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Storytime in Gotham City (GothamTikTok)

DC fans on TikTok are roleplaying as Gothamites, sharing the way villains and vigilantes cause them stress in their daily lives.

A black and white photo of an almost empty street in New York City.
Shutterstock/Mihai Andritoiu

DC fans on TikTok are dusting off their New Jersey accents and roleplaying as citizens of Gotham sharing the way villains and vigilantes cause them stress in their daily lives. This TikTok trend is called GothamTikTok or GothamFYP.

What is Gotham?

For those who don’t know, Gotham City is the fictional city where Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne, lives. It is famous for being riddled with crime and corruption. Whether that be lower-level goons mugging people on the street, the Joker letting out a lethal “laughing gas” on the subway, or the police enforcement turning a blind eye to these crimes for a price.

This led to people in the city feeling like no one was looking out for them. Vigilantes like Batman and Robin rose due to these issues. That is not to say no civilians were looking out for the citizens of Gotham. The Wayne Family were famous for their philanthropy. After Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered in Crime Alley, Wayne continued their legacy.

Gotham City, depending on who is adapting Batman, is inspired by New York City and/or Chicago. However, according to “The Atlas of the DC Universe”, Gotham is in New Jersey. This would explain why TikTokers sometimes don the accent.

DC fans wondered what it would be like if Gothamites, citizens of Gotham, had TikTok, and this was their response.

POV GothamCityFYP

@red_finch

The Recycling program is actually really good here #fyp #foryou #dccomics #batman #gotham

♬ original sound – Red

User @red_finch is attributed to starting the GothamFYP trend with their Gotham Snapchat Stories series. Posted on February 2, 2024, the video has now accrued 51.2k likes and has 15 parts. In this video, she is roleplaying as a Gothamite upset that she can not use her tap water because the Joker was constantly tampering with it. She has “18 cases of bottled water” in her car due to the fear of being poisoned by the Clown Prince of Crime. It is very easy to forget that this TikTok is a joke when @red_finch is so clearly passionate about what she is talking about. It is no wonder why people jumped on the trend after seeing her video.

@fantasticfrankey’s TikTok demonstrates another theme people like to lean into when participating in this trend: Gothamites defending their city from what they feel is slander. Here, she has roped in Keith Lee, a real-life food critic, and called him out for “rating Gotham at the bottom of places to eat.” This video currently sits at 96.5k likes after less than two weeks. This TikTok perfectly shows how creators are mixing reality with fiction in a way that makes Gotham feel real.

@valkyrievvitch

also hey ms. quinn if youre seeing this at all pls be advised that twoface is sending people after you 🖤 #gothamfyp #gothamcity

♬ original sound – val

This TikToker is complaining about her dye job getting her into trouble because it is similar to Harley Quinn’s, one of the most famous DC villains. This video brings up the concept that Gothamites would have favorite villains as well as favorite vigilantes. It also addresses a common theme that people with dyed hair would get confused for villains or villain supporters.

Extra GothamTikToks

@el_from_etheria

obviously their love lives have no effect on my, i’m just nosy #gotham #gothamfyp #gothamtiktok #gothamtok #lgbt

♬ original sound – el! from etheria

What starts as a TikTok that may be speculating about Batman’s secret identity turns into theorizing about Batman and Bruce Wayne’s relationship. It is no shock that TikTokers in Gotham City would participate in relationship speculation or even shipping when it comes to vigilantes. We already see it happening in real life with celebrities and DC fans are no strangers to shipping and fanfiction. These videos bring to life how fans would carry this culture into Gotham.

Normal civilians are not the only ones on GothamTikTok. Here we have someone cosplaying a member of the Teen Titans, a young group of heroes. Cyborg is making a statement in response to someone complaining about him destroying their car in a fight. This TikTok also demonstrates how the GothamFYP trend has stretched to mean TikTok’s made anywhere in the DCEU since the Teen Titans are based in Jump City.

Why Gotham?

Roleplaying as background characters from a piece of media is nothing new. You could likely find TikToks of this exact concept done by fandoms for Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or even Twilight. Those, however, did not catch fire in the same way GothamFYP did.

My theory is that Gotham City is unique enough that there is an endless supply of weird interactions civilians could have with villains and vigilantes, but is normal enough that people can hop on the trend without too much effort. For instance, if someone were to apply this concept to Percy Jackson, this person would have to make a Camp Half-Blood shirt, green screen Camp Half-Blood behind them, and create a backstory for the character they are roleplaying as. People on GothamTikTok don’t have to take most of these extra steps to put out something relatively realistic to the universe. They only have to come up with a funny story and record it. There is no lack of absurd and humorous stories you can squeeze out of Gotham.

DC has also been encouraging these TikToks by leaving comments on people’s posts. This gives people an added reason to make GothamFYP videos.

A comment from the DC TikTok account: Wait a minute Lois Lane could be Wonder Woman
TikTok/DC/(commenter)

DC also thought this idea was so good that back in 2021 they made a podcast called “Batman: The Audio Adventures” with HBO Max (now called Max). This is a scripted podcast with a storyline that takes place in Gotham. We get to hear some comments from Gothamites themselves which is what reminds people of the GothamFYP trend. You can find a few of the seasons on Spotify.

What’s New in Gotham?

If you are looking for more Gotham entertainment, DC is set to release the series The Penguin this year on Max. The show is a spinoff of The Batman (2022). The Penguin is centered around the supervillain that shares a name with the title. Colin Farrell will be taking the lead role as Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot. There is also a rumor going around that Robert Pattinson may show up as Batman, but this has not been confirmed yet.

If this trend also inspires you to catch up on the ongoing Batman comics, there are plenty to choose from.

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Written By

19-year-old university student studying English.

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