NPC Streaming, also known as NPC Trend, is a type of TikTok LIVE stream in which the streamer acts or is perceived as acting like a video game NPC by mimicking idle animations, only saying something or performing a specific action when gifted, the action or phrase changing depending on the gift. The streams began to increase in virality throughout 2022 and were popularized by TikTokers like Natuecoco, notably going viral across Twitter and other platforms in July 2023 when TikToker Pinkydoll's videos gained widespread attention.
One of the earliest known TikTok Live streamers to do NPC streams is @natuecoco, a Japanese TikToker. During her livestreams, she often acts like a video game NPC by lightly bouncing or performing what looks like an "idle animation," only reacting when she's given a gift. On February 4th, 2022, TikToker Satoyu0704, also known as the Ohio Final Boss, posted a video that showed a screen recording of a collab Live between him and Natuecoco in which they pretended to be NPCs and battled for prizes (shown below, left). She continued to do lives like this throughout the year and TikTokers began referring to her as an NPC. For example, on November 22nd, 2022, TikToker @bobbysie posted a clip calling her an NPC that gained over 2.5 million views in eight months (shown below, right).
@satoyu727 @natuecoco ♬ オリジナル楽曲 – さとゆ(^↓^) – SATOYU地上最強
Btw i love ohio final boss and queen
NPC streams became increasingly popularized throughout 2023 as more TikTokers started going live as NPCs and people described them as such elsewhere on social media. On April 7th, 2023, TikToker and YouTuber Pinkydoll posted a compilation of herself doing NPC streams to YouTube, garnering over 27,000 views in three months (shown below).
Throughout May and June 2023, numerous clips of TikToker and content creator Cherry Crush (@cherrycrush_tv) on TikTok LIVE acting like an NPC and performing various actions when gifted were uploaded to TikTok (examples from May 20th and June 7th shown below, respectively).
@sierrasamz_ SHE SAID SHE WOULD SAY UWU IN A CUTE VOICE IF SHE GOT GALAXY… #cherrycrush_tv #uwu #fyp #fypviralシ ♬ original sound – Sierra (Mels version 🫀🗣️🎶)
@anialdn This is so cringe i cannot🤯 #cherrycrushtv #cherrycrush #tvshow #fyp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #fypage #tiktokdaily #cringe #wth #wtfmoments ♬ original sound – Ann
In mid-July 2023, videos of TikToker @pinkydoll and other TikTokers acting like NPCs, including Cherry Crush and @shu_.tiktok (who cosplays as a living doll in her NPC streams) started to go viral on TikTok and Twitter, with some criticizing the streams. For example, on July 12th, Twitter user @MarloMoneyLong posted a video of Pinkydoll, writing, "😕 I’ve never been more confused in my entire life dawg……," garnering over 17,200 likes in a day (shown below).
😕 i’ve never been more confused in my entire life dawg…… pic.twitter.com/Y43gcySN1k
— God’s Child (@MarloMoneyLong) July 12, 2023
NPC Streaming Brazilian Version
While there were many Brazilian creators doing the NPC streaming trend throughout early 2023, it was only in September of the same year that the trend became a phenomenon, in which Brazilians started to create their own version of NPCs, focused on local symbolism and native subcultures. For instance, on September 12th, 2023, Tiktoker @yazawanico8 recorded part of a live NPC stream of a Brazilian asking for donations for him to buy the cheapest alcoholic drinks (cachaça and corote). The video (shown below, left) amassed over 834,000 plays and 76,000 likes in two days. On September 13th, 2023, TikToker @jedinizm made her grandmother joint the NPC streaming trend (shown below, right), which garnered more than 166,000 plays and 18,000 likes in a day.
@jedinizm Ela ganhou mais do que no b1ng0 #jedinizm ♬ som original – Jessica Diniz
@taehyung.yoongii Imagine you do this for a living 💀 #foryou #tiktoklive #npc #live #anime #foryoupage #weeb #helpmeplease ♬ original sound – Chimmy
@darklifebycj you have to be dumb to donate to her 😭 #foryou #npc #live #smh #wtf #ban #explore ♬ original sound – baby bandit