three screenshots of elizabeth from knoxville from the tiktok video

Elizabeth From Knoxville

Part of a series on January 6th, 2021, Storming of the United States Capitol. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 10, 2021 at 08:25AM EST by andcallmeshirley.

Added Jan 07, 2021 at 01:26PM EST by Matt.

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Elizabeth From Knoxville refers to a viral video of a supporter of United States President Donald Trump claiming to have been maced by law enforcement during the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol building. The video inspired jokes, memes, remixes as well as the Onion Towel conspiracy theory, alleging that she dabs her eyes with an onion in the video to induce tears.


On January 6th, 2021, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump violently took control of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., in hopes of stopping the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win of 2020 United States Presidential Election.

During the riot, Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker tweeted a video of a woman named Elizabeth from Knoxville, Tennessee. In the video, the woman says that she got maced. She continued, "I made it like a foot inside and they pushed me aside and maced me." When asked why she was attempting to enter the Capitol building, she said, "We're storming the Capitol. It's a revolution." The post received more than 1 million views, 5,100 likes and 4,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below).


That day, the TikTok [1] account for Yahoo News published the video. The post received more than 2.2 million reactions, 282,000 shares and 225,000 comments in less than 24 hours.

That day, CNN reporter Michael Holmes tweeted the video with the caption, "Elizabeth wasn’t happy with her treatment at the revolution." The tweet received more than 3.1 million views, 26,000 likes and 12,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below).

That evening, Twitter user @schmoyoho began sharing remixes of the video. The first, which features a remix of the opening song to the American animated television series The Animaniacs, received more than 860,000 views, 60,000 likes and 21,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below).

The video also inspired a series of TikTok Duets. TikToker @dremcka shared a video of a man laughing at the video, which received more than 1.6 million, 415,000 reactions and 6,100 comments in less than 24 hours (shown below, left). TikToker @nashvillecash published a video of himself playing the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song on a keyboard. The post received more than 200,000 views, 69,000 reactions and 1,100 comments in less than 24 hours (shown below, right).

Onion Towel Conspiracy Theory

On January 7th, 2020, Twitter[2] user @Mike_P_Willaims tweeted allegations that Elizabeth was not maced but rather was hiding an onion in the towel she was dabbing her eyes with to induce tears. They wrote, "Wait, so Elizabeth from Knoxville, who claims she was maced after storming the Capitol, was dabbing her eyes with an onion towel?" The tweet received more than 7,800 likes and 4,000 retweets in less than 24 hours (shown below).

000 Mike P Williams @Mike_P_Williams Wait, so Elizabeth from Knoxville, who claims she was maced after storming the Capitol, was dabbing her eyes with an onion towel? tes 6:27 AM · Jan 7, 2021 · Twitter for Android

The fact-checking website Snopes [6] rated this theory "unproven." They wrote, "It's not clear what she's holding. However, onions have previously been used by protesters to alleviate the effects of tear gas and other chemical irritants."

According to Reuters:

Medical masks, plastic bottles, T-shirts and keffiyehs have all been pressed into service against the gas canisters fired daily by Israeli troops. One ingredient is common to many of the devices: onions.

A single vegetable’s effectiveness is questionable when pitted against the latest “riot dispersal means” deployed by one of the best-equipped armies in the Middle East. But the protesters persist.

Media Coverage

Various media outlets covered the video, including TMZ,[3] Cosmopolitan,[4] Yahoo News[5] and more.

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 22 total

Recent Images 3 total

Top Comments


Why? Don't look for sympathy from me, it'd be way stranger if you HADN'T been maced. You attacked a government institution, what did you THINK would happen? And honestly, it took far too long for the cops to respond in the first place.


It's kind of weird that she sounds indignant about it. Like I expected she might be outraged because she was just standing around and got maced as a bystander, but she literally says she was attempting to violently overthrow the government, and then seems shocked that the police stopped her from doing that.


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