The Northwestern University Wildcats basketball team is having a great year. Not only are they making a splash on the court, making their way on to the AP Poll for the first time in four years, but a video a few of the team’s players made a fun video that is going viral on TikTok.
The video features a group of players recreating the song from a “Potter Puppet Pals” video that went viral back in 2007. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s a low-production value puppet show starring hand puppet versions of some of the characters from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe, including Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and naturally Harry Potter. The video basically involves the characters saying their names over and over while a mysterious ticking sound fills the room. It’s odd and catchy and surprising still popular, despite being over ten years old, a.k.a. an eternity in internet years.
In the TikTok video, the Northwestern University basketball players step into the roles of the famous characters, saying their names while bobbing their heads in time to the mysterious ticking sound. According to an oral history of the now-viral video put together by a reporter at the Daily Northwestern, the video was the idea of senior guard Byrdy Galernik, who played Ron Weasley in the video, and was filmed at a hotel in Bloomington, and finished about two minutes before curfew. Galernik posted the video, the team beat Indiana University, and soon the TikTok was going viral.
There’s a good reason that it captured the attention of the internet—it’s a darn cute TikTok that is both a quick lesson on internet history and an introduction to a song for new fans who had previously existed in a world without the wonders of “Potter Puppet Pals”.
One note of caution: If you have not heard the song before, it is a serious earworm. It’s far catchier than the Home Depot theme song and will most likely get stuck in your head, and leave you humming, “Snape. Snape. Severus Snape” for days on end and no magical spell will remove it.