities’ (and Russian oligarchs’) private jets and their corresponding carbon emissions. (I would link to the accounts, but they were famously suspended by Elon Musk.) Concurrently, a marketing agency called Yard released a report that calculated which celebrities contributed the most emissions with private jet use, according to @CelebJets’ data. Taylor Swift held a commanding lead in this ranking, with well over 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted from her private jet usage! (Her representatives tried to explain that she loans her jet to her friends, so all those emissions actually shouldn’t be attributed to her. How generous of her!). Other prominent CO2 emitters included Floyd Mayweather, Jay-Z, Drake, and Kylie Jenner. Much is made of our capacity to reduce our collective carbon footprint at the individual level, but the work of accounts like @CelebJets served to crystallize into public perception the extremely disproportionate impact of the careless actions of a select few. As Queen Taylor herself said a few months after the report came to light, “it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.”
31. Djokovic Anti-Vaxx Scandal: Have you ever had so much distrust in modern medicine that you literally refused to play in the worlds largest tennis tournament? Few get the opportunity, but Novak Djokovic certainly made his choice when he refused the COVID vaccine, and was subsequently barred from Australia. Oh well. Literally his loss.
30. Trisha Paytas births Malibu Barbie: Trisha Paytas is many things: an infamous ASMR artist, Birkin collector, pop star. And this year she added one more title under her belt: mother. After a Valentine’s Day Reveal of her pregnancy, the virtual world watched her pregnancy with eager eyes. From podcasts to adult content to TikToks, the mass content created by her gave ample substance to pause as her life would undoubtedly shift post pregnancy. While close—and less close—fans watched her pregnancy develop, what drew the world’s attention was the parallel nature of Queen Elizabeth’s health decline and passing and rumors that Trisha Paytas was in labor. It did not take tin foil-wearing Twitter users to view the events as mere coincidences. And how could they? It was obvious that Queen Elizabeth was being reincarnated as Trisha Paytas’s baby! However, Trisha later dispelled this rumor and announced she had not given birth to her daughter that day. Still, the commotion placed major attention on the media star for the next week until, on September 14, Malibu Barbie Paytas-Hacmon was welcomed to the world. The name was a perfect mix of Trisha’s campy neo-Angelyne aesthetics that epitomized her rise to stardom and endurance of that position.
29. TJ Holmes and Amy Robach’s spicy affair: Two couples, both alike in dignity: in our fair day-time talk show, where we find our scene… TJ Holmes, a charismatic news anchor for Good Morning America with a radiant smile and excellent humor. Amy Robach, his elegant co-anchor with poise and a magnetic personality. A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life… TJ, married to a woman; Robach, a man—neither were each other. That didn’t stop them! From flirting and touching on camera, to having so much chemistry that even the most oblivious observer could sense something was up, these two were spotted canoodling not only in NYC bars, but in the Shawangunk Mountains, too! No one knew either of them had split up their respective marriages, let alone because of the fact that they were in love with each other. But that was also a lie because the crew of GMA3 came forward to say these two were absolute menaces about PDA, which…gross! Anyway, they got booted off the show (imagine the HR reports!), they fully leaned into their messy relationship, and moms everywhere are absolutely shaken to the core.
28. Liz Truss Beat By Head Of Lettuce: Tough.
27. Adam Levine Cheating Scandal: A modern haiku, which reads:
Holy fucking fuck
That body of yours is absurd
In just a few simple words, the frontman to the world’s most irrelevant band created one of the best meme templates of the year. Oh, and also cheated on his wife, who is literally a model. Why he would do that, in this deranged way, is beyond anyone’s understanding. But the internet did get a good long laugh at his expense.
26. Markiplier’s OnlyFans: This story begins with another short man: Joe Rogan. This infamous podcaster has held the #1 podcast spot on every streaming platform for God-knows-how-long, and quite frankly, the people have had enough! So, in an effort to motivate people to dethrone Joe Rogan—and, you know, promote Distractible and his new, sports-related podcast with his best friend Tyler—famous YouTuber Markiplier declared that he would create an OnlyFans account AND commit to posting “tasteful” nudes IF his two podcasts could reach the #1 spots both in their respective genres and overall in every available streaming service. Markiplier, then, became both the smartest and dumbest guy online because he severely underestimated his fans. If there’s one thing people want more than to support their favorite entertainer, it’s seeing their ass. Yes, both podcasts got to #1 in an unexpectedly short amount of time, and Mark had to act fast to make sure no one would think he was bluffing. Mr. Iplier then voluntarily objectified himself again for sweeter reasons, changing his proposition so that people would preorder the documentary he made about his mom and her childhood in Korea, and that succeeded too! However, the funniest things to come out of all this were: 1. Mark’s original announcement video was #1 on YouTube for a week, 2. He got exactly what he asked for in one week, and 3. “MARKIPILIER ONLYFANS” trended for three whole days on Twitter after he finally announced he would create that account. The internet just loves a nice man with a nice ass, huh…
25. Dream’s face reveal: He’s just some dude.
24. Marilyn’s Dress Gets A New Life: Kim K breaks the internet seemingly weekly, and her Met Gala fashion looks have always been ones to watch out for, but this one took the cake. Following the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” theme, Kim took inspiration from the woman of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe herself, and wore the iconic “happy birthday Mr. President” dress on the red carpet. To say this sparked debate is an understatement. People were polarized – this was disrespectful destruction of a historical artifact, or a cool new reimagining of a societal sex symbol. All complicated by the fact that, though Kim lost 16 pounds in order to fit the dress, she still lightly damaged it with her world-famous curves. Whatever your stance may be on the Great Marilyn Dress Scandal, you can’t deny the buzz Kim managed to create once again.
23. BTS joins the actual army: No one is immune from the mandatory military draft in South Korea, not even the talented powerhouse that is BTS. Yes, now that all the members are in the age range eligible for military service, it’s time for the Bangtan Boys to leave behind their army of fans and join the army of their country. Unfortunately, having Jungkook on the front lines is a huge PR win for the government, so they will not be going on a world tour any time soon. Also, they sent Jin to the frontlines.
22. The sequel that was Top Gun: Maverick: This entry is dedicated to every dad out there that dropped everything they were doing to go see Top Gun: Maverick in theaters. The long-anticipated sequel to the 1986 action classic starring Tom Cruise was released the summer of this year, marking our vacations as one of family bonding (again, I didn’t want to watch this movie with anyone other than my dad), hot men spanning two generations playing beach volleyball shirtless, a dramatic Lady Gaga ballad, “Take My Breath Away,” John Hamm, dudes in their 20s conveniently deciding to grow out their mustaches, and of course, many remarks that said the obligatory, “Tom Cruise looks exactly the same!” The sequel was also surprisingly way better than the original—probably because they had a legitimate plot this time—and though it’s arguably the most effective military propaganda out there (seriously, there’s no explicit “enemy” and all the American men are hot? Hm), it got excellent ratings. Also, for those who weren’t there for Whiplash, many figured out Miles Teller was hot! Tom Cruise also jumped out of a moving plane for this! Cinéma…
21. Julia Fox as a concept: For someone who did not release a single movie, album, or book in 2022, it’s possible no one has had a bigger year than Julia Fox. In 2022, the actress/fashionista/part-time philosopher was everywhere. Just a year ago, Fox was a relatively niche actress best known for a supporting role in the Sadfies’ Uncut Gems. By this summer, she was inescapable. Whether you first learned about her from her whirlwind romance with Ye or from claiming she only engaged in said romance to “distract him” from publicly harassing Kim Kardashian, there’s no way you didn’t learn about her. From her now-iconic eye makeup to her delightfully adventurous street style to her overwhelmingly viral pronunciation of “Uncut Gems,” Fox seemed to spend nearly every day of 2022 in the headlines. When she wasn’t busy being The Moment, she was engaging in her side hustle as a feminist thinker (or TikTok’s equivalent), culminating in an interview on Emily Ratajkowski’s podcast, featuring one hour of complex reflections on womanhood and fame articulated in the most powerful vocal fry known to man. Sure, Julia Fox may have willfully ignored Ye’s multitude of MAGA-red flags, but in 2022, it was impossible to ignore Julia Fox.
20. Climate activists threw soup on famous paintings: Bwog already somewhat addressed this moment earlier this year, showing how much of a big deal these stunts were. In the continent that shall not be named, young climate activists belonging to Just Stop Oil, a non-profit organization, went to museums donning orange vests and chucked some chowder at famous paintings. At first, a museum in England fell victim to a creamy tomato bisque on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers; then, one of Monet’s several Haystacks got a face full of potato soup and people’s hands glued to the wall—all in the name of bringing awareness to climate change. Many discourses about social activism came out of this stunt. Was it done deaf for the activists to go to public spaces, enjoyed mainly by everyday people, and speak out against the actions of the top 1%? Did they have a good point in saying we’re wasting time distracting ourselves instead of focusing on changing our environmental habits? Did they know the paintings wouldn’t be permanently damaged? The funniest part of this whole thing, however, is how immediately shut down it was after people found out the main donor to Just Stop Oil is the heiress to the Getty Oil fortune and oil tycoon empire. Turns out throwing soup on famous paintings had a very high chance of being a conspiracy by Big Oil to deter people from listening to “obnoxious” climate activists, even if the heiress said on-record she was “not [her] grandfather”…
19. Serena Williams retired: Following a hiatus in 2017 due to injuries and the birth of her daughter, she returned to the main stage in 2018 and reached the championship match in several tournaments but won none. Early in 2022, Williams announced her intention to “evolve away” from tennis following the 2022 US Open. Fans were hopeful for a victory to add a final and sentimental feather to her cap. While she beat the No. 2 ranked player in her second round, her third round was a hard-fought match. She lost, but was celebrated as a monumental figure in the sport and as a model of a premier athlete. There’s no one like Serena, we’re just lucky to be here while she soared.
18. AI Surge: There hasn’t been an episode of Black Mirror since 2019 because it turns out we’re living in it. This year has seen a surge of AI websites such as DALL-E Mini, which generates images from a prompt, ChatGPT, which generates text, and Jukebox, which generates music. The generated images, text, and music range from bizarre to scarily realistic, surging in popularity on social platforms. Even though this AI inspires awe, it also raises moral concerns about the relationship between humans and technology. Is AI-generated art “real art”? Could people plagiarize using AI? While 2022 was the year of AI novelty and exploration, future years will likely see the expansion of AI in a way that looks less and less like a meme.
17. Funny Girl: Surprise! Broadway continues to be dramatic. Lea Michele has been coveting after the role of Fanny Brice for ages, but when Beanie got the role, it was a huge win for advocates for plus sized actresses. Even more exciting considering that Beanie embraced her Jewish ancestry while playing the role. This, paired with the bombshell last second changes, brought uproar to the already dramatic Broadway community.
16. Elizabeth Holmes got sentenced: Some people just girlboss too close to the Sun. This year, Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty on four counts of defrauding investors of her now-defunct health technology company Theranos. She proceeded to then get pregnant with her second child (coincidence…?). In November, she was sentenced to 11 ¼ years in prison with a three-year supervised release. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila recommended she be incarcerated at a minimum-security prison, which is a win for wealthy white female criminals everywhere!
15. Hispanic music titans: Artists such as Bad Bunny, Rosalía, and Karol G have gone from merely household names in the world of Hispanic music, to the artists that absolutely everyone is listening to around the world. It’s nigh-impossible to not hear a song off of Un Verano Sin Tí or MOTOMAMI at any party, and we’re all here for it. Just as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” opened the world’s ears to K-pop, it’s likely that Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 2016 hit “Despacito,” combined with the advent of streaming services and artist collaborations, are a major factor in the tremendous rise in popularity of Latin music this year.
14. The Metaverse expanded (and flopped): The Metaverse has been Zucc’s passion project for about a year now—maybe two if you count the 2019 purchase of the Oculus VR headset, the kickstarter of this whole shifting of directions from social media to weird video games in the Meta/Facebook corporation. This year, however, was the year of the biggest improvements in its development, and also the biggest let-downs. First came the launch of Horizon Worlds, the product of a whopping $36 billion investment and an immersive digital universe where people can play games, talk to each other, and give companies more money by shopping. Horizon Worlds ended up being super glitchy and a hub for a total of 36 people (some of which allegedly were being creepy toward the children on the server…good job, Mark), and Meta employees went on the record just to say the shittier Second Life sucked! Then, despite all this, the Metaverse launched its “international” debut: you can “take selfies” in front of the Eiffel Tower. You can one day live in the country of Tuvalu, since the island nation-state is sinking due to climate change and still needs to exist somewhere (nevermind the people that actually have to move to a different country). You could one day (since they’re still experimenting on Roblox) go to Walmart and experience retail hell on Earth, since they’re trying to move shopping to the Metaverse now. Hell, you can even walk around with legs! Exciting!
13. Cbat: You know it. I know it. Bum badum bum, bumbumbum buuuum. The tune played at parties, the beat tapped on tables, memed and referenced so much it rivals rickrolling, this is the song that united our generation. After reddit user posted an innocent r/tifu, the internet proceeded to tear him to shreds for ~making love~ the maybe the worst possible beat. Whatever you think it could be, it’s much worse. And he had sex to that for two years. All I can say is…poor girl.
12. Stranger Things 4 and the predictable case of Eddie Munson: It’s summer blockbuster time! After an unknown amount of years (three) since the previous season, Stranger Things came back strong in May and reminded us that hey, sometimes, it can actually be pretty good. Vecna was a compelling villain; Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin were a wonderful acting pair; the soundtrack, or mainly the inspired use of “Running Up That Hill,” was incredible. We were all having fun not being immune to the Duffer brothers’ ’80s nostalgia (until the disappointing end of the season dropped in July, some might correctly argue), but some of us were having way more fun than others with a new character who, come on, was obviously not going to survive past the finale: Eddie Munson. Bio-engineered to make the girlies go crazy as a purported bad boy freak but secret softie, people about lost their damn minds over him. I have to be honest: I don’t get it. I was much more engaged in the hilariously lightly homophobic Gay Boy Will Byers plotline, where all Noah Schnapp got to do this season—despite Will being ostensibly the entire reason this show exists—was be sad, gay, and banned from saying that latter thing aloud. Regardless, both of these “plotlines” helped make Stranger Things 4 not just a cultural sensation, but one that, okay, more or less delivered exactly what it needed to. As we wait another eternity for the final season, the real question is not whether Max truly lives or whether Mike will stop being so careless or whether Hopper and Joyce are meant to be…
11. Try Guys Drama: In case you foolishly thought you had a safe corner of the internet, free from drama, hate, or bad feelings, the Try Guys remind you that in fact, nothing is sacred. The internet’s seemingly most wholesome dudes, whose whole shtick is (semi) family friendly humor and trying weird food, came out strong with the most unexpected gossip scandal of the year. Fidelity poster child Ned, literally known for loving his wife, was found cheating with his assistant. And he has two kids!!! He’s since been removed from the Try Guys, and everyone’s belief in true love has been irreparably shattered.
10. Wordle: Epoxy. Impel. Cacao. Knoll. Who ever thought so much about five-letter words until Wordle came and took the world by storm and green/yellow/gray box emojis? Its origins are sweet—as the NYT announced when it soullessly snatched the game up, it is a love story that was originally made for the creator’s girlfriend that quickly become a phenomenon. You couldn’t get through a day in January 2022 without someone asking you if you had done the day’s Wordle. While many have since abandoned the Wordle fight, plenty (including me) are still playing strong and bitching about the beguiling depths of the English language’s five-letter words. What’s the best word to start with? What’s the worst? What’s a word? The answer to all of those, by the way, is SNOUT.
9. The Don’t Worry Darling Saga: This one has a lot of history to get through, so buckle in.
The drama actually begins with the absence of a moment. It’s Spring 2022, and Florence Pugh’s Instagram, which in peaceful times is usually flush with promotional posts for her upcoming films, is notably empty leading up to the release of the first trailer for Don’t Worry Darling. In fact, as fans quickly notice, she hasn’t publicly discussed the film at all since her initial post about being cast nearly two years earlier. Then, the day the trailer is released, she finally breaks her uncharacteristic social media silence and posts promotional material… for Oppenheimer. Something has shifted.
Flash forward to August. We’re now about a month away from DWD’s theatrical release, and director Olivia Wilde is presenting a special screening at CinemaCon. She’s on stage giving her introduction when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, an unidentified culprit rushes on stage to deliver an envelope… filled with custody papers from her ex, Jason Sudeikis. She
But wait a second. How did we get here?
Okay, maybe we weren’t totally honest at first. See, the real story begins almost two full years earlier, in the summer of 2020. Olivia Wilde, coming off the successful release of her directorial debut, Booksmart, has just signed onto direct her sophomore effort, the psychological feminist thriller Don’t Worry Darling. The initial cast? Florence Pugh, Chris Pine… and Shia LaBeouf? Yes, in the early days of production, it was LaBeouf slated to play Jack, Pugh’s conniving incel husband. What happened next? That’s something we may never know for sure.
There are two sides to every story—except for this one, which has like, eight.
According to Olivia Wilde in a seminal interview for Variety, the director fired LaBeouf, possibly because his behavior made Florence Pugh and other female costars uncomfortable (this was a few months before LaBeouf was sued for assault by his former partner, FKA Twigs, but his problematic on-set antics had long been public knowledge). In his absence, Wilde brought in
experienced movie star Harry Styles as a replacement around September 2020. Also according to Wilde, at this point, she had been separated from Jason Sudeikis, her partner of about a decade with whom she shares two children, for several months. By January 2021, her romantic relationship with Styles was public.
Then, just days after Wilde’s initial interview with Variety, LaBeouf sent the magazine a series of emails detailing his side of the story: not only had he quit the film of his own volition—supposedly because he disapproved of Wilde’s directing style—but she had quite literally begged him to remain in the cast. In a video that quickly went viral (in the worst way possible), Wilde can be seen (and heard) encouraging LaBeouf to stay on the film, saying “I’m not ready to give up on this yet,” followed by something even more damning: “I think this might be a bit of a wakeup call for Miss Flo.” LaBeouf—for whichever reason—ultimately departed the film entirely, but the damage was cemented. Within minutes of the video’s release in August 2022, the internet was aflame.
Back to this year. It’s September, and the entire cast and crew of Don’t Worry Darling are preparing for the film’s press tour. The entire cast, that is, except for the star, Florence Pugh (and co-stars KiKi Layne and Ari’el Stachel, but we’ll get there in a minute). Yes, Florence announces just days before the festival that due to her commitments filming Dune: Part 2, she won’t be attending a single press event for Don’t Worry Darling. In fact, her only stop on the press tour is the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival—though she’s notably absent from all press events there, as she can only manage to get away for a single day (and no, it’s not suspicious that Timothée Chalamet, her Dune: Part 2 co-star, manages to spend nearly a week at the same festival). While Miss Flo is making a delayed arrival, Aperol Spritz in hand, the rest of the cast is experiencing utter chaos. Harry Styles goes viral for saying his favorite part of the movie “is that it feels like a movie,” and then again for seemingly—though not actually—spitting on co-star Chris Pine. Meanwhile, Wilde and Pugh’s stylists are exchanging passive aggressive messages via Instagram captions. Then, another bombshell: ahead of the movie’s theatrical release, KiKi Layne and Ari’el Stachel—two of the only people of color in the cast—reveal via social media that their parts were cut almost entirely from the final version of the film. In happier news, the posts also serve to hard-launch Layne and Stachel’s new relationship, via Layne’s caption “They cut us from most of the movie, but we thriving in real life. #GotMyCheck #GotMyMan.” In short, the premiere is just as chaotic as the production seemed to be.
Eventually, the movie premiered in theaters to great box office numbers and limited critical praise, and the drama appeared to be over.
That brings us back to the custody papers—and oh, so much more.
See, while Wilde and Sudeikis’ initial joint breakup announcement in November 2020 claimed they’d been separated for months by then, 2022 saw them singing quite a different tune. First, the custody papers incident had many believing there might be quite a bit more animosity than they previously let on. Then, in a reveal so big its only rival is Watergate, the former couple’s former nanny came out with a story of her own: the long, drawn-out, and actually incredibly contentious breakup may have directly coincided with the start of Olivia Wilde’s relationship with Harry Styles. In fact, things were so messy that on one fateful night, Sudeikis allegedly laid flat under Wilde’s car to prevent her from going to Styles’ house with her “special salad dressing.” In perhaps the biggest shocker of this entire saga, we’re actually talking about salad dressing. For those wondering, the signature dressing in question was, as Wilde would later reveal on Instagram, a deeply basic recipe conveniently taken from Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, a novel about a woman divorcing her famous philandering spouse.
Then, last month, seemingly out of nowhere, it was announced that Styles and Wilde had broken up after two years together. Yes, it’s quite possible that all of it—the doomed press tour, the beefing stylists, the salad dressing—was for naught. Nothing gold can stay, I guess.
8. BeReal: In an age of social media oversaturation, BeReal has taken over as an alternative way to share snapshots from our daily lives. Users get a notification once a day that it’s time to “be real,” where they have two minutes to take a picture using their front and back camera. After each notification, the previous day’s BeReal photos disappear. The novelty of the dual camera images has taken the internet by storm, gaining traction as even celebrities use the app. The time-sensitive nature of the app has produced some wild posts, both real and edited. I’ve personally seen posts of people showering, driving, or even unclogging a toilet (okay Dad—you don’t have to be that real). BeReal’s simplicity has maintained its popularity throughout the year and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
7. Andrew Tate: It took all of my will power to get myself to write this, because Andrew Tate is probably one of the worst things to happen to the internet, pop-culture wise, ever. But, without further ado, I present the Andrew Tate drama of 2022: Andrew Tate went viral on Tik Tok this summer while on Dave Portnoy’s podcast titled BFFs. Essentially, he opened his mouth, said some stuff, and it went viral. Tate is most widely recognized for his toxic masculinity, which became the focus of his time on Portnoy’s podcast. Clips of Tate on BFFs circulated Tik Tok, raking in over 14 billion views. His problematic statements then reached other major social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and basically every other corner of the internet. After receiving a magnitude of (very warranted) hate online, protests began to circulate the internet, calling for a ban of Tate’s social media accounts. Finally, after a tumultuous couple months, Andrew Tate was banned from all accounts at the end of August. Most recently though, Tate managed to weasel his way back into the limelight, showcasing his ego, and ultimately being his own downfall. In a tweet directed at climate activist Greta Thunberg, Tate ranted about the “enormous emissions” of his 33 car collection, to which Thunberg replied: “Yes, please do enlighten me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.” In true Tate fashion, the misogynist replied with a two minute video of ranting about a Romanian pizza chain among other things. On Thursday, December 29th, Tate and his brother Tristan, were detained for sex trafficking and rape charges. Although it is not certain, outlets have stated that the Romanian police were able to track down the Tate brothers due to the information detailed on the pizza box in Tate’s video sent to Thunberg. As of now, the brothers are being held for 30 days, and will hopefully go down without a fight.
6. Will Smith’s Slap of the Century: This year’s Oscars were particularly memorable not for the awards given, but for a moment in which Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and the fact that she shaves her head for alopecia-related reasons. Walking back to his seat, Smith yelled at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth,” then minutes later, accepted the Academy Award for Best Actor. Days later, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was issued a 10-year ban of attendance for all Academy events. While the slap was censored live on US broadcasts, the uncensored video quickly broke out, garnering hundreds of millions of views and a hefty amount of internet memes and controversy. This wasn’t the first time Rock had taken shots at Pinkett Smith—in 1997, he jabbed at her attendance and participation at the Million Woman March, and in 2016, after several Black actors decided to boycott the Oscars, Rock poked fun that “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
5. Taylor Swift and the Midnights Era: On August 29, Taylor Swift announced her 10th studio album Midnights. From then until October 21, she revealed the thirteen track titles via cryptic TikTok videos where she spoke into a red, analog telephone. Each video drove fans (like me) wild, analyzing each pixel for clues about an infinite amount of iconic possibilities: which songs would be Midnight’s singles, which album she would re-record next, if she’d announce a world tour, if she’d finally come out as gay (“Lavender Haze” really bamboozled fans), or if she’d announce an engagement to Joe Alwyn. After thirteen tracklist reveal videos and a surprise 3 am deluxe version, Midnights arrived and IMMEDIATELY made history; Swift completely took over the Billboard Top Ten and broke the Spotify record for the most-streamed album in a single day. Then came the Eras Tour. A trip through eras, past and present, Swift’s tour had 26 shows across America and nine incredible openers. Within three days, Swift added eight additional show dates. Though Swift had an insane amount of performances planned, Swifties prepared for war—and they got exactly that. After the tour announcement, fans who bought Midnights merchandise were given “boosts” that would supposedly give them a better place in the Ticketmaster queue for ticket sales; they were also able to register as a Ticketmaster Verified Fan for certain show dates, giving them codes that would allow them access an exclusive ticket presale. On November 15, the day of the TaylorSwiftTix Presale, all hell broke loose. After a wild morning for East Coasters—many waited in hours long Ticketmaster queues, were not able to buy tickets, even with boosts and their presale codes, and faced crazy expensive ticket prices—the West Coast ticket presale was pushed back five hours. Fans suffered once again on the West Coast and those left without tickets looked forward to the public sale on November 18. Even US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez felt the pain. Unsurprisingly, Ticketmaster once again failed Swifties and cancelled their public ticket sale. Turns out, over 3.5 MILLION fans were registered Verified Fan and 1.5 million of them were sent presale codes. In total, Ticketmaster sold a record-setting 2 million tickets on November 15, a number that their website was not equipped to handle. Basically, the demand for Swift’s tour was “unprecedented,” so they accidentally sold every available ticket. Ticketmaster is now facing an antitrust investigation by the Justice Department and is being sued by over a dozen aggrieved fans for “unlawful conduct.” On November 18, Swift took to her Instagram stories, saying, “It’s truly amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.” There’s a glimmer of hope, though. Boosted fans who were not able to buy tickets in November were recently given the opportunity to purchase tickets, by the request of Swift’s team. The Eras Tour begins in March. Let’s hope Ticketmaster doesn’t fuck that up.
4. The Depp-Heard Trial: This summer, Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation. Though the jury ultimately ruled in favor of Depp, what we all were watching the trial for was the insane things they said about each other, including reports that Heard defecated in their bed, accounts of the tip of Depp’s finger being severed, and many reports of Depp’s violence during alcohol and drug binges. Also, no one watching this trial was normal about it.
3. The World Cup: Messi. Mbappé. Morocco. Multiple allegations of human rights abuses and slave labor. It’s the World Cup! I know we say this every time, but this World Cup truly had it all. The narrative arcs were so good: There were the underdog darlings (and stone-cold hotties, hiiiii Yassine Bounou <3) of Morocco’s national team; there was the unstoppable force vs. immovable object that was both the hyped-up idea of Messi vs. Mbappé and the fact that there actually was a Messi vs. Mbappé showdown via a nearly incomprehensible World Cup final between Argentina and France that broke us all and single-handedly fixed all Argentina’s problems. And remember all the other upsets and absurdities: when Saudi Arabia beat Argentina, when Morocco reconquered the Iberian Peninsula, when Croatia made Neymar cry? When a French player’s thick ass meant that an Argentine goal was not offside? When the Argentina vs. Netherlands game ended in sixteen yellow cards? And so on. But the most important part of this was the man of essentially every waking hour, minute, and second of this cup: Messi, Messi, Messi. He did it! He actually did!
2. Elon Musk bought Twitter: Surprise, surprise, the site still sucks, it’s just run by an even bigger idiot now.
1. Queen Elizabeth II died this year: RIP BOZO.
Pure unfiltered brainrot V3 via Solomia Dzhaman
@Anonymous Under all circumstances, is must not be to smelling yourself! It will be make it you to faint!
@🧠 can’t believe we’re back to 100 y’all are braver than the marines
@Anonymous wonderful article, i do believe dream’s face reveal should be higher as it was a decade-defining moment.