What is NCP, TikTok's latest phenomenon? Here's the scoop on the odd trend

But be warned: NPC definitely isn't a compliment

What is NPC, TikTok's latest phenomenon? Pictured: TikTok user Pinkydoll, a popular NPC account
(Image credit: TikTok/@pinkydoll)

What is NPC, TikTok's latest trend? 

Sometimes, the content that pops up on our feed is nothing short of "Where'd they come up with this?" and NPC certainly fits the bill. Other fads making their way across the app are meant to be confidence boosters, like Main Character Energy and the Barbie Manifestation Method. NPC? Eh, not so much...depending on how you use the term.

What is 'NPC,' TikTok's new trend?

The gamers amongst us need no introduction, but for the rest of us, "NPC" means non-playable character, a.k.a. those random faces you come across in video games that have a generic wave and little to no reason for being in the game in the first place—other than taking up space. They're not controlled by an actual gamer, and they don't add to the plot. (Millennials and Gen Z: think Shy Guy from Mario Kart.

As the name suggests, an NPC can feel pretty generic. They don't interact with you, the Main Character, very deeply and choose to keep all of their interactions surface-level. The weather is their go-to conversation. Their clothes are typically the same. They're fairly robotic. (You get the idea.) 

Now that you have a clear idea of what this entails, and you're thinking back to your go-to PlayStation obsession from back in the day (ah, nostalgia!) you'll realize that NPC is not necessarily a compliment. In fact, it's basically a trendy, new way to say "You're boring." And unfortunately, NPC can also feel fairly derogatory, suggesting that someone's behavior is not "normal" or as it should be. Despite the negative connotations, with millions of views and counting, the trend shows no signs of slowing down. 


♬ NPC Girl - Lyric

Different types of NPC videos on TikTok

While some throw around the term NPC as a knock, others are fully embracing the NPC state of mind. Take popular TikTok user @pinkydollreal, who goes on live on the app to record herself talking and acting like an actual NPC character in a game. She's speaking and moving robotically while dishing out some of her favorite terms: "gang gang, gang gang" and "Mmm, ice cream so good." 

But perhaps those NPC sidekicks aren't being given the proper credit, as @pinkydollreal and other users are profiting off their imitations—and building up a tremendous following in the process. If you ask us, that's more of a MCE move. (Just sayin'.) 

Whether or not you're on board with the phenomenon, it's safe to say that TikTokers are pretty consumed by the fad. We're certainly curious about what type of behavior will land on our FYPs next. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.