Art the Clown Grinning meme.

Art the Clown Grinning

Part of a series on Art the Clown / Terrifier. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 04, 2024 at 11:06AM EDT by Zach.

Added Jun 03, 2024 at 07:44AM EDT by Philipp.

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Related explainer: Who's Art The Clown In Creepy Clown TikTok Trend? The Meme With The Evilest Smile Explained

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Art the Clown Grinning or Art the Clown Smiling refers to a scene from the 2022 slasher film Terrifier 2 in which the black-and-white clown serial killer character Art the Clown reacts to being threatened with police by acting shocked and slyly grinning. In late May 2024, the scene achieved virality on TikTok as a meme format in which Art the Clown's rapid change of expressions was used as an exploitable.


On October 6th, 2022, the slasher movie Terrifier 2 premiered in the United States.[1] In one scene of the film, a costume shop clerk threatens to call the police on the serial killer Art the Clown, portrayed by David Howard Thornton. Art the Clown reacts to the threat by acting shocked but quickly changes his expression into an evil grin (scene shown below, 3:28 mark).

Prior to May 21st, 2024, CapCut user Green Screen Memes uploaded a green screen template based on the scene, setting it to Theme From A Summer Place by Percy Faith and naming it "Creepy Clown template."[2] The template, since made unavailable, received over 152,800 uses in roughly two weeks.

Also on May 21st, TikTok[3] user @j3thrx made the earliest discovered meme based on the template, a joke about a New Zealand social service. The video received over 100,000 views and 1,600 likes in two weeks (shown below).


The meme format saw viral spread on TikTok in the following days. For example, on May 23rd, 2024, TikTok[4] user @romeroshero posted a version that gained over 1.6 million views and 226,000 likes in two weeks, one of the earliest viral memes based on the format (shown below, left). On May 24th, TikTok[5] user @whiskeyd9r posted a meme about Smoke Detector Beeping that gained over 5.5 million views and 684,000 likes in ten days (shown below, right).

More versions of the format went viral on TikTok in late May and early June 2024. For example, on May 27th, 2024, TikTok[6] user @johndeere3841 posted a Cordless Hole Puncher meme that garnered over 6.5 million views and 909,000 likes in one week (shown below).

As of June 3rd, 2024, over 20,000 memes based on the format had been uploaded to TikTok.[7]

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] IMDb – Terrifier 2

[2] CapCut – Creepy clown

[3] TikTok – @j3thrx

[4] TikTok – @romeroshero

[5] TikTok – @whiskeyd9r

[6] TikTok – @johndeere3841

[7] TikTok – original sound

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