If you’re spending less than three hours a day scrolling through TikTok then you my friend, are a better person than I. Due to my daily toilet scroll I noticed a weird little trend in the TikTok comments. People writing “crop” and “story time” under almost every video.

From my investigation (i.e. my toilet scrolling) “crop” and “story time” seemed to be the most common viral comments.

I also saw “you don’t have this emoji” and “anyway here’s the recipe for brownies”. Now I don’t mind the last one because I do in fact like seeing the brownie recipe. You never know when the urge to bake will strike.

The combination of these weird comments and my permanently-altered-by-2013-Tumblr brain meant my interest was piqued. It had the vibes of early noughties chain mail because time is a flat circle.

More intriguing were the users railing against the “crop” and “story time” comments. Clearly there was some deep-seated beef in the TikTok comments community.

“Settings, privacy, comments, keywords and filter out ‘story time’ and ‘crop?’,” commented one user.

“SPREAD THE WORD.”

Crop and story time were pretty common TikTok comments before the viral in-joke. We’ve deffo all seen a story time request: when commenters want more context or a longer explanation for a video. And crop is when people ask users to reupload their vids so they can be easily screen-shotted.

But the in-joke involves commenting those two phrases on vids where they’re not relevant. It’s basically a way of poking fun at the fact multiple people will comment the exact same thing on a video.

If someone else has already asked for a “story time” and the comment has a bunch of likes, you probably don’t need to comment “story time” too.

So to make fun of the people who comment “story time” and “crop”, other TikTok users are commenting the two phrases even more. Yeah.

It’s getting mixed reactions.

Like most in-jokes, it’s pretty banal and loses a lot of humour when you try and explain it. I’m sorry it wasn’t some Sherlock Holmes-esque puzzle we unlocked together.

But I’m glad it’s giving the TikTok kiddos a wee giggle even if it is true hivemind behaviour. TikTok comment sections are now equally taken up with “crop” and “story time” comments and people complaining about them.

Before you know it TikTok’s going to bring back “I like your shoelaces” and “thanks, I got them for the President”. If that just unlocked a memory and a full body shudder for you, I’m so sorry.

Image: Getty Images / picture alliance