Sick ‘dead celebrity’ trend kills off Cher, Springsteen, more

TikTok is “killing” celebrities — and the results are chaos. 

The platform’s latest twisted trend depicts people reacting to fake celebrity death announcements, “Candid Camera” style. In each of these morbid videos, the person filming the prank breaks the fake “news” to friends and family members. They pretend they’re reading the information online, and then film the ensuing reactions of outrage, shock and sadness. 

In one video, the voice behind the camera proclaims, “Oh my God. Cher dead at 81,” while a group of people at a party wail, “Nooo!” 

In another video, a young prankster tells her mom: “Jon Bon Jovi dead at 60, heart attack.” Her mom reacts by shouting, “What?! Get out of here!” Another poster who was trying to fool her friends about Bon Jovi was met with the stunned reaction: “Shut the f–k up!”

A woman looking distressed.
A scene from one of these viral “fake celeb death” TikToks.

Cher and Bon Jovi, like most other celebs in these viral videos, are still very much alive.

Another girl filming one of these sick videos pretends that she’s also reacting in shock to the fake news. “Oh, my God, Howard Stern dead at 68,” she say as a man watching TV —presumably her dad — shouts an outraged, “What?!” in response. 

In another video, a woman driving a car with her friend gasps in faux-shock and says, “Zach Efron dead at 35.” Her friend starts hitting the seat as she tearfully yells, “Nooo!” 

A woman looking shocked.
A prankster’s mom reacting to the fake news of a celeb death.
A prankster's mom reacts with stunned outrage in one of these fakeout celeb death videos.
A prankster’s mom reacts with stunned outrage in one of these fakeout celeb death videos.

The videos vary in detail, with some pranksters inventing a fake cause of death such as a heart attack, while others don’t specify the causes. Most of them do seem to have looked up the accurate ages for the celebs, to add to the credibility of their “announcement.”

“Telling my mom stevie nicks died (she was NOT pleased),” reads the caption of another video. 

The commenters were not amused. “I about cried!!!” one wrote, while another said, “You better sleep with one eye open,” and another commented, “NAH THATS AWFUL.”

In yet another of these cruel videos, the person filming it proudly proclaims that she “ruined Christmas” for a bunch of Springsteen’s biggest fans. At a dinner party, she “announces” the fake news that Springsteen has perished at 73. The people she’s filming cross themselves, gasp in shock and then angrily demand, “Why are you laughing?” as the person filming is clearly tickled by tricking them. 

When she reveals that it was a joke, the angered partygoers yell “Booo” and even throw bread at her.  

Viewers were amused by the women who crossed themselves. “Father, son and house of springsteen,” one commenter wrote. 

Though most of the videos are totally tasteless, at least one had an unexpectedly funny twist.

In one of the clips, a person breaks the “shocking” news about Michael Jackson’s death.

Although the person they’re filming reacts with surprise, it seems that they’re not caught up on pop culture, since Jackson has been dead for over a decade, since 2009.