TikTok trend has women telling men no one knew Travis Kelce before he dated Taylor Swift

By Alma Fabiani

Published Sep 30, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

I don’t know about you, but up until America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift was spotted cheering on NFL player Travis Kelce at his team’s—aka the Kansas City Chiefs—home game on Sunday 24 September 2023, I had never heard of the man. Not to hate on American football or anything, but obviously, I wasn’t the only one.

A new TikTok trend has got women filming their partner’s reactions as they purposefully state that they had no idea who Kelce was until the recent dating rumours. As you can imagine, this ‘triggering’ revelation often leads boyfriends, husbands and dads alike to react in surprised, if not annoyed, ways. How could they suggest that Swift put Kelce, “like, the best tight end in football, maybe ever,” as one husband said, on the map?


Somewhat triggered by what I said #taylorswift #traviskelce

♬ original sound - Tara Althaus

While a lot of the women posting these videos are only pretending not to know who Kelce is—I guess being American also comes with instant knowledge about American football, or at least top NFL players—I can guarantee that a fair number of them are actually being honest. The Swift nation is far stronger than any puny football star, no?


Taylor made him famous 🏆 #swifttok #kelce

♬ original sound - chelsrech

Sure, Kelce has over 3.3 million followers on Instagram, but what’s that compared to Swiftie’s 273 million followers? Sure, Kelce’s like super good at football, but did he break 92 Guinness World Records? Nope, Miss T.Swizzle did.

Regardless of what you think and whose side you take, it’s interesting to see how this TikTok trend has men all worked up about a statement as silly and insignificant as this one. It’s reminiscent of the previous trend that took TikTok by storm, another amusingly gender-specific obsession, this time with the Roman Empire.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, the meme prompted women to approach the men in their lives and ask them how often they think about the Roman Empire. Clips of boyfriends, husbands, dads, and brothers (most of whom have probably never stepped foot into Italy) casually admitting that they think about the Roman Empire often, even multiple times per week or day in some cases, quickly went viral on the video-sharing platform.


THE END HAHAHA #romanempire #trend #itsajoke #fyp #husbandwife

♬ Funny - Gold-Tiger

the holy empire #romanempire #mydad #fypシ #dadsoftiktok #romanempire🇮🇹 #howoften

♬ original sound - INÉS RAE

Understandably, female creators responded with complete bewilderment at the shared obsession, going as far as to discuss their own version of the Roman Empire. Princess Diana, Gossip Girl’s Thanksgiving episode, the Tudors, the Titanic, and Tom Holland’s iconic Lip Sync Battle performance all made the list.


Asking boyfriends how often they think about the Roman Empire has been the latest trend to go viral, with the answers taking everyone by surprise. But it’s got women thinking, what is the female equivalent to the Roman Empire? Is it the Titanic? Is it Princess Diana? Or is it that ICONIC Gossip Girl Thanksgiving moment? 😉 Welcome back to Episode 22 of Reel Talk, a weekly series where we break down provocative and reactive viral videos, serving bold commentary every week 🌶️ #romanempire #thetitanic #theromanovs #gossipgirl #princessdiana #thetudors #romanempiretrend

♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K

If you’re a male reading this, it really doesn’t matter whether you think about the Roman Empire often, or whether you believe that Swift is the only reason Kelce’s name is currently on everybody’s lips. Just like we know that you guys are mostly thinking about Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, we can also admit that Kelce doesn’t owe his career to the ‘Cruel Summer’ singer without having an aneurysm.

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