hand moving (l&r) young woman in room (c)

@ziakeita/TikTok

Why this TikTok ‘hand trend’ is suddenly everywhere

TikTok's latest dance trend is a graceful, twirling hand gesture.

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 16, 2022

As TikTok dance trends go, the untitled “hand thing” is pretty abstract. Created by TikToker @ziakeita, the original video is an 8-second shot of the TikToker smiling at the camera before twirling her hand gracefully in midair.

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Echoing the animation-style smoothness of other TikTok dance trends like “Say So,” this gesture went massively viral, attracting 27 million views in 12 days—along with a ton of copycats. @ziakeita (who primarily posts short lipsync videos) seemed shocked by the attention, responding with an update captioned, “I did not know people liked hands so much,” after gaining 100,000 followers in a couple of days.

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@ziakeita

Hands

♬ original sound – percy

The “hand thing” seems to have caught people’s attention for two reasons: It has a cool, graceful aesthetic, and it’s deceptively hard to replicate. The original TikTok is essentially just someone twirling their hand while Why Mona’s cover of “Wannabe” plays in the background. But as other TikTokers tried to copy the choreography, they realized it was surprisingly tricky, prompting the need for tutorials.

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@.twoja.stara13 #duet with @ziakeita ♬ original sound – percy
@izzypetula Also ignore how bad my nails look rn #handtrend #handtrendthingy ♬ original sound – Xelly.fxf
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It also sparked some minor discourse about whether the trend only looks good for people with long, slim fingers, making some TikTokers feel self-conscious about their hand shape. In the words of one popular copycat TikTok, “hm okay for all the people who are like « omg perfect hand/fingers » it’s just a hand 😭 if u give a new beauty code to society it won’t be fine.”

Disability rights activist @indiasasha—the self-titled “CEO of One Hand Humour”—also posted a sarcastic stitch with the original TikTok, making fun of the idea that it’s “not about having long fingers or nails.”

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@indiasasha #duet with @ziakeita sorry but this trend be false lol #fyp #symbrachydactyly ♬ original sound – percy

As the trend went viral, it also gained a very specific fanbase in anime fandom. The Bungo Stray Dogs character Dazai is known for his expressive hands, so Dazai cosplayers were quick to replicate the trend, with one TikToker garnering an impressive 16 million views.

@nephilim.kos Händs🤎✨ #fyp #cosplay #dazai #dazaiosamu #dazaicosplay #bsd #bungoustraydogs #bsdseason4 #bsdcosplay #c0splay #xyzbca #foryou ♬ original sound – percy
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Basically, the “hand thing” is the quintessential example of something going viral on TikTok purely because it looks cool. It’s vaguely reminiscent of other trends like ASMR hand movements, coupled with the appeal of a dance challenge—and it’s so memorable that it doesn’t even need a name.

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2022, 9:05 am CDT