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The Meaning Behind TikTok's 'I Think I Like This Little Life' Trend

TikTok's 'I Think I Like This Little Life' videos have racked up millions of views. Credit - @baochii; @krazysarai; @alice_nevin/TikTok; Phones: Getty Images

A single line of a song from emerging singer-songwriter Cordelia has gone viral on TikTok under the hashtag #ithinkilikethislittlelife, with videos morphing from genuine reflections to a running gag.

The song “Little Life,” released last year, speaks to enjoying simple pleasures. In the chorus, British singer-songwriter Cordelia O’Driscoll, who goes professionally by her first name, sings “I think I like this little life.”

The song took off near the end of 2023, after people started posting idyllic videos of everyday moments in their lives over the line from the song playing in the background. But it turned into a joke with users shocking whoever they were with by jumping into singing the chorus unexpectedly. As of the time of publication, the hashtag had 452 million views on TikTok.

In a video following the initial trend with 5.3 million views, captioned “POV, you live with your best friend,” a young woman created a blissful montage of daily life with her friend—making pancakes, sipping coffee, and piling under blankets on the couch with candles.

In the second surge of the trend, users began exaggerating the singer’s intonation, where her voice lilts on the first word of the now-famous line, by suddenly launching into the refrain to shock their partners, kids and even dogs—with reactions ranging from annoyance and confusion to delight. In one video, which has been viewed over 22 million times and has over two million likes, a woman surprises her baby boy by singing the line.

In another video of the trend, a TikTok user wrote: "It was a joke, now it‘s an addiction." The footage, viewed more than 19 million times and boasting over two million likes, shows a young woman dramatically singing the line on a night out with friends.

Cordelia, who graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2017, has four songs released under an EP last year on her Spotify account, which now has more than one million monthly listeners.

Talking to TIME, through written answers shared via her publicist, Cordelia says she’s been overwhelmed and delighted by the response. She first noticed the song getting traction in mid-November. A handful of people had made videos of compilations using the song, and then a duet video of her reacting to one went viral.

In her Instagram video posted on Nov. 13, she said more than 8,000 reels had been posted with people sharing videos of their own “wonderful little lives.”

The trend caught on, and within a month, videos using her song racked up to around 500,000 on Instagram and TikTok, she says.

“It’s so insane and so far from anything I could have predicted with the song that you just have to sit back and enjoy the wild direction the internet has taken [with] it, and the genuine creativity of some people. It’s amazing to watch,” she tells TIME. “The whole thing is just so funny to me, that this little song I wrote about enjoying the small things in life has induced a global viral meme. I’m here for it.”

In a recent TikTok, Cordelia shared her shocked response to clips of famous actors at the Critics Choice Awards, including Poor Things star Mark Ruffalo and The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri, quoting the lyrics of her song.

Since the trend went viral, Cordelia says, the song is on its way to six million streams, the music video she made cut together from footage her dad shot of her when she was two years old has 133,000 views, and the rest of the songs on her EP “have also jumped massively, which has been so nice to see.” She says many people have messaged her to send encouragement, tell her how much they love the song, how it has impacted them, or share covers and remixes.

Contact us at letters@time.com.