Google recently released the most-searched words, people, and movies for 2022, and it’s an interesting report. The year has been filled with remarkable events: the death of the world’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II; Betty White, whose death ushered Americans into the new year; and the famous Oscar slap.
It’s been one hell of a ride. Let’s get into the significant trends Americans were interested in the most.
Late American actress and comedian Betty White ranked as the third most searched word of 2022. On New Year’s Eve 2021, the Golden Girl actress died of a stroke at the age of 99 in her Los Angeles home. The iconic actress would have turned 100 years on January 17, 2022, and from her interview with People before her death, one could tell she looked forward to it.
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” she said. “It’s amazing.”
Johnny Depp tops the list of the most searched person for 2022 in America. The domestic abuse allegations against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who also makes the list as the third most searched person in America, ran the curiosity of many through the roof.
In 2016, Heard filed for a divorce and alleged that Depp physically abused her during their relationship, which the actor denied. Their divorce was finalized in 2017, but that was not all— there were a series of legal back and forths up until April 2022. Although the trial ended in June 2022, with Heard losing to her ex-husband, she recently filed an appeal claiming several errors in the trial.
One of the year’s highlights for the actor took place at the 2022 Oscars, where Smith walked on stage and slapped Oscar event host Chris Rock. The comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith, Smith’s wife, and the actor did not find it funny.
His reaction caused a stir on social media with mixed reactions and comments, making it one of the most talked about moments this year and ranking high on Google searches about Will Smith.
Late Queen Elizabeth II ruled England for over 70 years, serving as the longest-reigning monarch in British history. This year, Her Majesty died peacefully of old age, although having faced health challenges a few years before.
The Queen’s passing was no small event, and it is not a surprise that it made the most searched list. Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle. Succeeding her is King Charles, supported by Queen Consort Camilla.
Late American actress and screenwriter Anne Heche was the ninth most searched overall on Google by Americans due to news of her death. The mother of two was involved in a car accident — she crashed her car into a house in Los Angeles, suffering second-degree burns as she was stuck in the burning vehicle for about half an hour before first responders got her out.
The autopsy revealed that she died of toxic inhalation and thermal injury, also adding that she had fractured some bones in the accident. Although urine tests found some drugs in her system, reports debunk her being high on them at the time of the accident, noting that she was also given fentanyl while receiving treatment at the hospital.
American actor and comedian Bob Saget died on January 9, 2022, at the age of 65. The actor was the fifth most searched word on Google by Americans. Bob, who was popularly known for his role in the series Full House, and its Netflix sequel, Fuller House, was found dead on his hotel room floor at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida.
Just hours before the tragic incident, Bob finished one of his comedy tour performances in Jacksonville and even posted a selfie on Instagram, expressing his excitement about his comedy career.
“I’m back in comedy like I was when I was 26. I guess I’m finding my new voice and loving every moment of it. Goin’ everywhere until I get the special shot. And then probably keep going ’cause I’m addicted to this shit,” the late actor captioned his last post.
‘Top Gun: Maverick’
The Tom Cruise-led movie did not only make number three the most searched movie of 2022, the National Board of Review recently named Top Gun: Maverick the best movie of 2022. The film also featured Val Kilmer, Glen Powell, Jennifer Connelly, and other top actors.
The two-hour movie has a high rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive 8.4 on IMDb. So far, it has made over a billion dollars at the global box office since its release in May 2022.
Many caught the Wordle bug in early 2022 — the fun game was created by a Brooklyn-resident software engineer, Josh Wardle, for his partner, who loved word games. The sweet show of love soon became mainstream and the favorite game of many this year.
Wordle is 2022’s most Googled word by Americans overall. The web-based word game is similar to the pen-and-paper game from the ’50s, Jotto. It involves the player guessing a five-letter word, with colored tiles indicating whether they’re right or wrong.