The last time we checked in on a TikTok trend, it was to watch the oddly satisfying videos of smart teens mocking their dumb parents’ bad political takes on which lives, exactly, matter. And if you needed further proof that TikTok is more than a place for teens to post choreographed dances, a new viral trend is sweeping the platform.
Here’s how the “Shut Up Challenge” works. Before the camera starts rolling, a kid and one of their parents conspire the prank the other. The parent who’s in on it asks the kid to do a chore. The kid who’s in on it says “shut up.” The parent who isn’t in on it is left to react to this disrespect.
A video captioned “We almost lost a kid 🤣🤣🤣,” TikTok user wereennistogether showed her husband coldly saying “Is he deadass?” and sprinting up the stairs to punish their kid after he told his mom to shut up. Only her intervention saved his life.
But not every parent—it seems to be predominantly dads who are the victim of this prank and moms doing the filming—gets mad. One of the funniest examples is this dad, who turns this prank on its head when, holding a newly opened beer, he simply says “She told your ass!” to his wife, who doesn’t capture the blow-up she was hoping to.
The shut up challenge works because it’s not an adult-on-kid prank, many of which turn out to be cruel, but a kid-and-adult-on-adult prank, a joke that isn’t mean-spirited because it doesn’t punch down. And as long as you’re not the the target of the joke, there’s nothing funnier than kids flouting their parents’ authority. Just ask the Lonely Island.