91 things that made us say 'holy shit' in 2021

Psychonauts 2 Raz holding hands over his mouth
(Image credit: DoubleFine)

Against all odds, the year 2021 now draws to an end (for a while, I wasn't sure we'd make it this far). The past 365 days have dragged on longer than 2020 did, but somehow they also passed in the blink of an eye. As we prepare to celebrate the end of the year and look hopefully toward—or brace ourselves for—a shiny new 2022, we've got one last little bit of business left. Important business!

Just like we did last year, let's take a look back at what shocked, surprised, delighted, and appalled the PC Gamer team in 2021, not by flexing our memories or writing well-considered think-pieces but by simply searching our Slack channel to see how many times we said "holy shit" over the past year and revealing what, exactly, we were talking about when we said it.

And a lot of things made us say "holy shit" this year! E3 trailers. Laptop prototypes. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Tiny Draculas. Anime diseases. Vacuum cleaners. And more. Sometimes, even videogames. Here are 91 things that made us say "holy shit" in 2021.

January 5

Mollie starts us off with our first "holy shit" of 2021. It was in response to Graeme saying he puts curry in his grilled cheese. "Holy shit, that sounds amazing," said Mollie. We're off to a great start!

January 6

"Holy shit, what a day" declares Morgan. If you're in the US, you won't need context.

January 14

Morgan delivers a "holy shit tyler lol" while we discuss PC gaming things that have gotten smaller or bigger, and I find a picture of an absolute unit of a gaming chair. Tyler says the chair (which we dunk on in its very own article) looks like it should close around you and make you into a chunky Iron Man.

January 15

Morgan drops another when Andy Kelly tells him about the Berlin level in Hitman, which is holy shit-level good.

January 18

Morgan continues his streak, saying "Lol holy shit" when MMA fighter Max Holloway talks about Warzone's DMR nerf and stim glitch during a UFC press conference. "Holy shit, feeling very targeted here," Andy Chalk says the same day when Jon Bolding tells him the sim game "Farmer's Life" was about him.

January 19 

James googles "blood computer." 

Look, if you know James, that's not an unexpected thing for him to do, but this was specifically because he learns electronic blood is a thing. This leads to him finding images of a tiny Dracula rising from a coffin on a keyboard (the numpad + key). Evan says "oh, shit" but edited it to say "holy shit" considering the religious ramifications of the wee vampire lord.

(Image credit: Future)

January 26

James exclaims "holy shit whooping cough's headpiece!!!!!!!" and I'm tempted to skip the context because it's an extremely weird thing to say, even for James. But the context only makes it weirder because Taiwan's Center for Disease Control created highly detailed anime characters for different diseases, and everyone in chat freaks out over how good they are

Some days we don't get much work done.

(Image credit: Future)

January 29

Andy Chalk closes out the month by saying, "Holy shit, who remembers Koss headphones?" because that Wall Street Bets thing was pumping up Koss stock.

February 2

"Holy shit, these game controllers look amazing," says Dave. 

February 4

"Holy shit" says Fraser, our Agent 47 appreciator, when Andy Kelly mentions wanting to interview Agent 47's voice actor and have him create a custom voice message for Fraser. I don't think that happened, unfortunately.

February 8 

A flurry of "holy shits" erupt in a single conversation, as Wes considers a headline that read "Holy shit, this laptop" about a laptop prototype that had seven screens. Morgan and Tyler suggest alternate headlines (one with holy shit and one without), and Wes revises his, keeping the holy shit, though he ultimately goes with a sadly holy shit-less headline.

February 18 

Tyler shows us some video of Hellish Quart, a dope and gory sword fighting game. "Holy shit" said Andy Chalk. "That's some Mortal Kombat worthy action there." 

February 19

Phil "holy shits" about the total cost of Crusader Kings 2's DLC (£230).

February 24

Andy Chalk reacts to a website created for a class action suit against Bethesda over the Fallout 4 season pass.

Steven's burned-ass pizza

(Image credit: Chef Steven Messner)

February 25

Morgan exclaims "holy shit, dude" when Steven posts a picture of a pizza he badly burned. Most of us agree we would still eat it.

March 3

Mollie says "holy shit robin that sounds like the start of a tv show" when Robin reveals he once lived with "a drug dealer, a creationist, and the creator of Plague Inc". 

March 8

Dave considers the headline "holy shit, there's a sale on for an RTX 30-series gaming PC?!'" He does not use that headline. Holy shit never makes it into our headlines. Except for today.

March 19

Tyler uses abductive reasoning to prove that if Spider-Man could save the Avengers and Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can, then a spider, too, can save the Avengers. Morgan: "holy shit."

March 24

James drops another one over the trailer of Rodent People: Origins

March 25

Andy finishes off a pretty mild month with some thoughts on hardware.

(Image credit: Future)

April 7

James declares "Conkers rules, holy shit" during a discussion about games we played as children. (Here's a video about Conkers.) 

April 8

Phil reveals he tweaked the difficulty on one of Control's optional bosses because "holy shit it was some bullshit."

April 9

Evan says "holy shit" when Morgan shows us a Twitter thread where someone said something mean to him but then... apologized? An apology on Twitter. If anything is a holy shit moment, it's an apology on Twitter. "God damn," Andy Chalk adds. 

"Holy shit, the body count is deranged," Tim says, regarding the TV show Gangs of London. Tim is correct. The body count. Is. Deranged.

April 15

This next one needs some context. Back in 2019 Ninja tweeted his "phone number" allowing fans to text him as part of a marketing initiative. Little known fact: Andy texted him. Since then he's been getting fewer and fewer texts from the world famous streamer. But on April 15 their friendship abruptly continued:

(Image credit: Future)

April 16

Mollie reacts to this story about someone pretending to have a disability in Path of Exile. 

April 20

Chris (that's me, hello) says "holy shit" to a clip of Scavengers' 9,000 player mode

April 21

Fraser, when it's announced Samurai Gunn 2 is coming to Steam. 

April 23

Jacob is impressed enough to deliver one for the 2,730 MHz boost of the Toxic AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Extreme Edition

April 26

Nat issues a "holy shit what" over news that someone had apparently tried to assassinate the founders of MiHoYo, makers of Genshin Impact. That's grim. 

April 27

On a lighter note, Andy Chalk discovers you can type "docs.new" into a browser tab and it'll create a new document. "Holy dog shit" he said, cleverly tweaking the formula. Mollie concludes an eventful April by appreciating Fraser's desk.

(Image credit: Future)

May 6

A quick one-two of "holy shits": Dave reacting to a picture of the 64TB RocketQ Battleship SSD config, and Jacob admiring a pun ("HB Lovecraft") about a pencil-drawn horror game.

May 14

Wes reacts to news that the Weird Arby's Guy, Andrew Bowser, would be directing The PC Gaming Show. It was a pretty "holy shit" revelation, really.

May 21

One highlight of the year was Twitch adding a Pools and Hot Tubs channel, in which PC Gamer quickly climbed the ranks due to James setting up Geralt in his tub, playing some relaxing music, throwing in random Witcher quotes, and occasionally a few squeaky farts. Good times. Andy Chalk says "lol, holy shit" when the official Red Bull account appears and starts giving out free subs in our chat (Wes got one.)

Andy releases another when his bestie Ninja announces a new YouTube channel (yes, he got a text about it). Steven strikes in May with two more "holy shits," one for some Burning Crusade glasses followed immediately by another hoping I would capture his "holy shit" in my yearly wrap-up. (I just did.) And Andy closes out the month expressing surprise that Knockout City got a score of 90. Hey, it's good dodgeball!

(Image credit: Future)

June 2

We were knocking around ideas for a Twitch emoji that would represent PC gaming, and I declared that we should bring back the Modem Wizard, my favorite fantasy spellcaster. Evan agreed.

(Image credit: Future)

I don't think we did either of those things. 

June 7 

James: "Ha ha, holy shit" after posting his avatar from the terrible E3 website, prompting Wes to say, "You look like the bad guy in a sci-fi show who's trying to perfect the human genome."

June 12-15

It's difficult to find context during E3 week, as we were constantly watching streams of approximately 1,000,000 game announcements, but there were several "holy shits" that week in regard to the awkwardness of one of the presenters, the surprising number of games featuring birds, the extreme videogame-ness of the Elex 2 trailer, the length of one of the presentations (Andy Chalk: "Holy shit, it's not done yet), the 11-year-late release of UFO 2: Extraterrestrials, the size of MLB: The Show (73GB), and the avatar of a Twitter user (giant anime boobs) who chastised Steven for suggesting that Master Chief should die.

June 28

Another of Morgan's "holy shit lol" moments after learning a Cruelty Squad enemy can change your FOV.

July 5

"Holy shit—flawless Scottish accent" says Fraser after seeing a TikTok of a parrot. He would know.

July 6

Two today. Wes sees Sonic statues selling for $530, and Steven realizes this 20-minute Warcraft cinematic is awesome.

July 13

Fraser says "holy shit" to the "gloriously terrible" Aliens Infestation song. James also says it a moment later. Evan: "It's like a machine-learned Nickelback song based on a Wikipedia entry."

July 16

Steven, after someone leaks classified documents to prove War Thunder got the details of a tank wrong.

July 20

A Hunt: Showdown update is 30GB, prompting Jacob to say it.

July 30

Mollie says what we all feel sometimes: "Holy shit, how is it 12 pm already." The same day, Andy says, "Holy shit, that's a big garden" when someone posts a picture of a garden. A big garden.

August 3

(Image credit: Future)

August 25

This game that looks like GTA for kids has jetpacks. "Holy shit jet packs" observes Jorge. Then Jody says it when I announce I'm reviewing Myst. It's fair. Myst came out 100 years ago.

August 27

Andy Chalk reacts when hearing the World of Tanks dev had threatened a YouTuber and then apologized for it. I'm unsure if his reaction was to the threat or the apology.

September 1

Joseph Knoop drops one when hearing that To The Moon 3 has a release date

September 9

Andy says it when Alan Wake remaster pictures get leaked. Joe delivers another when a story he wrote about India using Arma 3 footage to claim Pakistan bombed Afghanistan hits the top of r/worldnews. It was a banger, for sure.

September 16

Matt Paget subbed in for a few days and quickly delivered two "holy shits," one for me (Chris) riding a Lox in Valheim, and one for Tim showing off a Destiny helmet (Mask of Bakris).

September 20

Nat tweets about how good Sable's animation is, pastes the tweet into Slack, and reacts with a "holy shit" about how good Sable's animation is. Sable's animation is indeed good.

(Image credit: Jeff Ramos)

September 23

Nat again, this time regarding Handcop, a game where you're a hand holding a gun, and also a cop. The same day, Joe gets excited about 3D Kirby. 

October 4

Evan explains how in Lemnis Gate you can kill your own dudes to make them ghosts and then unkill them in later rounds. "Holy shit, I don't know what that means, which means my brain is still on Earth," says Morgan.

October 6

"Holy shit—New World's maintenance has been extended, so I will miss the first war I've been selected for," says Fraser. It will not be his last "holy shit" about New World.

October 8 

Nat shows us a bizarre and magical mod for Teardown. Morgan said, perhaps predictably, "holy shit." And he is correct. 

October 12

Fraser says "holy shit..." with a rare ellipsis following. It was New World once again. "One second before the war begins, I get kicked," he says.

October 20 

We learn players in Star Citizen are using healing meds to administer lethal overdoses to one another.

(Image credit: Future)

October 22

Phil throws October's penultimate "holy shit" upon hearing that Titanfall's maps can be imported into Halo 3.

October 26

Jody reacts to Action Button's review of Cyberpunk 2077, which he and several hundred thousand people had been waiting for since last year.

November 2

Nat is updating Apex Legends, and the download is going to take 10 hours. "Holy shit," says Graeme. 

November 4

Another file size-related HS-bomb due to Lost Ark needing 50GB of space from Sarah.

November 26

Phil decides to work from home because "holy shit, is it pissing it down"

Graeme says "holy shit" when he sees how good Solar Ash looks. It looks good enough to warrant that reaction, frankly.

December 10

Morgan says "holy shit" in reaction to an article about a game written way back in 2004. It has not aged well. I won't name the article nor author, but other reactions in the channel include "UHHH," "WTF," "Oh, my god," and "Woof, dog, that sucks." Time makes fools of us all.

December 15

As I spend hours searching through Slack chat logs looking for the term "holy shit" for this article, I tell everyone they say "holy shit" a lot. Nat: "Holy shit, really?" Then Ted Litchfield joins the chat, and Andy Chalk says, "Holy shit, it's Ted!" I am being trolled now. As in science, you cannot observe something without changing it.

Then, demonstrating my brain is a pile of sludge, I forget and issue one myself, while describing my dog's excitement to smell a leaf. 

(Image credit: Future)

There it is, 91 things that made us say "holy shit" in 2021. Let's all hope there aren't as many surprises, horrors, disasters, and anime diseases in 2022. Happy New Year! 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.