Digital Culture

The captivating allure of TikTok's glass bottles breaking on steps trend

Dudes Rock and ASMR, combined.
By Tim Marcin  on 
screenshots of bottles rolling down stairs in three different tiktok videos
Bottles + stairs = fascinating. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok / @tyylatuii / @makenzie_villas / @asmrstairvideos

Internet trends have taught us that the strangest things can be compelling. Livestreamed construction. Obscure NBA highlights set to indie music. Hell, in 2016 nearly 1 million people watched live as Buzzfeed squished a watermelon excruciatingly slowly, one rubber band at a time.

A recent TikTok trend has entered into this storied internet oeuvre: watching glass things roll down stairs and, importantly, seeing both if and how they break.

And, I have to say, it's pretty freaking captivating. A few different accounts have begun posting these sorts of videos and it's a thrilling mash-up of ASMR(opens in a new tab) and Dudes Rock(opens in a new tab), the internet meme(opens in a new tab) for things that are wonderfully stupid and wholesome. Some people are into it for the oddly soothing sounds of glass tumbling and breaking, while others, like myself, get the same sensation as watching someone toss a big rock off a bridge into water. Like any content in the Dudes Rock diaspora, the appeal here is not limited to men. It's just the kind of stuff that makes your lizard brain think, "Sweet."

Glass jars and bottles filled with different things, rolling down steps? That's sweet. It's hard to explain if you haven't seen it but you should really(opens in a new tab) watch(opens in a new tab) these(opens in a new tab) videos(opens in a new tab).

There's something oddly soothing about watching glass bottles and jars go down stairs. There's the mystery of what will last. There's the satisfying clang of a break. It's hypnotizing and all over my, and other folks', For You Page. Lots of people love it.

In the wake of this whole thing becoming a trend, folks have jumped on the wave by stitching the original videos and reacting to each bottle or jar. There are people who predict if a bottle(opens in a new tab) will break, some who react to breaks(opens in a new tab), and, of course, lots of jokes(opens in a new tab) about(opens in a new tab) the trend.

And while this is a pretty specific trend, it's not really niche anymore. Some of the bottle breaking videos are racking up more than five million views(opens in a new tab). Reaction videos are getting more than a million. And in a sign of a thing really becoming a trend, yes, the brands have(opens in a new tab) started(opens in a new tab) making parody bottle-break videos.

If you use TikTok it's likely you'll soon come across these videos if you haven't already. Personally, I enjoy watching along and predicting if bottles will break. The key, I think, is to see if the bottle or jar has thick glass ridges — those typically hold up better. But my favorite is when a beer bottle shatters perfectly on Step 1. It's produces a wonderful, immediate whoosh of destruction.

Just remember, if you do this at home, please be careful. Broken glass is, in fact, quite sharp. And please do not do this in a public space, like, say, the steps in your apartment building. The last thing you want to do is go to the hospital and tell the doctor, "Well doc, it all started with a TikTok video."

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Tim Marcin

Tim Marcin is a culture reporter at Mashable, where he writes about food, fitness, weird stuff on the internet, and, well, just about anything else. You can find him posting endlessly about Buffalo wings on Twitter at @timmarcin(opens in a new tab).

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