This list appeared first in the Daily Dot’s newsletter web_crawlr. Every week, our Senior Reporter Audra Schroeder explores the origins of viral TikTok sounds in her “That One Sound” column. If you want to see more content like this before everyone else, sign up for the newsletter here.
10) The Cheese Tax
When Matt Hobbs posted an original song about his pup collecting a “cheese tax,” TikTok came looking.
9) She was a fairy
A line from Maleficent provided the premise for this trend, which involved people pretending they’re fairies. But the real feat here is that Sparky Deathcap’s “September,” the obscure 2009 song used in many of these videos, went viral.
Jain’s 2015 song “Makeba” landed on iTunes this year thanks to its TikTok virality. And you can also inadvertently thank Bill Hader for this trend. A cut SNL sketch of him dancing, which was previously a meme, was added to “Makeba.”
7) Attenzione pickpocket!
Over the summer, a woman shouting “Attenzione pickpocket!” went viral. While it originally was used to call out pickpockets in Venice, Italy, it started being applied to humorous situations. A couple months after the sound got popular, people discovered the woman shouting, Monica Poli, was linked to a far-right party in Italy.
6) Who’s that wonderful girl?
If you weren’t familiar with the early aughts kids’ show Nanalan’, you’ll definitely be a fan after this trend. A scene from the puppet show pranced its way to TikTok, becoming a meme and a viral sound.
5) The Jubi Slide
This is one of those moments where a sound and a trend collide. The Jubi Slide is a gravity-defying dance brought to TikTok by creator Jouberson Joseph. It first went viral in 2021, but this year Lakim’s “A Pimp Named Slickback” was added, and the dance was revived once again.
4) Bombastic side eye
Creator Malaika Norman gave TikTok the perfect sound for suspicious activity earlier this year. It was later picked up by Kim Kardashian and North West, and translated into other languages.
3) One Margarita
This NSFW summer anthem, freestyled by actress Angel Laketa Moore, had everyone counting down. (Or rather, up.) It’s also one of the rare TikTok sounds that got its own official music video, as well as a remix video.
Brian Jordan Alvarez’s viral track is truly an anthem for our times. Sitting is the opposite of standing, and Alvarez (along with his revolving door of characters) created a movement with this silly song.
1) Surprise Surprise
In 2023, what went viral as a TikTok sound was a real surprise. This audio, from British singer Cilla Black, is from the TV show Surprise Surprise. But on TikTok it was applied to the surprising and the not-so-surprising.