Retirement House on TikTok shows joy in aging

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your grandparents made content on TikTok? As far-fetched as it seems, there are older people who are finding success on the app. Two of the most popular “grandfluencer” accounts are The Old Gays and @ourfillipinograndma. Each account has millions of followers, which proves that old people are just as interesting as younger influencers. And it was because of their popularity that Retirement House was born.


Retirement House is a semiscripted account that stars six actors between the ages of 70 and 85. And while some of it is staged, the actors who play the parts are clearly having a blast. Why shouldn’t they? We have so many preconceived notions about what it means to be over the age of 70, and these six are here to show us that what we believe to be true doesn’t actually have to be. That’s probably why they have more than 3 million followers.

It feels like the account popped up out of nowhere, but that’s not entirely true. Retirement House is the brainchild of 27-year-old Adi Azran and 25-year-old Brandon Chase. “Seniors have been left out of the spotlight in the entertainment industry,” Azran told BuzzFeed News.

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They originally conceived the show as something more scripted, as you can see in some of their earlier videos. According to the BuzzFeed article, Azran and Chase haven’t entirely given up on that idea, but they’re currently focusing on building a more solid platform. The videos are very typical TikTok content—the retirees do their own takes on popular TikTok trends.

So, who are these adorable senior citizens? There’s Larry, Curtis, Mabel, Eugene, Rose and Bubbe. They “live” (rent by the hour) a mansion in West Hollywood where they seem to cavort around, getting into shenanigans. They pretend they have a clue what’s happening in the world of pop culture, which is really cute.

“I don’t know about ‘sick’ and ‘dope.’ My character and I are not hip,” Chuck Lacey, who plays Eugene, told BuzzFeed. “I mentioned the Fonz and no one knew who I was talking about, but I didn’t know who Jack Harlow was.”

In one recent video, they do their own take on the “gentleminions” trend, where they declare “good thing we’re not teens” as they strut down the street in their finest. Rose is even eating a banana, the favorite treat of the Minions. They may not have a clue what exactly their videos mean, but it’s fun to watch them.

Honestly, why would a bunch of septuagenarians know anything about current pop culture? I’m in my 30s and I don’t even understand most of these TikTok trends. That doesn’t mean I don’t find it adorable to watch a bunch of seniors pretend to know what the new Drake album sounds like. You will find it endearing to see Bubbe do the splits or watch Eugene dance. (I won’t share it here, but there’s a whole video of Mabel and Rose flipping each other off, and it’s hilarious.)

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“You see so many stories of older people that are not happy, because as you get older, you lose friends, you lose relatives, you don’t have people to share your life with,” Reatha Grey, who plays Rose, told The New York Times. “We’re actually building shared memories together — and it’s on videotape.”

@retirementhouse

making tiktoks for 3.8 million of you and being featured in new york times, abc news, good day LA. love you all! my grandkids know im cool now 😉

♬ Cool Kids (Sped-Up Version) – Echosmith

That’s one of the best things about Retirement House. You get to see a bunch of older people having a good time together. Who cares if they don’t know who Jack Harlow is? They’ve lived long enough and been through enough that they get a pass. What we find entertaining is that they’re willing to put themselves out there. Society keeps telling us that there’s something shameful about aging—we’re supposed to be afraid of getting older and life changes. But these six people are living their best lives right now, and it feels like they’re thumbing their noses at the establishment in a way that’s reserved for people much younger.

“you’re the bomb. I’m 52 and you give me hope,” one user commented on TikTok.

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“I dont know what I did good in life to deserve this side of TT but I’m grateful to be here and I’m never leaving 🥰🥺😅” said another.

Scripted or not, they’re having a good time, and that’s all that matters.

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