What Is the Meaning of the Yellow Cars All Over TikTok?

U.K. TikTok users are posting videos about a yellow car game, and many users are curious exactly what the trend is all about, and why it’s popular.

A yellow convertible parked on Rodeo Drive.
Source: Getty Images

While some trends on TikTok take over the app globally, others are much more localized phenomena. One recent trend that has taken the app by storm is confined almost entirely to the U.K., where users are on the hunt for yellow cars for reasons that remain mysterious to some users.

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If you’ve seen videos that feature users on the hunt for the nearest yellow car, you may wonder exactly what those people are doing. Thankfully, we’ve got all the answers you need below.

What does the yellow car mean on TikTok?

The rules to the yellow car trend are actually pretty simple. The trend is basically a variation on the kinds of car games that have helped passengers pass the time on road trips for decades. In this game, passengers are supposed to yell “Yellow car” if they spot a yellow car on the road, and lightly tap the person closest to them in the vehicle. No one is supposed to get hurt here, so just a love tap should do.

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A close up on the grill of a yellow Mercedes-Benz.
Source: Getty Images

Of course, the other part of the trend is that users are supposed to film themselves participating in the game, and in doing so increase the overall reach of the trend.

As is often the case with these kinds of trends, some users were completely out of the loop about what this game was and why it was suddenly taking over the app. As a result, there are videos of people participating in the trend, as well as videos of people explaining exactly what the trend is.

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The yellow car trend is a lot like the punch buggy trend.

Although the yellow car game seems to be confined largely to the U.K., American audiences would likely be familiar with other versions of the same game. In the U.S., it’s fairly common to play the “punch buggy” game, which involves hitting a fellow passenger if you spot a Volkswagen Beetle on the road. It’s a remarkably simple trend, but one that has taken over TikTok nonetheless.

There is no deeper meaning behind the yellow car trend.

As can sometimes happen when the explanation for a TikTok trend is relatively simple, some users almost refuse to accept the idea that the yellow car trend doesn’t have any deeper significance. It’s just a game that slowly spread across the U.K., maybe because yellow cars are especially uncommon in the country.

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Source: TikTok/@secretmadeleinee

There are plenty of similar games and trends in the U.S. that most Americans are simply used to. There’s no reason to call out every Volkswagen Beetle you see, but plenty of people do it anyway. It’s simply a fun game to pass the time, and now it also happens to be all over TikTok.

Regardless of the exact reason the trend started, it’s currently all over TikTok. Maybe there will eventually be a similar TikTok trend involving Americans and Volkswagen Beetles. Until then, though, TikTok users outside of the U.K. may just have to be perplexed by the popularity of this yellow car trend.