Extremely Online

The “Dupe” Trend On TikTok, Explained

Here’s why that word can’t get out of your head.

What is the dupe/doop trend on TikTok? Users are giving the term a whole new meaning.

Back in the mid-2000s, if something wasn’t a name brand, it was labeled a knockoff. Owning a faux pair of Uggs or an imitation North Face jacket was basically a high school scarlet letter, but not anymore, because people are finally realizing that not everything needs to come with an absurd price tag in order to be cute. Instead of calling these cheaper versions knockoffs, though, TikTokers refer to these discounted products as “dupes,” short for duplicates. And in true TikTok fashion, the term has become so popular that users are now calling everything they see a dupe, from loungewear to therapy.

According to Know Your Meme, people on the internet have been describing things as “dupes” long before you heard it on the FYP. The term was often used by beauty YouTubers when they reviewed cheaper versions of expensive makeup products, so it makes sense why people are using the expression to talk about affordable bodysuit alternatives and skincare products on TikTok all these years later. But despite its long history on the internet, the word “dupe” has now become a staple in the TikTok lexicon, all because users have turned the slang term into a full-blown meme.

After the term had unofficially taken over the timeline circa 2022, people began poking fun at creators for referring to products as “dupes” by using the phrase to describe everything under the sun — and I mean everything. Per Know Your Meme, one of the first dupe parody videos to go viral on the platform was posted by @keylimeleah on Dec. 15, 2022, in which the user and their friend make fun of dupe content by declaring various Target finds as “dupes” for brands such as Lululemon, Skims, Hoka, and Beis. At the end of the video, the creators drive home their point by referring to a pre-made salad as a “Sweetgreen dupe at Target,” and even calling a box of Nicorette a “cigarette dupe.”

This inspired a trend of creators finding their own “dupes” at stores, and the content is just as funny as it sounds. TikTok user @theblackoncrack and their friend rebranded a bunch of everyday items as name-brand dupes in this Feb. 5 video, including a rug (which they called an “Aladdin dupe”) and a tumbler cup (aptly named “Starbucks dupe”) — and almost got kicked out of the store in the process.

The way the word is pronounced has also become a joke in itself, with people over-enunciating it so that it sounds like “doop” rather than “dupe.” One of the most extreme examples of this can be seen in this video from @sexxxcbishhh, where the pronunciation is so over-exaggerated, other people in the store can’t help but stare.

Now that the word has spread across the platform and beyond, it’s hard not to view everything in life as a dupe for something else. This video from @actressbecc perfectly sums up the shopping experience in a post-dupe world — once you hear something referred to as a dupe, you can’t unhear it.

The hashtag #dupe has over 3.7 billion views on TikTok as of April 21, and at this point, there’s probably just as many parody videos as there are actual recommendations under the tag. TikToker and baker @thejonnycakes put his own sweet twist on the meme by creating cake dupes for well-known items like a pair of Crocs and a Himalayan salt lamp. If that’s the only way to get your hands on the Mona Lisa, then so be it.

You might have even heard the term pop-up in a viral sound from @zoes_reads, in which the creator describes novels like Normal People by Sally Rooney and Luster by Raven Leilani as a “therapy dupe.” The sound has been used in over 50.4K TikToks as of April 21, so clearly there are a lot more therapy dupes out there than just books.

The trend has even spiraled into creators recreating meals from their favorite restaurants at home and calling them dupes, like this Domino’s Philly Cheesesteak Loaded Tots dupe recipe from @momlifewithlaura.

Whether you’re actually in the market for a dupe recommendation, or you’re just looking for a good laugh, the dupe trend on TikTok has it all. It’s likely that the trend isn’t going away anytime soon, so you might as well slip on your favorite Skims bathrobe dupe and peruse through the hashtag for some good suggestions and even better laughs.