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The Fake Run, also known as the Glitch Run, is a viral dance challenge that started on TikTok in January 2021. It involves the dancer essentially jumping up and down on one leg while the rest of the body simulates running. It is meant to be seen from the waist up, making it perfect for a viral TikTok video. The trend saw a resurgence in August 2021 using the hashtag "#fakerun."
On January 4th, 2021, TikToker @bustabreezie uploaded the first video of what he called the "Running Glitch" (shown below, left). Until that point, @bustabreezie gained a following on the platform for his dance tutorials, specifically his tutorials on the Pop Smoke, "Woo Walk" dance. @bustabreezie had roughly 700,000 views on his TikTok videos before uploading the "Running Glitch" tutorial. In the days following the upload of the tutorial, his channel received over 2 million views, mostly due to a second, more viral upload of his on January 5th, 2021 (shown below, right), where he responded to a comment from his first video that said, "Running from the police," while wearing a ski mask to replicate what the comment was saying.
On January 16th, 2021, TikToker @loczniki also posted a video of himself doing the fake run (shown below, left), helping to popularize the dance challenge further. He also posted a tutorial video on how to do the run (shown below, right) and received roughly 1 million views and 160,000 likes in one week.
Comparisons between the dance and optics of video game running began to emerge almost immediately, with the most direct comparison being to GTA characters. @bustabreezie and @loczniki both capitalized on this, posting their own mock GTA style running videos (shown below) among other video games, like Counter-Strike, Minecraft and Roblox.
The trend continued into 2021 with the hashtag #fakerun having over roughly 249.2 million views as of August 2021. TikTokers like @bustabreezie claim to have gained roughly 500,000 followers from the challenge itself. He went on to make many more fake running videos, as well as making his fake run into an exploitable green screen for people to make edits out of.
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