The TikTok algorithm is one of the most complex and terrifying pieces of technology I have ever encountered. It knew things about me in 10 minutes that I didn’t tell people for 20 years. It knows when I watch something somewhere else and factors that into my feed. This is scary, but also I fucking love it and would give the algorithm access to all of my texts and thoughts in order to get new and good jokes because everything is so bad all the time and I’m an idiot.
I’ve been watching TikToks since the fall of 2018, so by this point my algorithm is pretty specific and consistent: lots of dogs with no coordination, lots of people doing physical pranks on each other, lots of Taylor Swift conspiracy theories, etc. But a few weeks ago one of our readers sent me a few links to videos of backcountry skiing, which I had never seen before and which is terrifying. I watched many videos about this on YouTube, entranced and very interested.
“She likes skiing,” the algorithm thought, and at first I was annoyed. I have only skied one time! I can’t ski because there are no mountains near me! But I forgave the algorithm because it brought me this meme which I now happily bring to you to brighten up your Friday a little bit.
The meme started with a video by the user mr. soggy (@soggywaterboy). Sometimes I think something is a meme on TikTok only to realize it is only a meme to me and all of my 10,000 identical algorithm cousins, but this video has been liked 1.2 million times so it’s popular enough.
In the video, as you can see, an accent is used to say “I am on the mountain with my cousin Wilhelm, who is going to do a BIG TRICK,” then there is a pause, and the video cuts to the “cousin Wilhelm” doing the “big trick,” which is a terrible wipeout. This sound has been used by more than 10,000 users to show us terrible skiing fails of their own. You can see them all at the sound link here, but here are a few I personally love:
Happy Friday! Be careful out there. Look out for your Cousin Wilhelms!