Three dogs split

@mulchmuncher_/Tiktok @trinketstealer/Tiktok @gov.von/Tiktok

What is the MulchGang and why are they obsessed with soil?

 

Tricia Crimmins

IRL

Posted on Nov 29, 2023

Tiny, fluffy dogs. A child’s voice. Rainbow lettering. An outsized focus on soil and its related components. These elements combine to make TikTok’s #MulchGang trend.

A classic MulchGang video goes something like this: A viewer sees a well-groomed, small dog looking—almost smiling—at the camera—and hear’s a child’s voice narrating.

“I have a secret to admit,” the voiceover says. “I am a magical silty clay loam fairy. And I live in the soil.”

The viewer then sees a video of the fluffy dog wearing rainbow fairy wings, other visuals of the dog panting with its tongue out, glowing rainbow hearts, and the dog being held by a human to make it look like it is flying with its rainbow fairy wings.

“Mulch gang,” the child’s voice says, “for life.”

@trinketstealer i will dig in the soil to harvest the silt-enriched moss 🌲🌿🌱🍄🌲🦋🌱🍄🍃🌷✨🌿🦋 #mulch #mulching #mulchdog #mulchgang #mulchgangforlife #mulchishere #loam #mulchmaxxing #mulchpup #sandyloam #tre #abcxyz #fairycore #moss #sandyloam ♬ original sound – ✩wawa

What do these videos mean?

To be frank, these are the types of TikTok videos that mean something and nothing at the same time. The literal meaning is these little dog characters eat mulch—which is true, some dogs do eat mulch. But the overall significance of the trend is that it is absurd and confusing to many people: For every person who proudly says they’re “mulchpilled” or “mulchmaxxing” or a “loam sister” (loam is a type of soil), there are three commenting on mulchgang videos saying they don’t know what’s going on.

Ultimately, mulchgang and mulch-centered videos are about being silly, stanning soil, and watching goofy looking fluffy dogs frolic. They’re pretty harmless.

MulchGang Vocabulary

Mulch: material that is put on top of or mixed into soil to aid its moisture and longevity. Sometimes mulch is made of rubber; it can also be made out of wood or other organic materials.

Loam: Soil that consists of sand and clay.

Lobotomy: An actual lobotomy is an outdated and discredited procedure that doctors used to perform for psychiatric illnesses and conditions in the mid-20th century. This involved cutting into the brain, and severing nerve pathways. On TikTok, the term lobotomy is used as a joke, in sarcastic contexts: TikTokers may say they need a lobotomy to combat overthinking, or that having a “less functional” brain would solve their problems.

Microplastics: Small bits of plastic debris are sometimes found in soil, so the lore of MulchGang also includes eating microplastics as well. Additionally, “microplastics” is a joke on TikTok as many make light of the unfortunate reality that plastic debris are everywhere—including in food.

Soilpilled: The suffix “-pilled” comes from the 1999 movie The Matrix, which originated the terms “red-pilled” and “blue-pilled,” referring to widespread political biases in many aspects of society. To be soil-pilled is to be influenced by soil and also to have an affinity for soil.

MulchGang’s influence

#MulchGang has almost 45 million views on TikTok, and #mulchgangforlife has over 48 million. It’s certainly not a trend that’s on everyone’s For You Page, but it is widespread enough that people outside of the MulchGang often stumble across these videos, resulting in entertaining bouts of confusion.

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*First Published: Nov 29, 2023, 12:05 pm CST