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When in Doubt, Do a TikTok Dance to “No Children” by the Mountain Goats

John Darnielle singing with the Mountain Goats

You might be mindlessly scrolling through TikTok and suddenly you find yourself crying. Why? Because the Mountain Goats are playing “No Children” and you’re watching people do a dance to a very sad song about divorce. As Vox points out, no one really knows why it happened, but it is the latest dance trend to take over the app—or, at least it is for the 7,000+ of us who have used the audio.

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That’s the fun part of TikTok: You can think something is trending worldwide because you keep seeing different takes on the same audio/joke, but the reality is just that you are on that very specific side of TikTok. Like me with the Mountain Goats. Because I guess I love to cry and dance to the idea of failed relationships.

The “dance” in question is a lot of setup as you get to the chorus of the song. Starting at “And I hope I never get sober,” the song continues and you prop up your phone, put some things in the way so it shows just the top of your head and stretched arms when you back up, and then at “I am drowning,” the dance begins.

@13leualone at 6am ##themountaingoats ##foodservice ##fypシ ##art ##music ##trending ##viral♬ original sound – bleu

Some have added pets into the mix to share their sadness …

@unholy.shadeI don’t normally post this stuff but Salem was insistent. ##catsoftiktok ##blackcat ##kittycat♬ original sound – bleu

@butterfly_and_poppyThe tops of our heads peeking out is the cherry on top of this production quality 💀😭 ##catsoftiktok ##cat♬ original sound – bleu

@thecorbcobjosie really put her heart into it though ##fyp ##foryou ##fypシ ##cats ##catsoftiktok♬ original sound – bleu

While others ran or used creative props in order to hide their bodies while drowning. (As you can see, you have to look like you’re hands are the only thing you can see.)

@hankgreen1##duet with @c.o.bernstein♬ original sound – bleu

@yougetawhaleofawashPOV: you’re in the centennial bathrooms♬ original sound – bleu

The audio in question does cut off what I think is the saddest part of the song, which is the following lyric that says, “I hope we both die,” because it is a song about two people who hurt each other and constantly did so to the point where even if one of them was gone, the other wanted to feel that same pain. Heartbreaking, moving, and now a TikTok trend. Just as the Mountain Goats intended.

Not going to lie, I also did this dance because I’m a sucker for crying over “No Children,” and why not apply that to an easy-to-make TikTok trend? Now, as the Mountain Goats once said, “I hope we come out with a fail-safe plot to piss off the dumb few that forgave us” for trying to apply to the youths and do a TikTok trend, but at least we’re getting the message out there about how good of a song “No Children” is.

(image: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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