The best tweets of 2022: Twitter’s last ‘normal’ year

2022 was definitely… a year for Twitter. It’s hard to call this a “good” year for the site, given that rumors that Elon Musk bought Twitter sounded like a bad joke, then eventually became a horrible reality. This reality has led us to a place where Twitter could now allow 1,000 character posts who rage with hate speech and COVID misinformation while tell us that everything is fine in corporate communications.

Oh, and there’s the part about how Musk thinks it’s a good idea to let all the worst people in the world come back to the site. Let’s not leave that aside.

Still, even though Twitter ended 2022 in a much worse place than it started the year, there was still plenty to celebrate. For most, 2022 was the last “normal” year on Twitter and it involved lots of amazing memes, massive cultural moments, and just good old-fashioned gags, riffs, and japes.

It’s not possible to fit it all into one post, but here are some of our favorite Twitter bits from the past year before things got totally out of hand.

The slap heard ’round the world

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. You may have heard of this. This dominated the news cycle in a way that nothing at the Oscars has in a long, long time. Hollywood’s response was outsized, as Smith was banned from the event for 10 years. The incident even prompted the screenwriter and director Judd Apatow to tweet (then delete) that Smith could have killed Rock. Apatow apparently wasn’t kidding. The whole thing was a little ridiculous.

Naturally, this made excellent fodder on Twitter.

Seriously, it’s a crime Conan didn’t have a network talk show for that.

It’s just a fun thing to imagine.

And here’s Andrew Garfield, paying as much attention to the Oscars as we all have.

Believe me, I’m not worried

remember the movie Don’t worry, darling? I guess you probably don’t. The Harry Styles vehicle didn’t review particularly well, and the main reaction most had to the film itself was that the former boybander should probably stick to pop stardom instead of acting.

But we’re not here to talk about the movie. We are here to talk about everything around the film.

Olivia Wilde’s second effort as a director garnered metric attention ahead of its release due to a host of drama on and off set. Shia LaBeouf was in it, so he wasn’t. Wilde condescendingly called star Florence Pugh “Miss Flo” in a leaked video asking LaBeouf to return. Pugh, apparently in retaliation, was then somewhat disruptive during the film’s press tour in a way that made her seem really cool.

In all, Don’t worry, darling gave us the best kind of conspiracy: totally harmless and stupid, but very funny. And that was before we all spent a week thinking about Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine!

Kudos to everyone involved here. You did it all except make a good movie.

Adam Levine… hoo man

Sometimes celebrity drama is really funny. This is not one of those times.

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine got entangled in some relationship drama earlier this year, but we don’t have to worry about the details because we’re here for jokes. all you really What you need to know is that some of Levine’s DMs have been leaked and, well, maybe he should stick to songwriting.

As you’d expect, this led to plenty of Twitter riffs. Take a few embarrassing sexts and transpose them onto other images and you have classic memes.

Seriously, the jokes write themselves.

Zoomers won’t get the next one.

Taking identity theft to a new level

It is slightly cheating because, while we’re here to celebrate non-Musk Twitter, these next tweets are a direct result of Musk ownership.

When he briefly let people spend $8/month to get a blue check mark on their profiles, Musk (either because he didn’t think about it or because he didn’t care) allowed people to impersonate big brands, often to hilarious effect.

The one where someone impersonated pharmaceutical brand Eli Lilly and proclaimed that insulin would be free in the future arguably made the most waves on Twitter, but there were so many more.

Many of them became overt political statements, but some of them were just goofy.

If only someone could have seen this coming.

And all the rest

Last but not least, there were a few tweets that didn’t fit any particular trend or category other than being genuinely funny.

The first is ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, who has made a career out of trolling Dallas Cowboys fans. When the Cowboys lost in the playoffs last January, Smith posted a video that opens with the biggest camera pan we’ve ever seen.

The Next Step is a very funny, loving, and creepy tribute to Outkast.

And finally, a video recording of one of the most important moments in American history.

Hopefully Twitter lasts long enough to give us a 2023 in review. If not, well, we’ll all know why.

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