What About Me?
TikTokers are confused about bean soup comments on videos, and the what about me effect.

The Viral Bean Soup Comment Drama On TikTok, Explained

It’s sparked a hilarious new trend.

When TikToker Kara (@vibingranolamom) shared a simple high-iron bean soup recipe with her followers in August, no one would have guessed that it would lead to FYP drama and the emergence of so-called “bean soup comments.” Bean soup comments on TikTok actually don’t really have anything to do with beans at all — rather, they’ve sparked a wider conversation on TikTok comment etiquette.

While Kara received some valid questions from followers asking about a full recipe with ingredients and measurements, some comments stood out as a “should have just scrolled past” moment. While you’ve likely heard that there are no dumb questions, some would argue that’s not the case — especially when some people asked the creator how to make the soup “when you don’t like beans.”

In a second TikTok, Kara tried to calmly and thoughtfully respond to this question by finding a solution for making bean soup sans the main ingredient — and TikTokers had a field day. “You are the pinnacle of diplomacy and grace because ‘can I make bean soup without beans’ would’ve sent me into an apocalyptic rage,’” one TikToker joked, while another said, “You are so patient and kind with this response. I have steam coming out of my ears after reading those comments.”

After all, subbing out the beans for broccoli and cheddar would defeat the purpose of having bean soup. The math is not mathing. Instead, the logical thing to do if you don’t like beans is to avoid making a bean soup, and not comment at all on the TikTok.

This viral situation spurred a bigger conversation on TikTok, with users dubbing these kinds of questions “bean soup comments” and arguing they stem from a larger issue, which TikToker Seema (@artlust) calls the “what about me” effect. “People individualize what [they’re] hearing,” she says in a viral TikTok, adding that this leads to people trying to make every situation about themselves instead of scrolling and moving on.

The What About Me Effect On TikTok, Explained


Creator Sarah Lockwood (@sarahthebookfairy), who originally coined the term the “what about me effect” after seeing the bean soup controversy, tells Elite Daily the trend is due to a combination of “individualistic culture with being chronically online.”

She says been noticing this behavior “for a few years now” on her own content, and it only seems to be getting worse with people inserting themselves into places they might not belong or asking questions that don’t pertain to the content.

While most people have written off bean soup comments as a lack of common sense, Lockwood believes that it’s much more than that. The “what about me” effect is when you find a way to make that situation about you, even if there’s no connection. While commenting you’re allergic to strawberries under a TikTok about how to make strawberry milk could come off as out-of-touch or even self-centered, Lockwood believes it’s somewhat due to TikTok’s (usually scarily accurate) algorithm.

Because of TikTok’s promise that videos on the FYP are meant “for you,” Lockwood argues, “we are so used to having a feed that’s tailored to our personal interests,” which might lead to people feeling frustrated or a sense of entitlement if they see something they can’t relate to.

The algorithm can’t be right all the time, and it’s possible that if you’ve liked soup recipes in the past, TikTok may send you a video of a viral soup without knowing your disdain for beans. An easy solution is to scroll on by or even hold down on the video and select the option “not interested” so you see less bean recipe videos. But, that wouldn’t be the “what about me” way.

TikTokers Are Responding To Bean Soup Comments With Humor


While bean soup comments may be frustrating to see, it’s nice knowing that there is a term for them and a reason why someone might be asking questions that you think lack common sense. Lockwood believes that a solution to the “what about me” effect could be “cultivating more self-awareness, self-reflection, and checking our egos more often,” but she also warns that overcorrecting could be a problem too. You don’t want to discourage people from asking questions, sharing opinions, or giving a personal anecdote.

On a more lighthearted note, TikTokers are doing what they do best and poking fun at the most nonsensical comments with a new trend on the platform. For example, on TikToker @moribyan’s video of spooky Halloween sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches, the comments section was filled with hilarious “what about me” replies, like “what can I sub it with if I don’t like spooky sugar ice cream sandwiches” and “what if I have Christmas cookies? Will this still work?”

Inspired by the bean soup incident, other creators have made their own recipe videos without beans like TikToker @fazalboi, who made a “high-iron bean soup” that was just ramen. So, while the bean soup comments are annoying, they’ve at least given us some comedy gold in the end.