2023 Social Trends Wrapped: From Barbie to the Roman Empire

2023 Social Trends Wrapped: From Barbie to the Roman Empire 1024 744 Jonathan Forani

By Jaclyn Melville, Account Executive, and Carlina Green, Account Coordinator

2023 social trends

More shareable than your Spotify Wrapped, more anticipated than Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Year” and more iconic than Time’s Person of the Year, we present to you North Strategic’s Social Trends 2023 Wrapped.

Just when you thought that no trend could compare to “It’s Corn” and “Negroni Sbagliato,” social media users have become even more creative, making trends out of things we could never have anticipated. 

This year, we danced synchronously in groups, tried some unique food pairings because strangers on TikTok told us to, and even added a few new slang words and phrases to our vocabulary, like “That’s a Body.” 

All that is to say, the trends from 2023 will be our Roman Empire for years to come, continue to engage audiences, inspire creativity, and have us “in a choke hold.”

Our top social media trends of 2023

Top Trending Sound: Ceilings by Lizzie McAlphine

It’s the song and trend that pulled at our heartstrings this year. With users lip-syncing to the sped-up version of Lizzie McAlphine’s “Ceilings” and dramatically running off into the distance, you can’t help but feel the main character energy. And why shouldn’t a trend romanticize life? Even for simple moments… like forgetting your receipt at the grocery store or food at Starbucks.

@nottrebecathis trend too good♬ ceilings – Sped Up Version – Lizzy McAlpine

Best Buzzword: Roman Empire

This year, we enjoyed Girl Dinner, got candid about our partner’s Beige Flags (including with some of North’s clients), and celebrated those who got that Rizz. It’s undeniable, however, that Saskia Cort broke the internet by asking men, specifically, the very simple (yet profound) query… “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?”

This question sparked the biggest buzzword/phrase of the year, with people now casually saying “that’s my Roman Empire,” referring to something they think about on a daily basis. Forbes has tried to explain this internet phenomenon and other creators have shared their theories. In good fun, the Toronto Maples Leafs chimed in, Panera Bread released a menu inspired by the Roman Empire (Caeser salad included, of course), and Ritz Crackers, Wheat Thins, and ChipsAhoy even joined the conversation.

@ambardriscollIm taking this as a green flag♬ original sound – Ambar Driscoll

Top Meme Moment: ‘This Barbie Is…’

It’s tough to beat 2023’s iconic Justin and Hailey Bieber memes, but we can’t forget that this really was the year of Barbie. Aside from the various trends that resulted from the Barbie premiere, like fit checks, getting dolled up for the movie, and “Barbenheimer,” we have to acknowledge the viral meme “This Barbie Is…”

With the help of an AI Barbie selfie generator, users were able to access the original Barbie movie template and fill out the line “This Barbie (or Ken) is….” by revealing a little fact about themselves or a celeb

@jasminetxo HI BARBIE 👋🏾💖🌸 Who’s excited for the movieee? || #Barbie #HiBarbie #BarbieMovie #TeamJazz ♬ Hi Barbie Hi Ken Barbie Movie Only In Theaters – Barbie Movie

Most Innovative Trend: Turning My Mom Into Me

When they said “I got it from my mama,” they really meant it. In the “Turning My Mom Into Me” trend, we watched creators transform their moms to appear as hip fashion icons, by kindly lending some items from their wardrobe. Alongside this trend, “I Wish” by Old School Dub played. See examples here, here and here.

@rileysaurage This trend was made for my mom🔥🔥 @Shelly Saurage ♬ original sound – .

Our Foodie Favourite: Cottage Cheese and Mustard

Say goodbye to Butter Boards. This year, we were obsessed with cottage cheese and mustard. Yes, this trend was a bit of a jump scare…but we loved watching TikTok creator Tiffany’s journey in showcasing her love for a simple, yet questionable foodie combo: Cottage Cheese and Mustard. TikTokers went all in on this combo, typically using cottage cheese and mustard as a dipping sauce for a variety of options, such as sausage, pickles, broccoli, carrots, hearts of palm, or even strawberries. 

Other honourable 2023 food trend shoutouts include: Fruit Roll Ups with Ice Cream, Pop Up Bagels, Lasagne Soup, Chicken Caeser Wraps and, of course, Girl Dinner.

@myhealthydish Cottage cheese with mustard @TiffanyElizabeth | Weight Loss #cottagecheeseandmustard ♬ original sound – My Nguyen

The One Thing We Were All Obsessed With: Getting Eras Tour tickets

It wouldn’t feel right to leave out Taylor Swift in a 2023 roundup. Whether you’re a Swiftie or not, you’ve shown some interest in the hype around Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, whether it was simply about the insane pricing or an intense desire to obtain tickets. Special trends sparked from Taylor Swift this year include, but are not limited to: the Seemingly Ranch phenomenon, Eras Tour outfit reveals, and “Where Was I On April 29th…” all inspired by her music or moments in pop culture.

Thankfully, we can continue obsessing over Taylor Swift in 2024 and celebrate how she elevated Travis Kelce’s career by “putting him on the map.”

@nicoooleypinto It was nice to meet you!!! 😭😭😭 I LOVE YOUU @Taylor Swift ❤️❤️❤️ #taylorswift #theerastour #erastourmetlife #tserastour #eastrutherfordnj #taylornation #metlifestadium ♬ original sound – Nicole 🌹

Format of The Year: Carousel TikToks

It’s social media, we get bored quickly. So naturally, we need new formats to keep our attention spans alive, and carousels did just that for us in 2023. Ever since TikTok launched the option for posting still images later in 2022, more carousel trends emerged this year with creators showing off their favourite meals, products, or moments captured in their camera roll for Instagram-style “photo dumps,” and sparking witty trends as listed below.

Notable carousel trends this year include: What Are You Going to Do With Your Degree?, “What Was I Made For?”, and ‘Changing Names of Boys in my Phone to Their “Ick.”

And with that, the Social Trends 2023 season comes to an end… goodnight!