Meet TikTok’s new dance partner, ‘Horace’

TikTok users can’t get enough of the app’s “Horace” filter, which displays a small, bug-eyed cartoon man who loves dancing. Each video shared with Horace shows him performing his smoothest dance moves, appearing to move along to the beat of whatever song the user chooses.

Horace’s unusual and distinct appearance is endearing to TikTokers. The latest #Horace TikTok trend involves using the AI filter as a dance partner to portray silly scenarios — usually to the song “Feel No Ways” by Drake.

TikToker @fionamichelle__ shared this video to depict a scene of her dancing at a bar, comparing Horace to men who won’t leave her alone after allowing them to buy her drinks.

@fionamichelle__

I dont even want the drink no more

♬ Feel No Ways – Drake

“I don’t even want the drink no more,” she wrote in the caption.

“And they be that height dancing just like that too,” a TikToker commented.

TikTok user @bish.i.am.heather posted another viral video featuring the A.I. filter. The caption reads, “My cousin and I, when we were little, performing the dance we choreographed for our moms so they would let us have a sleepover.”

“Omg, I thought me and my cousin were the only ones to do this! Never an original experience,” someone wrote.

“You got that synced up so good,” another said, admiring the TikToker’s dedication to learning Horace’s dance.

Who is Horace, and how was he made?

According to Insider, a 23-year-old artist, Jackson Quinn Gray, created Horace through a 3D modeling application. Gray told Insider that the inspiration for Horace was an older man who modeled for his sculpting classes. He first made the A.I. filter for Facebook and Instagram, hoping that more people would be able to interact with his artwork.

After testing the filter on Facebook and Instagram, Gray saw that many found humor in Horace’s mannerisms by setting his dancing to music. Unfortunately, the fun was short-lived, as Facebook removed the filter from its platforms in Spring 2020 as the cartoon man’s lack of clothing violated content policies.

Gray posted his statement about Facebook’s removal of Horace on his Instagram.

“Horace is a simple and pure character — he represents fun, lightheartedness, and joy. He just wants to live life and have a good time, and his removal on the grounds of nudity is not only disappointing but excessively stringent,” Gray wrote. “I’m not surprised it happened, but I am sad it did.”

The beginning of “Horacetok”

Gray immediately sought to revive Horace’s social media presence to fight censorship. Shortly after Facebook removed the Horace filter, Gray added clothing to his body and provided the character with a new backstory that protests the company’s leaders.

In April 2022, Gray announced that the Horace filter would come to TikTok. Gray’s followers were ecstatic about the “Horacetok” news.

“HORACE STANS UNITE,” an Instagram user commented.

The #Horace TikTok trend continues

While Horace may have endured rough beginnings, TikTokers provide him with a new life and legacy on the short-form video app. TikTok creators are fulfilling Gray’s vision for Horace to represent living life and having a good time as they continue to use his presence in lighthearted memes and wholesome videos.

@miskimoo

in my room in my mirror for what #fyp #siblings

♬ Feel No Ways – Drake

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