People all over TikTok are kissing their best friends. Here’s why

Kiss best friend - TikTok

A new TikTok trend has users surprising their best friends with an unexpected smooch, and viewers can’t get enough.

One of TikTok’s latest trends is urging users to kiss their best friend without warning, resulting in a wide range of reactions. While many of the astonished besties take the kiss in turn — and some even reciprocate — a number are confused and taken aback at the sudden act of affection from their supposedly non-romantic friends. Since its inception, the trend has settled in controversial territory, thanks to dozens of uploads relying on queer baiting to rack up views. A number of users are leaning into the trend in hopes of giving their follower counts a boost, resulting in a split of opinions regarding the trend. While many users see it as an amusing and innocent test of their besties’ reaction, others see it as a thirst trap opportunity.

What is the ‘kissing your best friend’ challenge?

The challenge is exceedingly simple at its core. It simply requires a person to surprise their best friend with an unexpected peck on the lips — though some users take it far more seriously — while filming their reaction. Responses to the unforeseen kiss range drastically, depending on the friend duo and their interest in one another, with some kiss recipients reacting in delight and pleasure and others turning away in confusion or distaste.

Almost all of the videos taking part in the new kissing trend accompany their uploads with a clip from Børns’ “Electric Love.” The slow build toward the song’s chorus suits the trend perfectly, particularly when the kiss is reciprocal.

The majority of videos participating in the trend see friends of two different genders share a smooch. These often feel, upon watching, like simple couple videos, as the hetero pairings typically react with delight at the display of affection. In rare cases, the recipient will react in shock or dismay, but the vast majority of said interactions end with reciprocal necking. A few scattered entries see friends of the same gender try their hand at the trend, but many of these were seen by viewers as little more than queer baiting.

Why is it controversial?

There are two main factors behind the trend’s controversial status. While some of the same-gendered pairings are genuinely participating in the trend, many feel more like a performance. The kisses shared between, in particular, two female besties tend to be theatrical and sensual to a degree that makes little sense for a trend of this kind. If these women really are friends, and one of them was truly surprised by the kiss, it seems hard to believe the interaction immediately escalated to a make-out. Instead, chances are far better that the pair stumbled across the trend and decided, as a duo, to lure some viewers in through a sexual display.

Accusations of queer baiting litter the comment sections of uploads of this type. Viewers are unamused with the attempts at a baited thirst trap, and let creators know in no uncertain terms.

The second factor behind the ‘kissing your best friend’ trend’s controversial status regards the lack of consent. Most of the videos that made it onto TikTok show pleased reactions from the kiss recipients, but many viewers couldn’t get past the idea of kissing someone without their permission. They called out creators participating in the trend for celebrating something that relies on a lack of consent and dragged the trend as a whole.

In general, the trend appears to be thoroughly innocent. The small bursts of controversy are typically aimed at specific videos, rather than the challenge as a whole, leaving the “kissing your best friend” challenge to continue its current domination of TikTok.