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The “Back In The Day” TikTok Trend Gives Creators A Blast From The Past

Do you ever stop and recall people, places, or memories from your past, and suddenly, you’re hit with a pang of nostalgia? Or, have you ever walked into your hometown bar only to run into your ex unexpectedly, and can’t help but remember the good times you had back in the day? Right now on TikTok, creators are sharing a viral soundbite with the lyrics, “Back in the day, me and you baby…we used to have fun.” The trending sound is being used to highlight everything from nostalgic TV shows to TikTokers’ younger selves, and the results are clever, entertaining, and way too relatable. Here’s what you need to know about the “Back In The Day” TikTok trend and how to try it for yourself.

Last month, TikToker @teqfla posted this video featuring a clip of actor and comedy rapper Kayode Equmi, who you may recognize from the “Roll Safe” meme. In the clip, he performs a freestyle parody rap, which he originally debuted on the BBC Radio 1Xtra3 YouTube channel in 2015 as part of a longer series, where he freestyles over a variety of beats. Around 3:33, Equimi raps: “Back in the day, me and you baby / We used to have fun / Until you deliver that baby / Look, that’s not my son.” Oop.

Not only is the video fun, quirky, and very British, but the video instantly went viral on TikTok, and the accompanying hashtag (#BackInTheDay) has garnered 805 million views and counting. Now, TikTokers are using the “Back In The Day” trend to unlock niche memories, reflect on their younger selves, and capture generally amusing moments in their past. Don’t worry, we’ll get into a few examples, and don’t grab your Kleenex just yet — this trend is way more about lighthearted humor than taking a sappy walk down memory lane.

It’s no secret that Gen Z constantly yearns for the past, and for some TikTokers, the “Back In The Day” trend is giving them a chance to bring back the things they once held dear. TikToker Siobhan Awad’s version says, “Did anyone else have these?” and reveals a photo of plastic princess slippers from the 90s (IYKYK), and creator @sabrrtooth fondly remembers the 20Q game (talk about real “fun” back in the day). Others are recalling cringey memories, like @mondayhaircare, who says, “Throwback to 2010 when I used a clothes iron on my hair” and TikToker @niaassimone, who just wants to reunite with the girls from the viral “sausage rap” video. I particularly appreciate this video from @dutchdeccc, whose version is an ode to Dragon Tales, Zoboomafoo, and other nostalgic TV shows. The caption reads: “The hold that Sagwa had on me.” 

The goal of the “Back In The Day” TikTok trend is to use this trending audio to show off a memory you just unlocked — and to execute it in a preferably clever way. For some TikTokers, this means connecting with — or laughing about — a younger version of themselves. Creator @cachebisasor’s version says, “Trying to reconnect with the ‘me’ who woke up at 7 a.m., read for pleasure, took multiple AP courses at once, joined 6+ clubs, and actually socialized.” Seriously, though, who has the time? TikToker @hotpinksunrise can’t believe she used to wake up at 5 a.m. and meditate daily, and @brookelilybrazelton says, “Trying to reconnect with my 20-year-old self who didn’t get ready for bed at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night.” As someone in her late twenties, this is way too real.

If you don’t feel like reminiscing about ’90s trends or reflecting on your younger self, fear not — the “Back In The Day” trend offers lots of room for creativity and interpretation. For example, @hannahvictoriarose’s version says, “When you’ve most definitely passed the honeymoon phase at your new job” (alas, it used to be fun) and @justeen.irl’s video says “When you get together with your high school bestie and have nothing in common anymore” so you just end up talking about the past (sigh). If you love musical theater, you’ll appreciate this Frozen-themed version from @courtneyjademonsma, and if you’re home for the holidays right now, this one from @justeen.irl about running into your sneaky link will make you smile. Remember, TikTok is the ultimate place to loosen up and flex your humor, so if you have a joke to crack, this trend might be the perfect opportunity for you.

To hop on the “Back In The Day” TikTok trend, be sure to use the trending audio, add text overlay and a witty caption presenting your idea, and post with the optional hashtag #BackInTheDay. Whether you miss your childhood friend or you desperately need to ask your professor for a recommendation letter and are trying to remind them about your stellar work “back in the day,” this TikTok trend is for you. Enjoy yourself and let me know what you create. After all, it’s never too late to have some fun.

Tianna was an Associate Editor at Her Campus Media HQ where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, wellness, and TikTok trends. She graduated from North Carolina State University and received her masters from Columbia University. Tianna currently lives in New York City where you can find her sipping coffee, practicing yoga, and singing show tunes.