Why is Slipknot's Custer so big on TikTok? Dancing cats, 'girly pop' and...erm...the Macarena

Various TikTokers dancing to Custer
(Image credit: TikTok, Roadrunner)

Back in 2014, Slipknot entered a new era with the release of their fifth studio album, 5: The Gray Chapter. While the record is solid and was certainly received positively at the time, it'll unlikely be topping many fans' rankings of Slipknot's back catalogue in the cold light of day - which makes it all the more surprising that one of the album's later singles, Custer, has become one of their most popular songs of all time.

In fact, on Spotify, it hails a mammoth 126,788,783 streams, putting it in the same league as classics such as People = Shit and Spit It Out

On online Slipknot forums you may have stumbled upon fans pondering over this strange anomaly, as they wonder where its many listens have sprung up from - and why. Is it all down to that screaming goat meme from years back?  Alas, no: the real answer comes from TikTok, where Custer has become a fully-fledged viral banger tacked onto a number of trends - including that of “girly pop”.

If you're unfamiliar with the term, "girly pop" (as defined by Urban Dictionary) is "a constantly slaying queen that has everyone captivated with every move she makes." Basically, girly pop is a stereotype for someone who is ultra feminine, bubbly and a little "basic". TikTok fans are attaching the the term to Custer because of its bouncy, pop-like qualities, as demonstrated by dozens of users on the app who are carrying out amusing, preppy dance moves that seem at odds with the song's dark subject matter.

And it gets weirder; trends surrounding Custer are ever-changing, with the song being used to soundtrack everything from metal meme content to dancing cat videos. Type in ‘Custer Slipknot cats’ on TikTok, for example, and you’ll find many fans waving their feline friends' paws along to the chorus. One clip by a user named @rorysmarsrats, which sees them lightly bobbing their kitten from side to side to the song, has amassed over 250,000 likes.

There's even a ‘Slipknot Custer Macarena' trend, where - you guessed it - people use the iconic dance moves from Los Del Río’s floor-filling 1993 pop classic Macarena to groove along to Custer's stomping, rage-driven rhythm; one collaborative video formed of numerous users showcasing the trend has pulled in over 260,000 likes. There's even a Macarena x Custer mash up track doing the rounds.

Elsewhere, a clip by @iamyskdutch, which sees one user "proving you can hit the stanky leg to anything" while dancing eccentrically to Custer, has a whopping 1.5 million likes. Even a video simply speeding the track up has amassed 80,000. 

While it’s not entirely clear what initially kicked off TikTok’s obsession with the song, the proof is in the stats: TikTok users love Custer, making it the most popular Slipknot song on the platform, after appearing in over 43,000 videos. As for how many times a video on TikTok containing the Custer hashtag has been viewed, the figures total in at a ridiculous 141.7 million views.

The question remains, though: why Custer? Of all the millions of songs out there that the Internet could chose from to make a comical trend of, why use a song that says the word "fuck" 78 times? Perhaps it really is because of the fact that, despite the song's explosive fury, the jumpy repetition of its chorus makes for an excellent, pop-like earworm that fits in perfectly with the fast-paced, high-energy nature of TikTok trends. Plus, it's just fun.

So sit back, unleash your inner love for "girly pop" and check out some of the best Custer videos below:


♬ original sound - Batemanedits

♬ original sound - Batemanedits

♬ original sound - • ꜱᴘᴇᴅ ᴜᴘ ꜱᴏɴɢꜱ •

♬ original sound - Batemanedits

♬ Custer - Slipknot

♬ Custarena - Participation Certificate

♬ Custer - Slipknot

♬ original sound - Batemanedits

One of my favorite stanks

♬ Custer - Slipknot

♬ Custarena - Participation Certificate
Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.

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