Three images of side eye examples from TikTok.

What Is 'Bombastic Side Eye?' The TikTok Trend Explained

Chances are you've most likely seen TikTok's newest trend, the Bombastic Side Eye. That sidelong look, glance or gaze you use to say something to a friend or foe, almost telepathically, was translated into the digital realms of social media in January 2023.

Human beings have been using the side eye forever, and most likely you have been on both ends of the gesture. Let's investigate how this common behavior evolved until it took TikTok users worldwide by storm.

@callmeangelbabe Side eye πŸ’€ #shelanda #sideye #queenshelanda #icon #shelendaisthemoment ♬ original sound

What Is The Side Eye TikTok Trend?

Sometime in January 2023, TikToker cynthiammasi posted a video skit repeatedly saying "said eyes, side eyes" in different tones. The original video in which the creator says the phrase was deleted on the platform but was reshared on YouTube Shorts by user @clipsmatic6583 on February 8th, 2023:

The video became a viral sound on TikTok, inspiring users to lip-sync to the lyrics while moving their eyes. Such success inspired a new version of the phrase, created by @lmfaomal in January. In her video, she augments the "side eye" trend and adds the catchphrase "Bombastic side eye, criminal offensive side eye." This new version received a Vine "boom" sound effect in early February, inspiring 366,300 other vΓ­deos on the platform.

@whatareyoulookingatbabs Replying to @mars πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€ ♬ LMAO THE VIDS – ✨ ILikePotatosOnCheese ✨

How Is The Side Eye TikTok Trend Done?

As the sound started to appear in almost everyone's For You page on TikTok, content like lip dub videos and animations became the main format of the side eye trend, with the sound being used to express people's disapproval for a specific behavior as they lip-sync the words of the audio. One of the most popular usages of the sound was posted by @iheavenli on March, in which she edits the sound to sync with a Barbie movie fish doing a side eye gesture; the video amassed 37 million plays and 10 million likes.

@iheavenli side eye.. πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€ #bombasticsideeye #criminaloffensivesideeye #sideeye #foryou ♬ LMAO THE VIDS – ✨ ILikePotatosOnCheese ✨

The sound became so popular that it was turned into a real-life slang term among teens. In order to do the trend itself, you'll just need to pair it with the right audio of the catchphrase and come up with a creative thing to side-eye at.

@mr.prada44 #fyp ♬ original sound

Where Did The Side Eye Gesture Come From?

The side eye expression is used to communicate several things, such as "suspicion, scorn, annoyance, jealousy, veiled curiosity." The American dictionary Merriam-Webster wrote an article explaining the history of the side eye gesture, showing that authors dating back to 1797 have mentioned the expression.

Here we come to what calls for the strongest eye-sight, the most steadfast gazing. Our being in Adam has been looked on with a side-eye. The subject has provoked dislike; I may almost say, contempt. It is now painful to speak of it. -- Remembrancer For Lord's Day Evenings, 19 Mar. 1797

No one knows how this gesture will continue to evolve in the future of social media. In the meantime, share your favorite side-eye videos in the comment section or just keep a side glance if you consider the trend cringe. Our site won't take this personally πŸ‘€.

For the full details on the "side eye TikTok trend," be sure to check out our entry on the meme here for even more information.

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