It’s happened to all of us. You watch a video on TikTok that leaves you beyond confused. Perhaps you watch it again to try and grasp it. But before you know it, you're deep in the comment section searching for your answer. Usually, you’ll find clarity. But other times, it will remain a mystery — and the comments will perplex you even more.
Today we dive into a rather obscure conundrum: What on earth is "the hiccup effect"?
What is the hiccup effect? An investigation.
Our mystery begins here. A creator named Steven (@stevenisanonymous) shared a TikTok where he is seen mouthing along the words to MIKA's “Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)." His caption reads "throwback" and nothing else.
While you can use any audio on TikTok, most videos that use that specific clip from "Big Girls (You Are Beautiful)" are plus-size influencers celebrating their bodies. Steven doesn't seem to fit into that category, but perhaps he's showing his support for women with larger bodies.
That aside, the comment section is what captures our attention as there's talk of hiccups. Hiccups? Who hiccuped?
"The hiccup effect," commented one user. Thousands of people liked the comment.
While thousands of people liked the comment, others responded with confusion. One user wrote: "BRO WHATS THE HICCUP EFFECT."
The bewilderment was real.
In fact, TikTok creator Nikki D'Elia (@sweetnik11) dedicated an entire video to finding out what people meant when they wrote about the hiccup effect in the comment section of Steven's video.
The good news is that folks did actually weigh in on what they believed the hiccup effect to be in relation to Steven. The bad news is that everyone seemed to have a different definition. Let's see what they said.
The hiccup effect refers to ... Hiccup from 'How to Train Your Dragon'?
A handful of folks believed that the hiccup effect was just a way to note that Steven looked like the character Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon. Given the photo below of Hiccup, we definitely see the resemblance.
The hiccup effect is ... a glow-up?
One user shared another possible definition. Perhaps the hiccup effect refers to a glow-up?
While that thought might seem a little far-fetched as Steven doesn't show any type of transformation in his video, there is some truth to it. If you take a look at Steven's page, you'll see that he did have a glow-up during his teenage years. Could the hiccup effect comments be referring to that?
The hiccup effect means ..."lil feminine, slightest bit dweeby..."?
Last but not least, could the hiccup effect relate to Steven's identity? One user poses that the hiccup effect refers to a man who is a "lil feminine, slightest bit dweeby, looks like he'd have one of those cord bracelets and reads the Magic Tree House series." This seems like a very niche label, but at the same time: Doesn't everything on TikTok?
So there you have it. Those are three possible meanings of the hiccup effect as told by TikTok. In conclusion, there is no conclusion other than this: There must have been a hiccup in defining this effect.