So you know how TikTok likes to make everything old, new again? Whether it be clothes, celebrities, film or – in this case –music, the app is all about evoking nostalgia you didn’t know you needed. The latest throwback trend on TikTok comes in the form of Wheatus’ iconic track, Teenage Dirtbag. But, what does this actually mean? Are you also, like myself, TikTok illiterate and don’t know how it all works? You’ve come to the right place. Let me explain what the TikTok Teenage Dirtbag trend is all about.
What is the Teenage Dirtbag TikTok trend?
Across the last few weeks, Teenage Dirtbag has been the soundtrack of choice for thousands TikTok videos after being coopoted as a video trend. Employing a sped-up version of the 2000 track, the trend consists of people sharing photos of themselves in their peak dirtbag era, mainly in their younger years. These include crowd surfing, smoking cigarettes and embracing all things grunge.
@savluvsmetallica this photo of me shall forever live on #fyp #foryoupage #trending #tiktok #greenscreen #trend #foryou #teenagedirtbag ♬ teenage dirtbag. wheetus - jj
Those cutting through the masses and permeating into For You pages are those that take it to the extreme, who embrace melodrama and all its glory. It’s cringeworthy, archival and oozing in late 90s/early 2000s nostalgia. Some celebrities have even shared their own version of the trend including Mark Ronson and Charli XCX.
As the trend has evolved, it has begun to morph into its own thing, with some offering their own interpretations of the phrase, ie. their own version of being a teenage dirtbag. This includes more bookish photos, perhaps a Twilight phase or simple family photos of themselves as teenagers. Because not all of us could be dirtbags, right?
@thethatgirlguidei think they think im really weird.♬ teenage dirtbag. wheetus - jj
What other old songs have been trending on TikTok?
Teenage Dirtbag isn’t the first song to get the TikTok resurgence treatment, but what makes it different is that it actually doesn’t feel that old? Or is that just because I am now, in fact, old, and I remember it being ‘cool’ the first time? Previously trending songs we’ve seen surface on the platform include Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams and Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill.