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‘The Killer Is Escaping’ TikTok Trend Is Pure Chaos

Now that October is upon us, my TikTok is filled with all things fall, from autumn aesthetics and dreamy fall foliage to TikTok couples snuggling up in peaceful, faraway cabins. Between #WitchTok, people ghost hunting in their Teslas, and scary pranks, it’s safe to say that spooky season is in full swing on TikTok. And of the many spine-chilling videos that have popped up on my FYP over the past few days, my all-time favorite is “The Killer Is Escaping” TikTok trend, which involves a delightfully dramatic soundbite from “American Horror Story” and videos that have me cracking up on my lunch break. 

I can’t get into the trend without first recognizing this chaotic viral audio, where a woman is screaming, “Help! He’s escaping! THE KILLER IS ESCAPING!” If it sounds terrifying, that’s because it is. The woman responsible for the soundbite is none other than queen Sarah Paulson, whose acting is superior and no one can convince me otherwise. Plus, her lead role in “Ratched” on Netflix is everything, and I will never stop thinking about how she was hilariously upstaged by Madonna and Rihanna at the Met Gala. RIP. In this scene from the second season of “American Horror Story” (AHS: Asylum), Paulson screams at the top of her lungs, and TikTok is here for it.

AHS fan or not, here’s what you need to know. In the show, Paulson plays a journalist named Lana Winters who has been committed to an asylum against her will. In the scene, she is trying to escape with a fellow character, Grace, who isn’t willing to leave unless Kit (played by Evan Peters) comes with them. Since Lana believes he’s guilty of being a serial killer, and Grace believes he’s innocent, Lana raises hell during their escape and isn’t willing to budge unless Kit goes down — hence the sudden, bloodcurdling cry, “The killer is escaping!” that’s circulating TikTok right now

You’re probably wondering what’s funny or entertaining about this trend, and to be honest, I was confused when I first saw it. Surely, thousands of people aren’t making light of murder during these trying times, right? But as I always say, offbeat humor is the name of the TikTok game. Of course, creators aren’t using the trend to talk about killers; rather, to poke fun at everyone from Doja Cat to Drake, and to highlight the humorous, sarcastic, niche moments that make life amusing. 

This version from TikTok superstar @itsniane says, “when the killer is escaping but u remember the surveillance footage is probably going viral” followed by an Oscar-worthy scene. This one from @ioverthunk says, “seeing someone shoplift but remembering that minimum wage means minimum effort” followed by a deadpan lipsync of “the killer is escaping.” As always, I’m obsessed with the versions involving TikTokers’ pets, like this hamster who is quite literally trying to escape his cage, this kitten determined to make an impossible leap, these golden retrievers inconveniently blocking the hallway, and this brave little dachshund who woke up and chose violence. 

While the trend is seemingly random and chaotic, the more I scroll, the funnier it gets. In fact, I’m so deep into this trend that when I came across a video from @thejediah featuring a hilarious musical version of Paulson’s audio, I was honestly ready for the club. Whether you want to practice your impersonation skills or you see your electric toothbrush about to yeet itself off the side of the sink, trust that you will find a random reason to use this audio, and it will be wonderfully absurd. 
If #BerriesAndCream is giving you nightmares and you need a trend that’s dark enough for October but won’t make you feel like the end is near, look no further than “The Killer Is Escaping” TikTok trend. To try it at home, all you need is the trending audio and a situation to share that may or may not make any sense. I promise, the chaos is worth it.

Tianna is an Associate Editor at Her Campus Media HQ where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, wellness, and TikTok trends. She graduated from North Carolina State University and received her masters from Columbia University. Tianna currently lives in New York City where you can find her sipping coffee, practicing yoga, and singing show tunes.
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