Which lockdown trend was the most iconic? A definitive ranking
We will never let you forget about Carole Baskin
So here we are, a whole year into the on-and-off lockdowns of Covid, and it would appear that we have absolutely nothing to show for it but stupid trends to keep us functioning.
There have been too many to count, and they have fully dominated our lives for a whole silly little trip around the sun. From banana bread and whipped coffee to the unhealthy obsessions with Y2K fashion, we’ve been through our ups and downs with trends this year.
With this in mind, we have collated a list of some of the most iconic lockdown trends and – just for the sake of ease for you, dear reader – we have ranked them into a definitive list from least to most iconic:
Remember when every single Instagram influencer that ever appeared on Love Island disappeared to Dubai during a global pandemic and then cried about it when people called them out? What a time to be alive that was.
Dubai was not so much a “trend” as it was a national outrage at the ignorance of rich D-list celebrities, but nevertheless, here we are. It most definitely wasn’t iconic, unless you count Laura Anderson telling people she went to Dubai to “earn money” instead of taking bikini pics all day.
Thank God that phase is over though because influencers are a lot more enjoyable when they’re promoting teeth whitening kits and not breaking lockdown rules. Dubai gets a miserable seat at the bottom of the list.
17. ‘Until tomorrow’ posts
Now, this trend really came out of the blue. One day your Instagram feed was normal, the next day everyone is posting really random pictures of themselves with the caption “until tomorrow”.
Your innocent little self probably liked a couple of these posts, purely out of love for your friends who had clearly gotten a bit deranged, only to start getting DMs saying “you liked my post so now you have to post an embarrassing picture of yourself with the caption ‘until tomorrow'”.
Flashbacks, literal flashbacks.
It was very pointless, with the only achievement being that the next few days of scrolling through Instagram was like a minefield, trying to avoid the natural reflex of double-tapping a post. Thankfully this trend only lasted a few days and comes low at number seventeen.
16. Powerpoint parties and Zoom quizzes
Who had ever even heard of Zoom before the pandemic? It certainly took the world by storm, and soon everyone was hosting incredibly creative themed nights, quizzes or Powerpoint parties with friends.
It kept us all occupied in a world falling apart, and gave us at least some social interaction. Just because Zoom is useful doesn’t mean it was adored, however. As time progressed everyone started to get a bit fed up of the awkward pub quiz remakes that consisted of you sitting alone in the garden drinking at 3pm, and the words “breakout rooms” now give us unbearable anxiety.
In other news, does anyone remember that app HouseParty which everyone used for a while but mysteriously disappeared? A bit sus.
The world of online social interaction was wild, but not very fun. It comes in at a miserable sixteen.
15. Deliveroo denial
It’s Lockdown 2…or is it 3…or 4? Who knows? It’s winter, the days literally don’t exist, there is only night. You need every scrap of serotonin you can reasonably extract from the world and today, that is Deliveroo. It’s just once after all.
This was a lie. Your one-time pad Thai is quickly spiralling into an addictive cycle of easily accessible, and oh so tempting, quick-click burgers and sushi. You know you should stop, but lockdown will be over soon and then you won’t need Deliveroo anymore, right? Wrong.
We’ll say this once and we won’t say it again: please, for the love of God, use your money on wiser things and stop getting all three meals in a day from Wagamama. Deliveroo is a toxic friend and for that reason comes in at number fifteen.
14a. Dyeing two strands of hair
Nothing screams “I go to private school and feel misunderstood by Mummy and Daddy so I make Tik Toks trying to be an indie girl” quite like the two-strands-of-pink-hair look.
At first, it was a cool new look and spiced up every half-up half-down hairstyle with some jazzy streaks at the front in whatever colour you choose, but now it’s just an incredibly helpful tool to single out the posh girls at the library.
It almost looks like you’ve bought a load of bleach and started to go through with it but pussied out right at the start, and now you’re stuck with two random blonde streaks instead of a personality. What a sad little life, Jane.
This tragic trend is at number fourteen.
The male version of dyeing two strands of hair in literally every single way, except it’s slightly cooler. Only slightly though.
13. Banana bread
Everyone and their mum seemed to hop onto the trend of making banana bread. For a period of about two weeks, Instagram stories everywhere were flooded with “just made some more lovely homemade banana bread!!” So has everyone else, Susan, you’re not special.
Whilst learning the art of banana bread could be considered a useful skill to have developed, it also meant that everyone was buying half of the baking aisle on their weekly trip to the supermarket. As if the toilet paper shortage wasn’t enough.
Yes it was wholesome but no it was not useful for anything except calories, and so banana bread sits at number thirteen.
12. 5k challenge
Ah, hindsight is a wonderful thing. We were all so young, so optimistic, so full of hope. It’s early doors April 2020, you have probably committed to some kind of activity regiment with the goal in mind of staying sane by keeping active, for what you thought would be a month or so of lockdown. HA.
You see a new challenge is trending, how wonderful! A chance to prove simultaneously that you’re either a) a charitable individual, b) inhumanely good at running, or c) exceedingly witty in your caption at how bad at running you are. One day it happens, you’ve been tagged, and it’s your turn to run five, donate five and tag five.
Still dizzy with early lockdown delusion you head off on your run, thinking how hard can it be? However you quickly realise that running is not as easy as everyone who edited their Strava times and selfies made it look and, alas, your saving grace will have to be an insta story that is as inspiring as it is amusing.
For this reason, the 5k challenge comes in at number twelve.
11. The colour brown
The underdog of the lockdown trends and something we definitely didn’t expect, the colour brown has dominated the last few months with a certain ferocity that hasn’t quite been seen before. We went from joking about people wearing brown for looking like the physical embodiment of mud to captioning our instas “sweet like chocolate” in a brown monochrome outfit, and I just want to know how?
Whether it genuinely does look good or whether we’ll look back on this phase in 10 years and cringe internally at how weird it was, for now, it’s really spiced up the market. We all know at least five girls who would kill for those Motel Rocks brown jeans and sheer shirt that are out of stock again, without a care in the world that they’re being basic.
PSA if you’re reading this and feeling called out, don’t worry – we just called ourselves out too.
Brown is everyone’s guilty pleasure right now, and for sheer popularity, it has to be high up there on our ranking list. However, the potential for the trend to become very weird very quickly cannot be ignored, and for this, the colour brown is at number eleven.
10. Whipped coffee
We’re not quite sure why you’d go through the whole effort it takes to make one of these creations instead of just, I don’t know, using a coffee machine, but it stuck around for a while.
It was a form of true technological mastery that mundane humans would just never understand and produced something that was definitely pretty but ended up tasting very similar to the instant coffee that you could’ve made instead.
Regardless, it was a fun way to waste a tiny bit more of your time in a never-ending lockdown with literally nothing to do with your life, so whipped coffee gets a wholesome number ten.
9. The royals drama
The royals really have had a tough year, and the worst part (or funniest, depending on how you look at it) is that no one even feels sorry for them.
From the drama on The Crown, and hence the resurfacing Diana gossip and documentaries all over Netflix, to that crazy Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan, it’s got to the point that if you stand outside Buckingham Palace for long enough, you’ll probably hear a little echo of “abolish the monarchy” from somewhere.
Not even Prince Andrew landed his family in this much shit, so this drama is impressive. For the pure entertainment factor the royals have come up pretty high on the list at ninth, however, their questionable antics have left us wondering what exactly they’re here for.
8. Chloe Ting
It’s March 2020, after everyone realises that the lockdown isn’t going to be a two-week quickie and you’ll actually be stuck inside for a while. “Brilliant,” you think, “now I can get into shape and have a hot girl summer when things open back up.” You scroll through TikTok and YouTube for some advice and stumble across the innocent-looking Chloe Ting.
“This can’t be too bad, look how smiley she is!” you think to yourself. Oh, how wrong you were.
Between the two-week ab challenges that killed you after four days and the fact that this woman literally never seems to run out of energy, it’s safe to say that your daily workout routine didn’t last long. Every so often you’d pick it up again for a quick stint, but somehow Chloe’s perfectly toned abs never appeared on you, so eventually, the hope was lost.
We have to admit – she’s a saint on earth, and for that, she gets a lot of bonus points. However, the straight-up pain that those videos caused us all will never be forgotten, and so Chloe Ting settles in at number eight.
7. The Instagram story trends
No one has any clue how these trends started but somehow they appeared on our Instagram stories and unexpectedly into our lives. The days of being tagged to do these trends feels like a lifetime ago.
Some trends were cute, like the “post a baby photo” stories, where we got to see some adorable baby photos. Some were funny, like the “pushup challenge”, “putting on a t-shirt while doing a handstand” and “downing a pint” trends. And some trends were just stupid and created out of pure boredom, like the “Bill Clinton album cover” trend – no one cares about your awful music taste, Becky.
Despite their faults, Instagram story trends really did keep us going throughout Lockdown one, so get a generous number seven on our list.
6. Among Us
This game took the world by storm and absolutely no one was ready for what it would do to locked-down depressed teens. Among Us themed memes were all over Instagram typically with the caption “red be acting kinda sus”.
Alongside being extremely popular, it literally changed our everyday speech. “Imposter” and “sus” are now used on the daily, transcending Among Us into a generation-defining trend.
Among Us even got so popular that some YouTubers took it to the next level, and instead of just streaming the games, started to recreate it in real life. We mean it when we say this game took over.
Among Us has definitely led to many an argument within friendship groups, but at the end of the day its annoying nature had a way of dominating our lives for months, so comes in at number six.
What a piece of creative art this single was. From the TikTok dance to the music video, WAP has the potential to be the anthem of our generation.
Aside from the public outrage it caused at women literally saying the same things about themselves that men do in every rap song ever, it was also genius in so many other ways. Chaotic yet empowering, WAP comes in at number five on our list.
4. Tik Tok in general
If we’re being completely honest, Gen Z and their TikTok culture have fully sculpted the last year of Miss Rona. Had anyone heard of “pick me boys” or “dress up as your type” nights before this bunch of young springers came along? No, and to be honest we are all richer for it.
They’ve given us some absolutely bangers of trends, but then they’ve also given us Hype House and the “Renegade” dance. Swings and roundabouts, my friends.
It’s been the most addictive app of all lockdown and has pretty much cradled a fair number of us to the present day. For this reason, TikTok is at a solid number four.
3. Walking is the new running
You came back to London. Word is that travel was still banned for uni students. Oops. Anyways, running was so first lockdown – it’s walking around the parks of London that’s “in” now.
Are you even a London lockdowner if you haven’t got photos of yourself with the parakeets in Hyde Park or the deer in Richmond? Spring is heavy in the air and you just want to be outside and ignore uni. Regent’s Park will do for the weekday, but come weekend a chunky trek in the further afield green spaces of London is 100 per cent necessary.
A more inclusive hobby and one that has definitely helped us through the last dribbles of lockdown, the simplest pleasures of walking make it to number three.
2. Tiger King
Everyone seemed to be talking about it. Sounds like a wild series and you’re bored. The only reasonable solution is to binge-watch it in 24 hours. This was a mistake – you were not prepared.
The addition of gun-wielding, tiger kissing, mullet rocking, potentially murderous American egomaniacs and their respective conspiracy theories to your cabin fever was too much. But it was not a holistically negative experience, and it actually gave you something to chat about on your weekly PG13 family Zoom calls.
Given the context, the destruction of a few brain cells isn’t a big loss, they were stressing you out anyway.
Ultimately, the absolute rollercoaster meets trainwreck that was this show provided an ESSENTIAL distraction and was a great topic for conversation for the lovers and haters alike. Tiger King sits comfortably at number two.
U know #tigerking is wild when the most level headed people are
•a guy who chose his arm to be amputated rather than have surgery to still have a hand
•a meth head with 4 teeth in a 3 way marriage
•This guy filling a petrol can, smoking, in a van full of more petrol cans?? pic.twitter.com/UMMV1aPGs2
— LightningMcWeen (@Elle_Rigby) March 27, 2020
1. Vodka pasta and feta pasta
Objectively, this trend was the most fun. Putting alcohol in pasta and making it actually taste good at the same time in the middle of a global pandemic where the only solution seems to be alcohol and food? You couldn’t make this shit up.
Lockdown has either turned you into a chef or an athlete and if it’s both then everyone is definitely intimidated by you. If your dabble of choice is the former then you will have enjoyed recreating TikTok dishes and loading your pasta with as much feta or vodka as your heart desires.
Delicious, fun and incredible for those lockdown renditions of Come Dine with Me with your flatmates, these trends are very much the best to come out of this madness.
And there concludes our whirlwind tour of the last year of lockdown trends. Hopefully, 2021 will consist of way more normal ones, because none of us can take the chaos anymore and, to be honest, we just need a break.
Related stories recommended by this writer: