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Gen Z declares what it means to be a true New Yorker — on TikTok

The TikTok video opens with Casey Bonsignore, 23, standing on a New York City sidewalk.

“This is how you know who is and who isn’t from New York,” the Ridgewood native announces.

She whips around, opens her mouth — and emits an earsplitting noise that’s half-grunt, half-scream, glowering at passersby. A guy on the curb does a double-take, while a woman pushing a stroller winces and hurries away. Bonsignore turns back to the camera, looking smug.

“If they looked, they’re not from New York,” she says.

The viral clip, filmed and posted by Bonsignore’s sister, Alexis Shaw, has racked up 9.3 million views so far. It’s a standout from a heated debate raging on the video-sharing platform: What makes someone a real New Yorker?

Disgruntled local Gen Zers tell The Post that TikTok has been flooded lately with faux city slickers, including tourists, recent-transplant college students and bridge-and-tunnel wannabes. Under hashtags such as #newyorkcheck, these pretenders flex their nonexistent NYC cred, bragging about non-achievements such as riding the subway or checking out a hot new restaurant.

Born-and-bred city kids aren’t having it — and they’re taking to the app to defend their culture, by listing their tongue-in-cheek qualifications for what makes someone NYC official.

But even if you manage to slur your bodega order like a native or ditch the B train for the bus, don’t expect to impress them.

“Unless you were born and raised here, you’re not a New Yorker,” Shaw, 20, tells The Post.

Still, you can try not to embarrass yourself. Here are local teens and 20-somethings’ New York rules to live by.

See something, don’t say something

As Shaw and Bonsignore point out in their video, the fastest way to tell a local from a faker is to see if they react to disturbances in the street or on the subway.

“New Yorkers are used to chaos,” says Shaw.

“We have to be unbothered,” says Bonsignore. “You learn at a young age that you can’t stare at people,” as a safety precaution. “When someone screams, you try not to look, because you don’t want to be a part of whatever’s going on.”

Don’t brag about your lame Midtown apartment

Gema Rivera Munoz, 18, from East New York, netted 308,500 views for a video slamming fake New Yorkers. When a commenter goaded her, saying, “You just mad that you don’t live in Midtown,” she clapped back.

“No one from New York wants to live in Midtown,” she says in a response video. “[People in Midtown] be like, ‘Welcome to my walk-in closet.’ Ma’am, that is a pantry.”

Rivera Munoz defends her stance to The Post: “Midtown is nice to visit, but not nice to live in.”

Gema Rivera Munoz
Gema Rivera MunozTamara Beckwith/NY Post

And don’t even talk about Staten Island or “upstate” (whatever that is)

Rivera Munoz has a thick skin, but even she was insulted when one of her commenters accused her of being from Staten Island.

“That’s damn well someone that’s not from New York and they came from Colorado,” she responds. “No one even goes to Staten Island.”

As for that vast, amorphous swatch of land called “upstate”?

“Anyone from New York City doesn’t actually care about upstate. We just go to the Poconos if we want woods and snow,” says Rivera Munoz.

Screw fancy restaurants — eat street meat

New York’s famous food scene? Fuhgeddaboutit!

“I see [posts about] places to visit in New York City, and it’s s – – t like Tao or Black Tap, which is just like basic stuff that you wouldn’t actually go to if you’re from here,” says Shaw.

“Occasionally there’s people who are like, ‘Have you been to THIS restaurant that’s really fancy and expensive?’ I don’t think a lot of New Yorkers do that. It’s a little out of the ordinary,” says Jung Liew, 17, from Ridgewood.

So, what does a real New Yorker like Liew eat? Street meat.

“Have you ever had a chicken over rice at Halal Guys?” he asks. “Because only a few people know how good that chicken over rice is.”

Don’t bother your Italian pals on Sundays

Texting your Italian-American friend to hang out on red-sauce day is a rookie mistake.

“They can’t hang out on Sundays,” writes TikTokker @bellaanuz.

If you like someone, never, ever tell them

There are a lot of singles in NYC — and TikTok user @dayymein, who has 160,500 followers on the app, might know why.

A local dude’s idea of a good pickup line? “Yo, what’s good, ugly?” he says, in a video making fun of NYC flirting fails.

In another video, captioned “A short love story,” he mocks how New Yorkers’ studied avoidance of strangers on the subway — even cute ones — holds them back from connecting. (The video ends with his romantic interest being chased out of the train car by a crackhead.)

Dress the part…

Guys, are you wearing a button-down? Maybe a nice pair of slacks? Get out of here, says Chaeden Arnold, 16, of southeastern Queens. The TikTokker says that Timberland boots and Ugg Neumel boots are the only acceptable footwear choices for local guys. As for shirts? Polo hoodies topped with bubble puffer jackets, please.

Casey Bonsignore
Casey BonsignoreStefano Giovannini

…and don’t hide your look

Real fashion-conscious New Yorkers will keep their jackets open — even when it’s snowing — to show off a good outfit.

“You’re freezing your a - - off to death just to show people,” says TikTok user @bby_tiaaa1, who goes by Tia.

Curse like you just stubbed your toe

New Yorkers do not censor themselves, ever, as TikTok user @chriskemp2003 points out in one of his videos. In an R-rated clip, he notes how most of America considers dirty language “unnecessary” — then compares a conversation with someone from New York (or New Jersey, for that matter) to an unprintably obscene song by Insane Clown Posse.

“Everybody be cussin is normal in the northeast,” he concludes in the caption.

Remember the code word

The No. 1 word you have to know how to use as a real New Yorker? “Deadass” — which means, “for real” — the teens agree.

“If you’ve never said this word, are you really from New York?” asks Tia. “That’s just top New York lingo right there.”

Don’t embarrass yourself at the bodega

Only a complete rube rolls out of the corner store with honey butter, strawberry Pop Tarts or prepackaged cinnamon buns, says user @alysoncapalot. “What is this? These are just nasty and plain.” AriZona iced tea, on the other hand, is an NYC-approved choice.

And learn how to pronounce NYC’s favorite breakfast sandwich

It’s not bacon, egg and cheese — it’s “baconeggandcheese,” says Rivera Munoz. “Those spaces got to go.”

Gema Rivera Munoz
Gema Rivera MunozTamara Beckwith/NY Post

Know that culture is for tourists

In her most popular video, Rivera Munoz calls out posers for bragging about their museum trips.

“No one from New York has actually been to a f – – king museum unless it was for a school trip in elementary school,” she rants.

“I’ve never been to a museum unless I had to,” she says. “No one goes out of their way to go to like, the Museum of Natural History. You don’t think about it on your own [in] your free time.”

Riding the subway isn’t impressive — but surviving this is

Merely riding the subway gets you zero street cred. But if you know the routine, crushing heartbreak of getting on the local train — only to see the express train pass you by — the kids may hear you out.

“If you consider this to be a personal tragedy of the highest order, even though you’ve lost like two minutes of your life, then welcome, you’re a New Yorker,” posts @jenyakenner.

You get one chance to swipe your MetroCard

“If you can’t swipe your MetroCard in one pass, it makes me angry,” says Rivera Munoz. “I don’t need to miss my train; I don’t need to be late for class.”

…unless you know this trick, in which case, you can skip the swipe entirely.

When New Yorkers like @dayymein are short on cash, they try this trick to get onto the bus: Swipe an empty MetroCard (or try to use your student one on a Saturday) and act shocked that it’s not working. The driver just might let you slide.

Casey Bonsignore
Casey BonsignoreStefano Giovannini

The MTA also has buses — use them, or shut up

On her page, Rivera Munoz constantly jokes about having to struggle with getting out of the back door on the buses. “What do you know about that?” she questions non-New Yorkers.

Get to know NYC’s great “outdoors”

Central Park? Pfft. To most New Yorkers, the best way to get fresh air is on a dingy rooftop or a terrifying metal box affixed to an apartment window. “If you’ve never chilled on a fire escape or the roof of a building,” you’re not from here, says user @jarielnyc. “This is a mini balcony for us.”

Respect the hustle

Fleece-vest-wearing banker bros aren’t the real back of the city’s economy, as far as these teens are concerned. “Coco mango cherry” ice sellers, corner fruit carts, the trackside churro lady, can collectors, subway performers — these, @jarielnyc says, are the city’s real heroes. “Respect the grind,” he tells the camera.

Stop trying so hard

Finally, if you’re taking determined notes on this story, you’re already failing. The worst crime an NYC poser can make is trying too hard to impress real New Yorkers.

“You can’t really come here and be like, ‘Have you ever been on the MTA?,’ ” says Liew, of the mundane things he sees people bragging about.

“Obviously, if you take the train that’s normal,” says Rivera Munoz. “Anyone who exaggerates it” into a whole ordeal is faking, she says.

And you can give your body a break, too.

“We don’t have a bacon, egg and cheese for breakfast every single day.”

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