I used to be late to Euphoria. I didn’t watch the primary season when it premiered in 2019, solely catching up within the winter of 2021, as I sought one thing to fill my lengthy break.
But, as season 2 approached, it felt like there was no escaping Euphoria content material on social media. On Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, many followers had one thing to share, whether or not it was anticipation for a new episode, theories, memes, or normal reactions to the present. Euphoria’s prevalence on-line led it to hover between first and second on Selection’s Trending TV chart, which tracks Twitter engagement round TV exhibits. Now, extra individuals are watching Euphoria than ever. Season 2’s viewership elevated almost 100% from season 1; 13.1 million viewers tuned in to the premiere. Whereas a part of this is because of Zendaya’s recognition, it additionally displays the larger social media engagement with the present generally — opening up the fan base to incorporate individuals who could not even be maintaining with episodes in actual time.
Days earlier than the brand new season debuted, movies anticipating the discharge — some with greater than 17.9 million views — popped up on my TikTok For You web page. I used to be intrigued, not simply by the present, however by the response on-line. Euphoria was dominating social media, and I, fairly actually, didn’t wish to be overlooked. So on Jan. 9, I tuned in to the primary episode proper because it aired. As early because the day after, social media was flooded with Euphoria content material. Folks had been recreating every episode on TikTok, reenacting scenes with little or no context — principally rehashing notable moments, in comedic quick kind. A few of the hottest ones had been considered over 6 million occasions, and a few content material creators have devoted their total accounts to Euphoria recaps.
Those that, like me, had seen the episode may simply perceive these TikToks and different social media posts. However additionally they functioned like recaps for many who hadn’t. Content material creators even drew in followers who had by no means watched Euphoria however had been capable of get a glimpse into the present with out having to pay for an HBO Max subscription. Some jokingly remarked that their Twitter feed after every week’s episode was sufficient to get them caught up, even when a few of it was extremely out of context.
On the similar time, Euphoria stars additionally added to the social media flurry. Actors who had been forged as extras within the season premiere dished about their Euphoria experiences. Angus Cloud, who performs drug seller Fez, posted a video on Instagram of himself hitting fellow Euphoria star Jacob Elordi on the top with a bottle — behind-the-scenes footage of a scene that appeared in that first episode.
I began working Euphoria into my weekly schedule, attempting to look at as near air time as attainable to keep away from being spoiled by social media. Like clockwork, as every episode ended — and even typically throughout — social media got here alive. On TikTok, customers poked enjoyable on the absurdity of Euphoria’s East Highland by pretending to go to “Euphoria Excessive Faculty.” Within the pattern, a TikToker will stroll into the body with a “regular” outfit. An audio clip that includes Squidward asking SpongeBob “and why aren’t you in uniform?” will immediate them to reenter the body in an outrageous outfit, like these worn by Euphoria characters, that would definitely violate another highschool’s gown code.
The variety of traits has solely continued to develop. In a more recent one, customers comment on how unrealistic Euphoria is after which give a plot about “their highschool.” After studying just a few strains, it turns into clear that the small print about “their highschool” are references to a different TV present. Typically, these are different common teen dramas like Glee, Secret Lifetime of the American Teenager, and Fairly Little Liars. Some have additionally posted movies recasting the present with an all-Black forged, former Disney Channel stars, and even common influencer Trisha Paytas.
Audio that comes straight from Euphoria has additionally blown up on TikTok. Whereas scrolling by the app, you’ll in all probability hear Labrinth songs from the present, like “Perpetually,” “System,” “Nonetheless Don’t Know My Identify,” or “All for Us. These tracks had been a part of the primary season’s soundtrack and have lots of of 1000’s of streams on Spotify. Audio from particular scenes has additionally turn into common, even with non-Euphoria-related content material. A sound chunk from Cal and Fez’s scene in episode 4 (“I’m extraordinarily confused/You’re confused, I’m fucking confused bro”) is featured in almost 250,000 movies, and Maddy’s response to Lexi’s play within the promo for episode 7 (“wait, is that this fucking play about us?”) is utilized in greater than 60,000 as of writing. Though that is widespread on TikTok — audio from TV exhibits is usually used on unrelated movies — it exhibits simply how pervasive Euphoria is on the app.
Euphoria is actually not the primary or final social media fascination. Virtually a yr in the past, WandaVision noticed an analogous explosion, inspiring numerous TikToks and memes about its characters, most notably Jimmy Woo. Earlier than the brand new season of Euphoria, individuals had been swarming to Yellowjackets with analyses and fan theories galore.
On-line platforms have turn into a well-liked medium for viewers to course of movie and TV generally. However Euphoria’s hanging aesthetics and sophisticated storylines have made it a pure match for social media. The truth that audiences should wait every week earlier than watching a brand new episode solely builds anticipation, drawing individuals in. As one TikToker identified: “It’s like a ebook membership sponsored by HBO and our obsession with poisonous sizzling individuals.”
I wasn’t initially focused on Euphoria, however the present has grown on me all through the previous few weeks — due to the wild outfits, hilarious recaps, and unending stream of Labrinth music on my For You web page. I’m trying ahead to seeing what creator Sam Levinson has in retailer for the season finale. And much more so, I’m excited to see the memes it evokes.