TikTok Has a New Obsession: The Final Number in ‘Pitch Perfect’

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images and Universal Pictures
Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images and Universal Pictures

Don’t you…forget about Pitch Perfect.

More than a decade later, the 2012 musical comedy is experiencing new popularity on TikTok, where fans have started filming their own remixes to the Barden Bellas’ final number in the film. Now, thanks to them, songs by Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift have been added to the Pitch Perfect Universe. Who’s next, Ice Spice?

It makes complete and total sense to see this performance, Pitch Perfect’s most unforgettable and final mashup, going viral all over again, because of how daring, inspired, wonky, and confusing the tune is. And of all places for the song to find renewed popularity, TikTok—a place where goofy noises reign supreme—is the perfect social media platform for Pitch Perfect to trend in a new fashion.

A still from the final performance in Pitch Perfect.
Universal Pictures

In the film’s final number, members of the a cappella group, like Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and Chloe (Brittany Snow), finally try out a new routine. Gone are the days of Barden Bella standards “The Sign” and “Eternal Flame.” Their original mashup is one for the history books, including the following list of tunes: “Price Tag” by Jessie J; “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer; “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus; “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars; “Turn the Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson; and “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.

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I don’t know if anyone could’ve predicted Pitbull mixing with The Breakfast Club before 2012. Which is to say: The mashup is befuddling, chaotic, and, at the same time, iconic.

A still from the final performance in Pitch Perfect.
Universal Pictures

It’s not just the song that makes this moment so incredible—it’s the dancing, too. In the film, right after the Bellas sing a bit from “Give Me Everything,” they remix a couple of “nights”s before gyrating the top halves of their body in a circle. As they dance together, they sing a combination of “Party in the U.S.A.” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” which goes like this: “Hands up / I put my hands up / Don’t you forget about me / Party in the U.S.A.” It’s a masterpiece.

My description doesn’t really do it justice—check out the clip below to see what I’m talking about. The moment starts at the 2:45-mark.

The TikTok trend sees a recreation of this moment, but instead of starting with “Give Me Everything,” fans sing in a different song before launching into the choreographed “HANDS UP! I PUT MY HANDS UP!” part. Now, songs like “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Forget You” by CeeLo Green are getting the Pitch Perfect treatment.

The most popular video, uploaded by user @campkona, has almost five million views, with fans taking turns remixing a variety of bops like “Nonsense” by Sabrina Carpenter, “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé, “Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa, and “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift. The choreography, along with the song choices, is perfect. If Pitch Perfect were made in 2023, this might be an actual scene in the movie.

Some creators have sported Barden Bellas costumes to reimagine the final number. Others have amassed an incredible number of friends to really recreate the feeling of a big a cappella group. Anna Kendrick and Elizabeth Banks would be so proud.

Nostalgia probably plays a big role in making this trend happen. When it was released, Pitch Perfect was the perfect movie for teens. It was the kind of movie a middle schooler might beg their mom to drive them to the mall to meet friends and go see, with a fanbase willing to torrent every song from YouTube and buy matching shirts of Ben Platt’s face. Now that over 10 years have passed, Pitch Perfect has become ideal childhood nostalgia for the early 2010s—no wonder a bunch of young creators are remixing it on TikTok.

With a new Hunger Games movie in the works, Frances Ha’s Greta Gerwig and The Dark Knight Rises’ Christopher Nolan both releasing uber-popular movies, and Pitch Perfect going viral on social media, it feels like we’re in 2012 all over again. All we need is a new Pitbull song hitting the Billboard Hot 100 and everyone to start using the Nashville filter on Instagram to have come full circle.

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But this new dance trend (Is there a name? The #HandsUpChallenge was already a TikTok challenge last year, with some popular dance moves for M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” so we need something new) really proves that the goofy a cappella movie will never die. Even if you’re a remnant of 2010s culture. Pitch Perfect, you’re amazing—just the way you are.

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