‘Hey babe, I’m off to work on an oil rig’

We analyse the week on TikTok, featuring internet-breaking strawberries and no borax, no glue

A orange coverall, a green hard hat and a model of an oil rig
A orange coverall, a green hard hat and a model of an oil rig

We analyse the week on TikTok, featuring internet-breaking strawberries and no borax, no glue

By Darshita Goyal29 Feb 2024
1 mins read time
1 mins read time

Hiya, chronically online scrollers! Welcome back to TikTok Decoder, woo’s weekly breakdown of trends, sounds and creators brought to you by senior writer Darshita Goyal <3 Fresh off the slate: influencers are going oil rigging, the internet is vulnerable and will chocolate covered strawberries become the most-liked post online?

hot trend: oil rig gag

TikTokers are pranking their dads, brothers and boyfriends (where are the girlies?) by telling them they’ve been offered a brand partnership by gas giant ExxonMobil to go oil rigging. Yes, really. The reactions are hilarious – imagine hearing “you can’t go welding?!!” in 3,638 different ways. Side note: Google searches for Exxon have risen by 100 per cent over the last week – at least in part owing to this trend – so maybe we should pick a greener prank next time?

freshly viral: chocolate covered strawberries

User @Pr4yForGabs filmed a zoomed-in, flash-on video of a bowl of chocolate-drizzled strawberries, slapped Bobby Caldwell’s song ‘What You Won’t Do for Love’ on it and bam! The post now has 37m likes and 273m views. If you’re as shocked as I was, there’s no secret algorithm hack, nuance or even celebrity to the post. People just love how silly and uncurated it is. Remember the egg on Instagram that got more likes than Kylie Jenner? This is the (more delish) TikTok version. But hey, as long as food is winning…

new slang: no borax, no glue

Can you tell the feels are running high on TikTok? First the “card got declined in therapy” trend had people divulging their most deep-rooted traumas, and now “no borax, no glue” has us sharing our worst fears. Let me explain: the phrase goes back to a YouTube era when creators insisted that you needed borax and glue to make slime. So no borax, no glue means something is literally impossible. For ex: how to bring the friend group back together? No borax, no glue. How to stop growing up? No borax, no glue. It’s getting really real out here.

pop sound: “all that work and what did it get me”

Have you ever spent a lot of time, money or energy on something only for it to blow up in your face? Like that time you counselled your bestie into dumping his toxic ex (they’re now engaged) or you slept at 9pm hoping to have an early start the next day (woke up at noon), but neither worked out? TikTok has a sound for this feeling and it’s a nostalgic kick: the trending tune is from Chris Colfer’s Glee cover of ‘Rose’s Turn’. Maybe it really is true that millennials are spending more time on TikTok than Gen Z.

comfort follow: @MaalToks

A PhD student who breaks down pop culture and internet trends for a curious audience, Maalvika is witty, relatable and makes dumb stuff feel smart! From a cultural history of eyeliner, the rise of desirability trends on TikTok and how we never leave the internet any more to gatekeeping, curation and how friendships change as adults, this creator brings fresh, fun POVs to the clutter on your FYP.

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