Young-people culture is full of mysteries this week: Why would anyone drink blended oats and water instead of eating a bowl of oatmeal? Why does everyone care about some anonymous teens at a party? Is anyone on TikTok psychic?

What is “Oatzempic”?

The trendiest trend on diet-based TikTok this week is Oatzempic. Hailed by some as the key to quick weight loss and getting that bikini body you’ve always wanted, the oatzempic diet is basically blending some oats with water and lime juice, and drinking it for breakfast. It has a catchy, of-the-moment name, but does this diet actually help people lose weight? If you follow a plan of replacing breakfast with a disgusting oat slurry that has about 160 calories and lots of fiber, you’d be consuming fewer calories than if you eat bacon, eggs, and toast. But as our own Beth Skwarecki points out, “If you don’t eat much food because you are ‘full’ from eating 160 calories, you’ll end up on an unhealthily low-calorie diet.” And nutritionists largely agree that oatzempic is not the kind of thing people are likely to stick to long term—you’d be better off eating a bowl of oatmeal instead of choking down an oat smoothie first thing in the morning.

Viral video of the week: TikTok Rizz Party/Carnival Boys

This week’s viral video, TikTok Rizz Party, aka “Carnival Boys,” portrays a group of teenage boys dancing to “Carnival” by Kanye West” at “Jillian’s sweet 16,” according to the vid’s poster. Nothing unusual happens in the video. The subjects seem like nice enough kids doing a normal teenage kid thing, but Rizz Party went exceedingly viral, earning over 56 million views on TikTok alone since it was posted on March 10. It went so viral, it gave birth to the new academic discipline of Rizz Party analytics. There are over 32,000 response videos on TikTok, with online people poring over every pixel on every frame like “TikTok Rizz Party” is the Zapruder film. They’ve given each person in the video a nickname, created a backstory, character motivation, and lore, making full parodies, and letting it influence their personal philosophy, all based on 17 seconds of randomly captured video. So far, it seems that the kids in the video themselves are accepting their newfound internet fame with good humor, calling themselves by their fake names, and playing into the lore, but it has to suck for the kids that have been deemed the less-popular Rizz boys.

As for why this video, why now, it could be anything. But I think an entire generation spending literally years inside during a key formative period in their social lives has likely had a profound effect on their collective psyche, and this video (along with most of current youth culture) is an expression of it. Widespread fascination with a mundane moment of lighthearted, social fun could point to a longing to share that kind of experience, even if it’s expressed through mocking or irony. (This is the thesis for my research I hope will earn me a Ph.D. in Rizzology.)

IShowSpeed and Logan Paul vs. The Rock and John Cena: Wrestlemania as generational battleground

At this weekend’s Wrestlemania XL, there was a clear generational divide moment. If you are over a certain age, the main event, a title match between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes, featured the most amazing surprise appearances possible: The Rock and John Cena both showed up on opposite sides. (The match’s presentation is so hilariously over the top, it must be seen to be believed.) But if you’re under the a certain age, the only surprise appearance that mattered at Sunday’s show was YouTuber IShowSpeed, who turned up dressed as a bottle of blue Prime drink and tried to help fellow streamer Logan Paul in his match against Randy Orton and Kevin Owens. After pulling Paul out of the ring, IShowSpeed is promptly RKO’ed onto the media table by Orton. The moment immediately went viral, with half of viewers enjoying a good laugh and the other half asking, “IShow what, now?”

The birth of conspiracy theory on TikTok?

I’m fascinated by why people believe in dumb things, and social media gives us a chance to see how nonsense can become a widely held beliefs in real time, as it happens. There is a post going viral on TikTok right now that’s a case study in what happens during the early days of a conspiratorial belief. TikToker Tristian Galindo posted a video this week where he discusses a TikToker he remembers watching back in Covid days. According to Galindo, this “missing creator” made a series of videos where he predicted the future accurately, crediting his info to a mysterious group called “the uppers,” then disappeared, vowing to return in 2029. “I kid you not, everything this man has said so far has happened,” Galindo claims.

Even for most conspiracy theorists, that wouldn’t be enough evidence to take seriously, but there’s information in the comments that seems to corroborate Galindo’s tale. Other TikTokers not only remember the poster, but (supposedly) tracked him down. Moe Othman (“Mothman” for old-school conspiracy theory fans) really was a TikToker who stopped posting in 2022, and he did make predictions about the future, including saying that Covid would spread to major cities in the early days of the pandemic. If you want to believe, this likely is enough. But if you’re a skeptic, you might actually watch Othman’s videos and learn that he doesn’t mention anything about “the uppers” or any other specific thing Galindo “remembers.” He also never made any predictions that came true (except the one about Covid spreading, which was also predicted by literally everyone who knew how viruses work. And he even got that one wrong, predicting that grocery stores would be raided, when really all that happened is we had to wear masks.)

Time will tell whether Galindo’s conspiracy theory catches on and joins heavy-hitters like “We didn’t go to the moon” and “Pizzagate,” but his video has been seen six million times in the last week alone, so it’s at least finding an audience. (For the record: No one can see the future because it hasn’t happened yet.)