There are plenty of trends on TikTok that are designed to spark joy in the people who watch them. As a platform, TikTok is pretty good at promoting positive content, although that doesn't meant that every trend on the platform is all rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes, a darker, more sinister trend takes over TikTok, and that's exactly why the Huggy Wuggy trend has become so popular on the platform.
What is the Huggy Wuggy TikTok trend?
For years, TikTok users have made videos that feature Huggy Wuggy, a character from the horror video game Poppy Playtime. Poppy Playtime is a survival game in which you play as a human trying to make it out of an abandoned toy factory, and running into a wide variety of terrifying enemies along the way. Huggy Wuggy is one of the more notable villains in the game, and he's inspired an entire universe of fan-made content.
That fan-made content includes the song "Free Hugs," which is about offering someone a hug and then eating them. As the videos have begun to circulate, though, they have also raised alarm bells among some parents and authorities who are concerned that they might be watched by a younger audience.
"There are videos people have made, songs people have made, and it’s popping up all over YouTube and TikTok using this quite graphic imagery of this bear-like character with razor-sharp teeth," Cyber protection officer for Dorset Police in the U.K., Chris Conroy, told The Sun. “It’s based around jump scares and things you certainly wouldn’t want children exposed to.”
The trend has also become popular in schools.
Although the videos can be scary, some of the songs have apparently become quite popular in schools, with students repeating lyrics from fan-made songs about the character to one another. Huggy Wuggy is not confined only to TikTok, though. Videos featuring the character also pop up on YouTube, and while his name may seem fairly innocent, many parents apparently believe him to be much more sinister than he sounds.
“I believe it’s accessible on YouTube and it’s really frightening that this Huggy Wuggy has snuck in under my radar as a parent and infiltrated my child’s mind without me even being aware," one parent said during an interview.
Of course, children get access to all sorts of content their parents might not approve of via the internet.
Huggy Wuggy is uniquely malicious, because it seems videos about the character can get around many of the child protection filters that exist on YouTube. That likely has a lot to do with his name, which makes him sound much more harmless than he actually is.
Parents should always be vigilant about the kinds of content that their children are consuming online, because it plays a huge role in how they evolve and develop as people. Whether Huggy Wuggy is actively dangerous or just inappropriate remains to be seen, but either way, plenty of parents likely don't want their kids to be watching him.