As one of the most popular streaming services of all time, Netflix has plenty of content for movie buffs and binge-watchers to sift through. Given its seemingly infinite offerings, you would expect them to organize them all into neat little categories for people to scroll through. For the most part, they keep things simple with "Comedies, "Animation," "Sci-Fi," or even "Criticallly Acclaimed Dramas."
Then there are the weird categories.
QZ has previously reported on strange Netflix categories that have made the rounds before. In the past, there's been "Political tearjerkers," "Steamy independent movies based on books," and even something as highly specific as "Emotional dramas for ages 11 to 12."
However, none of these compare to the laughably absurd nature of the "Shmunguss" category on Netflix. Folks on the internet are completely baffled by the supposed appearance of this category. What's in it? Is it even real? Let's break it down.
What the heck is the Shmunguss category on Netflix?
In early March 2023, a popular TikTok profile called @channel.everything posted interesting footage of them scrolling through Netflix one day. Reportedly, the user and their girlfriend were checking out the streaming service when they came across the Shmunguss category. In the TikTok, the user loudly questions the category's existence and wonders what it could contain. Their girlfriend suggests it popped up because they were on a VPN.
"A VPN into what, another dimension!?" they reply.
The category itself is supposedly filled with movies and shows that simply contain the word "Shmunguss" in them. For example, content like The Shmunguss King, I Married a Shmunguss, and In Shmunguss We Trust. In fact, the TikTok even briefly allows the in-app trailer to Shmunguss' Revenge to play out, in which a gravelly voice ominously declares "They stole my Shmunguss," much to the couple's shock.
People in the comments section are equally bewildered by the category. One person writes, "I've been trying to find what the hell a Shmunguss is everywhere online and I can't find a thing." Another even theorizes that the content is all a part of the shared "Shmunguss Cinematic Universe." Someone else leans into the TikTok, stating that they believe "I Married a Shmunguss deserved a fourth season."
Now before you go scrolling through your own Netflix, we're here to save you some time. The "Shmunguss" category isn't real and you won't find it on your app even if you use a VPN. The video itself is likely just an elaborate prank by @channel.everything, but it's certainly a deviation from their typical content.
That being said, they certainly do seem to be doubling down on the joke. As of this writing, @channel.everything's TikTok bio has a link to their online shop, "Shmunguss' Revenge." Here, you can supposedly purchase all kinds of "Shmunguss" merchandise, including stickers, shirts, and even a tote bag that says "Live, Laugh, Shmunguss."
The category itself may not be real, but it's certainly on our minds right now. As of this writing, there is no official confirmation on whether or not a sequel to The Shmunguss Among Us is in production.