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“I Understood The Assignment” Meets Elle Woods In This New TikTok Trend

Being a TikTok trend reporter means that I inevitably have a dozen viral songs stuck in my head at any given moment. Lately, one earworm that I can’t seem to get rid of is the “I Understood The Assignment” trend, which features the song “The Assignment” by Tay Money. As much as I love Tay, hearing the soundbite a million times a day has driven me to madness. Truly. At this point, I’d much rather hear Sarah Paulson yell “the killer is escaping,” the chaotic “my table, it’s broken,” or my most recent favorite, “the pizza’s on fire!”

Just when I thought the “I Understood The Assignment” trend would never stop haunting me, it got a major upgrade when TikToker Lauren Rose (@nofxgiven) posted this video asking why no one had combined it with an iconic clip from Legally Blonde. “I really need someone to make a better version of this,” Lauren says in the video. Then, she plays the viral lyric “I understood the assignment!” followed by a clip of Elle Woods saying, “Um, actually, um…I wasn’t aware that we had an assignment.” It is, indeed, the perfect combination, and TikTokers immediately jumped on the opportunity to create a new trend. The “I Wasn’t Aware There Was An Assignment” TikTok trend now uses this fun audio from @awnashay, and even Reese Witherspoon herself loves it. 

In the trend, TikTokers are sharing moments when they clearly misunderstood an assignment — which usually involves missing the memo, or going against the status quo in some way. For example, @vjpla says “when you’re using your 20s to be hot and single but people your age are getting married” with the caption, “I think I’m in the wrong classroom.” Instead of retiring in her 50s like other parents her age, creator @the.road.to.doctor.jen started med school instead. Despite @peejsicle’s friends telling her to just dress casually, she obviously does not understand that assignment and is destined for glam. While many popular versions of the trend focus on spending your twenties doing something other than marriage or childbirth, TikTokers are using the Legally Blonde-inspired audio to show the many creative ways they’re going against the grain.

To try the trend yourself, save the trending audio here and think of a standard, expectation, or societal norm you’re simply not upholding right now. Maybe everyone around you is getting married and having kids, but you’re more interested in traveling, dancing at music festivals, or shamelessly reading fanfic. Maybe your friends are dreaming of saving up for a house, but you just launched your own fashion brand and want anything but the white picket fence life. 

If you’re having trouble with that approach, you can also think of two conflicting thoughts or beliefs and use the trending audio to present them back to back. For example, maybe you’re an introvert who wants to make friends like TikToker @xo_zoej, but then you realize that it actually requires socializing (a tough assignment, indeed). Maybe you’re training to be a medical professional, but you low-key have a paralyzing fear of needles — or, maybe your parents told you to focus on education your whole life and they suddenly want to know why on earth you aren’t dating anyone (as if you didn’t have enough assignments already). 

Whether you’re 100% over society’s BS standards or you missed a day of class recently and literally missed an assignment IRL, the “I Wasn’t Aware There Was An Assignment” TikTok trend is for you. It’s clever, cute, super easy to execute, and if you’re like me and are ready for the original “assignment” sound to retire (sorry, Tay!), the refreshed Legally Blonde one will make you smile. Give it a try, let me know how it goes, and remember, this assignment’s meant to be a fun one.

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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