The 'Kill John Lennon' trend on TikTok isn't as ominous as it sounds, but it sure is bizarre and almost cult-like. However, given TikTok's affinity towards all sorts of eccentric and wacky viral trends, songs, challenges, and memes, this viral trend fits right in.
There are already 195.8k videos using the audio, and the #sleeperagent hashtag has amassed 51.5 million views as of this writing. With that being said, what exactly is the 'Kill John Lennon' trend, and what do pets have to do with it?
'Kill John Lennon' goes viral on TikTok
This latest viral trend features pets, but in a rather odd context. You might find yourself wondering how pets could remotely be related to John Lennon, but this challenge unearths a peculiar connection between the two. Some may even jokingly call it a conspiracy theory.
Essentially, this trend features videos where TikTok users film their pets reacting to a viral audio that says 'Kill John Lennon.' What ensues is truly amusing, both to the pet owners and viewers.
The animals, mostly comprising dogs, cats, and the occasional untraditional pet, are immediately snapped out of their previous musings at the audio. The vast majority of them whip their heads back at alarming speeds, combined with a wide-eyed gaze of shock.
A few dramatic ones even stopped dead in their tracks, while others responded by rolling around in visible distress. What really sells the ruse is how some animals were even stirred from their slumber upon hearing the audio.
Several users were skeptical to believe the pets' reactions, deeming them unauthentic, until they tried it out for themselves, only to yield similar results.
These TikToks have got pet owners idly speculating whether their pets were secretly Russian sleeper agents unbeknownst to them, with 'Kill John Lennon' being their "sleeper agent activation phrase."
One user wrote in their video:
"I'm convinced all the pets are ready to kill John Lennon."
Where does the audio come from?
This viral audio is actually from an episode of the British animated children's sitcom South Park. It appears in Episode 2 of Season 14 of the show, titled "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs," which first aired in March 2010.
The original clip from the show, which features Butters repeatedly saying "Kill John Lennon" with murderous intent, was posted to TikTok by user @craigs..gang in December 2021. However, the audio only recently started going viral, with the top videos having garnered over 3 million likes within a mere four days.
The TikTok audio does not include the full clip from the show where Butters' father informs him that John Lennon was, in fact, already dead.
For context, the English singer John Lennon was the founder, co-songwriter, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the legendary Beatles.
The musician met the most unfortunate untimely death at the age of 40 on December 8, 1980. He was shot and fatally wounded in front of his house in New York City by a deranged American Beatles fan, Mark David Chapman.
Though the assassination was undoubtedly tragic, this silly trend has put an unexpectedly amusing spin on it.