Yes No Maybe I Don’t Know refers to a trend on TikTok set to the song “Boss of Me” by They Might Be Giants. The trend sees TikTokers lip-sync to the lyrics of the song as an on-screen caption presents a question that the TikToker doesn’t want to answer in a straightforward way. The trend began on European TikTok in early 2020 before spreading to North American TikTokers later in the year.
Sometime prior to February 22nd, 2020, TikToker tomsobiech uploaded an original sound titled “Originalton.” The video attributed to the sound has since been removed, which may have been the first of the trend. Besides that, one of the earliest examples of the trend dates back to February 22nd from TikToker marleneleniz, who uploaded a video set to the sound with an on-screen caption that roughly translates to, “are you only into women now?” (Shown below.) The video gained over 108,000 views in just over 8 months.
The trend continued to spread across European TikTok throughout the year, with its peak ending in March. On February 27th, 2020 TikToker sundyjules uploaded a video using the sound and an on-screen caption that roughly translates to, “Do you still love me?” (Shown below, left). The video gained over 843,000 views in 8 months. On September 11th, TikToker legnahernandez1 uploaded a video with an on-screen caption that translates from Spanish to, “Do you like someone?” (Shown below, right). The video gained over 564,000 views in 2 months, and along with sundyjules’ video is one of the most viewed videos under the sound.
In mid-November of 2020 North American TikTok users began using the sound in a similar way. On November 3rd, TikToker notandrewstiktok uploaded a video captioned, “Hey Andrew, have you decided a major yet?” following the trend, garnering over 71,000 views in 10 days (shown below, left). On November 12th, TikToker pootlauren uploaded a video captioned, “when my dad called me asking if I was pregnant bc our insurance showed multiple obgyn visits” where she lip-syncs to the lyrics of the song (shown below, right). The video gained over 391,000 views in 20 hours.