TikTok's Food Dance Meme Explained

You may have heard before that TikTok's algorithm is different from that of other social platforms, as Hootsuite explains. The For You Page is more than just a "following" page; it's the algorithm's pick of videos it thinks a user will like. It usually does a pretty good job, which is part of what helps the app hook so many users. Still, because this highly curated page is determined by math, sometimes you'll find a video and have absolutely no idea what's going on or why it applies to you. This often happens when a trend has taken off: Until you see multiple iterations of the video, you might not realize it's a trend — and even once you've caught on, it's not always apparent where the trend originated or why it's so popular.

Take one of TikTok's food trends, the food dancing meme, for example. In the videos, which you can watch in a compilation on YouTube, users typically take a bite of food before dancing to the beat drop of a specific Russian song. In the videos, the dance almost always includes holding one hand parallel to your waist while you raise and lower your other hand to the beat of the music. But the questions remain: How did this trend come to be, and what does it mean?

The trend is credited to Canadian TikToker John McGinnis

The food trend that's now dominating the internet is credited heavily to Canadian TikToker @JohnMcGinnis36, Distractify reports. The first video McGinnis made of the dance in September features a Subway sandwich, and he's since continued to make variations with different foods. One of his most popular posts to date is an earlier iteration of the trend where he pours melted cheese all over a plate of broccoli before taking a bite and jumping into the dance (via TikTok). It has more than 100 million views.

With McGinnis, the format is often the same: He puts the finishing touches on a plate of food, takes a bite, and breaks out into the now-viral dance. Since his videos have taken off, other TikTok users have put their own spin on the trend, featuring different types of dishes and even their dogs and children. According to Know Your Meme, McGinnis' videos were actually inspired by another user, @iamneffatijayden. Even if McGinnis isn't the full originator, he's definitely the one who made the trend what it is today.

What song is used in the videos?

Perhaps the most misunderstood, yet ultimately important, aspect of the trend is the song that's used in the videos. To pull off the trend correctly, users usually dance to the song "Я буду ебать" by Russian artist Moreart, per Distractify. It's understandable why, as the beat drop that leads to the dance is potentially the most unifying aspect of all the different versions of the viral videos. In fact, the trend has spread so wide that the song currently has more than 12 million streams on Spotify.

However, what many TikTok users may not know is that the song is actually a bit profane, with the title translating to "I Will F***." "It may seem strange to pair such an explicit song with such a harmless trend, but it's hard to say for sure why the song was chosen," Distractify writes about the "filthy" song choice. Despite the song's more vulgar nature, it's now an integral part of the trend — so important it'd be hard to pull off a copycat video without it.