In 2021, many started defining the passage of time based on whether it was a Bones Day or a No Bones Day.
But that wasn't the only online trend that captivated the over 1 billion people who used TikTok this year.
On Monday, the app celebrated the end of the year by sharing the top trends that helped shaped online culture with its Year on TikTok wrap-up. The sizzle reel features the most memorable moments on the app, with The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s midsummer hit, “Stay,” playing in the background. TikTok also shared a list of viral videos that didn't make it to the reel but remained among the most popular videos on the app.
"For us, 2021 was a year of connection and we've seen people on TikTok laughing together, entertaining us, starting cultural phenomenons, and teaching us new things," TikTok’s chief operating officer, Vanessa Pappas, said in a statement. “It’s been incredible to see the depths of entertainment and creativity from this community, and we’re delighted to celebrate all the ways we’ve come together this year on TikTok."
Here's a look at some of the big trends TikTok highlighted.
Feta pasta, salmon rice bowls and 'nature's cereal'
The famous feta pasta dish, which was first posted by food blogger Jenni Häyrinen in 2019 but blew up in 2021, laid the groundwork for salmon rice bowls, posted by Emily Mariko in September, to go viral.
Both helped inspire the countless aspiring chefs who scroll through their TikTok For You Pages in hope of finding the next best easy-to-make recipe.
TikTok also gave attention to parodies of “healthy alternatives” for staple foods, like the “nature’s cereal” that Lizzo posted about in March.
TikTok trends are known to give musicians a boost in attention, and creators on the app have a soft spot for bringing back the classics. Few, however, could have predicted the return of 19th century sea shanties.
Commonly sung on ships in the early 19th century, sea shanties thrive off their communal nature, as sailors undertook monotonous tasks and sang in unison, according to music historians.
With his renditions of centuries-old sea shanties on TikTok, Nathan Evans spawned a global craze.
“Sea shanties were made to get people to join in, sing along, stamp their feet, clap their hands, keep the morale high,” Evans said this year.
Olympians posting from Tokyo
The International Olympic Committee eased up on the guidelines this year, opening the door for Olympians to take over TikTok.
At the Tokyo Games, Olympians dominated TikTok with their charming content from the Olympic Village, giving viewers a rare unfettered look at the life of Olympic athletes.
Athletes became online stars not only because of their physical feats but also because of their delightfully absurd TikTok videos.
“I was getting a lot of responses,” Team USA rugby player Ilona Maher said this year. “It was just people who I really think loved that they were seeing this inside look into the village, and the food and the beds and the vibe of the village I think people really liked.”
Noodle the pug
The Year on TikTok wouldn't be complete without a nod to Noodle the pug, who captured our hearts with his prescient refusal to get out of bed.
Nearly every morning, owner Jonathan Graziano plays the "no bones" game and records whether his 13-year-old pup will stand up or simply flop back over onto his doggie bed. When Noodle flops over, Graziano declares it a “no bones” day — and advises his viewers not to take any risks. But when Noodle stands — making it a “bones” day — it becomes cause for celebration.
Whether it's a bones day or a no bones day, Noodle always knows what we need to hear to get through the day.