This Is Why Millennials and Gen Z Are Fighting on TikTok

TikTok isn't just our go-to destination for entertaining content—it's also the battleground for the ongoing fight between Gen Z and millennials.

Okay, fight may be a strong word, but there's certainly a rift growing between these two generations. This "fight" is mostly in good humor, but there are some people (primarily millennials) who are taking it a little too seriously. I was born in 1995, so I'm right between millennials and Gen Z. I am too young for aspects of millennial culture but too old for many of the Gen Z trends. This unique position allows me to break down and judge the Millennial vs. Gen Z standoff impartially. So, if you jumped into the middle of this fight and have no idea why millennials are defending side parts or Gen Z is single-handily putting skinny jeans out of business, here is why the two generations are feuding.


(via Shutterstock)

The Two Generations

Before we get into the TikTok drama, it's helpful to define the two generations to understand the division better. Generation Z starts in 1996 or 1997 and ends in 2010. Gen Z values independence, individuality, pragmatic thinking and authenticity. Self-expression and community are fundamental to them. They've grown up in a world of technology, so they are innately able to work with it and understand it. They dominate new trendy social spaces, which is evident in the fact that 60% of TikTok users are Gen Z. Gen Z fashion trends mix vintage and forward-thinking concepts.

Millennials, the name used for Gen Y, are born between 1981 and 1995 or 1996. Millennials were the generation at the forefront of significant technological advancements and are more tech-savvy than older generations, like Gen X and boomers. They are characterized as idealistic, accepting and inquisitive. Due to the youngest millennials being 24 to 25 and the oldest millennials being 40, they sport a wide range of current fashion trends from Gen-Z inspired looks to corporate casual. Past millennial styles included low-rise jeans, baby tops, colorful pleated skirts and double-denim.

@london.tipt0nMillennial or Gen Z ##millennialvsgenz ##happyeaster ##sheesh ##fyp ##freefreedance ##motherdaughter ##teenfashion♬ Gimme More – Britney Spears


The Gen Z Side

Gen Z is the current, trendsetting generation, and like every generation, they make jokes about older generations' trends. The drama began when Gen Z TikTok creators posted videos that made fun of two millennial trends: skinny jeans and side parts. Gen Z found more embarrassing material as they dug through millennial history, like how millennials often identify with a Hogwarts house and use cringe vocabulary such as "doggo" and "girl boss." Millennials became defensive about these objectively embarrassing trends and made TikToks lecturing Gen Z for being too young. Gen Z thought it was hilarious because obviously, they don't really care about millennial opinions. They even enjoy some millennial trends, such as the current Y2K fashion trend. However, it's natural to laugh at an older generation's outdated trends and questionable levels of taste.

@laireclemusi have too much free time lol #genz #millennial #millennialvsgenz #genzwar #generations #imsorry♬ i found me a lover who could play the bass – abbie


The Millennial Side

Millennials were the youngest generation for many years. They're not used to having a more youthful, modern and technologically advanced generation. As they struggle to let go of their long-held position of the popular generation, they are also facing the reality of adulthood. The youngest millennials are now 24, so they are rapidly entering the next stage of life. Seeing a younger generation laugh at your old trends reinforces a new fear of aging. Millennials do love Gen Z and actually want to be accepted by them. They think Gen Z is incredibly talented, intelligent, compassionate and creative. They love their trends and most millennials have adopted center parts and loose jeans (or at least I have.) However, the few resistant to change and antagonistic towards Gen Z need to move on. It doesn't matter if Gen Z calls yoga pants "flared leggings," turn every song into a TikTok dance, emphasize dark eye circles with makeup and think everyone over the age of 25 is ancient. New trends start and old trends fade. That's the circle of life.

@byaimeekellyHow ya doing my fellow millennials? ???? #millennial #genz #millennialvsgenz #millennialsoftiktok #millennialsbelike♬ original sound – Oli


Who's Right?

At this moment? I would say Gen Z is on the right side. Millennials forget that they made jokes about Boomer and Gen X trends. They laughed at '80s fashion and old technology! While most millennials enjoy the funny callouts from younger people, some have to accept that there's a newer, trendier generation. It doesn't make millennials obsolete, but it does mean they have to share social media platforms and admit that they are no longer the pacesetters. It's time to switch from the role of the rebellious youngest child to the fun older sister. Millennials can still interact with Gen Z, but there will always be differences in culture, and that's okay.

This fight is 100% not serious and will not truly create a divide in the generations, but it is important to find solidarity between teenagers and young adults. As much as we are different, we are also the same. We are both diverse and progressive generations that want to create a better earth. We can laugh at embarrassing millennial trends as long as we unite on essential issues.

@itscourtneymichelleDoes anybody else in their late 20s get on the internet and feel 80 years old sometimes? #millennial #genz #fyp #comedy #ZodiacSign♬ original sound – Courtney Michelle Dlugos


It doesn't matter if you're a millennial or Gen Z—everyone is obsessed with '90s fashion trends. Here is how you can style your wardrobe for a '90s inspired summer look.