Acting is a job.

Our childhoods were filled with laughter as we watched our favorite Disney and Nickelodeon sitcoms daily. However, as we grew up, so did our favorite child actors, but many of us have a difficult time separating the character from the actor – at the end of the day acting is a job. 

In a new TikTok trend, former child actors are revealing their grown-up selves and exposing their true thoughts on their TV characters.

How Did it Start?

The trend originated from former Disney star Coco Jones’s YouTube livestream. Jones made multiple appearances on Disney shows such as Next Big Thing, So Random!, and Let It Shine. Like many other former Disney stars, Jones explained the ups and downs of being a part of the Disney business in her livestream. She describes how Disney gave her a big break by casting her in the movie Let It Shine, but in regards to her music, she had little creative freedom as they controlled how she acted and what songs she was allowed to sing – only for it to all be taken away from her.

After her livestream, a TikTok user made her quote – “Hi guys didida! Yes I did that and you would do it too for a check” – into a TikTok sound.

@danielleonkit

#newsound#fyp#foryou#cocojones#disney#letitshine#10SecondsVs#GonnaKnow#funny

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

Who Hopped Onto This Trend?

Inspired by Coco Jones, many other child stars are using this sound to allow people to see them as themselves – not their character.

One notable TikTok was made by Addison Riecke who played Nora Thunderman on Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans. 

@addisonelizabethriecke

i wasn’t gonna make a thundermans related tiktok but 🤠

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

Riecke’s character was known for her big bows and personality; however, in the TikTok, fans could barely recognize the actress. She is seen with ombre hair and dark eyeliner, which contradicts the flowery and pink dresses she wore on the show.

Another child star that criticized her TV fashion was China Anne McClain from Disney’s ANT Farm. Although McClain has remained with Disney as she plays Uma in Descendants, she criticizes the costumes she wore on ANT Farm.

@chinamcclain

#lol periodt

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

 

Other stars are using this trend to make light of their failures such as Fred. Fred is a YouTube personality that made many appearances on Nickelodeon in the 2010s. After taking a break from his Fred persona, Fred recently made a comeback on TikTok. 

Using this trend, Fred shows the poster for his movie with 0% on the tomatometer – explaining that he did this “bad” movie for money.

@heyitsfred

i did it for the bag period #greenscreenvideo #fredthemovie

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

Even though many have focused on the lows of their child acting careers, some are taking a different approach with this trend.

Rather than taking shots at his character, Casey Simpson from Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn humorizes his time on Nickelodeon by showing pictures of an episode where he wore a bald cap.

@caseysimpson

we don’t really talk about this

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

Landry Bender who starred in Best Friends Whenever is also not bashing her Disney career. Instead, she took jabs at her role in a cringy Go-Gurt commercial.

@landrylikestiktok

Slurp til it’s flat #greenscreenvideo

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

Similar to Bender, Garrett Clayton is not denouncing his main role as Tanner on Teen Beach Movie, but rather his cameos in Shake It Up and Jessie.

@garrettclayton91

#Jessie #ShakeItUp #trasheater #Waiter #disneychannel lol Your 3rd @ is the Trashatarian

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

Many other stars have joined this trend to boast their glow ups such as the actors who played Stephanie on Lazy Town, Ciara on Knight Squad, and Sue Heck on The Middle.

@chloemaxlang

And that’s on period!! #fyp #LazyTown #BingBang #Stephanie

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

 

 

@who_is_jackie

yes I am Sue Heck. what about it

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

@daniellaperkins

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH 😌 nick-nick-nick-nick-nick-nick NICKELODEON

♬ Coco Jones yes I did that – ariana grindr.

Comparing Child Actors to TikTokers

These TikToks gained a lot of hype as people are shocked by the transformations of the actors we loved as kids. Because we tend to live through the stories and characters we see on our TV screens, sometimes it’s hard to accept that these characters are fictional.

But is everything we see on our screens fake? 

TikTok has allowed a whole new generation of celebrities and stars to prosper and although they may use their real names, are they also playing a role to make a living? 

Social media is becoming a career for many teenagers – just like acting. To maintain stable careers, how much of their lives are staged like a TV show or movie to draw public attention to their seemingly interesting lives?