The Brief: In 2019, a TikTok trend had people dancing to a clip from the Heathers musical. In August 2020, a new Heather trend on TikTok references a Conan Gray's song by the same name.
On TikTok, a “Heather” can be a popular girl a la the movie Heathers or a girl who is beautiful and perfect, as in the song “Heather” by Conan Gray. At the time of writing, videos associated with the hashtag #Heathers have been viewed over 1.7 billion times, and ones with the hashtag #Heather have been viewed over 400 million times.
‘Shut Up Heather’ On TikTok
A 2019 TikTok trend featured a dance set to the song “Big Fun” from the musical version of the 1989 cult movie Heathers.
The lyrics included in the clip go:
Heather Chandler: Martha Dumptruck, in the flesh
Heather Duke: Here comes the Cootie Squad. We should…
Heather Chandler: Shut up, Heather
Heather Duke: Sorry, Heather
Heather McNamara: Look who’s with her — Oh, my God!
Heathers: Dang! Dang! Diggety-dang-a-dang! Dang-dang! Diggety-dang-a-dang!
In these videos, three people walk side-by-side, each voicing one part. As they sing, they perform a series of coordinated hand movements around their faces. Over 4.9 million videos were made with the “Big Fun” Heathers clip.
Plot twist: we are the cootie squad @brentrivera @lexihensler
Due to this TikTok trend and the cult following of the Heathers franchise, the phrase “shut up Heather” is a popular callout both on and off TikTok.
Wish I Were Heather
In August 2020, TikTokers used a new meaning of the term, which comes from Conan Gray’s song “Heather.” The song is about having feelings for someone who is dating someone named Heather, who is a lovable, pretty girl. TikTok videos about this type of Heather use a clip from the song with the lyrics:
Only if you knew, how much I liked you
But I watch your eyes as she
What a sight for sore eyes
TikTokers are making videos to this sound to show off the “Heathers” in their life: people who are beautiful, sweet, and likable. Some people are revealing old pictures of their parents or grandparents to show off how they were Heathers in their time. Over 477,000 videos have been made with the clip from Conan Gray’s song.
Conan Gray made a video revealing that the Heather in his song is an actual person he went to high school with:
i’m sorry heather u were so nice