Viral TikTok trend 'Girl Dinner' explained: why is it so controversial?

Have you heard of this latest food trend?

Girl Dinner
(Image credit: Claudia Totir / Getty Images)

We've all been there. You come in from a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on. You open the fridge and all that's looking back at you is an opened packet of ham and a jar of gherkins. For some, this will call for a last-minute dash to the shops. For others, the thought of chucking it all onto a plate with some bread and crisps will do. However, what if I told you that this is an actual thing? Enter the latest TikTok trend...Girl Dinner. 

The Girl Dinner trend is currently taking over TikTok, with the hashtag receiving over 792 million views across the world. It's got many people wondering exactly what it is, and why it's specifically called a Girl Dinner. Well, let us tell you everything you need to know.

Before we start, have a look at the 9 foods that can power your day so you know exactly what your body should be having. 

What is a Girl Dinner? 

A Girl Dinner is essentially a plate of miscellaneous foods, pulled together to become a full meal. It will usually consist of different meats, bread, crisps, pickles and some chopped up fruit and veg. By the way, did you know what the world's healthiest vegetable was?  A Girl Dinner kind of resembles a strange charcuterie board, especially when there's a random cereal bar or something thrown in there. 

Girl Dinners go against any idea of clean eating and cooking from scratch. They're meant to be typically quick and convenient, perfect if you've come in from a long day and don't feel like cooking. As previously mentioned, they're also great for when your fridge is looking slightly empty. We won't lie, some of them actually look pretty good. 

Where did the Girl Dinner trend come from?

Olivia Maher has been credited for starting the trend which she called “no preparation, just vibes”. She posted the video on TikTok in May, showing her plate consisting of butter, cheese, bread, some grapes and pickles, and a glass of red wine. She also jokes that her dinner resembles the kind of food a peasant would eat in Medieval times, claiming that this would be her ideal meal. 

The 15-second clip has been watched more than 1.4 million times. Have a look for yourself: 


♬ original sound - Olivia Maher

Why is it so controversial? 

There are two main reasons why the trend has been labelled as controversial. 

The first reason is that the nutritious value of a Girl Dinner seems to be rather low, meaning those who opt to make them regularly aren't getting the kind of vitamins and minerals they need to maintain their health. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men. Foods such as processed meats and cheeses and carbohydrates like bread are high in calories and lack basic nutrients. However, if you aim to make your Girl Dinner with healthier items such as fruits, vegetables, crackers and nuts, you could be okay. It all depends on what you have on your plate. 

The second reason is to do with the name. Exercise Scientist & Nutritionist Amelia Phillips pointed out the word ‘girl’ implies a smaller portion and is actually an unnecessary addition to the trend itself. She also said that "the food choices are mostly highly processed, not nutritionally balanced, they are gender biased, lack credibility and have the potential to insight disordered eating patterns in this young demographic." Phillips made it clear that even after just a scroll on TikTok she could already see a huge problem with the trend. 

So, what do you think? Will you be trying out the Girl Dinner trend? 

Interested in more? Have a look at these other TikTok viral trends you could try: 

This bargain Decathlon travel bag is going viral on TikTok!

I’m not convinced about TikTok’s new ‘Bed Rotting’ self-care trend

Can’t get to sleep? Try TikTok’s Sleepy Girl mocktail

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.