TikTok Reflects 2021 in This Viral Trend

The closest to wholesome we might get on TikTok.
By Savannah Moss
Image: @Juhcobo | TikTok

2021 has been quite the year. With Covid-19, the January riots that kicked off the year, high-profile trials, and many more, people are taking the last few days of 2021 to look back on the year, the good and the bad. On TikTok, the hashtag #2021recap has 318 million views with thousands of videos of people putting together their memories of the year, helping people look back on this past year but also sprout excitement for the upcoming year.

The trend

Because it’s TikTok, the trend does not only look back on highlights of the year, it uses a specific trend. People are putting as many photos or videos as possible in a video and syncing them to the song, so the photos flash with the beat. Both influencers and regular creators have jumped on the trend, hopeful to look at the happy memories of this past year.


Thank you 2021 ✨ #2021recap #MakeABunchHappen #HangUpOnIt #ThanksandGiving #bestnememories

♬ original sound – duc.newyen

One popular sound people are using on TikTok is a mashup of Bruno Mars and Adele, giving it both upbeat but melancholic soundtrack to their 2021 memories.


so much life lived <3 #2021recap

♬ som original – luiza



♬ Jr Stit x bruno mars x adele – Margaux_lbt

Watch out though, the trend can give some people fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. Some comments on these trends tend to resemble this, as people note that they wish their lives could look like this or how “aesthetic” someone’s life looks.


My 2021 recap #tiktokrecap #recap2021 #diytiktok #wrapped #winteroutfit

♬ Jr Stit x bruno mars x adele – Margaux_lbt


One user used the trend to look back on all 85 dresses they made, which was a pretty impressive number. Others used the trend to take a moment to show a real and raw look into their life, showing not just their happiest highlights but also some of their lows, encouraging others that it is okay to be vulnerable and do not have a completely “aesthetic” life. One influencer used the video to show her highlights, but was sure to mention to take the videos with a grain of salt, as though the video looks like she had the best year of her life, she notes that “the reality is very different.”


Can’t wait for this sh*t to be over tbf #2021recap

♬ original sound – Anna Šulcová

All in all, many were happy to use the trend to look back and remember their year, though the trend may be a bit misleading and might fool some to believe that everyone had a great year except for them.