In The Know by Yahoo
Why you can trust us

We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we believe in. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Why are people on TikTok sadly lip-syncing to a common Korean phrase?

Why are people on TikTok sadly lip-syncing to a common Korean phrase?

The common Korean phrase 괜찮아, phonetically spelled as gwenchana, is now part of a new social media trend, leaving many TikTok users wondering how it all got started.

According to KBoom, gwenchana has a few different meanings but loosely translates to “I’m OK” or “it’s fine.” Depending on the context, it can also serve as a question, such as, “Are you OK?” or “OK?” It’s also another way to say “no worries” or simply “alright.”

Several years ago, in the popular Korean drama (or K-drama) series Welcome to Waikiki (2018-2019), one character repeated gwenchana when things appeared to be anything but alright.

However, the sound clip didn’t go viral until early September when the user @grprm._ uploaded a video of themselves repeating the phrase along with melancholy music.

At the same time, @grprm._‘s face implied that things were definitely not OK, and by the final gwenchana, the user practically broke down in tears.

The TikTok quickly took off for its ironic and comical tone and has now been viewed more than 28 million times. The clip spawned countless other videos just like it.

In one meme, shared by the TikToker @rydrayn, an outdoor cat with a sad, pleading look on its face sits behind a glass window as the sound clip plays.

In another TikTok, Mehdi Aden (@mehditowear) films themselves doing their nightly skin care routine in the mirror with a defeated look on their face.

“when you do your skincare routine but your skin doesn’t care,” the video text reads while the sound clip plays.

Other videos actually feature TikTokers lip-syncing along with the audio. As the video progresses, they appear to get emotional.

Many of the clips seem to be posted by Korean media fans familiar with the term gwenchana.

“me thinking about how if I renegaded harder in 2019, i could’ve been seated with txt at the vmas or featured in jungkooks mv,” wrote @thetaes in one video while referencing several K-pop bands.

“me watching tiktok edits after finishing a kdrama bcuz I have attachment issues,” wrote @abyeuniceee in another TikTok.

Together, TikToks with the sound clip have racked up more than 117 million views. They’ve also brought in thousands of comments from users who find the content relatable, hilarious and even kind of moving.

“it’s gwenchana to be not gwenchana,” wrote @potatotexas in response to @grprm._‘s TikTok.

In The Know by Yahoo is now available on Apple News — follow us here!

The post Why are people on TikTok sadly lip-syncing to a common Korean phrase? appeared first on In The Know.

More from In The Know:

Commenters call out James Charles's 'Korean makeup' video for featuring photos of Chinese, Japanese influencers

Many TikTok creators are sharing what it's like to be part of 'toxic' all-Asian friend groups

A white woman shares the reactions she's gotten when people learn she's dating a Korean man: 'I'm a Koreaboo'