Social Media

This Wholesome TikTok Trend Is An Ode To Meet-Cutes With Strangers

A fad for anyone with fond memories of making new friends.

Screenshots of TikToks using the "I'll never forget you" audio.

Remember bonding with the one other person your age at the campground your family vacationed at in 2009? Or dancing with a cutie at a music festival during your junior year abroad, only to accidentally delete their number? People are reliving these memories of meet-cutes past with the “I’ll never forget you” audio on TikTok — and, because it’s TikTok, managing to cause some drama at the same time.

The trend goes something like this: Each video is a tribute to someone the original poster crossed paths with back in the day. Some of the videos feature vacation hookups the poster wishes had continued post-trip; others are proud middle fingers up to middle school bullies. The audio, which is now featured in over 160,000 TikToks, is a clip from the Noisettes’ 2009 song “Never Forget You,” a bop with strong song-of-summer energy despite being over a decade old.

Most of the videos are shout-outs to past travel experiences. Some reminisce about random acts of kindness from strangers, or being seated on an airplane with someone who turned into a cross-generational friend. Wholesome!

But a solid chunk of the clips catalogue one-night stands or international adventures with an attractive hostel-mate. (That this trend is taking off right as vaccinated people are planning trips for the first time in more than a year feels like no small coincidence.)

Lots of people are using the sound to reveal that past hookups turned into children, with the poster deadpanning at the camera with a baby or toddler in their arms. Spoiler alert: Part twos often reveal that while the couple *did* spontaneously meet at, say, an Olive Garden, they’re still happily together and co-parenting — hence why the poster will “never forget” them. Some videos, like this one from @rjos1, reveal that they ended up marrying their vacation paramour.

Other variations on the trend show a slightly more scandalous twist: What happens when your current SO comes up on your For You page as the subject of one of these videos. While the intent of the trend is to shout out ex-datefriends you remember fondly, it’s extremely cringe to be reminded that the person you’re dating has, ahem, a past when you’re innocently scrolling your #FYP.

By and large, though, the “Never Forget You” TikTok trend is about remembering the weird, wonderful ways strangers make impressions on our lives — whether that’s because they were a fun beach vacation hookup, or because they gave you thousands of free paint samples to decorate your room with. (Probably not both, though.)