The Brief: Killing flies in syringes is a new trend on TikTok. The origin of the disturbing trend is unclear. It began growing on the app in late July.
There’s a dark trend emerging on TikTok where users are trapping flies in syringes and acting as if they are going to squash them. These videos typically end before the user actually kills the bug, but some go all the way. These creators typically keep their identity secret. It appears as if they enjoy teasing the insect, as well as, inducing anxiety on the viewer who is unsure if the fly will actually die or not.
These types of videos began growing in popularity on TikTok on July 28. Videos in this trend have gained millions of viewers and hundred of thousands of likes. The origin of the trend is unclear.
One of the most popular videos has over 2.8 million views and 529,000 likes. It is set to unsettling audio from a YouTuber’s animation that appears to be based on Peppa Pig characters. In the clip George says, “Peppa, I don’t want to die,” before the other pig responds, “It’s too late George. His presence is already here.”
Another disturbing video has over 7 million views and 226,000 likes. It is set to the viral internet track “Mi Pan Su Su Sum (Miel Pops).”
There’s also this sadistic take which allows viewers to vote on whether the trapped fly should live or die.
While some videos appear to be one-offs by creators, there are some accounts dedicated to fly torture, like @Flysquasher. At the time of publication, there are seven videos that tease the impending death of insects on this account. This odd trend has grown in popularity enough for some users to create fly killing compilations on YouTube.
These videos have a myriad of response from other TikTokers, many of which are uncomfortable and saddened by the chilling nature of the videos. Others are alarmed they might be watching the makings of a murderer.
TikTokers have started addressing the uncomfortable content they’ve come across in their own videos.
The trend is similar to that of the dissolving fish trend which saw users melting fish with a “dirt dissolving agent.” The videos appear to be on the same side of DeepTok, a super niche and more intense category of Alt/Elite TikTok.