Topline

A video of a woman answering a sexually explicit question by a man-on-the-street interviewer with an exaggerated spitting noise—“hawk tuah,” as many on social media have spelled it—has reportedly raked in at least $65,000 off of merchandise sales and has captured the attention of numerous brands online in the days since her viral video.

Key Facts

Hailey Welch, the woman from the viral TikTok video, and her brand manager Jason Poteete, told Rolling Stone they have sold more than 2,000 hats that bear the viral “hawk tuah” phrase, which totals to at least $65,000 in merchandise sold.

Several of the hats available for purchase online are already sold out—and some going for steeper prices are signed by Welch herself.

Poteete told Rolling Stone that Welch has been in contact with a lawyer to possibly trademark the phrase.

Welch’s profile has been boosted by celebrities and brands who have hopped onto the viral trend, like Joe Rogan, whose discussion of the “hawk tuah” meme on his podcast has more than 2 million views on YouTube.

Ahead of the Thursday night presidential debate, The Daily Show posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, imagining the “debate America deserves,” which juxtaposes the “hawk tuah” video alongside edited clips of former President Donald Trump to give the impression the two were arguing.

The announcers for an Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals baseball game this week remarked that a player spit on their shoulder mid-game, prompting one announcer to mimic the viral “hawk tuah” sound, prompting a clip of the commentary to go viral on X.

Several brands, including the In-N-Out fast food chain, LIV Golf league and the WWE have also used the viral meme in social media posts.

How Did The ‘hawk Tuah’ Meme Go So Viral?

Welch answered several questions posed by TikTok user @DMarloww, who interviews passersby on the street. Though she answered a series of questions and appeared in several of his videos, her “hawk tuah” answer went the most viral. After being asked what “move in bed makes a man go crazy,” she answered, “you gotta give him that ‘hawk tuah.’” Though the original TikTok video only has about 1 million views and 130,000 likes, the phrase exploded into a widely used meme. Some users have garnered hundreds of thousands of likes by making the noise in front of their friend or partner and recording their reaction, while several remixes using Welch’s voice have gone viral.

Big Number

60,000. That’s how many TikTok videos have been uploaded using the hashtag #hawktuah, with many garnering millions of views and hundreds of thousands of likes.

Surprising Fact

Several false rumors about Welch have gone viral, including a claim that she was fired from her job as a preschool teacher, though this claim was first made by Tippah County Tribune, a Facebook page that describes itself as a “publication for satirical laughs.” Several tabloids also reported Welch is being scouted by major Hollywood agencies, including United Talent Agency, though Rolling Stone reported she is already represented by an agent and the UTA claims were unfounded.

Further Reading

Hawk Tuah Girl Has Already Sold at Least $65,000 Worth of Merch (Rolling Stone)

‘Hawk Tuah’ girl Hailey Welch just dropped the hottest merch of the summer (Dazed)



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