“Is Gen Z okay?” one Twitter user asked, posting screenshots of TikTok comments from both factions. On one side, a user wrote, “Warning: Lana Del Rey died on the cross for you because she loves you. Turn to Lana Del Rey before it’s too late.” On the other, a user wrote: “Join the hamster cult. We love God and Jesus. We don’t burn bibles or mock people. Spread the word.”
The hamster cult is full of Lana Del Rey haters.
We previously reported on the rise of the Lana cult, a group of Lana Del Rey devotees professing their love for the controversial pop star ahead of the release of her seventh studio album “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” on March 19, 2021.
(Lana’s latest controversy? After being called out over the lack of diversity in the 11 people on her album cover, the singer said her “best friends are rappers” and her “boyfriends have been rappers” and that she has “always been extremely inclusive without even trying to,” per People.)
Now, a hamster cult has risen to counter the Lana cult. “If you don’t know what the hamster cult is, it’s a TikTok cult of hamsters and the mascot is the ‘Staring Hamster’ meme,” Twitter user @walterhastalent explained on Saturday, Feb. 20. “Basically we hate Lana Del Rey, and it’s a TikTok war. So join the hamster cult today!”
@walterhastalent also posted a video showing their legions of followers, many of whom have the same hamster as their profile pic. “304 hamsters,” they wrote in the caption. “Thank you for 304 hamsters. I literally went from 16 followers to this.”
Now, hamster PFPs are all over TikTok and other social media platforms.
If you see the Staring Hamster as a TikTok user’s profile pic — or “PFP,” as the kids say — you’re probably looking at a hamster cult member. (That meme, by the way, seems to have originated with TikTok user @beanboy22, who included the staring hamster in a re-creation of a scene from the web series The Real Bros of Simi Valley, according to Know Your Meme.)
And yes, other outsiders are just as mystified by this TikTok craze as we are. “Piper, my 10-year-old cousin, joined the hamster cult on TikTok and freaked my aunt out, so I just had to do 30 minutes of research to find out it’s a bunch of bored kids with hamsters,” one Twitter user wrote. “Piper tells me she wanted to be part of something bigger than herself.”
Some people, meanwhile, are trying the two cults on for size. “I joined the hamster cult for a short time,” another Twitter user quipped. “Kinda boring. They did have great refreshments at meeting, though. 2 out of 5 stars, as far as cults go. Joining the Lana Del Rey cult next.”