A snippet from the 2018-19 Netflix series Trolls: The Beat Goes On! has tapped into a new audience on TikTok. In December, users started adding a 10-second sound bite from Trolls that seemingly captures the feeling of wanting to do something again and again.
The footage shows Branch and Creek riding a canoe out of the “Tunnel of Friendship” over and over while shouting, “Hahahaha again!” TikTok labeled the original sound source as being uploaded by user @realosver, whose video from December is captioned, “Fandoms forcing themselves to laugh at the same joke over and over again.”
At first, the sound was applied to videos sharing the times people felt compelled to do something on repeat. Creator Ashley LaMarca applied the sound to a series of clips of her straightening her hair after telling herself to wear it naturally. Her video has over 33 million views.
A common example of the trend is when users talk about listening to the same song, or the same specific section of a song, repetitively — although the reasons for why they need to listen to the same song on a loop seem to differ.
There is a scientific reason behind wanting to replay the same song. Peter Vuust, a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark and the leader of the Center for Music in the Brain, told Vice in 2017 that it’s because songs affect the brain’s reward system.
“Because of the reward system, music is probably the artistic product we reuse the most,” he said. “After all, we rarely watch a movie or read a book much more than two or three times. But we listen to music again and again.”
Another popular use of the sound is for describing hanging out with the same people all the time.
Why do people enjoy doing the same things repeatedly?
As with music, there’s a psychological explanation for why people like doing things they enjoy over and over. It’s reportedly due to a level of comfort from redoing the same things, which even toddlers seem to recognize. This appears to go against the principle of “hedonic adaptation,” which argues that when enjoyable activities become too familiar, they no longer bring joy.
Psychologist Ed O’Brien at the University of Chicago argues in a 2019 study that people do enjoy repeat experiences more than they think they will, and the reality is that the events feel “less repetitive” than most people would think, even adding “an unforeseen spice to life.”