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LIST: Viral stories that got people talking in 2022

By Ayie Licsi and Patrick Magno Ranara Published Dec 22, 2022 2:19 pm Updated Dec 23, 2022 5:09 pm

Another year has passed and some wild stories have made the rounds on social media and got users online buzzing.

A lot of big things happened in 2022—the elections were the talk of the town, with "Halalan 2022" topping Google's most searched topics. Politics aside, here are some of the biggest viral and trending stories that spread like wildfire on the internet.

The slap heard around the world

This year's Academy Awards was like no other as Will Smith got up and slapped Chris Rock onstage after the latter joked about the hair of Jada Pinkett Smith. Later in the night, he won his first Oscar for King Richard.

"Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth!" Smith yelled at Rock. Not long after the moment happened on TV, thousands of memes were birthed. Reactions from people in the audience, Smith slapping other things, and retitling Encanto's hit song to "We Don't Talk About Jada."

The hottest 2022 work trend: Quiet quitting

The term "quiet quitting" spread like wildfire after one TikToker explained what it meant—it's basically doing just the bare minimum at work instead of hustling hard. It got people talking and reevaluating how they view their jobs.

@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound - ruby

The word on everyone's lips: Forda

Two phrases have taken over Filipinos on the internet: "forda" and "person." For those who are confused with this Gen-Z lingo, the terms gained popularity on TikTok after user Chrishanna Luisa Olavidez Austria posted a video of herself after drinking.

"Forda" is a shorthand term for "for the" and "ferson" means person. Check out our breakdown of how to use the phrase here.

BTS hits pause

Hearts of ARMY were crushed as BTS announced that they'll be going on hiatus from group activities after almost a decade since their debut. Let's get things clear: the K-pop supergroup is not disbanding, but they'll be taking a break to pursue their solo projects and finish their mandatory military service.

Since the June announcement, BTS ARMY have been nothing but supportive of the guys, saying they'll eagerly wait until they reunite.

Joshua Garcia's TikToks had the biggest names lining up

Joshua Garcia wasn't named one of TikTok's breakout creators of 2022 for no reason. The Darna actor turned heads as big celebrities like Bella Poarch and even Nicki Minaj left comments on his TikToks, prompting Filipino fans to tell them to get in line.


Singer ba sya?✨

♬ Love Me Back (Fayahh Beat) - Trinidad Cardona & Robinson

But it seems like a different Bella has captured the heart of Joshua, as eagle-eyed netizens speculate that he's dating Bella Racelis.

The birth hallyu fans waited eagerly for

Fans were feeling all the kilig when Hyun Bin and Son Yejin tied the knot in March 2022, and they were just as excited when the couple welcomed their baby boy in November.

"We will protect the precious life that has come to us. I hope you all stay healthy, keeping the things you hold precious in your life close to you," Yejin said when her pregnancy was announced.

Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's bitterly-fought six-week defamation trial received enormous attention from the public that it's even being adapted into a film.

The trial started when Depp, who married Heard in 2015 and divorced her in 2017, sued his ex-wife for her op-ed article in the Washington Post about experiencing abuse.

In her piece, she wrote, "Two years ago, I became a public figure representing domestic abuse, and I felt the full force of our culture’s wrath for women who speak out."

Despite no mention of his name, Depp sued Heard for defamation for $50 million, with his legal team agruing that the article contains a "clear implication that Mr. Depp is a domestic abuser." Heard then filed a $100 million countersuit against Depp and thus began the highly-televised trial.

During this time, the ex-couple issued various allegations of abuse that each of them did during their marriage, which further worsened the controversy of their trial.

In the end, the two of them were found liable for defamation, but the jury sided more strongly with Depp and awarded him $15 million in damages and only $2 million for Heard.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Wedding

The year 2022 also showed how true love waits for the right person and the right time in the case of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.

After meeting on the set of the 2003 romantic comedy crime film Gigli, the pair hit it off and enterted into a serious relationship that almost reached the altar.

Unfortunately, Lopez and Affleck broke off their engagement in 2002 and the flames of their romance eventually sizzled out.

Throughout the coming years, the pair found love in other people: Lopez with singer-songwriter Marc Anthony and Affleck with actress Jennifer Garner.

After separating with their respective partners, the pair rekindled their relationship last year until they decided to finally tie the knot in July—18 years after their first romance failed.

They also held a lavish second wedding a month later, where they exchanged their vows once again at Affleck's gorgeous mansion in Georgia.

The intimate ceremony was attended by some of the couple's closest friends, including Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Jimmy Kimmel.

Goodbye Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II lived a long life at age 96, and in 2022, it seems that the time has finally come for UK's longest-serving monarch to bid farewell to the world as she "peacefully" passed away in early September.

Her death was marked with many tributes and emotional messages from powerful and influential figures, calling her someone with "grace, diginity, and dedication," has "inspiring leadership," and a "remarkable friend."

Because of her death, her eldest son Charles immediately succeeded the throne as per centuries of protocol.

Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest in a state funeral on Sept. 19 attended by world leaders and a huge crowd of sorrowful mourners.

The Try Guys Scandal

Ned Fulmer of The Try Guys made waves on social media in late September, and not for a good reason.

The controversy began when Ned, who rose to prominence for being a "wife guy" or someone whose fame is owed to the content he posts about his wife, was booted from the entertainment group because of his infidelity against his wife Ariel with a colleague.

Ned further confessed on Twitter that he "lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship."

Apologizing to his fans and his wife, he said that he is now putting his attention on his marriage and his children, which were “the only thing that matters” at the moment.

The revelation left fans shocked and garnered huge criticism online, with many saying how disappointed they are for Ned's actions and how they felt sorry for Ariel at what she had to go through.

Elon Musk buys Twitter

Nothing screams "chaos" more than Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter.

After initially backing out of his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, the billionaire business magnate and investor finally took control of the social media giant in late October, and one of the first things he did was to fire its top executives, such as chief executive Parag Agrawal, as well as the company's chief financial officer and its head of legal policy, trust, and safety.

Musk also rolled out the controversial "Twitter Blue" service, wherein active users can get the platform's blue checkmark regardless of whether they are celebrities or journalists.

This resulted in users impersonating other people, as in the case of a verified Twitter account claiming to be Jesus Christ

As days passed, the company seemed to descend even deeper into disarray as employees and key security executives resigned from the platform following Musk's ultimatum on his staff of choosing between being "extremely hardcore" and working intense, long hours, or losing their jobs.