mysterious ticking noise

Screengrab via potterpuppetpals/YouTube

‘The Mysterious Ticking Noise’ just turned 10

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 23, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 7:47 pm CDT

We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of Deathly Hallows later this year, but 2007 was a big year for Harry Potter fans for another, rather mysterious reason.

Ten years ago today Neil Cicierega—the mastermind behind Potter Puppet Pals—released “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” on YouTube.

Even if you’ve memorized it at this point, it’s still worth two minutes of your time to rewatch in all its glory—and the hours you’ll have it stuck in your head afterwards.

It wasn’t the first video featuring puppet versions of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Snape, and Dumbledore from Cicierega, who’s been making Potter Puppet Pals videos in some form since 2003, nor was it the first one to be uploaded to his YouTube channel once he switched from animation to using physical hand puppets. But this particular video caught on, and it has more than 172 million views a decade later. It’s been around online for so long that some fans might not have even noticed that it has actually been 10 years since its release.

“The Mysterious Ticking Noise” has everything, really. The characters you know and love being silly, an extremely catchy song, harmonies, and it ends with a bang. It popped up just about everywhere—and still does even now—and fans gathered at the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere in 2011 sang it for a bemused Alan Rickman while he was being interviewed.

“Oh look, they’re singing now,” he said.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of “The Mysterious Ticking Noise,” Cicierega released a new version of the video in 4K. It’s basically a shot-for-shot version until Ron discovers what’s making that ticking noise—and the puppets feel just as old as all of us realizing it.

Just think of it this way. “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” is just one year off from getting its Hogwarts letter.

H/T BuzzFeed

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2017, 4:51 pm CDT