Unless there’s a tech underdog out there who gets blessed by the Gods with a great idea and supernatural marketing skills, TikTok is going to remain the planet’s most popular app. Its stratospheric rise is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. This is a platform that appeals to multiple generations and cultures and, chances are, if you haven’t yet seen or made a TikTok video, you’re either an Indian citizen (where it’s banned) or Amish (in which case, good for you!)
A popular trend of TikTok are trends themselves. Without them, it’d be hard to imagine it being as successful as it is. Through trends and challenges, people are encouraged to create and share content day-in day-out. This entices perhaps no-one more than couples, who delight in recording themselves perform challenges with their special someone.
The pandemic no doubt accelerated this spectacle. Locked away, couples were now forced to entertain each other for hours on end. What better way to do this by pulling pranks on each other, mimicking Australian wildlife or dancing upstairs in sync?
Things move fast in TikTok Land but some challenges have real staying power. Here are ten that you might remember. Maybe there’s some you don’t. Maybe we’ve just inspired your next video.
Is TikTok good for couples?
Luddites might have you believe social media couples are kidding you and themselves – that it’s all a vacuous sham. Maybe that’s true if said couple is part of the Hype House, but it’s quite the opposite with everyday couples. TikTok, following the role of TV’s nearly century-old history, is a comfort blanket for couples. It brings them together after bad days at work and offers comic relief – and that’s just when it comes to watching other people’s content.
TikTok is good for couples as it brings lightness and humour into relationships. It encourages them to channel their inner child by having fun together for fun’s sake. When couples are both in a good mood, they are less critical and defensive – so whether it be synchronising dance steps or holding hands, moving in tandem helps build social connectivity.
10. The Koala Challenge
The Koala Challenge isn’t for every couple. Don’t try this at home if you’re out of shape, or generally weaker than a weightlifter, or just risk-averse. For the couples out there who have exemplary strength, read on. This trend’s right up your street.
The man, or whoever has the best strength and balance, stands with the legs apart and their arms out as the partner, so long as they’re nimble, climbs all over their partner like a koala in a tree. The partner must climb all around the other person’s torso without touching the ground.
9. Plank Challenge
Much like the Koala Challenge, this one goes out to all the physically fit couples on TikTok. Planking in a faceplanted form had been a viral phenomenon since 2011 but today it takes a more legitimate form. The kind you see people doing in gyms and yoga sessions.
To perform the Plank Challenge, all you and your partner have to do is assume the position and try a variety of tricky stunts while maintaining it. This could be as simple as a high five or as complex as one person rolling underneath the other. Set it to some music and you’re golden.
8. Flip the Switch
The Flip the Switch challenge began life with Bella and Dallin Lambert, the couple behind TikTok account @dallinxbella. Thousands of people have since taken on the challenge with their special someone, as well as with friends or family.
Set to Drake’s 2018 song “Nonstop”, the challenge involves two people standing before a mirror. One person stands closest to the mirror remaining still and filming the video. In the background, the second person dances to the music until Drake sings the opening line, “Look, I just flipped a switch (Flipped, flipped).” This prompts the light switch to be turned off and on to reveal the two people have swapped outfits and positions during the transition.
7. Hoodie and Fridge
The Hoodie and Fridge challenge/prank is gold. It’s all well and good being cute and romantic and mushy with your loved one, but there comes a time in every relationship where you have to scare the life out of them. It keeps you on your toes, grounds you a bit, makes you realise the world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows. Occasionally, it’s a back-to-front person raiding through a fridge.
The rules are simple. Place a hoodie on the wrong way round so the hood covers the front of your face. Stand in front of an open fridge and wait for your partner to discover you and (hopefully) pull your hoodie down. Bonus points if you wear a freaky mask.
6. Q&A Challenge
As consumers of TikTok couples, if not real-life ones, we like to know as much about them as possible. We don’t just want to see the cute videos, the skits, the pranks. We want to know who’s the messiest, who’s a morning person and who isn’t, who’s the funny one, who’s more romantic, who’s the bigger baby when sick and who’s the first to apologise after an argument. This is what the people want to know.
The Q&A challenge is fairly straightforward and requires no physical strain. Simply sit next to your partner with both your eyes closed and listen to the rollout of questions. If it applies to you, point to yourself. If it applies to your significant other, point to them. You might be surprised by the results.
5. Five Finger Challenge
Easy now – this isn’t what you might think. The Five Finger challenge is similar to the Q&A challenge, only with a darker streak. This challenge wants to cause friction between couples by making the man admit his girlfriend does annoying and idiosyncratic things. Is your partner a bit clingy, irritable, never knows what to eat, makes their own frustration out to be your fault? Finding it hard to tell them? This challenge is ideal for you.
First off, hold five fingers up in the air. Listen to each question. If your partner is guilty of the question, put a finger down. The challenge is to get every finger down before the end of the questions. If you survive, congratulations! You’re probably in a very healthy, mature relationship. If you don’t, at least you’ll have some good content.
4. Got It Challenge
This is without doubt the hardest challenge on the list – harder even than the Koala or Plank Challenge. Why? It requires you to be psychic. If you succeed at this, immediately marry whoever you’re dating. This is it. If you can read each other’s minds, there’s no point holding out for anyone else.
At the start of the game, you and your partner will count down from 3 before each saying a random word. It can be anything. A type of food or animal, a city or object. After which, you’ll try to find another word that connects to both words you just said. For example, in one popular video, a couple is seen shouting “iPad” and “Sky”. They then simultaneously say “Cloud.”
3. Stair Shuffle Challenge
Okay, this one may be prehistoric and very “lockdown 2020” but a hit’s a hit. If doing this in 2022 makes you happy, play on. Don’t let the haters grind you down! This challenge proved enormously popular on TikTok with normies, celebrities and firefighters alike. You couldn’t move for it at one point. Now? Not so much – which is exactly why you should bring it back. Everyone knows a little vintage content never hurt anyone.
For this one, make sure you’ve nailed plain old shuffling before you go anywhere near an ascent. Once nailed, line side by side with your special someone and shuffle your way up a flight of stairs. It may take a while to master this but the hard work truly pays off.
2. #LetMeRaiseAToast Challenge
It doesn’t get much cuter that this sound-based trend. In the heady days of 2021, the #LetMeRaiseAToast challenge took TikTok by storm thanks to its unabashed positive vibes. Forget your five finger challenges, your scary pranks. How about some appreciation for that significant other in your life? How about a collage? We all love a collage, don’t we?
To take part in this challenge, simply mimic the audio from 1994’s The Little Rascals, “raise a toast to the girl you love most in the whole word” and edit together a mushy but meaningful montage of memories of you and your girlfriend over the years for when the beat drops.
1.”Yo Bro, Who Got You Smiling Like That?” Challenge
We’ve all been there. Sitting in a bar with your boys, throwing back a few cold ones, putting the world to rights. Meanwhile your girlfriend is messaging you, “Who are you out with? When are you back? Hello??? Admit it, you hate me.” You just can’t help but smile! Then all your boys are like “What’s got into you? How come you’re smiling?” And you’re like, “Nothing, nothing.” But your smile gets bigger and the boys are like, “Look at this soppy son of a gun!”
The “Yo Bro, Who Got You Smiling Like That?” trend is perfect for those moments where your partner can’t stop you from smiling. Lots of remixes have been made to the original audio, so find whichever one works for you and join the fun.