Barbie (Margot Robbie) dances with other Barbies during a vibrant dance party in 'Barbie'

These Were the Biggest Movies and Shows of 2023 (According to Google)

Despite the teachings of capitalism, “most” and “best” are two different things. But sometimes popularity and quality overlap, giving us cultural moments like Barbenheimer and The Last of Us. With that in mind, let us gaze unto Google’s most-searched movies and TV shows of the year and see what truths we may divine therein.

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Google published its annual Year in Search report, which includes data on the most-searched people (spoiler: they’re all dead and/or controversial), news events (nothing good there, either!), movies, TV shows, and more. Of particular interest at The Mary Sue HQ are the most-searched movies and TV shows, which, unlike the top-searched actors and public figures, seem to be slightly less driven by morbid interest and controversy.


  1. Barbie
  2. Oppenheimer
  3. Sound of Freedom 
  4. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  6. The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  7. Creed III
  8. John Wick: Chapter 4
  9. Five Nights at Freddy’s
  10. Cocaine Bear 

Unsurprisingly, the top two searches in movies this year were Barbie and Oppenheimer. This year, like most in our adult memory, has been a bit of a drag. Our collective excitement to watch two very different studio blockbuster movies on the same day is evidence of our culture’s enduring optimism, and proof that we can overcome our differences and unite for the sake of a common goal—as long as that goal is not political progress.


The third-most-searched movie of 2023 was a wacky little film made by and for fundamentalist right-wing conspiracy theorists and based on one alleged sexual predator’s attempts to exploit and distort the real problem of sex trafficking for conservative gains. No, it wasn’t Wonka! It was Sound of Freedom, the weirdest blockbuster hit of the year. And thanks to its success, it probably won’t be the last right-wing conspiracy theory movie to go mainstream. Congrats, bad people. You did capitalism!

With its major wins at the Oscars, 2022’s Everything Everywhere All at Once remained popular online in 2023. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 came in at number five, making it the only Marvel movie to rank in the top 10 most-searched movies of the year—notable because it’s also arguably the only good movie Marvel released this year (I still haven’t seen The Marvels, please don’t yell). I assume The Super Mario Bros. Movie only ranked that high because of children, adult men, and people mad about Chris Pratt voicing Mario.

Cocaine Bear‘s ranking in 10th place is self-explanatory: it’s called COCAINE BEAR. (Unfortunately, the title is the best thing about it.)

TV Shows

  1. The Last of Us
  2. Ginny & Georgia
  3. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
  4. Daisy Jones & The Six
  5. Wednesday
  6. That ’90s Show
  7. Kaleidoscope
  8. Beef
  9. The Idol
  10. The Fall of the House of Usher

And what do the most-searched TV shows say about this year in culture? The Last of Us took the top spot and kept it in a chokehold, which is pretty impressive considering that it premiered in January. Coming in second is Ginny & Georgia, which is also impressive because I still have no idea what that show is—it’s on Netflix and it’s about women? Speaking of which, it seems that people were really into shows with female leads this year: Queen Charlotte, Daisy Jones & The Six, Wednesday, Beef, and The Idol all ranked in the top 10, though The Idol arguably got there for reasons that have less to do with quality and more to do with our inability to resist rolling around in the trash like hungry lil raccoons.

Netflix had the most popular shows of the year based on Google search trends, including Kaleidoscope and The Fall of the House of Usher, with Amazon Prime Video only landing one search spot for Daisy Jones & The Six.

It’s also worth noting that several of these shows can’t be categorized under a single genre, which also feels optimistic in a world where May December is competing at the Golden Globes as a comedy (or musical).

(featured image: Max)

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Image of Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.