TikTok’s hanger reflex trend has taken over the internet

Georgina Smith
TikTokers with coat hangers on their heads

The return of the ‘hanger reflex’ trend on TikTok has got users putting coat hangers on their heads to see whether it will make them turn, but not everyone is convinced the effect is real. Here’s what you need to know.

TikTok has become a hotspot for some of the internet’s weirdest trends, and every week there are new challenges that take over the platform, featuring anything from weird drink combinations to fun dances.

Back in 2020, the ‘hanger reflex’ trend went hugely viral on the platform and beyond. As the name suggests, the trend sees people putting a coat hanger on their head, and waiting to see whether their head automatically turns. Some report that if you try it, your head will turn away from the hook.

Nearly two years later, the trend has made a comeback on the platform, with plenty of new users wanting to see whether the strange effect will actually work on them.

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Some users claim that they do actually feel the effect, whereas others say that they can’t feel anything at all. Others appear to be putting on an intentionally exaggerated reaction to play into the joke.

In 2015, a study of 120 adults claimed that “the sensation of head rotation was observed in 95.8% of subjects,” and said that, “the incident rate of the hanger reflex was remarkably high and most likely represents a prevalent phenomenon in humans.”

However, TikTok users are still split by the bizarre phenomenon. Some claim that the trend is “total bullsh*t” and a “joke,” with some trying to recreate the phenomenon with different hangers, positions, etc, to no avail.

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But there are others who swear the hanger effect really does work, sharing their results with their followers on TikTok.

If you decide to give this trend a go, make sure you take appropriate caution and do it with someone else nearby to help you in case things go wrong.

TikTok has seen a number of risky trends go viral in the past, and some of them, such as the blackout challenge, have even resulted in deaths.

About The Author

Georgina was formerly an entertainment writer for Dexerto. She covered all aspects of influencer culture on TikTok and more, including creators such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. She also wrote about hit reality shows such as Love Island and Below Deck.