One of the weirder corners of TikTok escaped containment this week, leaving Twitter users bewildered. Taken from a TikTok livestream, this clip shows a woman robotically licking the air and repeating phrases like “yes yes yes” and “ice cream so good.”
Serenely expressionless when she isn’t uttering a catchphrase or pretending to lick an invisible ice cream, she’s also inexplicably popping individual corn kernels with a hair straightener.
On Twitter, this video inspired comments like “tiktok lives are proof that society is crumbling right in front of our eyes” and “what part of the human brain is this meant to light up.” Most people were deeply confused. Who is this woman? Is she really getting paid for this? Is it some kind of fetish thing?
One of those questions has a simple answer: The clip comes from a live stream by Pinkydoll, a TikTok/Instagram/OnlyFans creator. She posts a variety of content ranging from thirst traps to vlogs about her life and has over 200,000 followers on TikTok.
As for her strange behavior, it’s a more esoteric version of how other TikTokers earn money through live streams.
How TikTok Live works
TikTok Live lets viewers give virtual gifts (i.e. monetary tokens) to streamers, often in exchange for onscreen shout-outs. Attracting comparisons to gambling, this format has faced criticism for allowing kids to spend hundreds of dollars on parasocial relationships with TikTokers.
So in this video, all of Pinkydoll’s reactions—the catchphrases, the licking, the repetitive gestures—are responses to tokens, which appear onscreen like emojis.
For a streamer, the ideal format involves finding something low-effort you can do for a long time, like a repetitive activity or simply reacting to tokens. That probably explains the popcorn thing. Meanwhile, Pinkydoll’s overall persona is shaped around behaving like a videogame NPC, or non-playable character.
What are NPC streamers?
Pinkydoll’s YouTube channel even includes a compilation of “NPC moments,” exhibiting a surreal combination of sexiness and smooth videogame character body language. The vibe here is Uncanny Valley, but vaguely horny.
These models combine e-girl waifu aesthetics with the appeal of a serene, pre-programmed avatar with no real autonomy. It’s arguably a crossover point between OnlyFans and VTube, pitched to be SFW enough to function on TikTok. A pretty specific niche, but clearly enough people are into it for women like Pinkydoll to turn a profit.