Yes, 2022 has been another year of TikTokers risking their lives for a like, laugh or follow — often with disastrous results.
The clips can also be useful at times, like the ones that encouraged people to know their worth and quit their toxic job; to laugh a little by slapping friends with flatbread; and to leave those blackout nights of drinking behind.
Even as it showcases the downfall of humanity, TikTok has only gone up in popularity this year. The app was expected to reach 94 million US users in 2022, an increase from 86.9 million in 2021.
Get ready to view the many questionable, laughable and disagreeable TikToks of 2022 from our POV.
Best TikToks of 2022
You don’t need to be Will Smith to participate in this hit challenge. Social media users stand in a circle holding water in their cheeks as they slap each other with a tortilla. Whoever spits the water out first loses.
Whoever keeps their water in the longest is crowned the “Tortilla Challenge” winner.
The corny trend compelled TikTok to add a warning on these videos that reads: “Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt.”
TikTokers are no longer working above their pay grade with the #ActYourWage challenge.
The motivating movement aims to persuade young workers to only do what they’re paid for — and no more — and to urge their co-workers to do the same.
Fans of the #ActYourWage hashtag, which has earned more than 178 million views on TikTok, see it as a way of setting firm, healthy boundaries in the workplace, but some experts warn this new workplace attitude may hurt employees in the long run.
Not Jareen Imam, a New York-based content creator.
In a viral TikTok skit with 21,900 views, Imam simulates a conversation with a boss who claims that, “It’s great visibility” for a junior employee to consistently stay late to work on a big project, even if she’s only making $40,000.
Imam shuts down that line with this response: “Visibility doesn’t pay the bills. If you want people to work hard, you just have to pay them better.”
Damp Lifestyle Challenge
Making pour decisions is a thing of the past for some TikTokers, who rallied other social media users to give the “damp lifestyle” a shot this year.
If you only have a few drinks a week or sip on a bev on special occasions, instead of throwing them back, you’re already consuming the damp lifestyle, psychotherapist Teralyn Sell told Bustle.
TikToker Hana Elson believes there’s a difference between “drinking to enjoy versus drinking to get drunk.” She said she starts her night with an “action plan” to “drink with the mindset of the next day” for hangover prevention.
“It’s literally like teaching yourself exactly what you can handle,” Elson advised.
Ear Seed Challenge
“Ear seeds” — a traditional Chinese medicine practice — crossed the feed of more than 90 million viewers yearning to get rid of aches and illness this year. Budding enthusiasts have been speaking out about the treatment, claiming it’s bettered their lives.
“I love them so much and have been wearing them all week for headaches and digestion,” avid user Jennifer Larkin raved.
Ear seeds resemble gemstone studs at the front, with a small seed at the back that makes contact with the pressure point of the ear. It’s described by health specialists as acupuncture for the ear.
Red Nails Challenge
You can’t beat red — at least according to the young women who adopted the viral “red nail theory” of painting their nails scarlet to lure a mate.
“I’ve never been asked out on so many dates or complimented so much as I have in the past two or three weeks with these nails,” TikToker Melisse Martineau gushed in one video, flashing her red manicure to the camera.
Butter Board Challenge
And now for the crème de la crème of 2022 TikTok trends — “the butter board.”
In this legend-dairy spinoff of the popular charcuterie board, butter is smeared on a wooden board and garnished with sauces, spices, fruits and pieces of bread.
#Butterboard spread across TikTok this year, gathering more than 421 million views — even as several users had a cow over hygiene and health risks.
“Wood board = bacteria. Add to that the double-dipping guests and you have yourself quite the germ-fest,” one person admonished.
“Nasty..everyone be double dipping. No thanks!” another detractor scolded.
Worst TikToks of 2022
Jeffrey Dahmer Challenge
One of the most disturbing trends in 2022 has to be the “Jeffrey Dahmer Challenge,” where social media users recorded their reactions to the sickening crime scene photos of Dahmer’s killings.
TikTok removed many of the calamitous clips, but one enterprising social media user found a way around the restriction and reposted the images.
According to TikTok, the search term “Jeffrey Dahmer victim polaroids” gained 1.7 billion views — much to the chagrin of critics.
“What tf is wrong with people? I’m actually sick to my stomach right now,” one TikToker complained.
“He ate people’s insides and kept their bleached bones in his apartment. What did u think the Polaroids would be like?” another pointed out.
For the sake of Kia owners, hopefully TikTokers will steer clear of the “Kia Challenge” in 2023.
As part of this contemptible caper, teens try to start a car without keys — with Kias being an easy target.
Frustrated victims are tired of thieves breaking into their cars, hot-wiring them and posting about completing the challenge.
“This trend absolutely makes me feel disgusted. It’s really beyond me that people think it’s OK to post criminal acts, let alone participate in them after seeing them online,” victim Alissa Smart lamented.
Instead of opening a cookbook, some TikTokers opened their medicine cabinets to add NyQuil to their chicken dinners.
Several people reported becoming ill after chowing down on the medication-dressed chicken.
The Food and Drug Administration even issued a warning about the “NyQuil Chicken Challenge,” but some social media users decided to wing it anyway.
Period Blood Masks Challenge
Forget painting your nails red. Some social media users are smearing period blood on their faces.
This very off-putting TikTok challenge flowed through 6.4 billion people’s feeds this year.
“Please, I beg of you, do not use your period blood as a face mask,” pleaded Dr. Joyce Park, who stitched a TikTok video of a woman embracing the DIY skincare hack. “There is no way that you’re collecting that blood in a sterile way, so there’s probably bacteria and sweat and other things that are in that blood.”
Leave it to teens to find a way to turn a playful product into something perilous.
In the #OrbeezChallenge, players use a gel-ball gun or an airsoft gun to shoot Orbeez water beads at pals or passersby.
While Orbeez are soft, they can cause injury and even break the skin when shot from a gun.
“Take these off the market!!!! Some people will shoot back!!!!!” one TikToker cried.
To increase impact of the hit, some teens were caught freezing the water gel beads.
Authorities in some states have warned they will bring criminal charges against anyone caught firing gel beads. In fact, several teens have already been arrested and charged in connection with “Orbeez Challenge” shootings.
Fish Tank Challenge
Fitness TikTokers were sticking out their blue tongues throughout 2022 to convince people to ingest methylene blue.
As blue seeped into social media feeds, doctors blew the whistle on the dangers of consuming the anti-fungal dye used to clean fish tanks.
Methylene blue is prescribed by physicians to treat methemoglobinemia, a condition in which not enough oxygen is delivered to cells.
While it is likely not harmful to take methylene blue in therapeutic doses, medical specialists dispute influencers’ insistence it can increase cognitive abilities, enhance metabolism and fight aging.