TikTokers Are Giving Us the Silent Treatment

tiktok silent reviews
Mix and Match Studio/Shutterstock koblizeek/Shutterstock DDimaXX/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

Nobody loves post-ironic trends more than Gen Z, and now, months after the trend of acting like an ‘NPC’ on TikTok Live blew up, TikTokers are proving they are the spokespeople of a generation by saying… well, nothing at all, in “silent reviews.”

The silent review trend, which originated on BookTok, involves using non-verbal cues like facial expressions and exaggerated hand gestures to give your take on a product. Ranging from book reviews to handbags to your latest makeup haul, #silentreviews have already amassed 128 million TikTok reviews and counting.

A “silent review” isn’t entirely soundless, though — creators are incorporating ear-tingling ASMR to make their content an all-around unique sensory experience.

But it’s not just about ASMR — there’s more to the attraction to silent reviews.

“People online are growing tired of everyone having an opinion about things,” TikToker Cassie Thorpe told the New York Post. Thorpe, who went viral for her own silent review this month, told the outlet that “sometimes [people] just want influencers to show them whatever it is they’re promoting without saying a word.”

BookToker @stephreadsalot originated the trend back in October with her silent book reviews. But in a second video in November, the creator admitted she partly regrets originating the trend.


If you decide to unfollow or only watch and support my one silent review per month, thats totally okay. I just wanted to address it because i get comments every day about it. LUVYASOMUCH ❤️ #stephreadsalot #booktok #booktokfyp #silentreviews

♬ original sound – StephReadsAlot

“It kind of feels like I created a monster a bit,” she said. “Now I know how Obi-Wan Kenobi felt.”

She then went on to explain that the pressure she has gotten from viewers to do more silent reviews has “dramatically plummeted [her] interest in them.”

“Now, it feels performative for me to do it,” she added. “I’m really sorry if that is incredibly disappointing, but I have to do what feels good to me. Because otherwise, it’s going to come off as insincere and inauthentic.”

Given she said this two months ago, and “silent trends” have only just blown up now, you can kind of see her point. It’s almost like she predicted the life cycle of this trend before it even happened.

It also poses the question of when, exactly, a trend pivots from being one creator’s niche to a marketing machine collectively owned by the rest of the creator economy. Either way, we’d be interested in a silent review of Frankenstein.

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