Top Viral Trends of 2023: Hit or Miss?

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Every time we open up Instagram or TikTok, we’re bombarded with at least one new viral trend or hack — things we “must try” or “need to buy” because they will just “change your life.” I always wonder if they’re actually really good products, tasty food, or actual hacks (because people like to throw that word around these days). Some of I’ve tried, some I’ve passed on, and some I just laugh at. But it did get me thinking… what are some of the top viral trends we’ve seen this year, and have they been a hit or a miss?

Working in the social media industry both for my full-time job and as an influencer, I’m in the thick of these trends and videos daily. I racked my brain, scrolled TikTok, quizzed my husband, and polled my Instagram followers, and here are some of the more popular ones that came up this year.

If you want to jump on the viral trends bandwagon, here are a few ideas to try! (BUT if you don’t, I promise you’re still a cool mom, too. No need to feel pressured into all the viral things when honestly half of them are crap and the other half will be forgotten about by the new year.)

TikTok Cinnamon Rolls: Much like the super-viral tomato feta pasta, these TikTok Cinnamon Rolls are INSANE. They’re supposed to taste just like Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, and holy moly, do they. Best food hack I’ve ever tried. For me, this is a mega HIT!

Jacksonville Mom co-founder Megan Kilis liked Stanley Cups before they were cool.

Stanley Cups: I’m not sure exactly when Stanley Cups became the water cup to have, but they certainly blew up in 2023. Every. Single. Female. Has at least one it seems, and influencers shove the new launches in your face so hard with the threat that they’re going to sell out, so you have to buy a new $45 cup immediately. For most, I think they’re a HIT. And I do like them, but I’m a BruMate girly all the way. Take my word and get a leak-proof Era tumbler instead and report back. I also made a TikTok video comparing a $45 Stanley to a $20 Reduce tumbler that went semi-viral, if you’re curious.

The Taylor Swift Eras Tour: Someone wrote this in my question box when I was asking about top trends of the year. It’s one I wouldn’t have thought of, but they’re not wrong. Eras everything was probably the biggest viral sensation of the entire year! If you’re not a Swiftie, it was probably a miss, but it’s a total HIT for me. I’m a huge Swiftie, but even if you’re not, you have to admit that the girl is incredible and the entire world getting on board for all things Taylor and Eras is impressive. And the concert was just SO GOOD!

READ: The Taylor Swift Obsession Explained: Why Moms Are Swifties, Too

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Eras Everything: Echoing above as it stems from the Eras Tour, you can’t open a social media app or go to a boutique without seeing some sort of Eras-inspired merchandise or quote. “In my mom era,” “In my exhausted era,” “In my new year era” — it’s everywhere. Even knock-offs of the Eras Tour graphics are circulating everywhere. HIT or MISS? You be the judge of this one.

Y2K Fashion: I really don’t know where to start. I’m a ’90s kid and lived it all the first time, so I’m not certain we need to bring back bucket hats, overalls, cargo pants, T-shirts under spaghetti straps, bodycon dresses, or platform Steve Madden shoes. A few things can be cute if done right, and I’m a firm believer in wearing what you want to feel good and be happy. But for me, it’s a MISS. I’ll stick with my out-of-style skinny jeans and cozy crew necks.

READ: Gen Z, Take Several Seats — Your Fashion Sense Is Just Bad

Tension Rod Garland Hack: Okay, this one is brilliant. My garland kept falling from my front door, so I gave this a shot, and it’s perfect! I will absolutely be using this shower curtain rod hack for a lot of decorating moving forward! This one is a HIT.

Viral HomeGoods Christmas tree candle: Did y’all see this one all over social media? Funny that a HomeGoods Christmas tree candle can go viral, and people around the country went crazy trying to track one down, huh? I thought it was cute, but I knew I’d personally never want to burn it and ruin it, so what’s the point of buying it? I love that people started sharing their own DIY versions when they couldn’t find it in-store. For me, the candle itself is a MISS, but the DIY versions are a HIT!

Dance Challenges: I know these have been around really since they started taking off over the pandemic, but I personally love that they are still a thing. Some are cheesy and cringe, but people always seem to be having fun doing them, and I’m here for that! A few of us do silly dance challenges at the gym every Friday, and it always brings us joy, so these are a HIT.

Espresso Martinis: These have been around forever, but for some reason, they’re having a moment this year. Can’t go wrong with espresso + booze. Mostly a HIT!

Barbiecore: Along with T Swizzy, Barbie had a huge year with the release of the Barbie movie. All summer long (and even still) you couldn’t walk 10 feet without seeing someone in hot pink or a Barbie logo. Pink clothes and makeup are everywhere, men have embraced the #Barbiecore trend, and Barbie-themed parties are happening for people of all ages. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I’m a pink-lover and really enjoyed the Barbie movie, so it’s a HIT for me!

READ: I’m STILL a Barbie Girl

Botched Barbie Makeup: The botched Barbie makeup is definitely a TikTok trend for talented makeup artists, but I just think trends like these are super cool. I think I spent an hour one day just watching a ton of these “botched Barbie” videos (I’m not proud of that). The talent that not only goes into the makeup but also the editing makes this a HIT.

The Roman Empire: Do men really think about the Roman Empire often? I asked my husband he said he never does, but apparently, some do? I don’t really know if this is a hit or a miss, but it certainly is fascinating. And it’s started a bunch of other trends that have trickled from it, which is kind of fun. I wish I had time to think about my own Roman Empire, but my brain is too cluttered thinking about everything I need to do for the kids, the house, work, and a million other things.

Chopped Italian Hoagie Sandwich/Salad: A friend of mine brought this Italian hoagie/salad over one day, and it was SO GOOD. I’m 100% in support of this viral recipe, and would recommend giving it a shot! Great on a sub, but also super yum as a salad. A HIT!

READ: Slayed: Viral TikTok Recipes Totally Worth Your Time

Giant Skeleton: The 12-foot skeleton has been around for a few years now, but it seemed to have a pretty big moment in front yards this Halloween season. I love how people were decorating and dressing him up, and even making giant Stanley cups for him to hold. I’m here for the creativity and the cheese. A HIT for me!

Home Depot Grand Duchess Twinkling Tree: Another holiday viral “must-have,” according to every big influencer on Instagram and TikTok. If you missed it, Home Depot had a pre-lit Christmas tree with 2,200+ twinkling lights for $499 which was apparently magical. But to me, it was too bright when lit (something I saw a lot of complaints about once people got it home), looked plastic and super fake, and is just too expensive for that in my opinion. This one, to me, is a MISS. (But even with those cons, many thought it was a hit.)

Giant Wal-Mart Nutcracker: Another holiday sell-out “must-have” — a 6-foot plastic nutcracker. But it couldn’t be just a red or a white nutcracker on display. Creators and crafters were giving these nutcrackers major makeovers, using paint, glitter, and even fur to jazz him up. Annoying at how hard they were to get (I tried… I wanted one), but I thought they were fun and something a little different. A HIT for me.

Cottage Cheese Toast: Move out of the way, avocado toast. There’s a new craze in town. And surprisingly, it’s super delish! I’ve made a few variations of this (the red pepper flake + honey is bomb) and my whole family has enjoyed them all. A HIT — totally give it a shot.

DIY Solar Pumpkin Lantern: Another that was referenced in my question box that honestly I’m a little bummed I missed this year! The DIY Solar Pumpkin Lantern looks super cute and very easy. I’m here for it and saving this for next Halloween. She gave it a HIT, so I will too.

Electric Mixer to Shred Chicken: Using an electric mixer to shred chicken is BRILLIANT! And it’s actually a hack. You’ll never catch me shredding chicken any other way! Just don’t overdo it, because then the chicken almost gets mushy. A HIT!

I could go on forever with these, but I’m curious to know what some of the viral trends are that you’ve seen for 2023, and what you thought of them. Share below in the comments!

Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Blakeley has been a Jacksonville resident for more than 12 years. She moved to Jax temporarily for an internship at The Jacksonville Landing, fell in love with the city and a boy (now her husband), and ended up sticking around. She is married to loud and crazy Chicago-native Jimmy Vinicky of 7 years, has two daughters, Daisy (5) and baby Poppy, and a yorki-poo named Lexie. In addition to writing for Jacksonville Mom, she works full time in Public Relations, runs her own fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog This Blonde Life, and is a freelance makeup artist. She loves adventuring with her family, and you’ll rarely catch her sitting around home doing nothing. Her favorite local spots include Sipper’s and Breezy coffee houses, Wicked Barley Brewing, Cap’s on the Water, Hotel Palms, happy hour at One Ocean’s Azurea, and soaking up rays at the beach.

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