“Call me crazy if you want, but I’ve never liked store-bought pesto.”
You may have heard or seen these words at the start of many videos on your For You page. Perhaps surprisingly, they do not come from Ina Garten — someone who famously calls store-bought foods “fine” — but rather home-cooking influencer Susi Vidal.
Her words have sparked a hilarous trend in which people share their craziest stories on the video-sharing app — but why?
On Sept. 1, Vidal posted a short recipe demo for homemade pesto that got everyone talking, but not about the green sauce. At the start of her video, which has nearly 9 million views, she says those 12 words that sparked a viral trend.
She then goes on to make her own pesto, using pine nuts, basil and more to create what she calls her “girl dinner.”
Although her pesto looks perfect on the pasta shells she pairs it with, most people who have seen Vidal’s face on TikTok in the past month haven’t even seen her completed dish. That’s because people have taken her video’s opening and used it as a launching point for their own devious means.
TikToker @payjthegemini posted the first viral stitch of Vidal’s video, interrupting her pesto-making by saying, “Oh, my God, you’re friggin’ crazy girl!” The short clip garnered over 8 million views and may have been what set off the larger trend.
After that, people honed in on the innocent turn of phrase Vidal used — “call me crazy” — to launch into their stories. This time, though, they’re are actually crazy.
“I bit a man at a bar last week ’cause he touched my shoulder,” TikToker and comedian Carly Aquilino (@fashiongirl42069) says in her stitch. “I broke the skin.”
“Yeah, damn, that is pretty crazy,” TikToker @billysmarts says in his stitch, adding that Vidal’s comment about pesto reminds him of his own crazy story that starts in Mykonos, Greece. He says he met his first wife while vacationing with family and how the relationship ultimately ended in divorce after five years when she made a startling admission to him about having children.
“Oh, my God, girl, that is so crazy. So this one time I walked in from my bachelorette party and my boyfriend decided to tell me that instead of getting married in three weeks he thought it would be best if we just never saw or spoke to each other ever again,” TikTok user @maegansoliz says in her stitch, explaining how she not only lost a fiance, but also her eyesight and a tooth in less than 24 hours.
In yet another stitch, TikToker @trevorboelter’s seemingly innocent tale about selling ads in a college newspaper somehow connects to one of the biggest crime stories of the past 20 years.
In her stitch, TikTok user @shaynarc0 shares a story about how her mother’s dream led to a stunning family revelation.
Arguably the most shocking tale of all is TikTok user @jarrbear’s near-death experience that took place during mass when she was just a teen who wanted to donate blood.
If you’re wondering what Vidal thinks about all of the chaotic chronocles now attached to her pesto video, she calls it “inventive.”
“I would say it’s not really negative towards me, so I don’t have any negative feelings towards it,” Vidal tells TODAY.com. “The fact that they took this two-minute-long pesto video, used the little beginning part and decided to tell these insane stories, I think is a very creative thing. It’s also entertaining. I love watching them now.”
Vidal also says that her recent viral fame — outside of her 3.5 million followers — has had real-world effects.
“Now, people are recognizing me as the ‘crazy girl.’ ‘Oh, my gosh, you’re the crazy girl,’ ‘you’re the pesto girl,’ and typically nobody would really recognize me,” she says. “That’s bizarre, because that doesn’t typically happen to me.”
Would she think twice now before using colorful language to talk about future recipes?
“This has happened to me before, where people take a part of a video completely out of context and make a trend out of it. I like to be dramatic and goofy so I say things like in all my videos; they’re all pretty similar,” Vidal says.
“I have thought about it, like, maybe I should be not so dramatic, because it’s obviously not a crazy thing to do, but I think it’s fun. It’s how I talk. So I’ll probably just stick with it because it’s hilarious and, I don’t know, I like poking the bear a little bit.”