Although the year has just begun, when it comes to TikTok its vernacular, culture and trends move at the speed of lightning. One of my friends, also a content creator, did a two day phone detox and upon her return last night, posted a video explaining that she has already seen at least 3 pieces of new terminology that she doesn’t understand. 

For that very reason, here is a little – hopefully useful – refresher on TikTok trends popping off right now. 


Things that altered my brain chemistry

Though this video format has been circulating across TikTok for the past few months, it has experienced something of a resurgence in the past couple of weeks. A very popular version of this format is fashion users reviewing outfits from the 90s sitcom ‘Friends’ simply posting a photo carousel of their favourite outfits that feature concise, expressive captions. These are outfits that ‘altered their brain chemistry’ or in simpler terms, had a significant impact on them. 

Brands can easily harness the accessible format of this trend to showcase popular products or embrace the storytelling component of the trend, to describe key moments in the growth of their brand. United Airlines recently leveraged the trend to inform TikTok users about new features in its upcoming plane design that “changed our plane chemistry.”


‘Shut up, it is not’

Another trend that originated at the end of 2022 and has gripped TikTok in the new year is an audio clip from the TV series “Chucky.” The clip features an argument between two women, with one incredulously saying, “Shut up, it is not!” to which the other woman replies, “Yes, it is,” before the argument dissolves into a childish back-and-forth. The original video using the sound, posted by TikTok user @tayzwessex, added on-screen text to the scene reading, “When me and my bestie get on the elevator to Heaven and it starts goin down.” That video has garnered more than 2 million likes and 10 million views thus far and spawned over 85,000 videos using the audio clip to similarly express disbelief at startling facts or situations.

These “realisations” can be genuine, such as one user discovering how epidurals work, or more sarcastic, as in the case of actress and singer Zooey Deschanel reacting to the exaggerated idea that “wearing ballet flats is literally illegal.” 

@elfyeah

Replying to @mithebosses Sprinting to @ultabeauty because look at this new drop!!! 🥵 #elfcosmetics #elfHaloGlowLiquidFilter #PowerGripPrimer

♬ original sound – Taylor Dean
@jimmyfallon

I promise I’ll never tell.

♬ original sound – Taylor Dean

In regard to brand use, beauty brand and social media extraordinaires e.l.f., utilised the audio clip to respond to a user’s comment questioning why one of the brand’s products wasn’t available at Ulta Beauty stores, while comedian Jimmy Fallon put his own spin on the trend to promote “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard’s appearance on “The Tonight Show.” 


Accidental thirst trap

At the end of December, TikTok user @eclecticchair attempted to use a video template created by video-editing software CapCut to take a video of herself, but instead “accidentally made a thirst trap of someone’s dad,” as she captioned the resulting video, which has since received nearly 8 million likes. 

For those unaware, a thirst trap is a piece of content intended to make the viewer attracted to its subject (a posed bikini photo is a perfect example).

Brands with a mascot or other character could easily participate in this trend by simply making that character the subject of said “thirst trap,” or by having another person or character interrupt and ruin their moment. A brand could also use the video template to create a “sexy” video showing off a product—for example, if a brand is aiming to promote a new product, it could have that product cross in front of and block out a different product, as the man did in @eclecticchair’s video.

@teletubbies

We thought we were going to have our ✨moment✨ but Noo-Noo had other plans… #Teletubbies

♬ Where Have You Been x The Hills – DJ L BEATS

Miley Cyrus’ Flowers

This brilliantly bold and scandalous song and music video by Miley Cyrus, written about her ex husband and his affairs, has literally blown up the internet. The song’s message encourages the listener to never fear single life and to refuse staying in a relationship for comfort’s sake. A true anthem of independence. In turn, the song is helping videos go viral especially around the topic of self love, self care and, you guessed it, flowers. Transition videos have done especially well with this sound. 

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