Musical memes are thriving on TikTok more than on any other platform. So if you are a prolific TikTok user, you might get a 10-second clip stuck in your head for weeks without ever hearing the full song.
Here is a nonexhaustive list of songs that went viral on TikTok this year. I stuck to songs that were truly TikTok hits and didn't necessarily see major mainstream play (so that means no Lil Nas X or Lizzo).
Scroll to the end to find a more comprehensive Spotify playlist of 2019 TikTok hits.
And for further reading, here are the most viral TikTok songs of 2020.
1. "Stupid" by Ashnikko feat. Yung Baby Tate
This song went viral on TikTok twice, with both the song's opening and part of the first verse becoming memed.
The part you know: "I know you think about me in the shower / Pornhub in your browser / Fantasize about the pussy power / Think about me with your hand down your trousers / I'm sweet, then I'm sour / I'm big boss Bowser."
The actual song: Ashnikko is a rapper from London. "Stupid" comes from her 2019 EP, Hi, It's Me.
2. "I Just Did a Bad Thing" by Bill Wurtz
This little ditty started as a way of communicating regret — but then it got a remix for when you want to relay positive choices as well.
The part you know: "I just did a bad thing / I regret the thing I did / And you're wondering what it is / I'll tell you what I did / I did a bad thing."
The actual song: Released in 2018, the song has a delightful deep-fried-meme aesthetic.
3. "Runway" by Stunna Girl
For a moment, this was the ultimate song for letting everyone know you were feeling yourself. It also got turned into a glow-up challenge where people would go from plain to stunning.
The part you know: "Bitch, I look like I'm fresh off the runway, uh / Bitch, I go crazy, the dumb way, uh / Bitches wanna be me, one day."
The actual song: Stunna Girl hails from California and has been rapping for a while, but "Runway" is definitely a breakout hit.
4. "Wait a Minute!" by Willow
Again, there were a few parts of this song by Will Smith's daughter that got trendy on TikTok.
The part you know: "You left your diary at my house / And I read those pages / You really love me, baby."
The other trend was just doing a full-body jam.
The actual song: The song came out in 2018 and never had a music video, making it another example of TikTok taking a song not released as a single and running with it.
5. "Chinese New Year" by Sales
This track inspired a sort of hip-based dance, but it also made lovely background music for a wide variety of clips.
The part you know: "I see you at the movies / I see you with your lipstick on."
The actual song: This came out in 2014 on Sales' self-titled debut EP.
6. "Walk Man" by Tiny Meat Gang
This somehow ended up in a bunch of videos of people comparing their heights — but if you timed it just right, it was also great for food-related videos.
The part you know: "We eating good / I'm a fat man / Faded, chewin' drugs like Pac-Man."
The actual song: This track comes from YouTubers Cody Ko and Noel Miller.
7. "Beef FloMix" by Flo Milli
User Ian Avery blew up thanks in part to a little dance to this track, but it was also seen all over the app.
The part you know: "I like cash and my hair to my ass / Do the dash, can you make it go fast? / Fuck the fame, all I want is them bands / If she keep on muggin', I'ma steal her man."
The actual song: It came out in 2018, but streams of the song rose this year as the song went viral on social media.
8. "Buff Baby" by Tobi Lou
This chill Adventure Time–inspired song went big after illustrator TootyMcNooty made an animated video to it.
The part you know: "I'm a buff baby, but I dance like a man / She a nice lady and she shakin' the yams / Spent the whole summer trappin' out the sedan / Marching with the bands 'cause I think that I can."
The actual song: This song is an ode to Adventure Time (RIP) and an episode in which Finn is shown as a brawny little baby doing a dance. The video pays tribute to that scene as well.
9. "Steppin'" by Supa Dupa Humble
It's basically a theme song for indecision.
The part you know: "Yeah, I don't know, I don't know / I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. "
The actual song: Supa Dupa Humble, aka Fred Thomas, was born in the Caribbean and grew up in New York City. This track came out in 2017.
10. "OK Boomer" by Jedwill and Peter Kuli
An anthem for a meme.
The part you know: "Old ladies suck / OK boomer."
The actual song: According to the New York Times, the song was first created by Jonathan Williams, a 20-year-old college student, and later remixed by fellow youth Peter Kuli, which is the version that went big on TikTok.
11. "Be Gone Thot!" by Lil Mayo
"Thot" is, of course, a term slung at any woman with a shred of confidence. In any case, it's also a meme of sorts. And the videos are fun.
The part you know: "Oh no / Do you smell that? / They're coming / Be gone, thots (Go away) / I'm a man of god (Ahhhh)."
The actual song: Lil Mayo is an alien puppet? I guess?
12. "Eyes.Lips.Face." by Ill Wayno feat. Holla FyeSixWun
This song was the holy grail for beauty influencers on YouTube.
The part you know: "Do that thing with your eyes (Money look) / Let me see them lips (Muaah) / Attitude and gimmie face (Boom, boom, boom) / Eyes, lips, face, wait."
The actual song: So this whole thing is one big promotion. ELF Cosmetics produced and released the song on TikTok as an #EyesLipsFace challenge. (E)yes, (l)ips, (f)ace — get it? It's probably the most successful piece of TikTok marketing to date.
13. "Hey Julie" by Kyle feat. Lil Yachty
This song came with the little shirt-plucking move — but like others on this list, the sound has been used for all kinds of videos.
The part you know: "Hey Julie, heard you got that drip, got that drip / Something for my wrist, for my wrist."
The actual song: The song came out in 2019; unlike some others on this list, it definitely had mainstream success as well. It was just so ubiquitous on the app I had to include it.
14. "Big Fun" from Heathers: the Musical
I would like to go even one day without this popping into my head.
The part you know: "Martha Dumptruck, in the flesh / Here comes the Cootie Squad / We should— / Shut up, Heather / Sorry, Heather / Look who's with her, oh my god! / Dang! Dang! Diggety-dang-a-dang!"
The actual song: The bit that went viral on TikTok is only a sliver of this song from the Broadway musical, which happens during a party scene.
15. "Lalala" by Y2K and bbno$
This track was used for everything and nothing, as is the magic of TikTok.
The part you know: "Did I really just forget that melody? / Na, na, na, banana-nananana."
The actual song: Released in June, this song premiered at No. 84 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
16. "Juicy" by Doja Cat
It's hard to pick just one Doja Cat song because she's basically the queen of TikTok.
The part you know: "I keep it juicy, juicy / I eat that lunch / She keep that booty, booty / She keep that plump."
The actual song: You might remember Doja Cat from her viral song "Mooo!" but her whole library is *chef's kiss*.
17. "My Type" by Saweetie
This was the perfect song for declaring what your "type" is, whether earnestly or ironically.
The part you know: "Rich nigga, eight figure, that's my type / That's my type, that's my type."
The actual song: Apparently "My Type" wasn't intended to be a breakout hit from Saweetie's Icy EP, but sometimes the internet just does its thing.
18. "Who R U" by Jufu
Twinsies! Probably the most effective use of this track was when Canadian politicians Jagmeet Singh and Gurratan Singh made it clear they are not the same person.
The part you know: "Who are you? / I am you / I am me / No, sir / You are you."
The actual song: The TikTok success of Jufu, who hails from Brooklyn, actually landed him a record deal.
19. "Baby Yoda" by Song a Day
It came late in the year, but "Baby Yoda" deserves a place on this list. It’s a song about a meme that became a meme itself. Plus, it's so sweet and so catchy!
The part you know: "Baby Yoda / Baby, Baby Yoda."
The actual song: This little ditty comes from Jonathan Mann, a podcaster and YouTuber who challenged himself to write a song every single day over a decade ago.