Jamal TikTok Trend and Meme / Abraham Clinkscales.

Jamal Did It / Who Stole X?

Part of a series on Nationality Stereotypes. [View Related Entries]

Updated Dec 05, 2022 at 11:14AM EST by Owen.

Added Oct 24, 2022 at 09:20AM EDT by Owen.

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Jamal Did It, also known as Jamal Is Innocent, is a part of the Who Stole X? TikTok photo slideshow trend in which creators pose a racially identifiable crime that's been committed resulting in a culprit singled out by their race. A young Black boy named Jamal became the most known "culprit" who was humorously framed for various crimes that he obviously didn't commit, with many of the memes picturing actor Abraham Clinkscales. The trend primarily used the song "You Gotta Move" by Mississippi Fred McDowell. After spreading on the platform, the trend has notably been criticized for being perceived as racist and emphasizing stereotypes. In late 2022, a Jamal death hoax trended due to a "Breaking News" image that stated "Jamal Shot Dead In Houston."


On April 2nd, 2022, TikToker[1] rodolfo.lopez1034 posted a video that used the song "You Gotta Move" by Mississippi Fred McDowell as the sound.[2] It posed a scenario using emojis regarding who stole the KFC out of "Jacob," 'Tony," "Jackson" and "Lulquidication Daquan: New Born Baby, took his first breath today, doesn't even know he exists, doesn't comprehend life yet." Over the course of six months, the video received roughly 2.2 million plays and 320,700 likes (shown below, left). Also on April 2nd, TikToker[3] chopp.2k posted a similar "emoji" video about "Who ate all the chicken?" and listed "Jamal" as the final culprit. In the same time period, the video received roughly 39,400 plays and 2,900 likes (shown below, right).



The concept received attention from other TikTokers who used the same sound.[2] For instance, on April 13th, 2022, TikToker[4] corey.bennett_ posted a video showing his friends at KFC with one of his friends passed out from eating chicken. The video earned roughly 1.7 million plays and 124,200 likes in six months (shown below, left).

The "Jamal" trend spiked again in virality in late 2022. On September 9th, 2022, TikToker[5] gerborg posted a "Who stole the picture?" iteration. One man was shown with a picture frame obviously stashed into his shirt, however, the last man was Black and the video's caption read, "Last one suspicious… #jamal." Over the course of one month, the video received roughly 17.3 million plays and 2.4 million likes (shown below, right).


On October 1st, 2022, TikToker[6] yunuss16x2 posted a photo slideshow on the app, asking, "Who destroyed NordStream 1&2?" in reference to the natural gas pipelines in Europe which run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. The Nord Stream pipelines had received a then-recent attack and was speculated to be a part of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. TikToker yunuss16x2's slideshow listed the culprits as Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden, Mike Forster (German-Swiss filmmaker) and finally, a random Black man named Jamal. Over the course of three weeks, the slideshow received roughly 1.2 million plays and 125,600 likes (screenshots shown below).

Who destroyed NordStream 1&2 ? + 125.6K 3291 Botin 2/5 + 125.6K 3291 Jow Bidden and the CIA 3/5 + 125.6K 3291 ng A Mark Forster 4/5 + 125.6K 3291 5/5 DER UNT Jamal 125.6K 3291

Continuing into October 2022, referencing "Jamal" at the end of photo slideshows became commonplace and started to use photographs of young, Black boys. For instance, on October 15th, 2022, TikToker[7] jaceandnasir posted an iteration that asked, "who stole the cookie," and ended with "Jamal" following three white children. In nine days, the slideshow received roughly 3 million plays and 291,600 likes (screenshots shown below).

who stole the cookie isaac J@jaceandnasir who stole the cookie sarah J@jaceandnasir who stole the cookie zack J@jaceandnasir who stole the cookie jamal J@jaceandnasir

On October 17th, 2022, TikToker[8] doriannftjamal posted a slideshow that asked, "Who is serial killer?" and referenced notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer due to the then-recent virality of Netflix's DAHMER docu-series. The slideshow, however, ended with a photo of "Jamal." The Black kid pictured later became the most used "Jamal" photo in the trend. In one week, the slideshow received roughly 10.4 million plays and 1.2 million likes (screenshots shown below).

Who is serial kiler? J@doriannftjamal dreamstime augarwcaip dreamstime dreamstime dreamstime dreamstige Arthur dreamstime @doriannffiamal O Micheal J@doriannftjamal Jefrey dahmer(serial killer, canibal and monster) 0 @doriannftjamal Jamal J@doriannftjamal

Additionally, the trend encompassed "culprits" of other ethnicities. For instance, on October 21st, 2022, TikToker[9] zuzanna.k07 posted a version about "who ate my peirogi 😬?" and showed a Polish man named Stanisław Krzysztof Wojciechowski as the racially identifiable culprit. In three days, the slideshow received roughly 631,900 plays and 65,700 likes (screenshots shown below).

who ate my pierogi ? J@zuzanna.k07 john Jezuzanna R07 my a a a a alamy katie a alamy ala alamy J@zuzanna.k07 Linda J@zuzanna.k07 IN P Stan Stanisław Krzysztof gettyimages K EP Wojciechowski@zuzanna.k07 D


The trend accumulated negative attention in October 2022 for what some perceived as promoting racism on the app and in memes. For instance, on October 24th, TikToker[10] lesbiandis4ster reiterated that the trend was not funny and was racist, gaining roughly 100,000 plays and 9,900 likes in less than a day (shown below).

@lesbiandis4ster #jamal #foryou #greece ♬ IMA NEED MY SKATES geetheharajuku – gee

Jamal Death Hoax

On October 26th, 2022, TikToker[11] max_but_2 posted a video that showed a fake "Breaking News" headline that proclaimed "Jamal Shot Dead In Houston," earning roughly 52,900 plays and over 900 likes in one and half months (shown below, left). On November 10th, 2022, TikToker[12] griddy_mastermind posted a video with the aforementioned meme, adding in a Patrick Bateman clip to show sadness over the fake death. The video earned roughly 4.1 million plays and 398,000 likes in one month (shown below, right).

@max_but_2 NO JAMAL #jamal #fyp #viral #news #sad #trending ♬ Chinese Anthem – March of the Volunteers, Hymne National Chinois, Himno Nacional, Chinesische Nationalhymne, 义勇军进行曲 – National Anthem China


♬ Do U Bleed At All? – Luca Maxim

Various Examples

Who stole the money? reamsti MA 123RF The robber (Stole the money) 23RF d@getthatcookeror Jeffery Dahmer (Cereal killer) @getthatcookeron7 A group of terrorists d@getthatcook ron7 Jamal degetthatcookeron7 Who kidnapped Jamal?? Serial kidnapper depositph 907.4K 33.6K depositphotos 907.4K Jamal Kidnapper beginner Old Pervert 2/5 907.4K 33.6K 907.4K Who made the tsunami? PRI- J@fodboldxhandball Tom J@fodboldxhandball GhulMil.Com The nuke? defodboldxhandball Jamal @fodboldxhandball


Search Interest

External References

[1] TikTok – @rodolfo.lopez1034

[2] TikTok – You Gotta Move – Mississippi Fred McDowell

[3] TikTok – @chopp.2k

[4] TikTok – @corey.bennett_

[5] TikTok – @gerborg

[6] TikTok – @yunuss16x2

[7] TikTok – @jaceandnasir

[8] TikTok – @doriannftjamal

[9] TikTok – @zuzanna.k07

[10] TikTok – @lesbiandis4ster

[11] TikTok – @max_but_2

[12] TikTok – @griddy_mastermind

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Top Comments


Ok but seriously, TikTok is literally a cultural weapon, right?

It's further than just "stupid people being stupid", every TikTok meme seems intentionally designed to promote bigotry, self harm, and anti-intellectualism. They're all so heinous and hostile it's hard not to imagine that they're all astroturfed with the intent to make the world a worse place.


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