The OA dance scene (l) person speaking with caption 'um for all the people that are confused' (c) The OA dance scene (r)

@ianaiexander/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

An out-of-context clip from Netflix’s ‘The OA’ is confusing people: ‘you had to be there to get it’

'Started watching The OA because of all the discourse on my timeline.'


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Jan 12, 2024

Netflix’s sci-fi series The OA ran for two seasons before being canceled in 2019. This resulted in a massive fan campaign to save the show, or bring it to another streaming platform.

Those campaigns weren’t successful, and the co-creator and star of the series, Brit Marling, said in a recent interview that the cancelation was a symptom of a “broken business model,” which only seemed to get worse for streamers during the pandemic.

While The OA‘s fandom is passionate, a recent clip posted to X raised its profile again.

“y’all PLEASE come get me off this floor cause what is this???” wrote @heyyitsjanea. This is in reference to a controversial scene from the season 1 finale, in which a school shooting is allegedly prevented by several characters doing the Five Movements, a series of choreographed moves.

In the midst of the show’s cancelation, one of the fan campaigns involved people filming themselves doing the Five Movements, in an effort to save The OA. In the series, the movements have power and can open up alternate realities. Choreographer Ryan Heffington, who created the movements, said they were based on “natural things” and referenced “ancient tribal dance.” Some people have said the dance is reminiscent of the Maori Haka dance.

This clip was originally posted to TikTok by the account @gertrude_movie, with music different from the actual scene. It has more than 22,000 comments and 3 million views. “I thought they were gonna trip him, not start a flash mob,” said one commenter.

@ianaiexander #stitch with @Gertrude_movie also this is not the music used in the show- the scene had original music scored for it! #ianalexander #TheOA #BuckVu ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

On X, the clip has more than 12 million views. And while people of course made fun of it without proper context, OA fans saw the discourse as a sign to praise or recommend the show again. And, possibly, revive it.

“the oa is one of the most beautiful and intriguing television shows i’ve ever seen,” said @loserbent, “but it requires you to commit to it without irony or shame.”

“Started watching The OA because of all the discourse on my timeline,” said @WillEdKetch.

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*First Published: Jan 12, 2024, 2:56 pm CST