The TikTok Rizz Party: How the latest Gen Z obsession has taken over the internet and what brands should know

Posted by Emilie McMeekan in Comment

1 month ago

If Reesa Teesa and her “Who TF Did I Marry?” series was a soap opera for the grown-ups, the younger Gen Z cohort have their own current obsession: the TikTok Rizz Party. The tag #TikTokRizzParty has appeared in more than 40,000 posts and is currently a platform phenomenon.

It began innocently at a Sweet Sixteen birthday party in Staten Island, New York. Imagine with me for a moment: You and your crew have been friends since primary school. You have been dancing for hours when the DJ turns up the Kanye. You launch yourself into Carnival, rapping with delight, jostling in front of a camera, hyping each other up. The whole thing is captured by the party planner Island Entertainment’s social team, and posted on TikTok, with the caption “The boys showing how its [sic] done at Jillian’s sweet 16”, here. One comment by a user called Self Righteous dubbed it “TikTok Rizz Party”. More than 57 million views, 7.5 million likes, 62K comments and an extraordinary 675K saves later, as one CORQ social media expert put it: “10 years ago they would have been booked on Ellen by now.”

Side note: “TikTok Rizz Party” was a phrase coined in Florida in May 2023 when it appeared on party flyers and was quickly dismissed as a “cringe” thing. “Rizz” for the uninitiated is internet-short for charisma. In March 2024, the TikTok community quickly agreed two things: that the boys were also a little cringe, and that it would dedicate every waking hour to scavenging details about their dynamics and storytelling around the night. And so began TikTok Rizz Party lore. The group gained universally-acknowledged nicknames: Blue Tie, White Shirt, Tomato Face and Turkish Quandale Dingle. (Quandale Dingle was an internet nickname given to a teenage football player back in 2022.) Videos dissecting their relationships, such as who was vying for the role of group leader, have garnered millions of views: armchair psychologists and body language experts have spent hours dissecting the footage, here. There are numerous Carousels dedicated to styling the TikTok Rizz Party characters, here; reimagined POVs of the night, here; crushes, here; school tests, here; TikTok Rizz Party fits, here. In short, every possible permutation and cult TikTok format has been deployed mercilessly by the Gen Z audience, with no sign of letting up. Island Entertainment has made multiple promo videos since, here, including feeding more footage of Blue Tie, Turkish Quandale Dingle and White Shirt to the theorists here, which is fuelling more content, as well as a renewed focus on another party attendee, Red Dress Girl, here. A month on, the TikTok detectives are still in full swing and the trend is even seeing activations off the platform.

On Wattpad – a website with a community of 94 million monthly users for original written fiction whose most popular genres are romance, teen, and fan fiction – there are hundreds of fictionalised stories about the party. On Roblox, a new category, “TikTok Rizz Party”, was added to the game Dress To Impress, where you style your avatar and are judged by your peers. This caused near meltdown on TikTok, with clips gaining hundreds of thousands of views, here. The party also hit X (formerly Twitter), here.

What of the boys themselves? Blue Tie, 16, and Turkish Quandale Dingle, 16, are the only ones who have leaned comfortably into the attention and have dealt with all the jesting with self-effacing humour, like the netizens they are. Blue Tie, known in his “before life” as Seby, has gained more than 340K followers and four million likes, within five days of re-launching his account (at time of writing). Turkish Quandale Dingle is really Michael Amato, and his account has one post with 12 million views, shared with Seby, and more than 140K followers. Incidentally he is Italian not Turkish. The pair have done livestreams together and been interviewed by YouTuber Dylan Zitkus. Seby told Zitkus that he was beginning to be recognised in the street. He is also making his TikToks longer than a minute so he is earning from the TikTok Creator Fund – not surprising given his posts have millions of views. But the other lads in the video are keeping a low profile. The pressure of being an internet phenomenon is well known. For example, Couch Guy (the boy who didn’t get off the sofa when his girlfriend arrived for a surprise visit and was investigated by the internet in 2021) wrote in Slate about the savage invasions into his life: “I implore you to remember that they are people, not mysteries to solve.”

For brands, how to react? TikTok trends are lightning fast and there is always a danger that in jumping on the trendwagon, you might be too late and too cringe – guilty of interrupting a conversation and effectively ending it. However, there are ways to nod to these internet culture moments without falling down the trying-too-hard trap: mostly by referencing the events in social media posts. For example, the NFL alluded to the Rizz Party on its TikTok page, here, which earned it a huge uptick in views. Gaming behemoths such as Fortnite are vying for the emotes, and, as discussed, Gen Alpha favourite Roblox reacted within weeks of the phenomenon to add “TikTok Rizz Party” to the platform’s vernacular. Brands that cater to or want to attract teen audiences should be alert to the trend for the way it will inform the demographic’s conversation. Reading and other festivals, Spotify and fast fashion brands, are just some of those who could quickly build TikTok Rizz Party playlists and edits without disrupting the natural trend order.

But at its core, the TikTok Rizz Party is simply a useful illustration of the way one tiny moment can proliferate across the internet, and how the TikTok community yokes and then disseminates its obsessions, as well as the platform’s populace’s unquenchable appetite for detecting. TikTok is always watching.

By Emilie McMeekan, CORQ features director. Picture credit: Island Entertainment via TikTok