But a new TikTok house has sparked chaos online for very different reasons: its inhabitants are older, employed, and gleefully obliterating Millennial work-life balance.
Meet the Honey House, a new collaborative effort from eight Americans fitness gurus, motivational coaches, and e-commerce consultants, who have turned their shared living situation into a content factory.
Honey House member and de facto leader JT Barnett said the project kicked off in early August, when he and his mates moved into a huge Southern California home to ride out the pandemic together.
@honeyhouseand it begins.. ##honey♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup
Since then, the Honey House has shared standard TikTok fare. The group’s page is filled with jacked and tanned bodies, PG-friendly housemate challenges, and at least one game involving the boot lid of a luxury SUV.
Those efforts have netted the group a cool 380,000 followers, but Honey House largely avoided the same scrutiny focused on big-time operations like Hype House.
That changed over the weekend, when Barnett showcased life behind the scenes of his “adult TikTok house”.
The breezy montage showed housemates filming a workout, typing away on Slack, and, in one instance, “firing people up” as a ‘mindset’ coach.
The clip has amassed over a million views since Sunday.
It is also breaking brains across the internet.
@honeyhouseReply to @heyhey08211992 this is what it looks like from morning till 5pm in our *Adult* Tiktok House♬ UNDERWATER WONDERSCAPES (MASTER) – Frederic Bernard
While TikTok users are broadly familiar with the concept of a collab house – at least, folks are desensitised to teens pumping out sponcon in luxury homes – Honey House operates differently.
Outfits like Hype House largely serve as content incubators, where TikTok stars can pool their clout to boost earnings through promotional posts.
That’s not the case at Honey House, where each member has a primary gig separate to TikTok. As a result, viewers are teasing out the very 2020 distinction between ‘TikTok House’ and ‘share house as personal branding exercise’.
The criticism is sharper on Twitter, where a reposted version of Barrett’s video, with the caption “sincerely the worst thing I have ever seen,” has been viewed 2 million times. The comments are even more vicious.
Honey House’s behind-the-scenes video has even been slapped into a meme template.
In its harshest estimation, Honey House showcases the dark side of the Millennial hustle mindset, where the barriers between life and employment don’t really exist; it suggests the only way for creatives to succeed in a precarious jobs market is by joining a live-in WeWork. That’s to say nothing of their actual jobs, which only exist thanks to social media.
Yet Honey House might not live up to those doomsday predictions. Sharing the cost of rent with mates isn’t new, and filling extravagant Californian mansions with occupants is probably better than leaving them empty. Besides, working from home is hardly a novel idea during the pandemic.
We might live to see more Honey Houses, where ‘responsible’ TikTokers ditch the drama, glamourise their work-from-home lifestyles, and ride out the pandemic with their photogenic mates.
If 2020 has angered the hive, maybe Honey House knows how not to get stung.