TV & Movies

Bisexual Chaos Is 2024’s Biggest Pop-Culture Trend

Benedict Bridgerton, we’ve been waiting for you.

Luke Thompson as Benedict in 'Bridgerton'
LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Bisexuals are having a moment, and not just because it’s Pride Month. Though more young people are identifying as LGBTQ+ than ever, pop culture is still catching up in terms of representation, but in 2024, bisexual characters (messy ones, specifically) are finally getting their screen time.

Even though more than half of LGBTQ+ Americans identify as bisexual, making it the largest subgroup within queer communities, bisexuality has long been the object of stigmatizing jokes in TV and movies. (Never forget when Carrie Bradshaw called it a “layover on the way to Gay Town” in Season 3 of Sex and the City.)

This year, the “disaster bisexual” — a term that originated in online fan communities to describe messy, unpredictable, and sometimes misguided gay characters — is finally being shown in TV and film.

For many bisexual people, this marks a reclamation of long-held societal beliefs that bi folks are selfish, greedy, and confused about what they really want. Letting bi characters be a mess, in relatable or unrelatable ways, gives real bisexual people permission to be complicated and chaotic, too.

The starting point of this revolution can be traced back to November 2023, when Saltburn set the tone for an incredibly queer year to come. Oliver slurping up Felix’s cum water will go down in history as one of the horniest things to ever happen on film. It’s rivaled only by the infamous grave f*cking scene — a moment so shocking it took Oliver from semi-relatable weirdo to something else entirely.

Of course, there are also plenty of lovable bi characters with messy tendencies that are less, well... murderous. From Ava Daniels in Hacks to newly minted bicon Benedict Bridgerton, here are 2024’s most bisexual TV and movie moments (so far).

Mary & George

STARZ

This year’s first major bisexual TV moment came through an unexpected medium: a period drama starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine. This seven-episode miniseries follows a sexually fluid mother and son as they scheme to sleep their way to the top of the British monarchy.

While neither Mary nor George explicitly identifies as bisexual (the term likely didn’t exist in the 1600s), they both have sex with people across the gender spectrum — including, in George’s case, King James. The series is delightfully horny, and the characters are so evil you can’t help but root for them.

Challengers

MGM

Challengers is so blatantly bisexual, we (the two Very Bisexual editors who created this list) wrote a full story dedicated to that fact. Yes, Art and Patrick are both into Tashi, but they’re also very much into each other — that much is made clear by their constant shirtlessness, their extremely horny body language, and their affinity for phallic foods. Though the film went viral for the make-out scene, it’s probably the least bisexual thing these guys did in the 131-minute movie.

Selling The OC

Netflix

O Group agent Sean Palmieri is, as Bustle writer Jake Viswanath puts it, “top-tier messy bisexual.” Season 3’s most dramatic plotline involved Sean claiming he’d been propositioned by co-worker Austin Victoria and his wife, Lisa, to have a threesome, which he apparently rejected. Austin accused him of lying, and the two had a screaming match in the office courtyard. Sean has since said he won’t be back for future seasons, so his reign of bisexual chaos has, sadly, come to an end, but we’ll never forget his contributions to the genre.

Hacks

Eddy Chen/Max

Ana, Hacks’ resident bisexual comedy writer (played by an equally bisexual Hannah Einbinder), comes back for Season 3, and right off the bat, viewers are treated to a delicious girl-on-girl sex scene. Though she’s primarily dated women in the series, until now the only intimate scene we’ve gotten is with a man, who later jumped out a window. It’s rare that viewers get a lesbian sex scene on television, but thankfully, Max came through.

Bridgerton

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

For three seasons now, Bridgerton has been appointment horny television — but it’s also been pretty straight. That changed in Season 3, Part 2 with the official confirmation that Benedict, the second-eldest Bridgerton brother, is exploring his sexuality with men. (Thank you, Lady Tilley. We owe you our lives for encouraging our queer king to flourish.)

Since Season 1, many Bridgerton fans have been rooting for a gay or bi arc for Benedict. So when it finally happened, social media was filled with excited chatter that the character was finally a canon bisexual — or at least confirmed as someone with an attraction to multiple genders.

When asked by Bustle about his character’s journey of self-discovery, actor Luke Thompson said he appreciates the “label-lessness” of Benedict’s sexuality and feels like pansexuality is the most accurate descriptor. “He seems to approach his feelings in a spirit of curiosity. There’s very little angst about it,” Thompson said. “It’s refreshing to see someone tackle that side of themselves without anxiety about who they are and what it means.”

He went on to note the binary way sexuality is often discussed in society — something bi- and pansexual people have long been working to challenge. “Male sexuality, particularly, can feel boxy in the way that it’s explored,” Thomspon said. Characters like Benedict and Francesca, whose queer arcs this season were never given an explicit label, are messy in the sense that they’re allowed to figure it out along the way — something queer people across the spectrum can relate to.

As fans eagerly await a (hopefully) slutty Season 4, bisexual nation will bask in the glow of this pop-culture moment. Like Oliver when he finally takes over the Saltburn estate, we really do stay winning.