While brainstorming ways to evolve Tunes with Tate and spice up the weekly content, I was surprised that I had yet to do anything TikTok-related, so I whipped up a playlist of the first handful of TikTok songs I could think of as well as some that were requested through Instagram polls (check them out every Thursday on our page, @thepostathens). 

As we all know by now, TikTok has taken the world by storm. After its massive increase in popularity in 2018, it’s safe to say that many people are glad it stuck around for 2020. Once the pandemic hit, it kept people laughing and connected while also giving artists the ability to grow their platforms overnight if a video got enough attention. Various dances and trends arose from this new form of social media, and I hope it stays that way.

Now likely considered an “old” TikTok song, “ROXANNE” by Arizona Zervas became popular after its Oct. 10, 2019, release and has its own dance. The song has been used in over 1.9 million videos, and its popularity took it to the No. 4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, made it into several Top 40 charts in the U.S. and the U.K. and led to Zervas signing with Columbia Records. Zervas now has over 11 million monthly listeners on Spotify and a remix of “ROXANNE” with Swae Lee.

Another song used in a dance trend is Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage.” The dance was created by 19-year-old Keara Wilson in March 2020, and it has completely changed her life. Popular TikTok creators and celebrities alike have done Keara’s dance but most notably Megan herself. The Ohio native has since created a new dance for Megan’s Savage Remix featuring Beyoncé, made her own merch, became verified on TikTok and even landed an interview with Cosmopolitan.

Machine Gun Kelly’s song “I Think I’m OKAY” featuring Yungblud and Travis Barker was released July 17, 2019, and by the end of that year was a thriving trend on TikTok. The very first line in particular, where MGK says “Watch me take a good thing and f--- it all up in one night” was being used for people to highlight things they have or likely would mess up. There are currently over 229,000 videos with this song. 

Fourth on the list is “Heather” by Conan Gray from his debut album, Kid Krow. Gray described the song as being about the person he liked being in love with a girl named Heather and the frustration of hating her, even though she had never actually done anything to hurt him. On TikTok, this song became a multi-faceted trend. The videos included going through their yearbooks and pointing out who their high school’s ‘Heather’ was, showing throwback photos of their family members and saying that they were ‘Heather’ and selfie videos lip-syncing to the lyric “I wish I were Heather.” 

Similar to “Heather,” the trend with One Direction’s 2015 song “Olivia” also had people saying someone they know is ‘Olivia’ or that they wished they were her. But it also consisted of people going from wearing an everyday outfit to being dressed up after clapping along to a particular part of the song as well as revealing the name of their crush by lip-synching along but saying the person’s name instead of ‘Olivia’ at the end.

After WBUR announced “Space Girl” by Frances Forever as its favorite NPR Tiny Desk Submission, the song quickly gained a lot of traction on TikTok. In three weeks, the song shot to 10 millions streams between Apple Music and Spotify, reached No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 2 globally and ended up on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative charts. The song also has a dance that was created by @papa.squash on TikTok that has allowed it to continue to reach new heights. 

Billie Eilish never ceases to amaze with how fast her songs turn into hits, so it was no surprise when her latest single, “Therefore I Am,” dropped and immediately got popular on iTunes and Billboard charts while also gaining uses in TikTok videos. A majority of them are people lip-syncing to the song with a happy face until they get to the lyrics “Get my pretty name outta your mouth / We are not the same with or without,” when they take on a more serious look, sometimes with an outfit and/or makeup change. 

Last but certainly not least is “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo. Her name first ended up in headlines back in 2019 after a song she wrote called “All I Want” was debuted in the fourth episode of the Disney+ show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. It is considered the breakout hit of the show, trended on TikTok and is certified Gold by the RIAA. Less than a month ago, Rodrigo once again got everyone in their feelings by releasing her debut single, “drivers license,” off her upcoming EP. Just like “All I Want” did over a year ago, the song is all over TikTok. It’s in videos ranging from people talking about the drama regarding the lyrics’ meaning to crying to it in cars and in the rain. The song has done so well that it even garnered the attention of Rodrigo’s idol, Taylor Swift. At only 17 years old, Rodrigo has shown the world what she’s made of, and it doesn’t look like she’s going anywhere any time soon. 

TikTok users around the world love these songs and have their own personal favorites, but here’s how my family ranked them from worst to best:


8. “ROXANNE” by Arizona Zervas

7. “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion

6. “I Think I’m OKAY” by Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud and Travis Barker

5. “Therefore I Am” by Billie Eilish

4. “Space Girl” by Frances Forever

3. “Heather” by Conan Gray

2. “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo

1. “Olivia” by One Direction


8. “Therefore I Am” by Billie Eilish

7. “ROXANNE” by Arizona Zervas

6. “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion

5. “Heather” by Conan Gray

4. “Space Girl” by Frances Forever

3. “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo

2. “Olivia” by One Direction

1. “I Think I’m OKAY” by Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud and Travis Barker


8. “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion

7. “Heather” by Conan Gray 

6. “Space Girl” by Frances Forever

5. “Therefore I Am” by Billie Eilish

4. “drivers license” by Olivia Rodrigo

3. “ROXANNE” by Arizona Zervas

2. “I Think I’m OKAY” by Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud and Travis Barker

1. “Olivia” by One Direction

Somehow, January is already over, but it will be exciting to see artists have breakout moments, viral dances and new songs get famous on TikTok in 2021. 

Tate Raub is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Tate? Tweet her @tatertot1310.