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TikTokers Have “Left The Restaurant” With This Taylor Swift Song Trend

When it comes to storytelling, I think Taylor Swift wins every single time. Her strength as a storyteller also lends itself to trends, like the most recent “left the restaurant” TikTok Trend. Not only is she a mastermind in her own right, but her vulnerability in the lyrics she writes speaks to fans across the globe. Her songs have become important to young women, especially, as her lyrics carry an emotional depth to them that allow fans to feel seen and heard. Sometimes, for the first time in their life.  

From songs like “Never Grow Up (Taylor’s Version)” to “Clean” to “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” Swift has successfully captured life experiences, turned them into moments and given her fans a chance to feel it with her. She’s proven herself as a beacon of not only girlhood, but womanhood. We’ve grown up with her, laughed with her, cried with her and now, we’re leaving the restaurant with her. 

A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through TikTok and multiple videos popped up on my FYP featuring Swift’s evermore song “right where you left me.” Within a matter of days, the video became a trend on SwiftTok and my FYP was filled with creators sharing their stories of “leaving the restaurant” giving a new perspective on the song.  But what does it all mean?

What is the meaning of the “left the restaurant” trend on TikTok? 


no because why did i almost cry writing this 😭 i cant stop watching these, this trend is GOOD 🫡💌 #rwylm #stillattherestaurant #hairpindrop #evermore #swifttok #rwylmsupremacy #taylorsversion #rightwhereyouleftme

♬ right where you left me – favsoundds

The song “right where you left me,” which the trend originates from, is about a girl left behind, unable to move on after the feeling of utter shock hits. One of the most notable lyrics in the song is “Help, I’m still at the restaurant/Sitting in a corner I haunt.” But the restaurant isn’t simply a restaurant. It’s a symbol of past relationships that have wronged her, hurt her, and left her questioning whether she really can leave. It’s the one place she thought she belonged in because “at the restaurant, I was still the one you want.” So, she’s “stuck in her fantasy” and has no choice but to sit in a corner and haunt the memories of her past, waiting for her love to return. 


when the people in your life help heal a heart they didnt break ❤️‍🩹 #restaurant #taylorswift

♬ right where you left me – favsoundds

One reason the trend has gained so much traction is its relatability. I’ve been there — I’ve been the girl in the corner, letting life move on around me because I thought that it couldn’t be better without that person in it. Many of the women joining this TikTok trend have also been the ones waiting.  But now, that narrative has changed.

Creators are applying the “right where you left me” lyrics to their own situations.  

There’s a power in leaving the “restaurant” and walking away. Many creators participating in the trend have equated the “restaurant” to a relationship that was either toxic or abusive. The core message of their videos is that there’s beauty in walking away and realizing that there’s so much more out there than a stale menu (relationship or situation) that no longer serves you. For example, like one creator, the person who was my “restaurant” was the first person who made me feel comfortable and safe. I felt, for the first time, that I could find a forever love. I didn’t want to leave and was satisfied until I wasn’t. I held on to my seat in the “restaurant,” but I realized, like her, there’s a beauty in walking away.

Or like another TikToker, maybe you learn to become your own chef, to cook for friends who love you and build your own “restaurant.” You learn to build a support system of people who love you and you find your own likes and dislikes and come up with a far better menu.

For some creators, “leaving the restaurant” has been a little harder. You get ready to leave and when the restaurant opens again, you’re joined at the table with the person you thought left. The excitement is there and you think it’ll be different, but the appetizers come and they leave before you can enjoy the meal together. It’s a tiring and tedious cycle but getting help is possible and one day, like this creator, you’ll find a way to leave and understand why you left. 


(irl i actually left the restaurant first & decided to burn it to the ground so i’d never go back again) i can’t stand that this song is trending right now, it’s my most personal song and I won’t tolerate its tiktokfication!!! 😡😡😡 JK #rightwhereyouleftme

♬ right where you left me – favsoundds

It’s a collective moment of realization that’s hit — we’ve been at the restaurant for too long and it’s OK to shake off the dust and walk out. In all these videos, these creators are coming together to say it’s OK if you’ve stayed for too long, but it’ll be better if you leave. There’s no shame in how long you’ve stayed, or if you find yourself walking by the restaurant and peek in through the windows. There’s no shame in wondering what would’ve been if you stayed but there’s greater joy in leaving, and it’s so much more peaceful when you do. 

Swift manages to create stories in her songs that are relatable to her fans but that have the potential to take on new life. As her fans grow and evolve, her songs grow and evolve with us. Songs like “right where you left me” become a celebration of hope and healing and a backdrop for so many stories. Swift’s songs give us all a chance to support each other as we take one more step in reclaiming our choice and decide we don’t need to stay there forever.

Kaitlynne Rainne is a HER Campus National Writer on the Life and Career team and she writes about advice, life experiences and profiles. Born and raised in Belize, Kaitlynne grew up surrounded by culture and stories. They fueled a creative passion for storytelling that led her to Savannah, Georgia, where she completed her BFA in Fashion Design at SCAD. She is currently completing her MFA in Writing at SCAD with a focus on creative nonfiction, freelance writing and fiction. Outside of HER Campus, Kaitlynne also works as Editor-in-Chief at her school’s college newspaper, District. Her work has also been published in Port City Review and Square 95. In her free time, you can find Kaitlynne taking walks throughout Savannah, making oddly specific playlists on Spotify, sipping a vanilla chai, writing her novel, or spending time with her friends.