TikTok trends and dances 2020-2021: a look back at the iconic social media sensations

Bet you forgot about dalgona coffee

tiktok trends 2020 and 2021

by Samantha Price |

It's safe to say that TikTok joins the ranks as one of the most popular social media platforms with one billion people on the app and the amount of users growing every single day.

For those of us who remember Vine, the resurgence of an app that showed humanity at its peak got us excited. For so many of us, TikTok has officially taken over as our number one source of entertainment.

Since 2016, the app has witnessed a number of trends go viral; from recipes and dances to make-up hacks and thirst traps, we've well and truly seen it all. To commemorate a rollercoaster of a year, we're looking back at the best TikTok trends we saw in 2020 and 2021.

In 2020 we saw...

When faced with a global pandemic and crippling isolation that the majority of us had never known before, TikTok brought a little bit of joy back into our lives. A recent study revealed that TikTok experienced the largest gain in popularity during lockdown, which makes total sense. For a little bit of nostalgia, here's some of our fave TikTok trends of 2020.

1. "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion

Arguably one of the most iconic dances to come from TikTok, the "WAP" dance saw us all attempting the splits in our living rooms. Thankfully, the clubs weren't open otherwise the dance floor would have been absolute CHAOS.

2. "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion

If you don't remember this one, where even were you during 2020? We immediately got flashbacks to lockdown days as soon as the audio played.

3. "Laxed (Siren Beat)" by Jawsh 685

This dance was so popular that it saw Jason Derulo get involved, even collaborating with Jawsh 685 to create their song "Savage Love" together which samples the original. This one is catchy af.

4. "Lottery (Renegade)" by K Camp

The Renegade dance trend started with 14-year-old Jalaiah Harmon, who went uncredited for some time. However, she now has 2.9m followers on TikTok after being recognised for her choreography. The dance has been recreated countless times, making "Lottery" one of the most danced songs on the app.

5. "Say So" by Doja Cat

Ok, so while this video was posted at the end of December 2019, the trend itself exploded over TikTok in 2020. While it's giving us major nostalgia, "Say So" by Doja Cat remains timeless.

6. It's M to the B

This holds the record as TikTok's most liked video of all time. Blackpool grime artist, Millie B was propelled even further into fame with this trend. With reigning queen of TikTok Bella Poarch sampling the song to her 85m followers, it's clear to see why it became so popular.

7. Wipe It Down

Will Smith, Kira Kosarin and Plastique Tiara are all celebs that perfected this trend. To nail the Wipe It Down challenge, it meant getting the transition clean, which these celebs got spot on.

8. And It Went Like

Here we see Charli D'Amelio parodying one of the most well known trends of 2020. This usually consisted of a montage of people's trips, relationships and other TikTok worthy montage moments to post on their grids.

9. You Have To Stop

Wanted to give your TikTok followers some friendly advice? Then this was the one for you. Nev Schulman from Catfish weighed in with his take, and we couldn't get enough.

10. Dalgona Coffee

Who could forget this sensation that took TikTok by storm? Dalgona coffee went viral EVERYWHERE, and for all the right reasons. For those lucky enough to try the trend, it very quickly became their new fave drink. Those were the days when we actually had time to make all of the Korean beverages we wanted. Ah, 2020.

Check out: The Influencer Series - stars who have spilled the tea on their career

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During our chat with Anna Vakili she opened up about what she does every day, why Instagram is not fun anymore and how she gained 30k followers BEFORE Love Island.

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In 2021 we saw...

This year there was an official end to lockdown, which could have seen the interest in TikTok disappear with our once again thriving social lives. This wasn't the case though, with the app proving it was here to stay. 2021 consisted of the ever popular dance videos, as well as an emphasis on our beloved pets.

1. "Alors On Danse" by Stromae

This dance challenge is a nice little chill one, so if you're wanting to jump on the dance trend on TikTok, this might be a good one to start with tbh. With over 21.4m likes, it's definitely not one to be scoffed at though.

2. "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind, Fire

Throwback to an absolute classic that even saw construction workers do a synchronised dance to this routine that nearly got them fired. But here's the OG, which is just as iconic.

3. "Linda and Heather" by Liv and Maddie

A cute dance routine that even Kourtney Kardashian recreated with her daughter Penelope. With the original audio coming from the show Liv and Maddie on Disney channel, it makes the trend all that more adorable tbh.

4. "Might Be" by DJ Luke Nasty

This one was super simple to follow, so if trying to do the routine to "WAP" had you at risk of an injury, this one should be relatively safe. Although, it did somehow leave one TikTok user falling into the bath. Amazing.

5. "Cognac Queen" by Megan Thee Stallion

Another viral dance that became a 2021 sensation, with the routine even inspiring memes that were all too relatable.

6. Bark At Your Dog

One of the most recent trends to come out of TikTok is the "bark at your dog" challenge, which is pretty self explanatory, but some of these reactions have us howling.

7. Here Comes The Boy

An unexpected viral sensation saw "Here Comes The Boy" all over socials, with TikTok users even orchestrating a classical piece of music over the vocals. What a masterpiece. Plus, it meant we got to see lots of cute cats.

8. The Versailles Run

This trend became so popular, that even when people weren't able to use the official filter, they recreated their own. There were three main songs used for this one but "Love Game (Remix)" by Lady Gaga and "Roman's Revenge" by Nicki Minaj were the most commonly used ones. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, showstopping.

9. Mama Said That It Was Ok

Mama said that it was quite alright. Even Taylor Swift got involved with this trend, hailing the queen of country music, Shania Twain.

10. Good Soup

This audio has been absolutely everywhere this year from TikTok to Instagram, and we're living for it. It originates from TV show "Girls", where Adam Driver has some soup that's really good. It's been used in a number of wild contexts which gives us major Vine energy.

When we caught up with TikTok and YouTube star Olivia Neill she opened up about the best content to post on the social media platform.

"A lot of my friends and I always find TikToks that you put little effort in to always do the best I'm still trying to figure out the Tiktok algorithm.

"I’m always scrolling on my TikTok For You Page so I feel like I've kept pretty much up to date with the trends and I like to partake in most of them.

"A lot of TikToks are very little effort, one take wonders kind of thing, but I find fashion TikToks quite long and the most effort to film."

She added, "My favourite to film are definitely transition TikToks, they’re so fun!"

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