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The Rise in Josh Hutcherson Thirst Traps: Is Gen Z Chronically Online?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

There’s been an ungodly flood of Josh Hutcherson edits on TikTok following the release of the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) movie. It may feel like the Internet is crashing. After all, no one asked for hundreds of Josh Hutcherson thirst trap edits to be posted on TikTok. However, anyone who’s defeated their TikTok addiction or not in Gen Z may feel out of the loop. Don’t get discouraged! Keep reading, and I’ll bring you up to speed.

I have yet to watch this movie, so I don’t know the ins and outs of this glorious mess, but I do understand the basics. The FNAF movie was released in theaters on Oct. 27, and it’s based on a video game. The game’s storyline involves a security guard working the late shift at a pizzeria where the animatronics in the restaurant come to life at night. They are possessed by children who were killed and shoved into the different mascots: Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. The objective of the game is to survive five nights, hence the title. If you’re thinking, “What a terrifying concept,” I’m right there with you.

For the months that led up to the movie’s release, there was a sense of anticipation among the fanbase, primarily young adults. This could’ve been for many reasons. One may have been that Gen Z grew up watching Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games franchise (he is eye candy), so many were excited to see him in this movie. Another more likely reason for the anticipation is that several people played the FNAF game as a child. So, when I first witnessed a Josh Hutcherson edit on the day of the FNAF movie release, I wasn’t entirely shocked — just intrigued. 

Then I read the comment section below the edit (as seen above) and practically fell out of my chair. At this moment, I finally considered how much TikTok has evolved since it was first created in 2016. With comments such as, “I took it to my penthouse and I FREAKED IT” and “I’m gnawing on my bed like a dog,” I’d find it difficult not to be stunned. I want to preface that I’m not complaining about these edits in the slightest. Still, nothing could’ve prepared me for how far this trend would go within a couple of weeks. 

Though this all started with one simple edit, it has since transformed. For a movie that is rated PG-13, these edits border the rated R mark. Taking scenes within the film out of context and creating something so oddly seductive is genuinely astonishing, and seeing others reflect on the movie by posting thirst trap edits of Josh Hutcherson is a little amusing. Since the movie’s release was just before Halloween, several people started making jokes about finding these edits in their children’s Halloween candy. It was an angle I didn’t see coming but one I could get a laugh out of.

The whole FNAF frenzy — despite it being entertaining — forces me to question if my generation has taken things slightly too far. Not that these edits are necessarily bad, but maybe we really have become a little too addicted to TikTok, along with other social media platforms. I hate to admit that because it feels like older generations have been saying this for years. From my perspective, videos can often walk the line between being chronically online and having a technology addiction. Maybe there shouldn’t be so many Josh Hutcherson edits, specifically ones with him wearing a muzzle (yes, it’s from the movie and taken out of context).

All in all, I hope you found this entertaining because I sure did. If you’d like a better understanding of the FNAF movie or want to see even more Josh Hutcherson thirst traps, I recommend looking through TikTok yourself and/or viewing the FNAF movie in theaters. It’s also on Peacock, for those with that streaming service. Go see what all the fuss is about!

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Allysa Laufersky is a Sophomore at Florida State University. She is a Staff Writer at Her Campus FSU, and is currently majoring in Media/Communication Studies, while minoring in English. Loves dancing, "hot girl walks", music, film, anything pop-culture related, TikTok, taking photos, and being in the moment.