Year in Review: The Best 2022 GIFs and Clips on GIPHY

by Federica Rustico

12 min read
Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Misconceptions aside, GIFs were popular in 2022 (and they will continue to be in 2023). For ten years, GIPHY has been the go-to for looping content, and the company's dedicated crew has never lost its enthusiasm for animating the world's conversations. There is overwhelming evidence of this: GIPHY material, which includes GIFs, Stickers, and Clips, has been viewed trillions of times and has been searched for billions of times. GIPHY's library saw a significant increase in views over the previous year, thanks to both mainstream media and specialized artist content.

While GIPHY maintains its strategy of monitoring the site's most popular content in order to get a feel for the public mood, this information was calculated differently in 2022 to account for unusually high or low daily search volumes. Instead of just always looking for birthday-related information, this method allows for a more in-depth study of content that acquired popularity owing to cultural and emotional spikes. Through this editorial lens, let’s go through a complete and accurate picture of the most shared content and how it was used in 2022, according to GIPHY. Before reading, jot down a list of what you thought were the best GIFs and Clips in 2022, and let’s see if you guessed! 

Ok, But What Do You mean?

Obviously, TV series had a huge impact on the list. The most popular GIF on GIPHY in 2022 originating from the critically acclaimed HBO series Euphoria speaks volumes about the show's standing in the community. Throughout the first several months of 2022, debates on the GIF euphoria were ubiquitous online. Season 2 of the show delivered innumerable moments worthy of sharing on social media and messaging apps, so the question was which one would win. Due to her fame and the impact of the line, as well as users' need for a heartfelt show of thanks, Zendaya's "thank you" proved to be the most popular.

A look at the most-viewed GIFs of 2020 and 2022 reveals some of the year's most significant cultural moments. Top GIFs include heartwarming moments from the worlds of sports and entertainment, funny works by GIPHY's artist community, and fresh takes on pop culture icons like Bad Bunny and Paul Rudd.

This year's most-watched video clip is another proof of SpongeBob SquarePants' enduring popularity. The absurdity of SpongeBob's antics has made him a mainstay of internet culture in the form of memes. SpongeBob and Patrick's strong friendship is celebrated in the winning Clip, which features the two characters' instantly identifiable voices along with endearing compassion and timeless ideas.

GIPHY's top content is produced by a wide range of creators and artists that utilize the clips format to make entertaining and widely shared videos that have amassed hundreds of millions of views. And what's a GIPHY collection without a cat? Some things never change!

Who Made the Cut?

The NFL was the most-viewed of all the 2022 partner networks. The NBA, the UFC, and Major League Baseball were among popular sports-related channels. Other popular types were entertainment (like television and video games) and advocacy organizations (e.g. PeacockTV, South Park, Everdale, Hello All, Into Action). Drew Barrymore was selected "Personality of the Year," honoring her for being a major advocate of the GIF format and for helping produce some of the most widely shared media of the year.

2022’s popular artist channels included those of Kenny Mays, Vincent Winter, curly mads, Mostapes, Travis Foster, Da Yao, Lazy Corgi, Babybluecat, Pusheen, and Jelene Morris. 

Here Are 2022's Most Popular GIFs

1. Zendaya “Thank You So Much” by Euphoria

Thank You So Much GIF by euphoria - Find & Share on GIPHY

Actress Zendaya had a banner year in 2022, winning her second Emmy for her performance as Rue on the critically acclaimed HBO series Euphoria. In addition, a scene from the sixth episode of the second season, titled "A Thousand Little Trees of Blood." starring Zendaya, was the most popular GIF of the year. In the scene, portrayed by Colman Domingo, Rue apologizes to her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, Ali. Zendaya's place as one of the biggest stars of this generation was cemented by the overwhelmingly positive reception to the sequence, which was both emotional and profound.

2. "Happy," by Fran Solo

Happy Feliz GIF by Fran Solo - Find & Share on GIPHY

We were overjoyed to see Fran Solo's groundbreaking work dominate the charts in 2022. The "Croquetas," GIF is an upbeat depiction of a classic tapas dish from Spain. The artist's ability to give common objects personality is beautifully captured in this GIF.

3. Bad Bunny “Te Amo” by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

I Love You Latino GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny makes his acting debut in the most recent season of Netflix's Narcos Mexico. To promote his new position, he made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show. That said, it's only one of several successes he's had in recent years. Grammys, American Music Awards, and Billboard Music Awards are just a few of the honors Bad Bunny has taken home. His fourth album, El ltimo Tour Del Mundo, broke new ground as the first album entirely in Spanish to top the Billboard 200. The WWE's Wrestlemania was another event in which he participated. Bad Bunny has been quite successful, yet he still treats his fans with respect and humility.

4. “I Love You” by The Swoon

I Love You Heart GIF by The Swoon - Find & Share on GIPHY

Kim Seok-woo, better known as Rowoon in the K-pop world, is a multi-talented genius. Since 2016, he has been a member of the K-pop group SF9, where he has performed as a singer, model, and actor. He just just appeared on the MBC show Tomorrow, which can be seen on Netflix. It's no surprise that a finger hearts GIF of him from The Swoon (Netflix's community for K-drama lovers) is so popular, given his immense fame and acclaim.

5. Daniil Medvedev by Tennis TV

Excuse Me No GIF by Tennis TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

Daniil Medvedev, a highly decorated Russian tennis player, is undoubtedly one of the game's all-time greats. This animated GIF of him will undoubtedly be one of 2022's most ubiquitous media formats. This year, one of the most shared pieces of material on GIPHY was this GIF of Medvedev's triumphant mic tap after he won the singles title at the Los Cabos Open. An excellent example of the "is-this-thing-on" vibe, it gave Medvedev another victory.

6. Happy Aliyah Boston by NCAA March Madness

Happy College Basketball GIF by NCAA March Madness - Find & Share on GIPHY

Everybody loves a comeback story, and Aliyah Boston, a player for the South Carolina Gamecocks, has one of the best. She missed a game-winning shot at the buzzer last year, costing Boston the game. In 2022, however, not only did she help her team win the championship game, but she was also awarded the tournament's most valuable player. In a postgame interview, Boston said she was crying "happy tears" and the GIF perfectly captured the moment.

7. Love Island by PeacockTV

Scared Love Island GIF by PeacockTV - Find & Share on GIPHY

GIPHY’s Editorial Team believes that the best GIFs come from reality TV series (and who are we to object?), and this scene from Love Island USA is evidence in favor of that belief. People of average intelligence and character are put through extraordinary situations, and their honest responses, both positive and negative, are always believable. This GIF depicts a moment of Val Bragg's anxiousness during the fourth season of the program. Fans of Love Island USA are largely responsible for the rise in popularity of reality dating series in recent years.

8. “Give Gratitude” by Hello All

Happy Flowers GIF by Hello All - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Hello All GIPHY channel is filled with thousands of high-quality GIFs covering a wide range of topics and topics. The GIF bouquet of thanks, though, stands out. Even in a flawed society, 2022 GIFs like this one demonstrate that individuals are still able to find reasons to be thankful.

9. Paul Rudd “It’s Happening” by Saturday Night Live

Happy Paul Rudd GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

The ninth episode of the 47th season of Saturday Night Live features a breakout performance from fan favorite Paul Rudd. Rudd, in his role as the episode's presenter, provided laughs with a skit about a filmmaker making a HomeGoods commercial including people's holiday wish lists. Rudd initially found the participants' incessant discussion about wanting grandkids annoying, but towards the end of the sketch, he found himself wishing for grandchildren, too. Everyone was thrilled by the news that one of the participants' daughters was expecting, but Rudd was the happiest of them.

10. All Too Well GIF by Taylor Swift

Snuggling I Love You GIF by Taylor Swift - Find & Share on GIPHY

Any fan of warm and fuzzy romance ambiance will find this GIF irresistible. This is based on the short film All Too Well by Taylor Swift, which was written after her failed engagement to actor Jake Gyllenhaal. The video, which features the acting talents of Dylan O'Brien and Sadie Sink, has gained widespread critical acclaim and has already been honored with several accolades, including "Video of the Year" at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.

Here Are 2022's Most Popular Clips

1. “What Do You Do When I’m Normally Gone?” by SpongeBob

More than twenty years after its debut, the cartoon series SpongeBob Squarepants still has a significant cultural impact. Due to its immense popularity, there have been numerous adaptations, including films, video games, amusement park attractions, and even a Broadway musical. In addition, dozens of online memes based on the show's characters and their expressive faces and exaggerated reactions have been and remain famous. Because of this, a Clip starring SpongeBob and his pal Patrick Star soared to the top of the charts in 2014. As an example of the effectiveness of short-form storytelling, the brief dialogue between the two characters vividly portrays the dynamic of their friendship in a humorous and touching way.

2. Migos “Vibe” by Complex

Offset's appearance is from an episode of 360 with Speedy Morman on Complex News, where the rap group was promoting the third and final volume of the Culture album trilogy. The rap community was eagerly awaiting the album after waiting three years for new material from the group. Clip was utilized widely with delight and enthusiasm in 2022, but the recent tragic loss of Migos member Takeoff (pictured sitting next to Offset) has turned this moment into a bittersweet recollection of a talent gone too soon.

3. “I Love You” by Clayton Farris

There has been a shift in online culture as a result of the rise of social media influencers, TikTok sensations, and YouTube stars. This morbidly humorous spin on the phrase "I love you," was made by GIPHY Studios' Creators Club member Clayton Farris and incorporates an ominous score and a terrifying individual hacking through a framed picture with a carving knife. It's the ideal piece of shareable content since it's creative, unusual, and humorous.

4. “Personal Growth” by Tien Tran

Tien Tran, who plays Robin on the Hulu series How I Met Your Father, is a comedian and actor who also has a hilarious GIPHY channel. Her sardonic "Happy New Year" message, which has wide popularity among skeptical millennials and Gen Z-ers, is included in one of our favorite Clips. Tien is a fellow member of the Creators Club at GIPHY Studios alongside Clayton.

5. “Nom Nom Nom” by Jin Zhan

This clip, created by artist and creator Jin Zhan, features her character Sophia eating a variety of baked goods. It speaks to our collective consciousness thanks to its infectiously positive tone, its use of ASMR to simulate the sensory experience of eating, and its captivating images.

6. “Party Tricks” by Sharon Liu

Artist Sharon Liu's "Party Tricks," is a captivating work that features the silhouette of a woman's legs while she juggles a glass of wine while listening to the sounds of a busy party, including the clinking of glasses and the sound of laughter. This Clip successfully encapsulates the rising desire for party-themed content and experiences that can be attributed to the 2022 trend of increased social activity.

7. “Noodle” by Simon Badt

Artist Simon Badt's "sights and sounds" illustrations, which capture a fleeting moment, are a nice diversion after years of quarantine. A man can be seen in this clip eating ramen in what appears to be a very crowded restaurant, complete with the noises of chattering patrons and the hum of the kitchen.

8. “Holy Spirit Dancing” by Hiber

In 2022, Hiber's "Dance" Clip, which features a man dancing humorously while wearing a helmet, attracted a lot of attention. Similar to The Dougie, Flossing, Dabbing, and The Whole Shack Shimmy, these dances have all the makings of the next big internet craze.

9. “Yo” by Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society, a major animal welfare organization and GIPHY partner, is trying to halt the killing of dogs and cats in American shelters by 2025. Cats have and will continue to rule the internet. Cats are only one of many adoptable animals featured in the organization's video, with the Clip's featured cat sporting a tough-guy expression that is only enhanced by the "Yo!!!" voice.

10. “Surprise Bear Hug” by Cartuna x Misato Oka

What starts out as a bouncing ball in this Clip by artist Misato Oka for Cartuna rapidly morphs into a bear hug. After some time apart, GIPHY users are especially interested in posts about the universal theme of love.

Wrapping up

Overall, GIPHY's Year in Review of GIFs for 2022 reflected the year's many noteworthy movements and sentimental high points. The most popular GIFs revealed important societal shifts, such as the growing importance of getting together with friends and family and the increasing demand for humor and joy. Some of the most widely shared GIFs of the year included Sharon Liu's hypnotic "Party Tricks," which perfectly captures the spirit of a party, and Hiber's infectious "Dance Clip," which spoke to viewers' desire for fun and laughter. Similar Clips by Simon Badt, showcasing a guy eating noodles, and artwork by Misato Oka that morphed into adorable little bears conveyed a yearning for normalcy and love after periods of seclusion and quarantine.

Some of the year's other most memorable events included the rise of cat memes and the successful campaign by Best Friends Animal Society to stop the euthanasia of adoptable dogs and cats in American shelters. There's no denying that the emotional weight and power of particular GIFs was important in their rise to fame. GIPHY's daily evergreen search outliers were also given more weight in the metrics used to select 2022's best content, demonstrating how some of the most memorable and influential GIFs have endured for years. The 2022 Year in Review of GIFs on GIPHY serves as a reminder of the power of GIFs to capture and convey the range of human experience, emotion, and thought. Who knows what’s in store for 2023!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular GIF of 2022?

A scene from the sixth episode of the second season of Euphoria, titled "A Thousand Little Trees of Blood." starring Zendaya, was the most popular GIF of 2022.