Sarah Paulson says she knows her 'the killer is escaping' line from 'American Horror Story' is a TikTok meme - but she thinks users don't realize it's her

·3 min read
Sarah Paulson attends the 2021 Emmys.
Sarah Paulson attends the 2021 Emmys. Rich Fury/Getty Images
  • One of Sarah Paulson's "American Horror Story" lines went viral on TikTok.

  • "Help, he's escaping, the killer is escaping, help me," she said in "American Horror Story: Asylum."

  • Paulson referenced people on TikTok lip-syncing to her delivery of the line.

Sarah Paulson revealed that she was aware of the TikTok memes about her "American Horror Story: Asylum" line "help, he's escaping, the killer is escaping, help me."

In an Instagram live stream with actor Leslie Grossman that appears to have taken place on Wednesday, Paulson spoke about the flood of TikTok memes about one of her lines from "American Horror Story: Asylum." The line comes from a scene in which Paulson's character, Lana Winters, foils an asylum escape attempt by calling for the guards after accusing Evan Peters' character, Kit, of being a killer.

While a full upload of the live stream isn't available on Paulson or Grossman's Instagram pages, clips of it remain preserved through re-uploads on other social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok.

"Lizzo did one, I think Billie Eilish," Paul said of the meme. "They don't know it's me, they just know... they just know that there's some weird chick saying 'the killer is escaping.'"

"I was doing one of my screams that all the kids like to tell me how horrible they are," she also said. "Let's see what you sound like when you're running for your life, kids. Let's see what sound comes out of you."

"The killer is escaping" has had unusual staying power on TikTok, where trends tend to come and go. While it was originally uploaded in July, the audio is still in regular use months later in October.

The memes began to circulate on TikTok over the summer when the user @horrorcovwn, whose account is predominately focused on "American Horror Story," posted a video of Paulson in "American Horror Story: Asylum" along with an emoji-laden transcription of the line. That video received a million likes on its own, but more notably, the sound upload has been used in over 369,000 videos to date.

As an extremely popular audio snippet on the app, "the killer is escaping" has been used in a variety of different contexts ranging from satirical lip-syncs to videos of vibrating toothbrushes skittering on bathroom counters. Some TikTok users have uploaded remixes of the line, superimposing it on top of dance beats. As Paulson said, even celebrities like Lizzo have used the sound.

On TikTok, people reacted to Paulson's thoughts about the meme, notably that she seemingly believed people didn't know that it was her saying the line.

"The funny thing is literally everyone knows it's her," reads one comment on @jasoncoughlin01's upload of the clip.

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