young woman in bed with caption 'Friend groups where u can tell who the leader, three red flag emoji' (l) Man pushing another person's head away with caption 'When you are the leader of the friend group' (c) Young woman with airpods and caption 'POV: you go up to the leader of your toxic friend group about something and they gaslight you' (r)

@jayfilayy/TikTok @danessyauguste/TikTok @prettyzay6/TikTok

People are making relatable memes about friend group dynamics

Does your friend group have a 'leader'?


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 3, 2022

We’re more than adept at turning the hyper-specific yet relatable aspects of our lives into memes, and the insight into what a “friend group leader” is and does is no exception.

The meme, which first came up by way of TikTok last year and migrated over to Twitter last week, is a fairly simple one: Many friend groups have at least one person taking the lead—and their personality can sometimes overpower the rest of the group instead of operating as equals.

In some of the earlier videos that played out this dynamic, like from TikTokers @danessyauguste and @jayfilayy, the group leader needs to be the center of attention or has to have things play out their way, and they are even willing to resort to gaslighting to make it happen.


Please the way I’ve heard this so many times

♬ original sound – Danessy Auguste
@jayfilayy a leader must lead 🙇🏽‍♂️(READ PINNED COMMENT) #fypシ #viral ♬ When I See U – Fantasia

By July 2022, imagining what a friend group leader would and wouldn’t do carried over to Twitter, including the idea that if you meet someone new and they’re not the leader, something’s a bit off.

Even leaders in friend groups are suspect.

Others joked that they had to fight to the death to obtain the role of the group leader or went to great lengths to prove that they were the group leader.

And another person placed doubt on the concept of there being an actual leader in friend groups.

Whether or not your friend groups have self-appointed or widely accepted leaders is irrelevant. Like the recent explosion of the Little Miss meme, it’s an indication of illustrating dynamics that are specific yet vague enough that everybody can relate to it. Your friend who sees themselves as a leader might not be the same as everyone else’s, but many of us know what that looks like.

And now that friend group leader memes are on Twitter, they’re getting another life on TikTok.

@designingcribgaming (I’m the leader btw) #friendgroup #leader #twitter #twitch #twitchgaming #minecraft #minecraftgaming #viral #foryou #fyp ♬ RUNAWAY – KAYDEN
@codenamejesse #stitch with @rebuildingourgenerationx Is there a “leader” in male friend groups? #codenamejesse ♬ Music Instrument – Gerhard Siagian

On the internet, memes are a flat circle.

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*First Published: Aug 3, 2022, 4:54 pm CDT