What makes or breaks a TikTok sound? A look into the app’s biggest bops and flops – Screen Shot
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What makes or breaks a TikTok sound? A look into the app’s biggest bops and flops

Since its inception, TikTok has provided us with tons of memes, viral dances and questionable beauty trends—has anyone actually tried vabbing? Moreover, the platform has also reassured us that clocking off at the end of the working day with a simple ‘Hehe bye’ is formal enough. Each of these creations live happily in our own personal For You Page (FYP), patiently waiting for their time to shine.

One of the most explosive forms of content that’s found its home on the video-sharing app has been original and, let’s say, eccentric songs, with most having been based on already-viral audio clips. In order to help you gain a better understanding as to why this phenomenon is so popular, we’ve compiled a list of the very biggest bops and flops the TikTok sphere has brought us so far—and why some have landed a special place in netizens’ hearts, while others simply didn’t.

The bops

Let’s begin on a positive note, literally.

1. ‘It’s corn’

We couldn’t possibly start off this list without mentioning the song that is currently stuck in everyone’s mind. Uploaded to TikTok on 19 August 2022, the self-titled ‘It’s corn’ remix has quickly become the internet’s favourite food-related bop of the year and is undoubtedly one of the most popular audio clips ever to circulate the video-sharing platform. 

This unique tune was created in homage to a viral interview that was shared on the platform on 4 August by popular TikTok account Recess Therapy. The page hosts a number of clips formatted in the ‘guy with a microphone’ interview style that has become increasingly popular on the app. The host, Julian Shapiro-Barnum, asks various children between the ages of two and nine for their advice, insight and, of course, food recommendations.

In the interview that inspired the song about corn, Shapiro-Barnum chats with a young boy about his newfound obsession. The boy—who is now known as the ‘Corn Kid‘—exclaims, “I really like corn, ever since I was told that corn was real, it tasted good!” He then goes on to have a mouth-watering revelation, declaring: “When I tried it with butter, everything changed!”

This is where meme music enthusiasts schmoyoho enters the chat. The popular account is run by The Gregory Brothers, a quartet who specialise in producing comedic music. Having previously broken the internet with their rendition of ‘Chrissy, wake up!’, they turned their attention to something slightly different this time.

By simply adding a few backing vocals, guitar notes and a piano, schmoyoho produced an unforgettable banger. The video has already amassed over 4.6 million likes and is trending on every major social media platform. Stranger Things actress Grace Van Dien—who played the infamous Chrissy of season four—even deemed the sensation tweet-worthy, simply writing, “it’s CORN.”

@schmoyoho

intro song for any meal/snack with corn 🌽 - from iconic interview on @doingthings

♬ It's Corn - Tariq & The Gregory Brothers & Recess Therapy

2. ‘I wanna go home’

Next up is a classic fan-favourite, ‘I wanna go home’. First uploaded onto TikTok by a meme page in May 2022, the sound went viral almost immediately, clearly resonating with introverts across the globe.

@esosaadun1

😂🙄 #esosaadun

♬ original sound - ESOSA||CONTENT CREATOR

The sound bite originates from the track ‘It’s a Holiday’ by Nigerian gospel group, Destined Kids. Of course, we’re sure they could have never predicted the viral potential of this song—especially considering the rather emotional nature of the lyrics.

And yet, it’s become one of the most used sounds on the platform, with the original video having received over 4 million views at the time of writing.

The most viral videos that use the ‘I wanna go home’ audio tap into feelings we all can relate to. Scenarios such as: when your friendship group is expecting a big night out, and you’re just watching the clock, waiting to get back to your bed. Or even worse: that moment after you’ve eaten a big meal and you wish you were able to instantaneously teleport home and slide into some pyjama bottoms.

3. ‘Internet drama pt. 1 (Is this available?)’

‘Is this available?’ is potentially one of the most mesmorising bops we’ve been blessed with. In 2020, Canadian singer, musician, and video producer Lubalin shared an unusual-yet-brilliant musical rendition of a Facebook Marketplace interaction gone wrong, and TikTok absolutely loved it.

In what can only be described as hauntingly beautiful, Lubalin recites a text conversation between two individuals. The conversation begins as you would expect, with someone reaching out over text to enquire about a Marketplace offer. However, this soon escalates into an incredibly confusing, albeit hilarious, disagreement when one of the individuals decides they no longer want to be contacted.

The final message in the chat warns, “I’m no longer interested. Please stop contacting me now. I will contact the Attorney General if you do not stop.” We’re assuming their ‘Do Not Disturb’ button was broken.

@lubalin

that escalated quickly... #sodramatic #humor #oldpeoplefacebook #boomer #musician #producer

♬ original sound - Lubalin

This TikTok sound can only be described as if an online text disagreement was set to the soundtrack of ‘Bring Me to Life’ by Evanescence, it’s no surprise that the 90s rock band is currently experiencing an online renaissance and resurgence in popularity.

The flops

It’s nothing personal…

1. ‘He’s a 10’

Sadly, not everything produced for the platform can go viral—‘He’s a 10’ is one of these examples. Produced by singer Jaymmac, it was inspired by the June 2022 trend of the same name which consisted of people filming themselves either alone or with friends, contemplating how someone might appear a 10 but in reality they’ve most likely got a couple of noteworthy ‘icks’.

Some viral examples of this trend have been: “He’s a 10, but he listens to alpha male podcasts—ok he’s immediately a 2” or “He’s a 10, but he only posts me on his ‘close friends’.” You get the idea.

Jammac’s song doesn’t subtly hint at the trend—it literally participates in it. The opening lyrics read, “He’s a 10, but he only lasts a minute in bed. He’s a 9, but every time he always asks about my friend.”

@jaymmac

#fyp #hesa10but #hesa10 how many can we get!!!

♬ HesATen - Jaymmac

In 2021, American singer GAYLE received similar criticism for her song ‘abcdefu’. This cheesy style of music has often been attacked by gen Z netizens who seem far more interested in the Vine-esque, meme-like audios. There’s a reason ‘It’s Corn’ did so well…

2. ‘I like you, have a cupcake’

Last but not least, let us present you with the audio that drilled its way into our minds and then resolutely refused to leave. Based on the ‘I like you, have a cupcake’ excerpt taken from the animated show Fish Hooks that aired on Disney Channel during the 2010s the sound was predominantly used by TikTokers to publicly declare their love for certain celebrities. In the clip shown below, Chris Evans’ wide array of hair styles appear to be the object of a fan’s affection.

@chrisevanssonsgf

buzzcut, beard, long hair vs. mustache chris… #chrisevans #fyp #chrisevansbiteme #fishhooks

♬ i like you have a cupcake_fish hooks - ___

But you know what they say, ‘all that glitters is not gold’—after a while, the audio began to rattle some cages. Not long after it trended, a number of content creators included the clip in their ‘worst ever TikTok sounds’ listicles.

While ‘I like you, have a cupcake’ is far from unbearable, it fails to satisfy the ‘brain itch’ other adversaries have managed to tickle so well. Guess netizens will have to find a new trend to hop on in order to declare their love to Evans’ hairdo.

A brutal analysis of TikTok’s ‘Dating Wrapped’ trend and gen Z’s obsession with slideshows

Ever since 2016, the internet has made a tradition out of celebrating surveillance capitalism in the guise of tailored reports that recap our habits of the year. Following the launch of Spotify Wrapped—the coveted feature that fans routinely grind towards and base their entire personality around when it drops every December—the concept of a ‘year-in-review’ has gripped most digital services today.

While Apple Music has its revamped Replay feature and YouTube Music offers a Recap experience, Deezer releases its summaries in the form of #MyDeezerYear and Amazon Music generates rather disappointing playlists for users. Heck, even Reddit has its own Recap feature that illustrates the amount of time you spent shitposting and visiting various subs in the hopes of finding a custom long Furby.

Over the past few years, Spotify Wrapped’s impact has catapulted the feature as a cultural reset among gen Zers and millennials alike. Today, both generations expect every single online platform to track and judge their data in exchange for aesthetic statistics they can share with the rest of the world. And, as it turns out, their dating lives are no exception.

Dating Wrapped and the cult of brutal insights

A Spotify Wrapped report essentially gives you insights about your top five artists, genres and songs, audio personality (what even is Sorrow Escapism Liminal Space?), and amount of minutes listened. Now, imagine such information being pulled from your miserable presence on dating apps like Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and more.

If you ask me, the report would read something like this: “In 2022, you swiped right on 26 crypto bros and 38 people named Matt. You went on a sum total of 25 dates with your matches, out of whom 5 kittenfished you, 13 ghosted you right after, and 2 blocked and reported your profile to our teams. You took 150 screenshots of cringey profiles to share with your WhatsApp group chat, and even rage quit our app 7 times. What was that all about, huh?”

“You also received 57 unsolicited gym selfies, but to top things off, you were among the top 1 per cent of users who slid into people’s DMs at 3 am! Congratulations, your dating app rizz is doomed beyond recovery!”

It’s worth noting that the conversation about dating apps having their own year-in-review feature has been making the rounds for a while now. In 2020, comedian Grace Hayes went viral after she uploaded her DIY Bumble Wrapped on TikTok. Leveraging the green screen effect, Hayes curated #bumblewrapped on the video-sharing platform—with 44,800 views and counting. The clip was so popular that even Bumble left a comment stating: “This is AMAZING. Inspiring us 😏😏”

The following year, software engineer Niko Draca created a third-party website for Hinge users to generate their own Wrapped reports. “First thing you’ll see is how many people you encountered on the app and how many you said yes to,” Draca explained in the widely-circulated clip. “Then you’ll see all of the likes, rejections, matches, etc over the year. You can also see what time of the day you sent the most chat messages, how many people you chatted with in total, and how long those conversations lasted.” Apart from the top three emojis, the website additionally provided users with a word cloud made up of the terms they deployed the most in DMs.

Draca was undoubtedly the trailblazer for Hinge Wrapped, and it’s safe to say that the dating app has been real quiet since the video went viral.

@nikodraca

@Hinge 🖤 Wrapped #spotifywrapped2021 #selflove #manifestation #hinge #datingapp

♬ All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault) - Taylor Swift

Fast forward to 2022, TikTok users have now taken things up a notch with a trend called ‘Dating Wrapped’—where they are seen brutally recapping their past year in romance in hopes of manifesting a better love life. Here, insights are no longer restricted to a single dating app. Instead, they focus on the participants’ relationship exploits in general, including how they met their matches, what they did on first dates, and how many times they cried over someone.

All of the data is then collated onto… a PowerPoint slideshow, and the deck is later presented using a laptop angled towards the viewers.

“[This is] truly one of the most depressing things I’ve ever done,” said Toronto-based TikToker Alexandria McLean in her video which is believed to have kicked off the trend. “I went on 21 first dates… Yikes! I met 66 per cent [of matches] on Bumble and 33 per cent on Hinge. In terms of where we went, activity and dinner are tied at 30 per cent, coffee [and] walking dates [are] at 28 per cent, and drinks are 42 per cent. I don’t know why I went on so many walking dates, I hate walking dates.”

“In terms of who ended it, 90 per cent [of matches] ended it with me. Honestly, [that’s] a low number considering I’m a walking red flag,” McLean continued. “So, if you want to go out and want to be a part of my 2023 Dating Wrapped, hit me up!”

@alexandriathemediocre

It’s brutal out here ✨ #spotifywrapped #dating#datingintoronto#bumble#hinge

♬ original sound - Alexandria

Shortly after McLean’s video floored TikTok, users started querying the creator about the PowerPoint template and font she’d used for her presentation. It even paved the way for the rise of #datingwrapped, now with 8.1 million views and counting.

“If any of these men see this, I want you to know that you’re not special and you’re just a number to me,” TikToker Amber Smith captioned her video, which has since garnered over 3.1 million views. In the clip, Smith detailed that she went on 18 first dates, was handed two parking tickets, and spent a total of $383.36 on her matches. “I wish I had not calculated this number,” she stated. “What could I have done with this money? Literally anything else would’ve been better.”

@amberwavesofbrain

If any of these men see this, I want you to know that you’re not special and you’re just a number to me 😌✌🏼 #datingwrapped #wrapped #tinder #hinge #facebookdating #firstdate

♬ original sound - Amber

As of today, the concept of Dating Wrapped has evolved to include star signs, age gaps, red, beige and pink flags, the number of hoodies participants have stolen from their partners, STIs they’ve treated, as well as the number of tattoos they regret getting. While some bestow digital awards to their dates, others are seen creating introvert and queer editions of the trend.

Given how 2022 still has a couple of weeks left to conclude, I wouldn’t be surprised to witness the introduction of even more metrics to publicly analyse our love lives on the internet. Maybe the presentations can have a section where people note the different aesthetics and subcultures they’ve dated in the past year?

At the end of the day, no matter how many slides you choose to include in your deck, the aim of Dating Wrapped at its core is self-reflection. So, you’re good as long as you walk away with actionable insights and don’t bring all the negative energy gathered in 2022 into your love life in 2023.

Gen Z’s obsession with slideshows and unhinged infographics

If you’ve stumbled across #datingwrapped on TikTok before, you might have noticed comments along the lines of “Don’t be shy, drop that PowerPoint template,” and “What’s the name of the font you’ve used? Where do I download it from?” Sure, these remarks might just be pointers that ultimately help others jump on the trend, however, it’s also another incognito factor that aids the popularity of Dating Wrapped.

With a presence that can be traced back to the COVID-19 pandemic, PowerPoint presentations have become the zeitgeist of gen Zers in cyberspace today. Be it to mansplain our hobbies or interests to others, give a crash course about our favourite series nobody asked for, plot moves in Clash of Clans, prove “the One Piece is real,” or justify that Chainsaw Man’s Makima is worth simping for, slideshows have become our weapon of choice to present peers with digestible chunks of information about the most unhinged topics.

If you really think about it, the resurgence of PowerPoints can be linked to our pathetic eight-second attention span. Gen Zers crave dynamicity in everything they are exposed to and what better way to explain something to the generation than using infographics they can breeze through?

The format also harbours parallels with LOL graphs or ‘silly graphs’ that first gripped meme culture in the mid-2000s. The statistical representation essentially doubled as a visual aid—designed to explain the most non-academic and trivial subjects “for teh lulz XD.”

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A post shared by Sufiyan Junaid (@sufiyanjunaid)

Back to the case of Dating Wrapped, the trend checks out—considering how gen Z Spotify fans have proved to be least concerned about how Big Tech uses their personal data. “I wonder about all my stats on Youtube, Discord, Instagram,” an enthusiast previously told SCREENSHOT. “I wish there were things like Spotify Wrapped in each of them where we can see all our data like the most watched video, channel etc. And even further, I wish god would show us data of our life.”

All that being said, the possibilities of dating apps implementing a Wrapped-like feature seem bleak for the foreseeable future. Until then, you can choose to follow TikToker @cobiscreation’s advice and sneakily screenshot your crush’s Spotify Wrapped report the moment they share it on Instagram. You’ll know the exact songs and artists to stream the next time you guys hang out together.

Who knows, maybe it’ll work wonders for your 2023 Dating Wrapped… or not.

@cobiscreation

Spotify Wrapped is free game #dating #hinge #sneakylink #spotify #fyp #spotifywrapped #fypシ #fypage

♬ original sound - Cobi 👨🏽‍🎨🖼️✨