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Is everyone experiencing ‘main character syndrome’ or are we delusional?

Do you ever catch yourself dramatically looking outside the window while listening to a song as if you were in a music video? Or have you ever thought that while you’re doing your own thing, everyone just stops whatever they’re doing and stares at you?

Yup, that’s just a manifestation of this thing called “main character syndrome,” and it’s nothing serious. It’s not a ‘diagnosable’ mental illness or anything; it’s just a description of someone living their life as if they were in a movie or book – and they’re the protagonist. 

Let’s say, for example, if you ever caught yourself thinking that you were Bella Swan in her depression montage scene in New Moon, then you most definitely have the “main character syndrome.” 

main character syndrome Bella Swan New Moon depression montage

This type of self-centered behavior has found its way to TikTok and other social media through various content – such as memes, short-form videos with Lana Del Rey’s Mariner’s Apartment Complex as the background music, and even Tweets recounting users’ fantasies as the protagonist in their lives. 

Everyone at least once or a few times has probably thought of themselves as the “main character” or protagonist in their life, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s amusing to see these things on social media because you’re not alone in your delusions. 

One popular TikTok video by Ashley Ward started the whole “main character” trend, telling those viewing the video to “…start romanticizing their lives.” She also told viewers, “You have to start viewing yourself as the main character because if you don’t, life will continue to pass you by.” For Ashley and many others who got inspired by her video, being the main character means to slow down to enjoy the small things in life. 


Take a second and listen #fyp #foryou #aesthetic #lovelife #drone background song: @hannah_harpist

♬ A Moment Apart – ODESZA – Ashley Ward

Others took a funnier way of confronting their protagonist fantasies, using the tag to portray their highly romanticized daily situations, such as working in a coffee shop or looking for a book in the library. You know, those rom-com plot devices. 


#losersclub #maincharacterenergy

♬ Mariners Apartment Complex – Lana Del Rey


Main character live action 😭🤸🏻#foryou #foryoupage

♬ Mariners Apartment Complex – Lana Del Rey

Again, there’s nothing wrong with the “main character syndrome.” In a way, it’s a new method of trying to love yourself more and imagining your future – though that may be a shot in the dark. 

It’s alright to romanticize about life every once in a while, but don’t go overboard with it. Remember, let your fantasies stay as fantasies, okay? You aren’t delusional. (Unless you do think about everything you romanticize and make it real, then you’ve got a huge problem to deal with.)


Other POP! stories you might like:

A tribute to the father figures who step up beyond their duties

‘Clueless’ star Alicia Silverstone releases TikTok ode to iconic movie scene

‘R-I-P that’: Rufa Mae impersonator blows up on TikTok

This TikTok mom met the Backstreet Boys & was part of an iconic music video 


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