The 12 TikTok trends that defined 2021: From hilarious to terrifying

Written by on December 31, 2021

With TikTok overtaking Google as the most popular site in 2021, the Chinese video-sharing platform unsurprisingly spawned some ridiculous trends this year as users vied for viral fame. Some of these online pursuits — such as the delightfully wholesome classical music craze — proved inspiring. However, the lion’s share were, as in years past, so harebrained they made the infamous “Gorilla Glue” fiasco seem like a string theory symposium.

Why does it seem like TikTok’s cornered the market on dumb and dangerous stunts? It might have something to do with the fact that nearly a quarter of the site’s users in 2021 were between 10 and 19 — an age where the part of the brain responsible for impulse management is still woefully underdeveloped. This age group is more likely to “engage in socially rewarding behavior and gravitate toward thrill-seeking, without focusing on potential risks or consequences,” according to Sabrina Sykes, a psychologist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. Without further ado, here are the best and worst TikTok trends of 2021.

The Milk Crate Challenge, The Magnet Challenge, The Watermelon Mustard Challenge, The Dry Scooping challenge, The Blackout Challenge, Tic-Tok, The Bathroom Challenge/Slap A Teacher Challenge, The Shoot Up Your School Challenge, Tik-Docs, Quit-Tok, Strip-Tok, Goblincore.

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