Viral

The “Just Hay Fever” TikTok Trend, Explained

The trick is being able to make fun of yourself. 

Many of us have been there at some point: you think you’re crying in the comfort of your own space and someone walks in and catches you — a roommate, a parent, a partner — and you have to play it cool. You could always own up to the truth but going with the age-old “it’s just allergies” excuse is always an option too. Now, an entire trend on TikTok is dedicated to that shared experience of making a silly excuse to try and prove you’re not actually crying. Pair an accented viral sound with the crying eyes filter and you have the “It’s Just Hay Fever” trend, a meme combination taking over your For You Page and making you laugh so you don’ cry.

Where Does The “It’s Just Hay Fever” Sound Come From?

A subtle British accent in the viral sound adds to its catchiness, so it’s no surprise the audio originates from a BBC show called The Story of Tracy Beaker. The show was adapted from a book of the same name written by Jacqueline Wilson and follows a young girl named Tracy who lives in a home for children and gets into trouble while trying to make new friends and find a family. Oftentimes throughout the 120-episode series, Tracy is caught crying by other characters and blames it on her “hay fever.” In the specific viral sound, Tracy is asked by a young boy “What’s the matter?” and she quickly replies “Just hay fever.” The original scene was posted to TikTok in April 2020 but has only gone viral since January 2022 when the trend was born.

How Are People Using The TikTok Trend?

Similar to the scene that birthed it, TikTok users are making their own videos to recount moments they’ve pretended they weren’t crying. They range from memories that would make anyone emotional, like reading a dad’s messages just to find out they’re cheating on your mom (big yikes), being ghosted by someone right after you told your friends about them (#relatable) to being upset when your partner raises their voice at you after your yelled at them first like @raeandbabyc or the sheer disappointment of forgetting to get something sweet during your routine grocery trip like @dianasaurusrex124. Basically, any moment that led you to tears or moments so dramatic you could’ve cried is great material for the setup of the joke. Like all great memes before it, sometimes it comes full circle — there are even people who have been using the sound to talk about how they deal with literal symptoms of hay fever during allergy season.

How Do You Make A Video In Line With The “Just Hay Fever” Trend?

Like many TikTok moments, the key to participating in the Hay Fever trend is to have a dramatic story to begin with — something funny enough to call out. It can be a shared dating experience, like when he offers his big three zodiac signs before you even ask (how did he know that already?!) or when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking of that really embarrassing thing you did over a decade ago. Once you have the material, choose The Story of Tracy Beaker sound (the sound uploaded by TikTok user @uglinablin is being used), the crying eyes filter, and mouth the words before adding your caption in the editing stage of the app. As always, the easiest way to recreate your own is to find a video already using the sound and filter so you can choose the “Use This Sound” button from there. The filters and features will auto-populate for you when you start filming.

Once that’s all set, go ahead and share your version of the trend with the world... or with your 15 trusty followers. Then again, you can always just choose “only me” in your privacy settings so only you can go back to it again and again without the potential for public comment. It’s up to you.