to be love is to be changed

What Is The 'To Be Loved Is To Be Changed' Trend? How To Join The TikTok Trend And The Phrase Meaning Explained

“Nostalgia” is the word we use whenever we see something from our past that is so special. Even after years or decades, the realization that your love still holds as strong as ever fills your heart with joy and tenderness.

A viral tweet from February 2023 tried to encapsulate this "nostalgia" feeling by commenting on before-and-after pictures of a well-loved stuffed animal using the phrase To be loved is to be changed.

The quote soon spread widely on TikTok, inspiring people to show how love changed their pet's life for the better. We'll explain how the trend started in this article.

What Is The 'To Be Loved Is To Be Changed' Trend?

"To be loved is to be changed" is a phrase used by X user @tacticalcoqette as a response to a tweet showing before-and-after images of a stuffed sheep toy, with the "after" picture showing it withered and dirty. The user replied with "Just the right amount :) to be loved is to be changed," gaining over 1,100 retweets and 6,800 likes in less than a week (full exchange shown below).

04:49 Persephone @steviaplath 1d "too much love" 41 virginia grown @tacticalcoqette 2,637 Tweet your reply Replying to @steviaplath Just the right amount :) to be loved is to be changed Q 23.9K 1 ... ...

A few days later, on February 20th, 2023, X user @muttzone posted a picture that applied the quote to the Well-loved Garfield Plush, gaining over 30,000 retweets and 189,000 likes in three days (shown below, left). On February 22nd, X user @MrFishtopher, an X account dedicated to a cat, posted before-and-after pictures of the account's cat with the caption, gaining over 22,000 retweets and 196,000 likes in one day (shown below, right)

To be loved Is to be changed Fishtopher the Cat @mrfishtopher to be loved is to be changed ALT 4:18 PM. Feb 22, 2023 5.7M Views ALT ...

Why Are People Posting Before-And-After Pictures Of Pets On TikTok Using The 'To Be Loved Is To Be Changed' Phrase?

In early October 2023, the trend became very popular with pet owners on TikTok, inspiring them to share how their animals are currently after they were adopted or saved from an abusive situation. For example, on October 3rd, 2023, TikTok user @ichysmom posted the moment they adopted their cat Ichabod (shown below, left) and how he is now (shown below, right). The post amassed more than 4 million plays and 992,000 likes in three days.

oh to be loved... Ichabod 2 Je ichysmom is to be changed. @ichysmom

How People Reacted To The Trend On TikTok?

The wholesome and emotional aspect of the trend also inspired ironic videos on TikTok. For instance, on October 4th, TikTok user @kortcrux111 posted a video crying about all of the pet content she was seeing in the trend (shown below, left), garnering over 1.2 million plays and 329,000 likes in a day. The same day, TikTok user @emmwee also posted a video crying with the overlay text saying "This trend is making me cry my eyes out." The post (shown below, right) amassed roughly 54,000 likes in a day.


♬ original sound – gosiahballer

♬ original sound – gosiahballer

For the full history of the phrase "To be loved is to be changed," be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.

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