Ten curious search trends of 2023

We’ve just published the last TrendWatch report of 2023, bringing the total number of trend stories this year to 112. It’s been a journey of cultural enlightenment! To round up the year, and to give you a taste of what’s coming for newsletter subscribers in 2024, here’s my top ten of the strangest trends of 2023, along with a full list of the trends I’ve researched this year.

There are plans to add more data into TrendWatch for 2024, so subscribe now. The full ten stories are only available via the newsletter.

The full list of 112 TrendWatch trend stories is listed at the end of this article.


Phrazel is a word game where players form phrases out of a set of words, trying to create the longest phrase possible.

It has become popular because it is a fun and challenging way to improve one’s vocabulary and cognitive abilities. Additionally, the game can be played solo or with others, making it a great way to pass the time and socialise.

Trend for “Phrazel” – UK

Pothos Plant

As someone who isn’t great with plants but loves to buy them, the Pothos plant has been thriving in my apartment while many others have not been so lucky. 

Pothos plants are all the rage for a few reasons: they’re easy to care for, purify the air, look great, and require minimal maintenance. Plus, they’re adaptable to a variety of growing conditions, making them the perfect choice for busy plant parents or those just starting out. So, if you want a plant that’s both low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing, pothos is the way to go!

Brits have been searching for this climbing wonder for much longer than the Americans, who it seems have only recently caught on to the wonders of this hard-to-kill house plant! 

Trend for “pothos plant” UK


For those of us outside of the US, this might be a new one. Bracketology is a popular pastime across America. Every March, millions submit their picks for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to office pools and online contests. 

Bracketology is like predicting the future but for college basketball. Or maybe it’s just a fancy word for a fun game of guessing which teams will make it to finals. 

A bracket is like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the hopes and imaginations of sports fans. As the tournament progresses, people strive for perfection, trying to will their bracket into existence. However, mathematicians dismiss the possibility of a perfect bracket as borderline preposterous, given the number of games and the odds of predicting them correctly. Despite this, or maybe because of this people continue to try, and the idea of a perfect bracket looms large in the sports fans’ collective imagination. 

The appeal of bracketology lies in the unpredictable nature of the tournament and the chance to achieve the impossible. Even though rigorous analysis and predictive models can help, they will always be subject to randomness. Ultimately, bracketology underscores the unpredictable nature of the human experience and the reason why we watch sports.

Trend graph for “Bracketology” (US)

Phantom Pregnancies in Dogs

Attention, dog lovers! Did you know that female dogs can experience a bizarre phenomenon called phantom pregnancy? During a phantom pregnancy, dogs display behavioural and physical changes that mimic real pregnancy symptoms, even though they’re not expecting any little ones. 

It’s believed that about half of all female dogs will have a phantom pregnancy in their lifetime unless they are spayed. In some breeds, such as Afghans, Beagles and Dachshunds, the likelihood is as high as 75%. Currently in the UK Dachshunds are a very popular dog breed. 

This trend towards pure-breed dogs also means that they’re less likely to be spayed because the owners may want to breed their dog. Female dogs that have not been spayed are more likely to experience hormonal fluctuations and reproductive-related conditions, including phantom pregnancies. 

Stress and sudden changes can also contribute to dogs playing pretend. Just like humans, dogs feel the pressure too. Alterations in routine, a stressful environment, or specific triggers can push a dog into the realm of phantom pregnancies. This is a wild unproven theory that no one has speculated anywhere online, not even on reddit, but could this be how they’re reacting to the end of the pandemic?

Another theory, that is less speculative, in the wild, dogs live in packs and all females help nurture litters of puppies born to the “alpha” pair. It’s believed that false pregnancies prompt a dog’s mothering instincts to kick in, so that she will help care for all puppies in her pack, regardless of the fact that they’re not her own.

Trend graph for “Phantom Pregnancies in Dogs” (UK)

Snake Plant

I can relate to this trend because besides my Pothos is a Snake Plant! This is a plant that does a great job purifying the air, particularly at night.

I appreciate the fact that they are one of the few plants that release oxygen while most other plants respire at night, making them perfect for the bedroom. Their low maintenance, water once every two weeks in the winter and once a week in the summer! I like their tall jungle-like appearance and make them an excellent choice for any space. 

Trend graph for “Snake Plant” (US)

Spotify Pie

Get ready to slice up some musical goodness with the latest trending sensation, Spotify Pie!

It seems people aren’t willing to wait until the end of the year for Spotify Wrapped which allows Spotify users to view a compilation of data about their activity. Spotify Pie lets you take your Spotify listening habits and transform them into a deliciously shareable pie chart. 

Not only does it reveal your most listened-to genres, but it also showcases your top artists of the month. Created by a clever UCLA student named Darren Huang, Spotify Pie lets you “bake your monthly genre pie” and uncover the eclectic mix of music you’ve been jamming to. Spotify Pie is as viral as Spotify Wrapped as people are comparing their most obscure genres and judging each other’s top artists. Basically, Spotify Pie lets you brag about your musical taste year-round! 

Turkey Teeth

“Turkey Teeth” refers to a dental cosmetic trend where an individual’s natural tooth is filed down and replaced with crowns or veneers, resulting in super white, perfectly square-shaped teeth.

You should check out some images, if you’re squeamish, I might not hit this link. Some of the photos show teeth that have been changed in shape, so they are small enough to fit the veneers on top. The trend has been significantly amplified by TikTok and other social media platforms, with influencers like Katie Price, Jack Fincham, Jack Reid, and Laura Ivanova showcasing their transformed smiles after undergoing cosmetic dentistry in Turkey. 

If you clicked the link above you’d have seen a few cautionary tales of why you shouldn’t cheap out on cosmetic dentistry vacations. Some smiles went from ‘say cheese’ to ‘ no pictures, please’ real quick!

Fun with Feet

The internet has birthed many peculiar trends, but none have quite tickled people’s fancies like “Fun with Feet.” As this Business Insider article uncovers, this toe-tapping site lets creators like Chrissy share photos and videos of their feet for fun and profit. Turns out there’s good money in pedicures – Chrissy rakes in upwards of $5,000 monthly pandering to pancaked feet lovers. 

The platform appeals to creators and customers alike. Budding models can dip their toes in anonymously, keeping their faces hidden while flaunting their feet. Customers dig the personal touch, wanting someone to not just send pics but chat as well. Requests run the gamut from specific nail polish colours to full -on “Hobbit”-themed roleplay. 

So while traditional jobs may get the boot, “Fun with Feet” offers a unique blend of economic opportunity, anonymity, and personalized interaction. Evidently, there’s no shortage of foot fans on the internet, ensuring “Fun with Feet” will likely continue to be a popular destination for those seeking an erotic fix from their favourite pair of phalanges.

Trend graph for “Fun with Feet” (US)

Baby Pigeon

When I was a kid, one of the questions that my dad asked me was “Why do you never see a baby pigeon?” And it seems the question has remained in the zeitgeist! Where do they go during those vulnerable early weeks when they are still new to the world? Why do they remain hidden from view while their parents are ever-present?

The secrecy surrounding young pigeons stems from the careful nesting habits of adult pairs, who build nests in secluded nooks and crannies high up on ledges and awnings. Once hatched, the chicks stay put for up to two months, safe from predators. Only once grown and ready to fly do they emerge, but by then they are fully feathered and indistinguishable from mature pigeons. I always marveled at the fact you never see dead babies! Considering how many pigeons there are in a city, I always thought I would have. 

It really is amazing how a bird that’s infested so many cities manages to keeps its young out of sight!

Neck Fan

Move over mini skirts it seems the must have summer accessory is wearing an electric fan around their neck!

This is a trend that I hoped would never catch on, when I lived in Asia I saw it from time to time but never thought it would become a summer staple. The New York Times has even done a feature on this new personal cooling technology! So if you’re wondering what to get someone who is constantly overheating for Christmas, this could be a perfect stocking stuffer! 

Trend graph for “neck fan” (UK)

How many trends do you know? The 112 TrendWatch stories of 2023

SISTRIX TrendWatch overview 2023
BarbourAI Writing Generator
VR HeadsetCity Breaks
Jordan 4Is Temu Legit (US)
Milk FrotherPassword Manager (UK)
Tequila RoseCotton Traders (UK)
Water FlosserMam Bottles
Tatti LashesWordle Hint
Lip OilShare Code
Northern Lights HolidaysBiab Nails
TamagotchiDiablo 4
Maxi JazzLIV Golf
Rosemary OilFramed
Blue Monday100mg trazodone for dogs dosage chart
Monopoly CasinoSpotify Pie
Sun VegasSavannah Bananas
Transfer NewsPrintify
DartsIce Spice
Love IslandiPhone 15
Oh PollySpreadex
Chest of DrawersHOKA
When do Stamps ExpireInPost Locker
Terence StampAuschwitz tour
DuckDuckGoFun with Feet US
JellycatTurkey Teeth
Woke MeaningRule 34
CupraBugaboo Butterfly
GoFundMeZesty Meaning
Wim HofIce Bath
Parade underwearBaby Sign Language
Pothos PlantMicro Bikini
Vinted UKKorean Skin Care
Sweaty BettyAirport Outfit Ideas
Tote BagCabin Bag
PDF EditorBaby Pigeon
The Whopper Whopper SongEvri
Bit LifeMade by Mitchell
No red inkCapcut
Red Tide Map & Algae2024 Cruises
Broken PlanetNovuna
Phantom Pregnancies in DogsGuess the Flag
Mini CrosswordOmega Swatch
SoundboardNeck Fan
Under ArmorWhere does vanilla flavouring come from?
How to Screenshot on WindowsPetsforHomes
SubstackPOTS Symptoms
Hibiscus & Hibiscus PlantNerd Emoji
Snake PlantGet Your Guide
Dairy Intolerance SymptomsGyatt
CreatineThings to do
HuelGoogle Business Profile
MotabilityMid taper
QuillbotFree AI Art Generator

TrendWatch is created by the data journalism team at SISTRIX. Every month TrendWatch brings you the backstory to interesting and sometimes humorous keywords that have been developing over time. Search volumes are for the most recent full month in the SISTRIX data.