What is TikTok’s ‘world’s smallest violin’ trend?

Georgina Smith
Person playing a violin

TikTokers are obsessed with the wildly popular ‘world’s smallest violin’ trend that’s going viral on the app, but some are confused about what it means. Here’s everything you need to know about the trend.

New trends go viral on TikTok almost every day, with many of them prompting millions of users across the world to make their own videos participating, going viral as a result.

One of the latest to take over the app in December is the ‘world’s smallest violin’ trend. This trend sees users reveal a statement they are not sympathetic towards, and to the sound of a violin playing, they rub their thumb and finger together as if they were playing a tiny violin.

The expression ‘world’s smallest violin’ has been around since long before TikTok. The saying is used to respond to people who are believed to be exaggerating their situation to gain sympathy from the listener. The listener plays their ‘world’s smallest violin’ to sarcastically respond.

Many TikTok users reported first seeing the saying used in an episode of SpongeBob, however, that isn’t where it originated, and you may spot it across a variety of different forms of media.

Videos that feature this trend have been generating millions of views and likes across the platform. Some have used it to respond to frequent hate comments they receive on the app, and others have used it to reference specific situations involving real people they know.

While some have been confused about what it means, the trend is continuing to blow up on the app, with users who already knew the saying, as well as others who are just encountering it for the first time, making videos using the gesture and accompanying TikTok sound.

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.