We’re "Side-Eyeing" You If You Aren't Into the Latest TikTok Trend

Elizabeth Randolph - Author
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Mar. 14 2023, Published 2:20 p.m. ET

If there's one thing TikTok-holics will do, they will create a viral trend out of anything that seems amusing, even if it has been a thing forever. Take the app’s “Side-Eye” trend that has been buzzing lately.

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The “side-eye” has often been used to let your face talk for you. However, a user went viral for saying the same phrase. What does side-eye mean on TikTok? Let’s find out!

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What does side-eye mean? TikTok, prepare to not be surprised.

While we would love to be the ones to share that there’s a new meaning to the term “side-eye,” we would be lying if we did. Side-eye has the exact definition on TikTok as anywhere else, including the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, a “side-eye” is “a sidelong glance or gaze especially when expressing scorn, suspicion, disapproval, or veiled curiosity.”

The gesture may not be new to anyone who knows how to read someone down, but TikTok amplified it after a recent Live video surfaced on the platform. The Side-Eye TikTok trend reportedly began in January 2023 after a user, Cynthia Mmasi, went live with her followers and repeated the words “side eye” in two different tones.

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Other users appreciated Cynthia’s interpretation of side-eye after one of her fans reposted her live on YouTube Shorts. Since then, over 1 billion TikTok subscribers have used Cynthia’s video audio to describe other side-eye-worthy situations. However, user @lmfaomal’s video of her adding “Bombastic Side-Eye, Criminal Offensive Side-Eye” catapulted the trend even further.

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@lmfaomal’s video reportedly received over 9 million views after the user posted it. The video isn’t on @lmfaomal’s TikTok account, but several fans have reposted it on their profiles. Like the original, the video has formed a life of its own and has been lip-synced and “POV’d” profusely.

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Who is Cynthia Mmasi? The Tiktoker started the “side-eye” trend.

Like most TikTokers who go viral from one or two videos, Cynthia Mmasi lived her best small-content-creator life before her voice began circulating everywhere.

Per her account, the 19-year-old influencer lives an everyday existence, including hanging out with her friends, responding to other voiceover trends, and dancing in the bathroom. Cynthia also enjoys updating her followers on her latest hairstyle or any other musing that comes to her mind. Also, Cynthia proudly represents her Nigerian/Jamaican ethnicity in her TikTok bio.

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Her account doesn't have any updates on the “side-eye” TikTok trend or her thoughts on the sound’s success. Users like Jonna Hamilton won’t let her forget she was and will always be the original. In February 2023, Jonna credited Cynthia on TikTok for being the first to say the sound that billions of people have followed.

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