It was a wild year on TikTok, with a full whiplash of cultural trends, moments, and viral videos that’ll leave your head spinning.
TikTok was very popular this year with everyone being stuck at home due to COVID-19. It kept us occupied during the dark months of quarantine, but it also paved the way for a host of new celebrities and a whole lot of drama and inside jokes that everyone could be in on. There are multiple phrases I can say that will bring you right back to swiping through the For You Page: “How bizarre,” “don’t be suspicious,” “bored in the house,” “how would they know?” If you’re a true TikTok head, you should have recognized at least a few of those, if not all. Well, take a look for what made the list for the best TikTok trends of 2020.
1- Spooky bedsheet ghost photo shoots
This one has actually been pretty controversial. Basically, people wear white sheets to be old-timey ghosts and do a photo shoot, setting the TikTok to the song “Oh Klahoma” by Jack Stauber. However, there’s debate about who started it.
@maggiekraserquitting my job to become a full time ghost photographer👻📸 #ghostphotoshoot #photography #behindthescenes #photographer♬ Oh Klahoma – Jack Stauber
2- What I eat in a day
Again, this one is controversial because food and eating is a very scrutinized thing. Some people said this sound helped disordered eating and those with eating disorders, but it otherwise became a way for people to tell Trisha Paytas to drink water.
3-Being the main character
This all started as a popular VoiceOver with a voiceover that says, “You have to start romanticizing your life. You have to start thinking of yourself as the main character. If you don’t, life will continue to pass you by.” but the “main character” trope remained. This is all about those moments when you feel like you’re in a movie. You know the ones.
Well, people have started poking fun at that feeling and using Lana Del Rey’s “Mariners Apartment Complex,” a very “main character” song.
@ladyyasmina1Abroad was like, literally life changing #ComingOfAge #SFXMakeup #fyp #smalltowngirl♬ Mariners Apartment Complex – Lana Del Rey
4- Things that just make sense
This trend started with @her.atlas on TikTok, an expat living in Japan who documented the neat and functional things in her apartment. People then took the idea and started applying it to other things, like tiny New York City apartments.
@pattygotnocakeNYC, the city that never sleeps or makes sense 🌃 credit: @her.atlas #randomthings #nyc #newyork #housetour #room #fyp #foryou♬ 아무노래(Any song) – kozico0914
5- What your (blank) says about you
There have been so many of these that it’s hard to know where it started now, but the basic premise is that the TikToker applies personality traits to categories of things. Like a quiz that does itself for you!
@southernsammycan you tell i came up with this during passing period? #fyp #foryou #safehands #piday #butterglosspop #xyzbca♬ Funky Town – 70s Hits
6- The thirst trap transition
This trend started with women on the app transitioning from being a regular cool girl to an extreme glow up. Then a shoe flip was introduced, again leading to the transition in appearance.
@jordzlifebelikeFit : @culturekings #culturekings Inspired by @jessechrisss 😍 #kicktransition♬ Amirras sound – Amirra
7- Moms out for girls night
By now you have surely, surely seen the Viral video of a group of moms out for a little girls night on the town. But what really made it special was the subsequent duets of people imaging everything from what cars to drive to what shoes they are wearing. The cherry on top was people dressing up as the moms to re-create the video.
@miagillespieemoms weekend gone wild🤪🤪 #moms #besties #ItBeLikeThat♬ Potential Breakup Song – Aly & AJ
8- Election memes
This year’s presidential election was a mess, with Joe Biden ousting Donald Trump. But due to so many mail-in votes and some very close races, counting was so slow and people had to meme it.
@kendralemon#nevada #election2020 #biden2020 #fyp #foryou #justanswerthequestion♬ time to take a break – Ethan Fields
9- The Target challenge
People were, really bored during quarantine. So much so that a challenge began where you go to Target (or a similar store) with a partner or bestie, get them a collection of items for different categories, and then do a surprise swap.
@brookalfredowe did the target challenge 💜💗 #fyp♬ original sound – Brook Alfredo
Remember the simpler days when we were all obsessed with whipping together instant coffee, sugar, and water? It’s better known as dalgona coffee and for a hot minute, it seemed like everyone on TikTok was making it.
@ashpxrkits basically the same but its nice to not have to make it every morning #fyp #whippedcoffee #familytime #healthheroes #MakeBakeShake♬ original sound – Melanie Locke
11- “It’s Tricky” game
Also known as “This or That,” it’s like watching people do a live personality quiz. The Jenners have done it, nuns have done it, and I bet you’ve thought about doing it.
12- “I do my lil dancey dance”
We’ve been in quarantine for months, so frankly it’s surprising that it took this long for a trend to develop where we dance with our fur babies.
@0nurcotWHY DOES IT LOOK SO FUNNY GABAJNAKA #funny #foryoupage #foryou #CAT #dancing♬ original sound – Aries ✪
13- “I’m doing hot girl S***”
On TikTok, “hot girl ****” can mean looking like a baddie, but it can also mean softly crying while knitting. Women doing their thing!
@charlidamelioi did chases makeup in his new yt video!! @lilhuddy♬ busy doin hot girl ish – Chelsea
This summer, it seemed like everyone was hitting the pavement. Roller skaters like Ana Coto were hugely popular on TikTok this year, coinciding with an increased demand for roller skates. But, like many things, this wasn’t just a social media trend, and it didn’t come out of nowhere.