The “Dumb Ways to Die” TikTok Trend Highlights Questionable Safety Decisions

Is your TikTok filled with dumb ways to die while singing about, well, dumb ways to die? Here's the scoop on the trend.

Haylee Thorson - Author

Feb. 22 2023, Published 8:34 p.m. ET

"Dumb Ways to Die" TikTok Trend Explained
Source: YouTube/Dumb Ways to Die

If you’re an avid TikTok user — or just an avid internet user in general — odds are you’ve come across the “Dumb Ways to Die” song at least once. The upbeat yet incredibly morbid tune has been around for an entire decade, and it’s recently kick-started a rather sketchy TikTok trend.

So, what does the “dumb ways to die” TikTok trend entail? Here’s what we know.

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"Dumb Ways to Die" TikTok Trend Explained
Source: YouTube/Dumb Ways to Die

The “dumb ways to die” TikTok trend depicts people making questionable safety decisions.

With nearly 250k videos posted using the “Dumb Ways to Die” TikTok audio, it’s clear that these momentary lapses in judgment are not a unique experience.

The latest trend involves users posting clips of themselves in situations that could lead to serious injury (or even death) as the following lyrics play in the background: “dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die!”

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One video with over one million likes shows a man rammed by a longhorn in a very sensitive area. “Talk about hit where it hurts!” @ty_among_animals wrote in his caption.

Another depicts a scuba diver swimming in the ocean, and two sharks charge at them when they start splashing around. “I love this trend but can we also post the after clip,” someone commented on @andriana_marine’s video.

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@b.hilligoss posted another “Dumb Ways to Die” TikTok garnering over 2.5 million likes. The video features a teenage boy pushing his friend in a baby swing, but his foot gets caught on the ground. After his foot gets snagged, he launches out of the swing (effectively breaking it) and lands face-first.

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“You’re supposed to stop the video before he dies,” one user commented followed by a crying-laughing emoji. Another person added, “Can we confirm bro is still alive.”

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The “Dumb Ways to Die” song started as a train safety advertisement.

Did you know the catchy audio used in the “dumb ways to die” TikTok trend started as a way to promote railroad safety? Written in 2013 by Metro — a Melbourne-based rail network in Australia — the song and accompanying cartoon video encourages train passengers to be aware of their surroundings.

The three-minute ad depicts colorful blob-like characters dying in countless careless ways. From poking a stick at a grizzly bear to eating a tube of superglue, each character suffers an unfortunate death while a light-hearted tune plays in the background.

And after coming together (in varying conditions) at the end of the video, a woman’s voice states, “Be safe around trains. A message from Metro.”

With over 250 million views on YouTube, it’s safe to say Metro’s train safety ad performed well.

“I gotta love how a Metro train company decided to make a song for people to be more aware near train tracks and metro lines and ended up creating one of the greatest bangers on YouTube and the internet,” one viewer commented. Another added, “If I die in a very stupid way, I will have this played at my funeral.”

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