TikTok is social media’s new kid on the block and ever-rising star. In 2017 lip-synching app Musical.ly merged into TikTok (per vox), and in just six years, the platform has exploded with videos of all kinds – seeing a particular rise in popularity during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Over 2.6 billion people have now downloaded the app, which has created an entirely new type of online content where users can make their own videos using popular TikTok “sounds.”
Fans who love to scroll through the app often find themselves with an ‘earworm’ of a sound that sticks in their head, but it can sometimes be hard to trace where these songs or snippers came from. Here are the origins of the sounds taking TikTok by storm. Avid users are guaranteed to have heard these on their FYP at least once.
“Jiggle Jiggle” – Louis Theroux: Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends
Put to music by producers Duke and Jones, “Jiggle Jiggle” is the auto-tuned rap stylings of British journalist Louis Theroux. The sound, which has gone viral with over 5.7 million videos, is actually from an interview where Louis is asked about a song he wrote for his documentary series Weird Weekends.
The interview for Chicken Shop Date (via YouTube) saw Theroux perform the rap a second time and the subsequent sound took TikTok by storm. It’s been featured on content of all kinds, inspiring a dance and even a trend of folding babies and ferrets to the lyrics.
“Take My Breath Away” – Berlin: Top Gun
Stemming from the recent release of the top gun movie sequel Maverickthe ultra ’80s hit “Take My Breath Away” is being used as the backdrop for thirst-traps and mustache worshiping videos. A scene from Maverick of an oiled-up Miles Teller, who plays Bradley Bradshaw, dancing shirtless on the beach set pulses racing and put the trend in motion.
What is interesting about this trend is that it displays the female gaze upon a hyper-masculine franchise like top gun. Many of the TikToks are of or from men who are seen shaving their beards into a mustache or growing ones at the request of their girlfriends, just like this TikTok.
“A Man Without Love” – Engelbert Humperdink: Moon Knight (S1, Ep 1)
“A Man Without Love” was released by the “king of romance” Engelbert Humperdink in 1968, but it’s back into pop culture consciousness thanks to Moon Knight, the new MCU series that was recently released on Disney+. Creators often use this sound to emphasize the dramatic turn their life has taken since the Covid-19 crisis or to simply pay homage to the MCU show, like this TikTok.
The MCU franchise is known for its excellent song choices, often bringing back old classics, like this one, into modern media, blending the old with the new.
“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” – Kate Bush: Stranger Things (S4, Ep 4)
By far the most popular sound on TikTok right now, this Kate bush song is the audio for a trend that sees creators imagine how their encounters with Vecna would unfold. It was released in 1985, but after being used in stranger things season 4 and featured in thousands of TikToks, it is back on the top 100 charts (per npr).
In episode 4, the song scores Max’s struggle with Vecna and her inner turmoil and guilt over Billy’s death. The song is a perfect fit for the moment because it’s a fantastic expression of conflicting feelings in the wake of a family member’s death.
“Little Babies” – Bob’s Burgers (S2, Ep 4)
In “Burgerboss,” of Linda’s best Bob’s Burgers episodes, she sings a song to the porcelain baby collection she is obsessed with. Similarly, TikTokkers use the sound to express deep love for tiny useless things that make them happy.
Videos of cow figurines, frogs with hats, stuffed animals, and miniature sweaters are a result of the TikTok trend, which combines cute and adorable with niche internet interests.
“Angel Eyes” – ABBA: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
The trend that uses this sound is part of a significant movement seen all over TikTok, the sharing of specific niche interests for comedic and nostalgic effect. The song was written and recorded in 1978 by ABBA, but many people may recognize it from Mamma Mia: Here We Go Againwhich came out in 2018.
Written about the dangers of good-looking men, most TikTok users put the sound over videos describing things from their past they can’t get over. From André, The Giant to throwback puppy pictures, these creators, like Sophie and Rosie from Mamma Miahave a hard time letting go.
“Pass The Dutchie” – Musical Youth: Stranger Things (S4)
The number 1 hit song in both the US and the UK in 1982 was recently used in an episode of Sstranger things which has brought it back to listeners. TikTokkers use the unofficial theme song for the new character Argyle, for everything from outfit checks to showing off their smoke tricks.
Interestingly, it is not the first time the reggae hit has been used in a soundtrack; the 2002 live-action Scooby Doo Movie has also used the song, as highlighted by this TikTok.
“And The Best Part Of This Plan Is” – Dr. Evil: Goldmember
Available to rent on Prime Video, the line is from the 3rd Austin Powers movie, goldmember, which starts Beyoncé, Mike Meyers, and Seth Green. The full quote of this viral TikTok sound is, “Using my time machine, I shall travel back to 1975, pick up Goldmember and bring him back to the future. And the best part of this plan is… no one can stop me. Not even…Austin Powers.”
TikTok users usually use this sound with the filter of a chubby flying bee describing something they shouldn’t be doing but will – like this relatable TikTok about ordering takeout after grocery shopping.
“Squidward’s Tiki Land”: Spongebob (S7, Ep 145b)
Appearing in the great spongebob squarepants episode “Enchanted Tiki Dreams,” this sound popularized by TikTok is a dreamy ode to relaxation. In the episode, cartoon tikis and a coconut with a mouth sing to Squidward as he relaxes in an island boat after finally escaping from the annoyance of Spongebob.
The sound has multiple applications from TikTok users, but most use it over videos of them on vacation or with a group of hungover friends.
“Elmo Balsamic Vinegar”: The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon
TikTok went wild for Elmo’s accent as a TikTok of him teaching Questlove and Jimmy Fallon how to cook went viral. In the clip, which is from a 2015 episode of the Tonight Show, Elmo promoted Sesame Street’s Let’s Cook cookbook by making the ‘sloppy oscar’ burger.
163.4 million TikTok videos are related to Elmo’s pronunciation of balsamic vinegar, with many of them dubbing over lip-synching and cooking videos.
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