On May 31, 2023, TikTok user @olek.999 reposted an old video that showed a woman warning a man who is driving by, "Careful, it's gonna blow." In the clip, she appears to be on the phone after having crashed her Honda car into a tree, causing the vehicle's engine to smoke. In response, the man says, in jest, "You can't park your car here, ma'am."
As he drives off, she yells, "Are you blind? What the hell? Are you some kind of a f*cking hooligan?"
By June 6, this upload of the video had received nearly 35 million views.
However, this video was staged and had simply been created for entertainment purposes by TikTok user and YouTuber Phil Ferreira. He's perhaps better known as @PhilTheThrill.
The video was originally uploaded on Aug. 24, 2022. Its caption read, "Karen tries to park a car. #karen #philthethrill."
Some readers might find it hard to believe that anyone would believe the video was genuine and not staged. However, take into account any bleary-eyed TikTok users who watched the clip one time at a late hour, believed it was real, and then quickly moved on to another video.
Also, since its posting date, the original upload of the clip had been viewed 37.6 million times, and that number is in addition to the later upload by @olek.999 and the millions of other views from Ferreira's own Instagram account.
Further, importantly, quite a few TikTok and Instagram commenters appeared to believe that the video was real.
In short, what's obvious to one person might not be obvious at all to others.
For any readers who might need extra convincing that the video was staged, we point you to this second video that appears to show the same front door on the house that can be seen in the background of the viral clip. (Also, the woman in both of these videos appeared to be the same person and may be Ferreira's mother.)
In this third video, the team behind @PhilTheThrill used a delivery truck that could be seen in the background of the viral clip, plus what looked to be the Honda car that had supposedly crashed into the tree.
Additionally, any users who paused the viral video would have noticed that there appeared to be no damage to the front end of the car and that the smoke was not visible under the hood. Some Reddit users noted several of these hints.
The viral video ended up appearing to inspire others to create similar clips, such as this one from @beepbeepbubbles:
Another video, this one perhaps being real, showed what looked to be a white Chevrolet Camaro that had crashed into a Murphy Express gas station sign.
"Hey, you can't park there," a man says in the video as he drives by the crash scene. It's unclear when this clip was originally captured.