The Brief: TikTokers are leaving completely unrelated comments under videos in an effort to gain popularity or feel included.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

TikTok is far more than teenagers repeating the same dance choreo and video skits on the app. Gen Zers also have a penchant for creating trends in the comments section of the short-form video platform.

While scrolling, you’ve more than likely seen the same emoji combinations or phrases written in the comments section. Many of which are bits of trendy lingo derived from memes or other popular TikTok videos, like:

👁️👄👁️ found under bizarre, funny, or cringey TikToks

eye lips eye emojji comment tiktok 👁️👄👁️
TikTok/ vcisweird

The volume on this bus is astronomical,” coined by @snarkymarky.

@snarkymarky

POV: you’re on the bus ride back to school after a field trip and the teacher is yelling at you because your class is too loud #viral

♬ original sound – snarkymarky

“This is very much adequate,” having originated from @smokinhottballz.

that is very much adequate comment trend
TikTok

These are all reactionary comments to a video, many of which are derived from popular videos or popular memes. However, there are also completely unrelated comment trends.

Users can often spot the 2010 phrase, “Sometimes I like to cover myself in Vaseline, and pretend I’m a slug” under popular videos.

There are also “my parents aren’t divorced” comments. The origins of this trend are unclear. But could be pandering to 2019’s  My Parents Are Divorced TikTok videos which saw many Gen Zers open up about the hardships of dealing with two separate households and others who compared their parents who are not divorced.

TikTok comment trends
TikTok
TikTok comment trends
TikTok

These sorts of comments appear to originate from creators looking to move traffic toward their own profiles. On Jan. 22, 2020, creator Austyn Brown @ajrbrown asked his followers to leave the comment “Austyn already did this” under popular videos on their “For You Page.”

TikTok comment trends
TikTok/ sadetv

The trend definitely worked, as I saw the comment under one of my own videos and was led to his page, where the video’s comments section was filled with messages about the strange comments. Clearly, the call to action worked. This sort of online activity is reminiscent of TikTok cults. Followers literally follow any instructions given to them by their “cult leader” which in turn gives the leader more clout. This includes changing their profile image or leaving spammy comments.

TikTok is becoming an ever-crowded space and it appears that joining in comment trends is just another way to feel included and maybe even gain traffic.