The Best TikToks of 2021

Anne Heche, Hot Shrek, and more

UKRAINE - 2021/11/12: In this photo illustration, TikTok logo is seen displayed on a smartphone scre...
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I have spent a majority of my time this year passing the time by scrolling on TikTok. I do it during work hours, I do it on the train, I do it during any period of time where I might otherwise be alone with my own thoughts. My For You page, in which the app sees inside a user’s brain to select videos tailored to their highly specific interests, is a never-ending stream of people screaming alone in their cars, Taylor Swift conspiracy theories, and Starbucks workers telling stories of their worst customers, , and it keeps me from ever having too much time to think about all the things that are wrong in the world and in my life. For that I am grateful, and during this confusing time of year when no one knows what day it is, I thought I would comb through my TikTok favorites and find some of the best videos of the year, For You. I hope that these will help ease your mind as you try to forget that you have to go back to work in a few days.

A Family (?) Saga

Thea von Englelbrechten, the 20-year-old Dublin student who makes dramatic videos featuring Sylvanian Families figurines (in the U.S. they’re better known as Calico Critters), is working on the cutting edge of absurdist storytelling. I want her to get an HBO deal yesterday.

A Taylor Swift Cover

“Hoolen hooven hay!”

Get Ur Freak On Indeed

The Alley McBeal baby found dead.

Two Gals Reconnecting

Forgive me for including a nearly two-and-a-half minute video on this list, but no one on TikTok makes me laugh harder than comedian Grace Kuhlenschmidt. This video, about a woman taking a “DUI class” who runs into an old friend named Jennifer, has so many twists and turns that it is basically a Dickens novel. The bug-eyed filter, squeaky alien voice, and the unintentional delay between the audio and the visual all work together to make tears start streaming out of my eyes at just about a minute in.

Anne Heche Reviewing Her Red Carpet Looks

“Why did I look like a hippie? It’s because Ellen didn’t want me to dress sexy.” I love a behind-the-scenes moment.

Gotta Have My Java

It’s the last shot that really gets me.

A Frank Assessment of These Times

Has any sentence captured the international state of affairs better than “Every day… there’s something going on?”

Lunch with Dad!

It’s nice that they let Mark have a fry.

Love is Love

We all know that Shrek makes you hotter, but what if Shrek was the hot one the whole time?

Speaking of Hot Shrek…

That’s all.