What 'Hits Different' Means On TikTok

Over the last decade, Instagram has shaped pop culture and created whole new trends and language surrounding trends. As TikTok has grown in popularity over the last three years, the same pattern has formed. From Karens to Main Character energy, TikTok trends and phrases have seeped into everyday use. So here's what hits different means on TikTok. 

Whether it's a new flavor of chips or a song — many things can "hit different." It may not be immediately obvious, but Urban Dictionary explains that if something "hits different," it means that you may experience something that conveys a different feeling or emotion than before. It could be for the better or for the worse. Flow Box writes that it's generally used in a positive way. You might say the way that your crush talks to you hits different, meaning it's special. Similarly, you might say Billie Eilish's new album hits different.

Trying to get your head around TikTok slang may seem like a lot of effort. However, sociolinguist Jessi Grieser told Refinery29 that it actually serves quite an important purpose. "What you're doing with slang is that you're showing that you're a participant in a particular type of culture or age group," she said. "And as the slang starts to circulate and different social groups use it, it takes on different social meanings. Depending on how admirable those social groups are, that can end up leading to a loss of the slang."

How hits different is used on TikTok

Hits different has filtered its way into common language and SZA named a song after it. She sings, "Hit different when I'm sitting here alone, all by myself. Hit different when I think you might be with somebody else" (via YouTube). USA Today outlines that it's so general that it fits with any trends that are popular on the app.

Some people have adopted it to educate (and thirst over) some of the finest presidents and first ladies. JFK has been getting a lot of love. Other people have shared their favorite pictures of celebrities that do something else for them. People have also been exposing their childhood crushes that used to make them feel all kinds of ways and the little moments that bring them joy like road trips (via YouTube), swimming in the rain, and working late when everyone is asleep.

According to Stay Hipp, before it was used on TikTok, hits different became a common phrase used within LGBTQ+ communities. The publication outlines that after YouTuber and influencer Daniel Howell came out, many of their fans reacted by saying that the news hit different. After 2019, it was seen across the internet and may have even filtered into your vocabulary.