TikTok users are debating whether stories about close friends are considered flirting

When drama begins online, words rarely transcend the platform on which they originate and become viral across the internet. But it happened last November, when TikTok user @kelly_kim (real name Kelly) shared why she had to cut ties with her ex-friend "cold turkey." Of course, this prompted the former bestie @joannayeonlee (aka Jo) to respond to her story, and viewers got some thoughts on the situation.

TikTok Close Friend Drama, Explained

There's a lot to dissect in this story, so here's a brief overview of the show in case you missed anything. While filming GRWM on Nov. 7, Kylie opened up about all the ridiculous things "this girl who calls herself a 'girl's girl'" has done to her, first of all Joe added on her Instagram Kelly's future boyfriend. A story about a friend soon after I met him. They weren't dating at the time, but Kelly said "everyone knew they liked each other." To some, that alone may sound like a violation of the girl code.

Kelly also claimed that Joe quickly began posting "attention traps" on "close friends" after adding him, seemingly suggesting that the "random TMIs" she shared might be an attempt to get his attention. That said, Kelly did clarify that Joe wasn't releasing a traditional thirst trap.


According to Kelly, Jo's next crime occurred after she borrowed a hoodie from her boyfriend one night. According to the creator, Joe wore the sweatshirt over the next two weeks and posted "all about it" on social media. Um...

In addition to other red flags such as "spending hours preparing to meet him" and revealing to their mutual friends that he was cute and could see herself "getting with him," there was an incident in which Kelly claimed Joe bought him one Sandwiches she knew he liked. More on this later.

Although Kelly never mentioned Joe's name, TikTok has been viewed more than 4.7 million times as of November 28, so it was only a matter of time before her former bestie saw the viral video. This is how the FYP cookie breaks down.

Jo plucked up the courage to tell her side of the story and published a response on November 16 to clarify the "misunderstanding." First, she shared that she not only added Kelly's boyfriend to her "close friends" the night they met, but also everyone they hung out with.

"We've become very comfortable with each other, and obviously if I feel comfortable with you, I'm going to add you to my close friends," Joe said. "It's really not a big deal." The creator also said that Close Friends doesn't "mean a lot" to her. Of course, not everyone will agree with Close Friends, but in letting Comfort is absolutely key when it comes to people entering your digital inner circle.


What is the “attention trap” on Instagram?

Next, she talked about the so-called attention traps, saying: "I don't know what she's referring to, because if [they are] attention traps, why would she show up on close friends as well? If I just want It becomes an attention trap and I only add the people I want to attract." Makes sense.

As for the sweatshirt, Jo simply said she's "notorious for not returning hoodies," although she admitted she kept the sweatshirt longer than usual because "it's really cute." No one can resist the power of a cute hoodie.

Finally, Jo clarified the SandwichGate incident, claiming that she fed Kelly's boyfriend to "show [her] gratitude" for helping to install a TV in her bedroom. Kelly and Joe were roommates at the time, and the three of them turned on the TV together.

"I handed her the sandwich," Joe recalled. "If I really cared about buying him a sandwich, because it's for him, I would want to hand it to him. But I don't care, it's just a way of saying it. I would do it for other people." Some say the quickest way to someone's heart is through their stomach, but that does seem harmless, to be honest.

Should your bestie and partner be best friends?

Understandably, the story of this friendship breakup has generated a lot of discussion online. The show inspired many viewers to take sides, with some sympathizing with Kelly and others siding with Joe.

"Everything you mentioned is subtle, but oddly enough, you were right to cut her off," TikTok user @valeria.elizabeth commented on Kelly's video. "Honestly I think it was just misunderstood and instead of expressing her feelings she decided to cut you off," @_level19_ wrote under Jo's post.

This conversation isn't just happening in TikTok comments, though. The drama has been circulating on X (formerly Twitter), and it seems like users think friends and partners shouldn't be friends at all.

“Friend’s boyfriend is not my friend…just a co-worker at best,” said X user @chismosavirus. “I don’t want to keep dragging the topic but I don’t want to be cool with my friend’s boyfriend, you are not my friend and you are on my watch list,” @diamoore_ posted. “My friend trusts me to be there for her boyfriend because I’m basically her horrible dad that he’s forced to bond with to earn my respect,” @ghoulhag said. Honestly, they're not wrong.

Of course, not everyone agrees. "I guess I'm lonely because I like my best friend and my boyfriend to be friends," @eatraelove wrote. "That's how you build a village. If you befriend or date someone with boundary issues, you're going to have bigger problems." Another takeaway.

Are close friends that deep?

Although the saga unfolded over the course of the five-year plan, it all started on Instagram when Joe added Kelly's boyfriend to her "close friends." According to a previous survey of more than 130 Bustle readers, 26.5% believed Close Friends was only for real-life besties and people who "pass the vibe check." It’s worth noting that 54.5% of people don’t use Close Friends at all, so this number is actually a pretty hefty percentage.

Meanwhile, the 9.1 percent who claim to have rather loose standards for close friends could be Team Joe in all of this. But, FWIW, one respondent said Close Friends Stories is for "real-life close friends and crushes," so there could be arguments on either side of this viral debate. No matter which ex-friend you root for, there's one thing we can probably all agree on: never borrow a hoodie unless you plan on returning it as soon as possible. Unless it's cute, I guess.