screenshot from a video of two teens laughing

It Is What It Is

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Updated Mar 20, 2020 at 07:33AM EDT by Philipp.

Added Mar 18, 2020 at 06:56PM EDT by Philipp.

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It Is What It Is refers to a viral video of a teenager laughing and saying "It is what it is," with his friends repeating the phrase after him. In March 2020, the video gained popularity in lipsync memes on TikTok, with the video also being used as in reaction memes on Instagram. The video is often used to express satisfaction with an imperfect opportunity or a result.


The exact origin of the video is unknown. On December 18th, 2019, YouTube[1] user Dr Prominent reposted a video of a teen laughing and saying "It is what it is" with an African accent, with a group of teens standing near also laughing and repeating the phrase after him. The video received over 352,700 views on YouTube in four months (shown below).

- It is what it is.
- It is what it is!


The video did not see use as a meme until on March 4th, 2020, TikTok[2] user @thehodgmeister posted a meme based on it, gaining over 182,400 likes in two weeks (shown below).

In the following days, the video gained a significant spread on TikTok, particularly as an exploitable for lipsync memes. For example, on March 6th, 2020, TikTok[3] user @elite.oliver posted a video that received over 212,000 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). A March 7th TikTok[4] by user @ryansliptongreentea accumulated over 168,000 likes in the same period (shown below, center). On March 8th TikTok[5] user @pplicker28 posted a meme that received over 310,400 likes. In many edits, a clone effect has been utilized by users for comical effect.

Starting on March 7th, 2020, the video also gained popularity in reaction memes on Instagram. For example, a March 7th meme by Instagram[6] user memeprotector reeived over 9,800 views and 2,900 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). A March 14th Toilet Paper Crisis meme by Instagram[7] user nova_xeno received over 52,700 views and 15,900 likes in five days (shown below, right).

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – It is what it is Meme

[2] TikTok – @thehodgmeister

[3] TikTok – @elite.oliver

[4] TikTok – @ryansliptongreentea

[5] TikTok – @pplicker28

[6] Instagram – memeprotector

[7] Instagram – nova_xeno

Recent Videos 12 total

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