TikTok has experienced a meteoric rise over the past couple of years, quickly becoming an endless source of creative comedy sketches, dance challenges, and lip-synched videos. Similar to predecessors like Vine (which recently surfaced again in its new iteration, Byte), TikTok is probably best known for its comedy sketches and lip-synching memes soundtracked by music and other pop-culture sound clips, which can be reproduced and remixed among its vast network of creators.
While TikTok is heavily dominated by its Gen-Z userbase, every generation in some form or another has jumped on the TikTok bandwagon and found interest in consuming content on the platform. Some people find TikTok a bit odd and often cringeworthy, but that’s likely because they grew up in a time where internet access and social media as we know it didn’t exist. Gen-Z’ers and Millennials love the silly, off-the-cuff platform, where creators are beginning to take their talents and their online fame and turn it into a legitimate career. It’s goofy, fun, and a refreshing change of pace from the more serious platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Even in its relatively short time of popularity thus far, the platform has created more than it’s fair share of viral trends and memes. From the “Yeehaw Challenge” to Duets, let’s take a look at the biggest TikTok trends and memes to date.
Lil Nas X took the internet by storm last year with the release of his mega-hit record “Old Town Road”. The song became a global hit in large part because of TikTok, and it spawned arguably the most popular challenge on the platform, the “Yeehaw Challenge”. The premise of this challenge is that someone turns themself into a cowboy or cowgirl by consuming a beverage labeled “yee haw juice.” This skit is performed to ‘Old Town Road’ and took TikTok by storm while the record was gaining global traction.
@reid_shaffer##yeehawchallenge ##yeehaw♬ Old Town Road – Lil Nas X
Pulling off the perfect prank can be difficult, but it has become an art form on TikTok. From pranking their parents, friends and loved ones to even complete strangers, TikTok’ers have taken pranking to unprecedented heights. Prank wars has transformed TikTok into the modern iteration of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and we are all here for it. and more. Creators are not only pulling pranks to outsmart their friends for a few laughs, but they also compete against each other to see whose content can receive the most hearts.
@topperguildPRANK wars on @joeyklaasen (WATCH TIL THE END) 😂😳 ##prank ##prankwars♬ original sound – topperguild
“Shoe change” challenge
Complete with its own catchy tune, the #shoechangechallenge had TikTokers creating videos of themselves changing their outfits to the beat of the song when they kicked the soles of their shoes into the screen. As one of 2018’s most popular trends on TikTok, it was viewed over 12 million times (which was a lot considering the exponential growth the platform has seen over the past year). The origin of the challenge actually began with shoes changing as creators stomped the ground to the beat of the song, but it eventually evolved into outfit changes and other parodies of the idea.
@wasii_rahman_##shoechange ##shoechallenge ##tiktokbd ##tiktok ##bdmuser♬ Run Free (feat. IVIE) – Deep Chills
TikTok is known for many things at this point. But one of the core elements to the experience success of TikTok is its Duets feature. Think of it like remixing a song. Users can take another person’s video and add to it. It’s like setting up a joke and giving another person the chance to deliver the punchline. For example, someone may post a video of them dancing on the above-mentioned Taylor Swift song. Other TikTok users can then take that video and add themselves performing corresponding dance moves.
@jsmittyyROUND 3: Chubby College guy VS 15 year old dancer. Who won? ##duet with @charlidamelio♬ Sean Paul – Get Busy (Shake That Thing) – laurieelle
“Renegade” Dance Challenge
The fast-paced choreography of the “Renegade Dance Challenge” has become one of the most popular dances on TikTok, with over 30 million users taking a crack at it so far. The dance started in September of last year when it was created by an Atlanta-based 14-year-old named Jalaiah Harmon. The dance was set to a song by hip-hop artist K Camp, titled “Lottery”, and blew up quickly with middle and high school students. Harmon’s dance became a viral sensation and has now been performed in talent shows and school pep rallies across the country.
@ellendegeneres@_.xoxlaii does the original ##renegade dance.♬ original sound – ellendegeneres
The paper chain trend is a relatively simple concept. Essentially, creators simply revealing different messages written on a piece of paper to the beat of a song. Sometimes the messages are funny, other times heartfelt, but the trend has many variations and millions of TikTok’ers revealing their messages to their fans.
@ksenya.narthis took many tries ##meme ##dance ##paper ##oohnanana ##tall ##funny ##ironic ##memes ##foryou ##foryoupage♬ OSYAREs Essencial – cupquakeanddantdm
I’m Already Tracer Challenge
This is one could now be considered a flashback challenge on TikTok, but a classic to say the least. Back in January 2017, the Mashed YouTube channel uploaded an animated music video for a song by The Living Tombstone called “No Mercy”. The video contains a segment showing popular YouTuber’s Black Gryph0n and LittleJayneyCakes singing an argument over which characters to play in the game Overwatch. Hilarity ensued, and a video fad was created as TikTok’ers recorded themselves lip-syncing the song.
@cupquakelySo indecisive 🤷♀️ ##comedy ##imalreadytracer ##overwatch ##game ##ihascupquake♬ Original Sound – Unknown
Full House opening
In the case of this trend, the name in itself is somewhat self-explanatory. Some of us may be old enought *gasp* to remember the wholesome ’90s sitcom starring Bob Saget and John Stamos. The theme song is considered classic in its own right and helped spawned this trend on TikTok. We’ll let the video explain the rest.
@holdtheelevator##comedy ##funny ##foryou ##foryoupage ##featureme♬ Original Sound – Unknown
DNA Test Challenge
TikTok and Lizzo go together like peanut butter and jelly. Her music is the perfect backdrop for creators on the platform, and her song “Truth Hurts” was the ideal accompaniment for the DNA test meme. TikTok’ers filmed themselves singing the line from the song that “Just took a DNA test/turns out I’m 100 percent that ___,” filling in the blank with their own spin on what comes after the “100 percent” lyric. The results were often hilarious, and had everyone jumping on board trying to create their own version of the “DNA Test Challenge”.
@victoriabachleta little late, but TY guys for 500k!!!!❤️❤️ i love u all!!!! ##foryou ##foryoupage ##500k ##dnatest♬ original sound – tiktokzikzok
“The Haribo Challenge”
This one is more of a fan favorite than it is a trend, but we figured it was worth including. It took some meticulous planning and some creative video editing, but the final result is definitely one of the cutest and most clever TikTok memes to date. The video unfolds with a shot of a single gummy bear, ‘singing’ Adele’s hit “Someone Like You”, only to reveal a chorus of gummy bears joining in song.