Why are TikTok users pretending to scream at random strangers?

TikTok’s new obsession is “fake screaming” behind people. The popular prank is almost like a next-level photobombing. 

The name of the trend is fairly self-explanatory. People stand behind a person and gesture as if they’re screaming but there’s no sound. The social game first sprang up in February but has recently gained traction this September. 

What is the “fake screaming behind people” TikTok trend

In the challenge, TikTokers pretend to scream behind a stranger, friend or loved one without the person realizing it. The trend took off when user @alejwho posted the video that sparked the game on February 3. 

Although @alejwho removed the original video he re-uploaded it in September with the caption, “what started it all.” In the clip, he had a smiley, warm conversation with his mother in the kitchen. But when she turned around he opened his mouth wide as if to menacingly scream at her. Of course, he was totally silent. 

“You’re doing something funny on the camera?” the mom asked when she turned around.

“What?” he responded, playing coy. 

He continued the prank when he fake screamed behind a woman at a baseball game. In this version, he used the theme song from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The sound would then be used by other TikTokers in subsequent videos of the trend. 

Examples of the “fake screaming” trend on TikTok

TikToker Tyson Kaiser boldly managed to pull the prank off on his teacher in the middle of class

“And they all never suspected a thing,” Charles Gatewood said after doing the challenge to several women at a party

Sedona Prince and a friend did it to strangers at a football game. However, one of them managed to notice

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