Person opening up the TikTok app on a phone

The Origin of 14 of the Most Popular Sounds on TikTok

The video-sharing app uses a variety of different types of sounds and phrases, but just where exactly did these catchy snippets come from?
June 29, 2020
7 mins read

With over 800 million monthly active users worldwide, TikTok has become one of the most popular apps. Serving users of all ages, this video-sharing app has seen immense popularity in the past few months. From Jan. 1, to March 31, the app was downloaded 315 million times, breaking Pokémon Go’s previous record for the most downloads ever in one quarter.

As TikTok becomes more and more popular, its content and trends follow suit. There are many songs that have risen to the top of the billboard charts due to their constant use on TikTok. However, even more interesting is the popularity of “trending sounds,” which originate from TV shows, random YouTube videos or obscure songs. Curious, I decided to look into the origins of some of the most popular TikTok sounds.

1. “All right, we’re here, just sitting in the car

This trending sound is what got me interested in my search in the first place due to its sheer obscurity. This song is derived from a rhythm video game called PaRappa the Rapper. The game was the first of its kind and influenced subsequent rhythm games like Guitar Hero, Just Dance, Rock Band, etc. The song itself comes from Stage 2 of the game called “Instructor Mooselini’s Rap.”

2. “Uh-oh, boner alert

This hilarious sound bite comes from a “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL“) sketch featuring Andy Samberg and Rihanna. The bit, titled “Shy Ronnie: Ronnie & Clyde,” is a parody of Bonnie and Clyde, with Samberg as Shy Ronnie and Rihanna as Clyde. In the spirit of their namesakes, the two attempt to rob a bank. However, Shy Ronnie, as his name suggests, is too timid to shout at the hostages. Clyde suggests that Ronnie try the age-old trick of imagining everyone naked, and you can just guess what ensues.


3. “It was a cultural reset”

This snippet comes from an interview with actress Rose McGowan, one of the many women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. In this interview, McGowan refers to the #MeToo movement as a cultural reset. While the audio itself is popular on TikTok, the phrase “cultural reset” has also inspired countless tweets and memes.

4. “I just did a bad thing …”

This audio started trending on TikTok quite a bit ago but is still used in many videos. The song is written by American singer-songwriter and online video creator Bill Wurtz. The TikTok sound only features the first 15 seconds or so of the song, but the rest is quite entertaining and worth a listen.

5. “Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?”

This sound is one of my personal favorites. This audio is directly from the trailer for Pixar’s “Inside Out.” The movie focuses on Riley, a young girl whose family has suddenly moved from Minnesota to San Francisco. However, the film takes place in her head, focusing on the personified emotions of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust that reside there and help her navigate life.

6. “Interior crocodile alligator, I drive a Chevrolet movie theater”

This very catchy tune dates all the way back to 2007. The original song was a freestyle, performed by Chip Tha Ripper (also known as King Chip). Though the lyrics are seemingly random, they actually have meaning. They are a reference to Chip’s car, which at the time was outfitted with a reptilian interior and screen on the dashboard.

7. “Don’t be suspicious”

Fans of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” are likely pretty familiar with this one. This audio originates from the series finale when dynamic duo Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa Sapperstein fake their own deaths in an attempt to acquire insurance money. The two try and surreptitiously attend their own funerals, but end up drawing more attention to themselves through this little musical number.

8. “We like the cars, the cars that go boom

These lyrics come from hip-hop duo L’Trimm’s song Cars That Go Boom.” The song was originally released in 1988,  but its use on TikTok has increased its popularity. Bunny D and Lady Tigra of L’Trimm are shocked, but flattered, at the song’s comeback.

9.  “I’m Holly … I’m Nora … and I’m Judy”

This audio is a part of yet another “SNL” bit titled “The Lawrence Welk Show: Introducing The Maharelle Sisters.” This sketch parodies the “Lawrence Welk Show,” with “SNL” cast member Fred Armisen as Lawrence Welk. Armisen introduces the Maharelle Sisters, who have come all the way from the Finger Lakes to perform. Three of the sisters, played by Casey Wilson, Anne Hathaway and Amy Poehler, are incredible singers. However the fourth one, played by Kristen Wiig, is a terrible singer and very strange. While only the first few lines of the scene are used in the TikTok audio, the entire sketch is a must-see.

10. “She’s really good”

This one seemed pretty familiar to me, but I couldn’t figure out why. A few Google searches and I learned that this clip comes from Disney’s “Camp Rock.” The line itself is said by Demi Lovato’s character, Mitchie Torres, in response to Alyson Stoner’s character playing the piano.

11. Incredible, one of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second”

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? If you understand the reference, you hopefully realize that this audio is the opening monologue of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The monologue is one of the many times throughout the film in which Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, breaks the fourth wall to share his school-skipping techniques and/or thoughts.

12. “You and me and your friend Steve”

This audio comes from the American comedy–folk duo Garfunkel and Oates’ 2011 hit “You, Me, and Steve.” The song often accompanies amusing pictures and videos of people third-wheeling.

13. “Go go go, who’s next”

This highly repetitive sound clip is from the educational children’s show “Hip Hop Harry.” Similar to “Barney & Friends,” the show centers around an anthropomorphic bear named Harry who teaches children important lessons. The TikTok audio itself comes from the dance circles that occur at the end of every episode.

14. “Chicken Wing, Chicken Wing, Hot Dog and Bologna”

After scouring the internet for hours, I still could not find the source for this widely used song. Regardless, this song is super catchy and has gotten itself stuck in the heads of many, including myself.

Hannah Docter-Loeb, Wesleyan University

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Hannah Docter-Loeb

Wesleyan University
Biology, Psychology, Education Studies Minor

Passionate about science, education, the environment, and journalism!

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