The biggest pop culture moments of 2022

The biggest pop culture moments of 2022

The celebrity deaths, interviews, face-offs, and other entertainment stories that dominated headlines in this year’s news were all part of the headlines.

By EW Staff December 22, 2022, 03:38 PM EST

What will you remember about pop culture 2022? What headlines will define the past 12 month and maybe be a guide for 2022? Jeopardy! In the next years, what will be the answer?

Pop culture is not short of moments of pure joy, but scandals and deaths can also be a big draw. From Stranger Things, Funny Girl, Do not worry darlingTo. Taylor Swift, Elton John, Harry Styles, Will Smith, Kanye WestWe’re taking a look back at the most memorable moments in pop culture of 2022.

Oh, slap!

We are certain that everyone meant differently when they said the Academy should punch up the Oscars ceremony. After 2022 ceremony presenter Chris Rock Made a joke about the shaved heads of Jada Pinkett Smith The husband of the actress has alopecia. Will Smith approached the comedian, and slapped him across his face. Audiences watching in a room (see Lupita Nyong’o’s reaction) and at home, (Twitter blew-up) were equally stunned. The incident was a sensation for almost a month, with headlines buzzing for nearly a month. Academy banKing Richard Actor (and eventual winner that evening) from AMPAS events over the next decade — arguably giving those involved a greater presence in the media than an Oscar win could’ve. Nuanced discussions about Why?The reason for the exchange was not important. However, it proved that no one wins when it comes down to it, even on a night to celebrate cinema champions.–Joey Nolfi

Better Harrys & Gardens

When Harry Styles His new album was announcedHarry’s HouseThree years after the success ofFine LineFans expected that there would be some press coverage. They didn’t know that the musician would be featured on the cover. June issue ofBetter Homes & Gardens. It’s a brilliant marketing move. Harry, get it!House? — almost broke the internet due to its unexpectedness and because, well…have you seen the photos? This cover is a great example of a man who has delivered more than his fair amount of great pop culture moments in 2022, including a number of TikTok concert videos.–Samantha Highfill

(Disclosure: Better Homes & Gardens Dotdash Meredith owns EW and EW.

Funny Girl(s)

A musical that includes a song about not letting anyone ruin your paradeFunny GirlThere were some turbulent backstage proceedings. This spring, the highly anticipated Broadway revival (its debut ever) opened to high expectations. Its star, Beanie FeldsteinThe disappointment of lofty expectations was felt most by, which received poor reviews. However, rumors of a sequel soon followed.All About EveFeldstein was reportedly feeling unsupported and unsure by producers who were already looking for a new star to help them. Enter Lea MicheleA star who brought her own baggage thanks for Reports of her toxic behavior The set ofGleeBut also the actor many believed should have been given the role. All of this culminated in Feldstein leaving the production earlier than expected and rumors swirling about Michele’s past diva tendencies. But what? Michele finally took the stage It was named Fanny in September. Fanny’s Act One Finale is a triumphant victory. Michele spotted a bagel in the midst of the onion rolls and gossip. We basically got two shows for the cost of one. –Maureen Lee Lenker

Naomi Judd’s death

The news of the Judd family matriarch shocked country music fans and others. Naomi’s April death According to Wynonna and Ashley, the singer of “Love Can Build a Bridge,” was “the disease mental illness.” Suicide was the cause of death. Judd, 76, was open about her mental health issues throughout her life. Her daughter has used the moment to highlight mental illness and celebrate the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter’s life and career. –Gerrad Hall

What is uncut?

2013 was a year when we all wondered “What Does the Fox Speak?” In the case of Julia Fox, it was what she said in a February interview on the Call her Daddy Podcast is all anyone can talk about for a few days. “I was Josh Safdie’s muse when I wrote Uncut Gems“” was her reply to Alex Cooper, Fox’s host who asked what a muse it was. It wasn’t what she said, but how she responded.How She said it — “gems”, which sounded like “jaahms,” — that became a viral TikTok trend thanks to Fox’s Valley Girl, glottal Fried pronunciation. Celebrities joined the fun by using audio from the moment to have some fun. Fox’s first reaction was to laugh it off on Instagram, writing “Omgggggg I was stoned leave us alone !!!!”.” Then came a few laughing emoticons. This moment was one of 2022’s best. –Gerrad Hall

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard

Johnny DeppEx-wife faces defamation charges Amber Heard Six weeks of live-streamed testimony, media chaos and testimony began in April in Virginia. Depp sued Heard to recover $50 million for her 2018 misconduct. Washington Post An op-ed describing her experiences as a domestic abuse survivor. Although she didn’t name Depp, her lawyers argued that his references to him and his previous public abuse allegations were clear. They also claimed it had damaged his career and reputation. Both sides recounted heart-breaking accusations of sexual, verbal and physical assaults, as well as bizarre anecdotes. feces And a Broken fingertip. A Jury ruled in Depp’s favour in June, awarding him $15 million in damages. Hollywood was a major player in the case that distorted the cultural discourse. Paul Bettany, Ellen Barkin, Kate Moss, James Franco Among the stars mentioned in subpoenaed letters or called to the witness’ stand. –Jessica Wang

We wish you all the best!

The rightful queen spoke seven words to create the cocktail of the Year: “A Negroni… Sbagliato… With Prosecco in It.” A perfect recipe transformed an apparently unimportant moment between House of the DragonStars Emma D’Arcy And Olivia Cooke into a viral sensation. It all starts with gender-nonconforming sexual horniness. LGBTQ TikTokers, primarily those who identify as nonbinary were hungry for the inadvertent sexual appeal of D’Arcy who uses they/them pronouns. This clip captures the essence of this clip. Then you add costar chemistry. D’Arcy & Cooke get along so well that onlookers were captivated by this genuine moment between two friends. D’Arcy’s and Cooke’s characters are fantasy horny. Game of Thrones Prequel drama’s at-odds Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Alicent Hightower, play with female gaze in ways that border on flirting. Finally, you add a little bit of “stunnin” (a.k.a. Cooke’s adorable, perfectly timed and charming response to D’Arcy’s order for a drink. You get a meme that will last forever. –Nick Romano

We were worried, darling

Between spitgate, Nora Ephron’s salad dressingFlo and Ms. Flo, with their Aperol spritz, psychological thriller Do not worry darling The worst press tour of the year took the prize. Director was at the heart of it all. Olivia WildeStar’s relationship with’star’ is well-publicized Harry StylesEmbarrassed actor was replaced by. Shia LaBeouf as the co-lead. He would then emerge from the shadows and make assault allegations against his former director to contest his comments about his exit from the film. Sprinkle tabloid headlines about Jason Sudeikis Throwing himself under ex Wilde’s car — plus Kiki Layne admits that she was cut The film was cut from a large portion of it — and the result was a promotional tour that was more engaging than the movie itself. –Jessica Wang

Music charts at the top

Despite coming out four decades ago, Kate Bush‘s “Running Up That Hill” It was unquestionably the song of summer 2022. It was everywhere: On the radio, on the charts, at bars, and wafting off teenagers’ phones in public. This is in addition to the timeless beauty of the song, but it can only be explained by the zeitgeist-conquering strength ofStranger Things. The Netflix sci-fi series used Bush’s 1985 single as its fourth season. A sonic weapon to defeat the Vecna monster He reminded us all about the power of making a deal to God. –Christian Holub

Hot for baddie

Joseph QuinnEddie, a metalhead from’s, became a fan favorite and Sadie SinkMax, a grief-stricken actor, stole the show in Stranger Things Season 4, but the introduction (or re-introduction of Vecna) (played primarily by Jamie Campbell Bower) sparked a collective thirst among sci-fi fans for the villain. They shared their love for the villain through sexy tweets and TikTok videos. Although astonished by the warm reception, Bower — who recited a poem to intensify the thirst – was not. Lizzo song and famous film lines In the demonic voice — he said it. “very grateful” Vecna is a sex symbol. The heart desires what it wants: a homicidal, humanoid monster. –Jessica Wang

Swifties vs.

If ever there was an artist with enough pop culture prowess that it could bring down the music industry’s most hated monopoly it would be this:Taylor Swift. It was the first tour for the pop star in five years and the debut live performance for six of her albums since 2019, so it was not surprising that securing tickets to the Eras Tour would be difficult. Ticketmaster’s online queues can stretch from hours to days, scalpers inflating prices to the thousands, and presales taking up all available seats.Swift reaffirmed the idea that enough is enough The U.S. government also responded. The Justice Department opened an antitrust probe into Live Nation Entertainment, which merged with Ticketmaster 2010 to investigate whether its monopoly is seriously harming the music industry. Swifties’ long story is: “Look at what you made me do.” –Allaire Nuss

Death of a legend

The news of Bob Saget’s Jan. 9, 2009 death Hollywood and its fans were shocked by the shocking news. The comedian, now 65, Head trauma caused by head trauma caused him to pass away in his sleep. After performing the night before, Saget was seated in a Florida hotel. Saget was a legend in the industry for his kindness and generosity as well as his incredible comedic talents; audiences considered him the best. Full House star America’s dad. His death was not easy to process, as it occurred just 10 days after the passing of Betty White, another comedy icon. Betty White died Dec. 31, just a few weeks shy of her 100th Birthday. We were still not recovered and this added to our collective grief. It has continued all the way. 2022 with the deaths Legends include Sidney Poitier, Naomi Judd, Taylor Hawkins, Ray Liotta. Saget is always there to make you laugh …… –Gerrad Hall

The Iceman returns

It is impossible to have a day without night, a sound without silence, or ice without fire — or Iceman. It was discovered for the first time in 1995. Tom Cruise His re-enlistment for the role of his Top Gun Flyboy MaverickSuperfans prayed for a reuniting with their cocky antagonist, immortally portrayed by Val Kilmer. (The latter’s well-known battles against throat cancer nearly cost him his voice. So, it may have been worth praying. Kilmer’s one-scene appearance It was more than anyone could have imagined: quiet but dignified, emotionally charged, and the occasion to do some of the most compassionate acting Cruise has ever done.–Joshua Rothkopf

Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader

It was a rematch that took 17 years to make. It was a rematch 17 years in the making. Ewan McGregor‘s Obi Wan and Hayden ChristensenIn 2005,’s Darth crossed lightsabers to reach Mustafar, a volcanic planet.Revenge of the SithWe thought that this was the last time we would see the characters and actors fighting. Disney has changed that.Obi-Wan Kenobi, We were able to witness the two friends-turned foes engage in aggressive negotiations not once, but twice! Obi-Wan clearly was a little rusty during their first encounter on Jabiim’s mining planet. buriedThe rematch began when the Jedi summoned the Force once more to show his Padawan who he really was. It was an emotional and thrilling conclusion to their epic story.–Dalton Ross

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many things were delayed Elton John This November, he made his final appearance on North American tours. Los Angeles Dodger Stadium: Returning John went out with lots of sequins, pizazz for the first time since his 1970s legendary concerts there. The event was so significant in music history, Disney streamed it live. This allowed fans to watch John’s incredible journey through his greatest hits from the comfort of their own homes. It wasn’t just about the costumes, the fireworks, or even the absurd joy of John yelling “The Bitch Is Back” while it was being broadcast live on Disney . It wasn’t just the extra sparkle provided by Brandi Carlile, Kiki Dee, and Dua Lipa that sent John off in style. It was more than anything watching a man who has dedicated his entire life to music and performing (and nearly lost it along the way) say goodbye to his fans while he stands steadfastly. Everyone in the crowd wanted to hug each other, knowing it would be a long time before they see something like this again. –Maureen Lee Lenker

Maryanne Oketch wins Survivor

Season 42 ofSurvivorThe show was overstuffed with twists wrapped in wrinkles that were covered with a variety of bells and whistles. But the real star of the show has always been the contestants. The surprise delight of reality TV year was the hilarious, grin-making chatterbox of a seminary student, who invented fake curse words. Somehow, the game was won. — became the most beloved winner in the franchise’s long and storied history. Maryanne, who was unpretentious and became the show’s second Black female winner, was more than a joke barrel. She was a great speaker on race issues and made the most strategic move of the season by blindsideing Omar, the puppet-master, to make her way to the million. She won the money and the hearts of everyone who followed her journey.–Dalton Ross

Bennifer 2.0

A wise woman once asked: “Do you believe there is life after love?” Although this dance is a classic, it was created by the couple a few years before their marriage. Cher Could as well have been about Ben Affleck And Jennifer Lopez. Twenty years after their first engagement, Bennifer decided that it was time to end the relationship. Give it another chance. The pair met on the set at Gigli, a historically unfavorable film. Their romance was a major story until their breakup in 2004. Lopez and Affleck rekindled their romance after their respective breakups in May 2021. Ana de Armas And Alex Rodriguez) — and they announced their engagement in April. The Bennaisance news immediately sent nostalgic minds racing with hope that these two crazy kids would finally succeed. Are you convinced? –Lester Fabian Brathwaite

Heidi Klum does the Worm

All of theCelebrities in Halloween costumesWhile there were many things that swarmed our social media feeds this year and were just as disturbing (or as nausea-inducing) than “The Worm,”Heidi KlumThe extreme departure from her usual pop culture prosthetics (see below)Michael Jackson’s werewolfOrShrekFiona). It was devoid of any reference or reason, and nearly seven-foot tall, writhing on a blue carpet outside of the supermodel’s 21st A-list Halloween party. Tom Kaulitz, her husband, had caught her fisherman and rolled her vermin towards the media. The former Victoria’s Secret Angel, who was encased in the ring, licked her thin, glistening grin and batted its beady, pink eyes.ET“You know what they say, the early bird catches ‘…the worm I’m the worm.” –Allaire Nuss

Multiversal madness

Cinematic staples like alternate realities and parallel universes have been around for a long time. The films of 2022 officially introduced the multiverse to mainstream cinema. Spider-Man has no way home, Everything at Once, AndDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. (Another thing all three films have in commun? Insanely long titles.

There is no way homeSpider-Men helped to kick off the trend in December. Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, and Tobey Magiuire Uniting for a franchise-hopping and box-office-topping adventure. Marvel re-invented the concept later with the appropriately titledMultiverse of MadnessYou can travel between dimensions and introduce alternate versions of familiar heroes. (RIP Professor X & Co.). Finally, the Daniels’ brilliantly crazy ideas Everything at OnceThis film combines absurdist family drama with parallel-universe sci fi to create one of the most charming and bizarre films of the year. (Shoutouts to Raccacoonie, this year’s breakout star. It’s not surprising that moviegoers have embraced multiverses this year. In 2022, wouldn’t it be amazing if we all dreamed about escaping into a better, more beautiful version of our world?–Devan Coggan

Kanye shows his true colors

Kanye West He is not a stranger to controversy. His most loved album, 2010, is his.My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyAfter the rapper had accosted, he was disgraced and needed to be redeemed. Taylor Swift At the VMAs. This year, however, West seemed to have dug a grave too deep for himself. He began harassing his ex-wife via social media. Kim Kardashian Her temporary beau Pete DavidsonThen, you can fully swerve into Anti-Semitic rhetoric And going so far as publicly praise Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Some lines are too far to cross, and some outrages cannot be redeemed by listening to a good album. –Christian Holub


Tariq, a corn-loving child, took the country by storm when he starred in a television commercial. Interview with Recess Therapy It went viral, with more than 10 million views so far. Tariq shared his newfound love for the vegetable, which is even more delicious when slathered with butter. What is it that he loves about it? It has the juice! It was a viral trend on TikTok where people used audio from their favorite moments of the interview. Tariq was named South Dakota’s Corn-bassador by The Gregory Brothers. They also created a parody song. Tariq and his family do receive some royalties! ), Drew Barrymore even invited him to her daytime talk showThey tried corn-flavored products at the expo. He was even hired by Chipotle and Green Giant for their campaigns. Vegetables are now more popular than ever! –Gerrad Hall

Lea Michele shares her word of her body

TheSpring AwakeningA reunion documentary allowed millennials to revisit a musical that shaped many our youths and the cast that made it a part of theater history. We didn’t expect to find a revelation as direct as the lyrics to “Totally F*cked.” The doc Lea Michele She revealed that she had once been a costar (and BFF). Jonathan Groff Her vagina with a desk lamp, in an illustration of female anatomy, a story She continued her discussion with EW. It’s not a glamorous way to make a living, but this embarrassing confession made our day a little brighter. (Lea, we’re sorry for making your vaginatrend on Twitter). –Maureen Lee Lenker

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