WHAT HAPPENEDDUHHH- james droz rises to fame with his signature videos


James Droz

TikToker James Droz is seen scheming, ready to create a “what happened” video following a Cincinnati Bengals loss.

Pranav Suresh, Arts & Entertainment Editor

After watching the Buffalo Bills lose in the most devastating fashion ever on Jan. 23, die-hard fans were sulking around in sadness. This deep connection that “Bills Mafia,” what the fans call themselves, have made with their team has been fostered for years, creating a cult-like fanbase. To lighten up the mood after such a hard loss you decide to watch some TikTok’s—and then the first thing they see is James Droz.

“Buffalo Bills, What happened!? How did you lose to the Kansas City Chiefs??” Seconds after the final play of that fierce game, that devious video got posted. This short, quick announcement by Droz deepened the wounds made by the loss. After some consistency, Droz has become notorious for his ill, but admittedly, perfectly timed posts for heartbroken sports fans around the world.

Being an entertainer on TikTok is much easier than other platforms. Users don’t need to capture the viewer’s attention for two hours like a movie does or even 20 minutes like a TV show. All they need to do is entertain you for a couple seconds, and TikToker James Droz has done just that.

With his short and signature statements, Droz has become somebody that fans everywhere fear when they use social media. Gaining notoriety in the 2021 NFL playoffs, Droz’s viral TikTok’s soon became synonymous with a big loss. 

Senior Matthew Murphy has often seen Droz’s videos, especially after tough losses.“It’s really a bittersweet moment to me coming from a fan base in Seattle that’s used to losing, but the comedic value I gain from it [Droz’s videos] keeps me coming back to his page,” Murphy stated

With what some people now call “getting Droz’d,” his account has exploded. Droz’s popularity is translating far beyond 15 seconds videos. A native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma Sooners football team invited Droz to a game and into their locker room. As a lifelong Sooner fan, getting invited like this was a dream come true. After Oklahoma edged out Oklahoma State in this fierce rivalry, clips have surfaced of the team dancing and cheering with Droz, reciting his signature “what happened” statement. 

TikTok is known for its unforgiving monetization to content creators. To combat this, many micro-celebrities like Droz branch out. Finding ways to capitalize off of this popularity, Droz has recently branched out into merchandising and Cameo, a business that lets users  pay for personally tailored videos from their favorite celebrities.

Despite the lighthearted but painfully well timed videos of Droz, TikTok banned Droz’s account on Dec. 11. Although Droz slowly grew a fanbase over the past year, his hard work was swept away instantly. 1.1 million fans and followers were outraged and demanded answers. Though no definite answer has been given as to why this happened, many speculate it was either a falter in TikTok’s Terms of Service systems or fans of specific sports teams abusing the report features.

Senior Aaron Ingram was distraught when he heard the news of the ban. “Though I often got upset at Droz for his perfectly timed videos, knowing that the videos were done for was devastating. In a way his videos actually boosted my mood, especially if the video was about a rival team,” Ingram concluded.

Thankfully, Droz’s account was reinstated a couple days later and he came back with a banger. Exclaiming, “TikTok, What Happened!?!,” Droz masterfully shot back into the content creating scene.

Now in his renaissance, Droz is only gaining in popularity. Droz has caught the attention of professional teams, potentially hinting at more collaborations in the future.

His name, face and saying is now eagerly awaited by winners and dreaded by losers everywhere, and as Droz continues to cement his legacy, “What Happened” has become one of the greatest and latest examples of wonderful personalities emerging from TikTok.