These days, I can’t scroll through TikTok without seeing a set of big naturals, thick thighs or a woman so beautiful I question my purpose on this Earth. This isn’t new (the algorithm knows what I want), but lately, the comments these types of posts attract have become increasingly obvious. It could be a video of someone stocking shelves in a polo at her Walgreens job or cosplaying as Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body — no matter what, the top comments will be filled with the phrase, “Mommy? Sorry. Mommy? Sorry. Mommy?”
It’s now abundantly clear that we’re no longer repressing our psychoanalytic maternal desires: We all want women to mommy us, and we don’t care who knows it.
A TikTok from late August in which a guy approaches his girlfriend while saying “Excuse me? Excuse me? Mommy? Sorry. Mommy?” likely sparked the trend, as over 85,000 videos now use the audio. Some of them with the “Sorry. Mommy?” audio are made by men who just want to film their girlfriend being pretty, while others are by women who simply film themselves and numerous others are created by people of all genders describing niche scenarios like, “When your ex-girlfriend is now your accountant,” or “When my plug has big honkers and comes outside with no bra in her tank top to make a deal.”
But beyond the audio usage, there are also countless cases of people leaving the phrase on other people’s TikToks. On Twitter, too, it’s become a common caption for photos posted by stans of celebrities like Billie Eilish and Harry Styles.
The “Mommy? Sorry. Mommy?” phrasing seems to be a riff on the tendency many of us had as children to accidentally call other women “mommy,” particularly school teachers or those who otherwise demonstrated care and affection. As adults, we’re now displacing those same desires sexually. It’s an extension of the “submissive and breedable” meme that’s been stirring for the last several months, where people primarily referred to themselves as submissive and breedable. With the “Mommy? Sorry” trend, it’s as though our wires have become further crossed: By calling a woman “mommy,” we’re calling her breedable, but we’re the submissive ones in the dynamic. Particularly as we keep apologizing — or saying “sorry” in between each “mommy” — we’re positioning ourselves as vulnerable, like we know there’s something perverse here though we can’t help but continue it.
However, like the “submissive and breedable,” “big naturals” and “mommy gf” trends, biology isn’t necessarily the defining feature to whom “mommy” status gets applied. Just as someone with fake boobs can still have big naturals energy, plenty of people who don’t plan to ever give birth can also still be a “mommy.” Similarly, it’s not necessarily an extension of an incest fetish, either — rather, it’s more about the dominance and warmth that maternal figures provide.
None of this is all that new. In fact, it’s probably as timeless as interpersonal dynamics can get. But whereas this erotic mothering may once have been reserved to private mommy-domme relationships, we’re now sharing them openly and brazenly on TikTok. The “sorry” helps shield the desire somewhat, framing it as a mistake, but it really only serves as an excuse. Rather than hide our inner desire for love and care, we’re thrusting the mommy label on anyone whose 15-second clips suggest they might be able to provide it, pretending we don’t know any better.
Didn’t our mommies teach us better than that?