History Repeats TikTok trend: TikTokers talk to their ancestors about how things have stayed the same – and changed – through the ages
Posted on 22nd February 2023
Thousands of people have been taking part in a popular new TikTok trend where they imagine having conversations with their ancestors about the similarities and differences between the past and the present day – check out this box of examples on Buzz from Shooglebox.
A sped-up version of Pierre by American singer-songwriter Ryn Weaver is being used as the accompanying soundtrack to videos on the trend, with 50,000 videos using it in just a couple of weeks. Some people who've been active on TikTok for a few years might remember this version of the song from the Isla McMillan Pierre dance challenge which took off in early 2021 and has been used in more than 800,000 videos.
Some of the early big videos came from Asta Darling, who has 2.8 million followers to her name and describes her account as offering "a carefully curated collection of time travel". Asta went all out in her videos – dressing in authentic period outfits and contrasting these with modern fashion. One video she shared about women enjoying going to parties in both 1923 and 2023 has been viewed more than 20 million times and got 3.4 million likes:
American actress Drew Barrymore (7 million followers on TikTok) shared a video responding to her ancestors asking "Is our family still acting?" – "Yes, I am! I'm also a talk show host now and I couldn't be happier."
Other videos include @trashling braiding her hair like women thousands of years before and saying "this trend literally makes me cry"; a Victorian lady giving @scarlettohair advice on detangling her long locks; and @historicalhan_ using a face mask – a modern version of the masks the ancient Greeks made out of honey and olive oil for their skincare routines.
As it's spread across TikTok the trend's taken new directions and meanings. Some people have flipped the "history repeats" concept on its head, highlighting how history doesn't always repeat itself and how things have changed over the years, especially when it comes to progress on things like fashion and women's rights, like being able to go to school, work and vote. This video by @s.kit.faced where she imagines having a conversation with a lady from the 1700s hit 30 million views in the space of a few days.
Some people are imagining how unimpressed their ancestors would be at things they do – @rod (1.6 million followers) posted about struggling to spell the word "definitely" while his Greek ancestors literally invented the alphabet; and @readchoi (4.7m followers) joked about his Asian ancestors reacting to him eating precooked microwaveable rice.
Domino's UK and Ireland has been one of the first major brands to get involved in the trend with a video of an Italian chef from the 1800s reacting to the idea of someone in 2023 having pineapple on pizza.
Lots of TikTokers are joking too about their pets having much easier lives – and being a lot more domesticated and "softer" – than their ancestors, who had to fend for themselves in the wild and hunt for food. This video from the popular dachshund account Noodle and Tilde (1.4 million followers) shows a dog from the 1800s giving a "side-eye" as Noodle talks about having a shower with strawberry shampoo and conditioner.
In the same vein, this video shows a 21st-century German Shepherd dressing up in a shark costume, to the dismay of his ancestors; this video is about a Rottweiler who can't sleep without his pink "bed buddy" soft toy; and this one imagines a Great Dane's ancestors being "jealous" that dogs today only have to give their owners a high-five for a pig ear treat.
Spotting TikTok Trends
The History Repeats ancestors trend is just one of the new trends quickly picked up and tracked by our Buzz service, which highlights some of the big talking points emerging on TikTok and social media every day.
Buzz from Shooglebox is used by journalists, creators and brand teams who need to spot and stay on top of the latest trends.
It includes a constantly updated box of cards showing at a glance and linking to viral videos, TikTok trends and other things going big on social media. Buzz customers also get regular updates alerting them to some of the things they might otherwise miss or discover late.
This stack of cards for the History Repeats ancestors trend gives you an idea of how Shooglebox works – and how it could help you go from spotting a trend right at the start to tracking its development over time.
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