Not once did I ever think that my favourite phrase of 2023 was going to be “pussy PSA, pussy PSA…What’s going on?” or “Tents up!” But here we are. Over the course of the past few months, TikToker Jake Shane’s perfect blend of authentic fun, campy attitude and legitimate comedic timing has won the hearts and FYPs of gen Zers everywhere, and seen the creator forge a seriously loyal online family—one who’s fully invested in getting this man to the peak of internet fame.
There are some people online who just have it. They don’t need to create these extremely complicated and curated moments in order to make an impact or invoke a genuine chuckle through the screen, they can do the simplest of things and we all end up on the floor for no apparent reason. Shane, aka @octopusslover8 on the video-sharing app, is such a prime example of this.
Best known for his skits in which he acts out moments in history, something that on the surface doesn’t really sound like the cheekiest or funniest of sketches, but simply works because of Shane’s deadpan spice that users just can’t seem to get enough of. Some of my personal favourites include when he played out thunder first learning that it comes after lightning, and the genius moment that was imagining how it would’ve gone down when Ben & Jerry had an argument over whose name would go first on the infamous ice cream.
Special mention also has to go out for the time where Shane imagined what it would look like when six first found out that seven eight nine. So simple, yet so insanely effective.
For anyone who’s a fellow pussy, you’ll know that the reason why Shane so effectively nuzzled his way into our hearts is because he seems like someone who could easily be one of your friends. His besties shake from laughing as they film him and it doesn’t feel like a stretch to imagine yourself in the living room with them, giggling at the absurdity of his sketches.
The idea of an ‘anti-influencer’ has become more and more prevalent these days. Now that we’ve seen creators like Emma Chamberlain, Dylan Mulvaney, and Alix Earle spread their influence and impact outside of the digital sphere, we’ve begun to grow more and more attached to certain individuals online who tiptoe the line between relatable and aspirational. Where some creators’ videos feel like a constant stream of glorified ads, comedic influencers like Shane have found a way to tap into avenues and commercial opportunities that feel more authentic and are therefore less likely to receive backlash or criticism from fans.
There are always a couple of easy ways to decipher whether or not a TikTok creator is going to ‘make it’. There’s follower growth and likes of course (Shane currently has an impressive 2.1 million followers and over 107 million likes), brand deals, and the person’s ability to diversify their content. But above all these, there’s one particular thing that pretty much cements a creator’s online status, and that’s the celebrity factor.
We’ve seen it with Addison Rae and Kourtney Kardashian, and with Chris Olsen and Meghan Trainor—if you hatch your wagon to a Hollywood celeb, there’s a high likelihood that your online career will skyrocket.
And now, it seems as though Shane has not only joined the club, but hit the gen Z jackpot by teaming up with none other than maybe one of the only tolerable nepotism babies out there, Sofia Richie. There’s not a soul on this godforsaken planet that isn’t obsessed with Richie at the moment. Her recent boujie wedding in the south of France quite literally broke the internet, and guess who was one of the attendees? Octopusslover8 himself.
Shane does have a connection to Richie that spans outside the world of TikTok. From what I was able to gauge online, it seems as though the content creator is quite good friends with Richie’s husband’s sister, thereby giving him close access to the celeb. Nevertheless, you can’t just waltz into someone like Richie’s life, it’s Shane’s authentic personna online that makes him still so likeable to both us as viewers and A-listers like Richie.
Unlike Instagram, which has a serious millennial superiority complex, TikTok has become gen Zers’ favourite app because it succeeds in capturing something attainable. It helps platform people who not only feel like they could be in your friendship group, but who make the same jokes as you, find the same things funny. And, if you wanted to and played your cards right, you could start up an account and be rubbing shoulders with Lionel Richie’s daughter in about three to six months.
Of course, there are other factors that go into it, the algorithm will never be fully unbiased. But at the end of the day, the people that we’ll continue to follow will be the ones who we can see ourselves in. And yes, before you say anything, I do see myself in someone who has an octopus cuddly toy called Pussandra and romanticises his anxiety on the internet. Jake Shane, wherever you are, we love you.