Deaths, Secrets, and Penises: The Most Shocking TV and Movie Moments of 2022
It has been one jam-packed year of movies and TV shows. There were fantasy epics like "House of the Dragon" and "Andor," terrifying sci-fi experiments like "Severance," emotional dramedies like "The Bear," and shows taken from real life, like "Pam & Tommy." "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" topped box offices at the end of year, and we were dizzy keeping up with all "The White Lotus" theories TikTok users came up with. Over the summer, we spent hours with Eleven, Mike, Max, Lucas and the rest of the Hawkins gang as they tried to outsmart Vecna — with lethal consequences. And we said goodbye to Donald Glover's "Atlanta" forever.
Part of what made all of these shows and movies so enjoyable were the surprising moments that kept us on our toes. There were shocking deaths that made us cry, wild betrayals that made us gasp, and some very weird moments that still have us scratching our heads. Ahead, we rounded up the most shocking film and TV moments of 2022, according to POPSUGAR editors. Of course, watch out for some major spoilers for shows and movies including "Nope," "What We Do in the Shadows," "Search Party," "The Handmaid's Tale," and more.
Tommy Lee's Talking Penis in "Pam & Tommy"
You may expect surprising deaths or devastating breakups when you hear "shocking" and "TV" in the same sentence, but for me, all I could think was: "talking penis." Yes, I'm talking about that moment from Hulu's "Pam & Tommy" where Tommy Lee (played by Sebastian Stan) has a conversation with his member in episode two. Apparently this was inspired by Lee's own memoir, and it was a jaw-dropping moment in a series already plagued by controversy. — Lindsay Kimble, content director, celebrity and entertainment
Cameron's Full-Frontal Moment in "The White Lotus"
Theo James in the season two premiere of "The White Lotus" — enough said. — Monica Sisavat, senior editor, celebrity and entertainment
Tanya Kills the Gay Men in "The White Lotus"
No list of shocking moments could be complete without this moment, which literally made me gasp at my screen. It wasn't exactly shocking that Tanya died in season two of "The White Lotus," but before she drowned, she took down the gay men who'd been plotting against her — and she even used one of their guns. Who knew she was a sharp shooter? — Victoria Edel, staff writer, celebrity and entertainment
"Atlanta"'s "A Goofy Movie" Mockumentary
"Atlanta" did a lot to keep fans on their toes after its nearly four-year hiatus, but never did I expect the show to end its last season with a mockumentary about the making of "A Goofy Movie." Season four's "The Goof Who Sat By The Door" was a departure from "Atlanta"'s signature style of viral internet jokes, but it was a genius move to send the series off with a bang. From the celebrity cameos to the fake origin story of Thomas Washington (which actually had people googling Disney's first Black CEO), that episode was as shocking as it was entertaining. Now, I can rest easy knowing that we've finally established "A Goofy Movie" as the Blassic it is. — Njera Perkins, associate editor, celebrity and entertainment
That Vecna Reveal in "Stranger Things"
"Stranger Things" keeps feeding us semi-nonsensical lore, and I'm eating it up the way Vecna eats souls. When season four dropped, I was obsessed with the cinematic upgrade Netflix gave the series: everything from the camera quality to the plot line had me hooked. But the most shocking moment for me was the realization that Vecna, One (001), and Henry Creel are all the same person. I had my suspicions that One wasn't to be trusted from the moment I saw him, but nothing prepared me for the look on El's face when she connected the dots — aka the exact same look on my face as I stared down my TV screen. — Chanel Vargas, assistant editor, trending and viral features
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" Introduces Prince T'Challa
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" had a couple of shocking moments, but even Queen Ramonda's death didn't top the end credits scene when we found out King T'Challa had a son before he died! My jaw literally dropped in the theater, and I teared up when Toussaint said his real name was Prince T'Challa. I'm really excited to see how the Black Panther franchise will do that storyline justice in the future — hopefully, he wasn't introduced just for shock value. — NP
Laenor Lives in "House of the Dragon"
A lot of people died in "House of the Dragon" season one. A lot. And any of them could have made this list easily. But the most shocking — and exciting — of all was how the "death" of Laenor Targaryen played out. In episode seven, it seemed like Rhaenyra and Daemon were going to kill him, so they could marry, and that's what it looked like viewers witnessed. But at the last moment, the show revealed that Laenor and his lover Ser Qarl had, with Daemon's help, faked his death and traveled across the Narrow Seas. I cheered! — VE
Carmy Finds the Money in "The Bear"
In the season finale of "The Bear," when Carmy finds the $300,000 his Uncle Jimmy had lent his brother in the tomato cans, I literally burst into tears. The joyous sequence of them rushing to open all the cans is heartwarming, hilarious, and total chaos, just like the show itself. But, honestly, that wasn't the most shocking moment for me. Call me practical or naive, but when the final shot revealed that Carmy would use that money to open up The Bear and bet it all on his own restaurant rather than paying back the debt, I was shook to my core. And there came the tears again. — Charisandra Perez, social media strategist
Nandor Turns Marwa Into Freddie in "What We Do in the Shadows"
The vampires in "What We Do in the Shadows" have never been great people. That's part of their whole thing. But when Nandor uses one of his remaining wishes given to him by a Djinn to turn his wife Marwa into an exact copy of Freddie, Guillermo's boyfriend, I was shocked. It was so, so terrible — to Marwa, to Freddie, to Guillermo. Nandor, you've got a lot of apologizing to do in season five. — VE
Mark S. Finds Out Gemma Is Alive in "Severance"
I was about eight months late to the "Severance" train, but it quickly became my favorite show, especially after the season one finale left us with that massive cliffhanger. When I — at the same time as Adam Scott's character, Mark S. — realized that his late wife, Gemma, was still alive and being kept as a wellness counselor in the Severance program, you can bet I was yelling at my TV screen. I'm used to characters being killed off left and right, and even seeing them brought back from the dead, but this is one twist I did not see coming. — CV
Alice's Real Home in "Don't Worry Darling"
I know I wasn't the only one equal parts disgusted and disturbed when it was revealed that in "Don't Worry Darling," Jack (Harry Styles) was keeping Alice (Florence Pugh) tied up to a series of tubes, so that he could trap her consciousness in a '60s-inspired virtual suburban world. While the realization that he was actually American might have been the most shocking of all, the watermelon sugar high of it all instantly plummeted when Jack's true motives were revealed. — CV
Waymond's Love Confession in "Everything Everywhere All At Once"
Literally everything about this moving is shocking in one way or another, but the part that got me — and every other weeping moviegoer in my theater — was the sincerity with which Ke Huy Quan delivered his lines to Michelle Yeoh. In a movie that thrives off of random interjections and colorful comedic timing, nothing beats the way Waymond tells Evelyn, "So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you." — CV
Kino Can't Swim in "Andor"
There are so many moments in "Andor" that kept me on the edge of my seat, but perhaps none was more heartbreaking than this moment from the successful prison break. In episode 10, Cassian, Kino, and other inmates execute their plan to overpower the guards and take control of their prison, which happens to be located in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, Cassian and Kino see the outside world for the first time in a very long time, and they and the other inmates have to swim to their freedom. That's when Kino reveals the secret he's been keeping — he can't swim. We never find out what happens to him after he jumps, but hopefully the others listen to the advice he gave and help him. — VE
The Ending of "Nope"
Jordan Peele has quickly solidified himself as my favorite horror/thriller director of the 21st century. Even so, when I saw "Nope" in theaters for the first time, I was not prepared for how much I would love this movie, due in great part to his mind-bending twist on the alien sci-fi genre. Everyone expects an alien spaceship/UFO, but no one expects the alien to BE the UFO, and that's exactly what Peele gave us. Inspired by nature — literal jellyfish — and horror movies past, Peele rewrote the rules for alien-horror movies. I may never trust a cluster of clouds again, but I will definitely be watching "Nope" every time I need a good sci-fi watch. — CV
The Ending of "Search Party"
I started watching "Search Party" the week after the fifth and final season came out in January of this year. I read the pilot's synopsis of a Brooklyn hipster searching for her missing college friend and said, "Wow! This sounds so fun and interesting." I did not know what I was getting myself (and my unwitting friend) into. The first season was full of zany chaos and silly hijinks, and I binged it in about a week. But each season was odder and more unexpected than the last, and I finally arrived at the last season within the same month. No one could have warned me of the *literal* zombie cult apocalypse that was waiting. Truth be told, the entire watching experience was a blur to me, but I'll never forget Jeff Goldblum's trip to the core of the Earth. — CP
When June Takes Serena's Baby in "The Handmaid's Tale"
When June brought Serena to the hospital in Canada, it looked like the two had finally formed a bond over fierce motherhood. June had just told Serena (wholeheartedly, it seemed) that the hospital was a safe place and that things were going to be OK. Upon their arrival, June's husband, Luke, had alerted the authorities and Serena's newborn baby was taken into government custody, leaving Serena trapped in her hospital bed, screaming, "JUNE!" From the look on Elizabeth Moss's face at the time, she was just as shocked as the rest of us. — Jon Randhawa, Creative Strategist, Audio and Video
When Colm Cuts Off All His Left Fingers in "The Banshees of Inisherin"
In "The Banshees of Inisherin," Colm tells Pádraic he doesn't want to be friends anymore, and that if Pádraic doesn't stop talking to him, he will cut off all his fingers one by one — a particularly devastating proposition, given that Colm is a a talented musician. The first time he does it, you're shocked, but you can handle it. But when he cut off the remaining four all at once and threw them at Pádraic's door, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. — VE