TikTok trend captures the moments when you just don’t know what to say

TikTok — for once — is at a loss for words thanks to the “When you” Invader Zim trend. 

A sound taken from an episode of Invader Zim is growing in popularity on the platform. People are using it to describe moments when they’ve drawn blanks or were put on the spot and can’t quite communicate. Here’s what you need to know.

The ‘When you’ sound, explained

The sound is from an Invader Zim episode where a character with a nervous, trembling voice struggled to get out his thoughts. 

“When you …you … you … when you … when … when … wheeeeen … when you … wheeeeeen,” the character says. 

The audio became popular on TikTok after @x_44l1y4h_x used it in a video. 

“POV: I’m on live trying to communicate but I f***** can’t even communicate,” the user wrote. 

Invader Zim is a cult-favorite animated sci-fi series that aired on Nickelodeon from 2001 to 2006. It followed the exploits of Zim, an alien determined to enslave the human race. 

The audio now has over 96,000 videos associated with it on TikTok. 

It is, like so many other TikTok sounds, becoming part of common speech

@heartbreaklounge

i cracked up too bc this is literally the funniest audio on this app #fyp #HoldMyMilk #InTheHeightsChallenge

♬ HOW THIS GETTING VIRAL – Æ

“The fact that I just heard a group of teenagers say this audio out loud with each other, I love to see it,” @heartbreaklounge said in a video. 

“My boyfriend just existing. Not being able to think or talk because he’s so handsome,” @depressedgayb1ch.com captioned her video as the sound played. 

@kayladeniseemoya

no bc we’ve known eachother for two years and he still makes me nervous #fyp

♬ HOW THIS GETTING VIRAL – Æ

“Me trying to explain to my boyfriend how attractive he is but I can’t because he makes me so nervous,” @kayladeniseemoya wrote.

“Right, I get so shy,” a user responded.

“I get nervous when he calls,” someone wrote

@bayleec20

“I don’t care” 🤪🤛

♬ HOW THIS GETTING VIRAL – Æ

“Me and my best friend trying to figure out what to do whenever we hang out,” @bayleec20 said in a caption. 

“Why is it so hard?” one person asked.

“We plan loads of stuff before it but then those ideas are just gone,” another said

The meme is poking fun at brain farts, not stuttering

It’s important to note that the character in the audio does not have a stutter and was just nervous. 

Stuttering is a speech disorder that can make fluency and flow of speech difficult. Most people with stutters, like President Joe Biden, can communicate and navigate language just fine.

Nevertheless, stuttering has been long stigmatized so it’s important to never make fun of a person’s stutter — especially since most of us have trouble speaking at one point or another, even if we don’t have a speech disorder! 

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