There are few things on TikTok that make sense to everyone, but sometimes, a meme goes viral on TikTok that is so niche that many users find themselves confused. The City Boy meme that has become so popular on TikTok is just the latest example of this obscure trend, and while many on TikTok have enjoyed the meme, others have found the entire thing to be a bit confusing.
What does City Boy mean on TikTok?
The City Boy trend refers to a scene from the animated series Gravity Falls in which the character Deputy Durland yells "City boy! City boy!" at a character named Dipper.
In its present context on TikTok, the scene is being used to reference the slang term City Boy, which refers to men who don't let women get in the way of their success.
According to the top-voted definition on Urban Dictionary, City Boy's are a driven group. The site defines the term as "a male who is living his very best life and chasing the bag at all times without letting hot girls or any female get in the way."
While the term may have positive connotations for some, it's also been used to describe stories in which a woman was devoted to a man who left her high and dry.
The term has been popularized by an Instagram account.
The Instagram account @cityboys has made the term more popular in part by sharing stories of men who behaved coldly to women because they were more interested in their own success.
In June of 2022, TikTok users began to call out City Boys as a kind of man that often displays toxic behavior towards women. The term has also been used for clips to shows like Love Island as a form of judgment on some of the men on the show.
Although plenty of men may prioritize their success, being a City Boy is clearly not a good thing, and not something that most men should aspire to.
It's unclear exactly where the term originated, although the clip from Gravity Falls was using the term very differently. That clip has just been appropriated so it can be used as a part of this trend, which calls out men that some view as toxic.
City Boys are not the first strange terminology to pop up on TikTok.
Although platforms like TikTok are connected to the real world, they often develop totally unique forms of language that barely exist outside of the platform. City Boy is just the latest example of term that means one thing in most settings, and something entirely different on TikTok.
Words like Krissed and Kaw have become popular on TikTok in the past, and many people required some sort of explanation to understand what they actually described. It shouldn't be that surprising, then, that a term like City Boy might pop up on TikTok and need to be explained to even some of the platform's less plugged in users.