It might be easy to understand what “oating” is — but the why is a little more difficult.
The new trend, which has been going viral on TikTok, has Gen Zers hiding large containers of oats from their friends. If someone finds the oats by accident, according to the trend, they have to dump the container on their head.
Anyone who went to college in the 2010s will (unfortunately) recognize the format. “Oating” is severely similar to “icing,” the viral trend where people would surprise their friends with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, which, of course, had to be chugged on sight.
Ultimately, though, it’s easiest to understand “oating” after you’ve seen it in practice.
Many “oating” videos look similar to the example above from user clemy1717. The clips usually start with a group of friends — often young, college-aged guys — hanging out. Then, someone finds the oats.
The trend has become incredibly popular, with videos using the #oated hashtag racking up more than 12 million views. Also, like with any trend, the stakes have only gotten higher.
It’s clear that some oating videos are staged, while others seem to capture a real, full-on prank. The sincerity of the clips beyond the point, though, oating is ultimately all about commitment.
Unlike “icing,” which involves chugging a way too sweet alcoholic drink while your friends yell at you, oating feels much more lighthearted. The TikTok users who come across their friends’ hidden oats are always, always ready to go all-out.
There’s some kind of strange camaraderie to the whole thing, with TikTokers jokingly yelling things like “Get oated!” and “Ah, which one of y’all oated me?” Whether you’re the oater or the oatee, everyone feels in on the joke.
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