Dev Lemons 'You Tear Me Apart' music video with THAT ONE SOUND FROM TIKTOK logo in top right corner (r)

Dev Lemons/YouTube Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Just some absolutely weird stuff’: How Dev Lemons’ ‘You Tear Me Apart’ became part of a creepy TikTok trend

‘It has definitely gotten my music more attention.’


Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

That One Sound is a column from internet culture reporter Charlotte Colombo that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok.

A TikTok hit can be a godsend for indie musicians, but you just can’t predict how a song will go viral on the app. This week’s sound is a great example of how exposure and virality can be filtered through unconventional—and unsettling—means.

The sound

The sound that’s become popular on TikTok starts with detuned piano and usually cuts off right after the lyrics, “Everything is.” Quite a few commenters compared it to the “Dire, Dire Docks” theme from Super Mario 64.

It’s largely associated with the eye distance filter and the scared filter, and this particular combination has produced some truly terrifying content.

“Back to work !!” reads the caption on a video from @j.r3yes using the eye distance filter. It then cuts to him crawling on the floor of a restroom, his face contorted into a permanent scream.

@j.r3yes Back to work !! #fyp #liminal #scary #fright #viral #nighttime #latepost #latetime #mrclutchwill ♬ You Tear Me Apart – Dev Lemons

slow slow day

♬ You Tear Me Apart – Dev Lemons

The creator Mr. Clutch, popular for his odd lip-sync videos, used the sound in a few TikToks last month and kickstarted the trend. But despite people associating him with it, the song isn’t his.

Where’s it from?

The sound is the opening of Dev Lemons’ song “You Tear Me Apart” from her newly released EP Delusional. The song has been on TikTok since March and has been used in more than 3,300 TikToks, most of which were posted in the last month.

Lemons, 24, tells the Daily Dot that on a recent tour stop in Utah, she made a quick video with the eye distance and scared filters set to “You Tear Me Apart.” Then Mr. Clutch started using it in his videos, and more people picked up on the trend.


Making a pit stop

♬ You Tear Me Apart – Dev Lemons

Lemons, who has more than 250,000 followers, has also started duetting some of the weirder TikToks that use her song, possibly to reclaim some ownership. The comments have been, well, mixed.

“It has definitely gotten my music more attention,” she says. “It seems to be a bit polarizing, too, because some people love the song, but some of the top comments on my videos are things like ‘stop producing music’ or ‘this song creeps me out.’

“I think it’s awesome how visceral people think the song is, and the creepy context the filters have given the video,” she continues. “Because if you listen to the whole song, it’s much brighter and less creepy than the intro makes it seem.”

Sound off

Despite some negative comments—and truly, “stop producing music” is an inspired one—Lemons has kept a sense of humor about the ordeal.

@dev_lemons thanks for listening or else #newmusic #indieartist #devlemons ♬ original sound – Dev Lemons

“I couldn’t have asked for a better trend to happen to one of my songs,” she says, “because this is the type of content I love seeing on the app! Just some absolutely weird stuff.”

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
The Daily Dot