Another year, another round of musical memes made viral by TikTok.
Just like we saw in 2019, the app has been full of music clips that are stuck in everyone's heads, even if they weren't mainstream hits.
This is a running list of some of the music that has blown up on TikTok in 2020. Scroll to the end to find a more comprehensive Spotify playlist of 2020 TikTok hits.
1. "Laxed (SIREN BEAT)" by Jawsh 685
This sound was used for a very cool little dance trend where people showed off traditional outfits from their cultures. Then, inexplicably, Jason Derulo got a hold of it and remixed it into "Savage Love." We're living in strange times.
The part you know: Uh, there are no words, so the "doo DOO doooo" bit?
The actual song: Jawsh 685 is a 17-year-old producer from New Zealand with Samoan and Cook Island heritage who's still grappling with how ridiculously popular his track has become. It turns out Derulo used his sound without permission at first, but they've now worked it out.
2. "Roses (Imanbek Remix)" by SAINt JHN and Imanbek
TikTok celebrities turned this into an odd hip-swaying thing, but this caught on by people doing this thing with their hands 👉 👈 and slowly rotating their bodies.
The part you know: The words aren't super clear in the remix, but the actual lyrics are: "And I know you won't tell nobody no / Roses / I might pull up flexing on these niggas like aerobics / I might tell your girl you cute but balling."
The actual song: The original (unremixed) track actually has a much slower vibe. The remix was posted by SAINt JHN on YouTube last September.
3. "Boss Bitch" by Doja Cat
This track is an excellent way to pump yourself the fuck up. Like, yes, you are that bitch.
The part you know: "I'm a bitch, I'm a boss / I'm a bitch and a boss, I'mma shine like gloss."
The actual song: Doja Cat could honestly take up every spot on this list because everything she puts out tends to go viral on TikTok. Her song "Say So," for example, sparked a whole viral dance trend that then appeared in the official music video. "Boss Bitch" is less obviously a Doja Cat track, but also went super viral.
4. "Supalonely" by BENEE feat. Gus Dapperton
Dancer @zoifishh made a catchy dance to this catchy song that was subsequently performed by the likes of Charli D'Amelio, Addison Rae, and Emma Chamberlain.
The part you know: "You're a bad thing / I know I fucked up, I'm just a loser / Shouldn't be with ya, guess I'm a quitter / While you're out there drinkin', I'm just here thinkin' / 'Bout where I should've been."
The actual song: BENEE is a New Zealand musician who's done well in her home country, but this song's TikTok success marks her first big international hit. It was initially released on a 2019 EP but went viral in March of this year.
5. "Stunnin'" by Curtis Waters feat. Harm Franklin
This song was used for variations of the "What I Would Wear As..." trend where people would put on different outfits for different themes.
The part you know: "Ice on my neck, that's incoming / I'm a pretty boy, I'm stunning / Super-speed, Sonic, I'm running / Super, super, super-speed, Sonic, I'm running."
The actual song: According to a Rolling Stone article about his viral fame, Curtis Waters is originally from Nepal but lives in North Carolina. When his track went big on TikTok, he chose to turn down big label record deals and stay independent.
6. "Lottery'" by K CAMP
There perhaps hasn't been a TikTok dance as viral or as controversial as the Renegade, set to this song. It was originally created by an Atlanta teen named Jalaiah Harmon and then re-enacted by seemingly everyone, often without credit. In her honor, below is the Instagram post that started it all.
The part you know: "Renegade / Renegade / Renegade / Renegade / Go, go, go."
The actual song: The song was released back in 2019, and despite how you know it, it's actually called "Lottery."
7. "ROXANNE'" by Arizona Zervas
This was another one of those only-on-TikTok viral songs. While it did have a dance trend associated this it, it blew up so big on the app that it was used as background music for pretty much anything and everything.
The part you know: "Roxanne / Roxanne / All she wanna do is party all night / Goddamn, Roxanne / Never gonna love me, but it's alright."
The actual song: This is basically a perfect Gen Z track, capturing that Post Malone–esque vibe but more upbeat. The track was gaining traction on its own but got even bigger once TikTok decided to highlight it.
8. "Bored in the House'" by Curtis Roach
This track basically became the official track of quarantine because we are all, in fact, stuck in our houses and bored as heck.
The part you know: "OK, I'm bored in the house, and I'm in the house bored / Bored in a house, and I'm in the house bored / Bored in a motherfucking a house bored."
The actual song: This hit started as a viral TikTok from Curtis Roach (above) that was just him pounding on a table and rapping, but it was very catchy! Among the many people who lip-synched to the song was rapper Tyga, who loved it so much that he reached out to Roach to collab on a fresh version of the track.
9. "Sober Up" by AJR feat. Rivers Cuomo
This was the perfect sound for storytime TikToks and jokes about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's a bit hard to track, however, because it was most often shared not using the official audio.
The part you know: "Hello, hello / I'm not where I'm supposed to be."
The actual song: Even weirder than the fact that Weezer's lead singer is featured on this track is that it's actually from January 2018.
10. "Prom Queen" by Beach Bunny
Content warning for this one. The lyrics are about self-image and disordered eating, so many people used it to talk about some heavy, personal topics. But on the other hand, other people ignored the context and just did cute dances. Addison Rae, in particular, was called out for doing this.
The part you know: "Shut up, count your calories / I never looked good in mom jeans / Wish I, was like you, blue-eyed blondie, perfect body."
The actual song: This deceptively poppy, beachy tune was released at the end of 2018 by indie band Beach Bunny.
11. "Vibe" by Cookiee Kawaii
It is literally impossible to not throw your ass back to this song. Just try it, you can't do it!
The part you know: "If I back it up, is it fat enough? / When I throw it back, is it fast enough? / If I speed it up, can you handle that? / You ain't ready for this work / Now watch me throw it, throw it."
12. "Renee" by SALES
The lyrics made this perfect for positive, affirming, feel-good TikToks.
The part you know: "It's all by your side / Hey, you got it / Took too long to get it / You got it."
The actual song: This song is old. Like, 2014 old. The indie group is from Florida and released their first full album in 2016.
13. "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion
Because no one learned anything from Renegade, this was another case of a young black woman — Jeje Janajah — making a very cool, very viral dance and a bunch of young, white women also doing it, often without credit.
The part you know: "I'm a savage / Classy, boujee, ratchet / Sassy, moody, nasty / Acting stupid, what’s happening."
The actual song: This was definitely destined to be a hit no matter what, but Megan did give a nod to the dance's creator in the lyric music video.
14. "Backyard Boy'" by Claire Rosinkranz
This sweet tune had a minor trend associated it where you make decisions like in the "Episode" mobile game. But, now, it's mostly just a versatile background tune for anything fun and upbeat.
The part you know: "Dance with me in my backyard boy/Looking super fine in your corduroy."
The actual song: Rosinkranz uploaded her audio to TikTok and June and didn't even know it had gone viral on TikTok until friends told her.
"I was VERY surprised. I uploaded the clip at the beginning of June. When people said that it was doing well a month later, I thought they meant that there were a couple thousand videos under the sound, but when I got to it there were around 300,000 videos under it!" Claire told BuzzFeed News. "Obviously, I thought it was super cool and I am so, so grateful for it all!"
15. "Motion Sickness'" by Phoebe Bridgers
This song had its own dance, mostly performed by people at the intersection of alt/gay TikTok and cottagecore TikTok, which are basically the same thing.
The part you know: "I have emotional motion sickness/Somebody roll the windows down."
The actual song: This is actually a pretty heavy track about Bridgers' former relationship with Ryan Adams.
16. "M to the B" by Millie B
Although this song isn't actually new to TikTok, it blew up thanks to Bella Poarch's mega-viral head-bobbing lip sync. Before that it was mostly used to make fun of a certain British girls.
The part you know: "If you don't know me I'm M to the B/Coming in hard, you better watch it Sophie."
The actual song: This whole thing stems back to 2016 and is sort of a UK legend. Millie B released this song about her grime music nemesis, Sophie Aspin, and the two traded diss tracks back and forth for a bit before eventually collaborating together.
17. "Lets Link" by WhoHeem
As the lyrics would suggest, this is the perfect sound for when you're crushing on someone already in a relationship.
The part you know: "Baby, I like you/I don't give a fuck 'bout your boyfriend."
The actual song: Released this fall, this song rocketed into the Rolling Stone 100 after going viral on TikTok.
18. "I'm An Accountant" by Rocky Paterra
This became the anthem of sex workers, particulary those on OnlyFans, to talk about the potential awkwardness of disclosing how they make money.
The part you know: "Nobody asks you questions when you say you’re an accountant."
The actual song: Paterra created the song about his own struggles telling people he's an actor and musician.
"It made me realize that the song can function as an anthem for any line of work that you might not always want to have conversations with people about," he told BuzzFeed News.
19. "Famous (I'm the One)" by Mozzy
This sound was used for a challenge where (mainly straight) couples swapped clothes.
The part you know: "He just wanna fuck with me 'cause I'm the one/He got all the drugs and I got all the guns."
The actual song: The song is actually from 2018.
20. "Ok Klahoma" by Jack Stauber
This song became the soundtrack for a spooky season trend of taking pictures in ghost costumes made from white sheets.
The part you know: "Tears falling down at the party/Saddest little baby in the room."
The actual song: This is from Stauber's 2016 album, "Pop Food."
21. "F2020" by Avenue Beat
Truly, nothing captures the utter chaos and disappointment of 2020 quite like this track.
The part you know: "Lowkey fuck 2020/Still sad, still ain't got no money."
The actual song: Avenue Beat is a trio of friends from Illinois who created the band when they were just 14. They told BuzzFeed News they put it on TikTok, thinking it could just live online, but it quickly went viral.