“Who TF Did I Marry?!?” Is the Pinnacle of Western Oral Culture

Unpacking TikTok’s eight-hour-long epic tale

I don’t have a TikTok account. I don’t think anyone should have a TikTok account. But I think everyone should watch “Who TF Did I Marry?!?,” a cathartic TikTok monologue in 50 parts from overnight internet icon Reesa Teesa.

The series, which recaps Reesa’s downward-spiraling romance with a pathological liar, has garnered more than 500 million views to date. The New York Times called it “the first blockbuster of TikTok’s middle-aged era.”

Global consumer brands like Tinder, Adidas, and Microsoft have chimed in with comments and offers. By now, the teams of Netflix, HBO, and Amazon are probably fighting over the film rights.


The saga begins in Atlanta in 2020, when Reesa meets her future partner “Legion” (a name that seems to reference the biblical demon). Accelerated by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reesa and Legion’s relationship leads to a rash and messy marriage arrangement.

After months of lies ranging from deceased relatives to fake mortgage preapprovals, the union begins to crack. The staggering depth of Legion’s deceit comes to light—and is narrated in chronological order, with the familiarity of a FaceTime heart-to-heart.

It all makes for an unsettling comedy full of sharp one-liners (This man gaslit me like I was Georgia Natural Gas) and dizzying twists and turns (A twin? Who is the twin?!). It’s a car-crash of a story that’s impossible to turn away from.

In an era dominated by bite-sized dopamine rushes, when the transient and the trivial often overshadow the substantial, Reesa’s eight-hour saga of red flags is the biggest green flag for storytelling.

Oral Tradition Is Alive and Kicking

Before the advent of the Gutenberg press, our stories came to life in the voices of roving bards. These traveling chroniclers recited tales (a-la Homer’s Iliad) from memory and laid the foundational myths of Western civilization.

Around the 15th century, with the beginning of widespread literacy, communal firesides were replaced by candlelit reading chairs. A dynamic, participatory oral culture gave way to the solitary consumption of written texts.

However, our oral lore never really vanished. Rather, it simmered beneath the surface of a text-focused world, shining through in something as simple as your grandma’s bedtime stories—or even in the public forum, in fringe commentary podcasts like Red Scare and mass TV products like The Wendy Williams Show.

Yet, “Who TF Did I Marry?!?” emerges in a category of its own. It’s an eight-hour anecdote that feels both decisively timeless and urgently modern. What’s most remarkable is that the whole thing is narrated; this story exists entirely in its recounting by a single voice.

Oversimplification Is So Two-Thousand-and-Late

In a world where everyone’s permanently offended, does anyone want to dwell in the gray areas of truth? They better, Reesa Teesa insists.

Her account disregards the antics of clickbait-driven cancel culture. She gives us the extended cut and doesn’t try to cast herself in a flattering light. She mocks her own gullibility and doesn’t reduce Legion to a bad-guy cliché. It's a refreshing departure from the binary narratives that often dominate our screens.

Against the backdrop of the internet’s algorithmic obsession with instant gratification, “Who TF Did I Marry?!?” is a clarion call for depth. It shows that the human appetite for complex, nuanced, unprocessed storytelling—the kind that takes hours, not seconds—is as voracious as ever.

The details are boring and unnecessary in all the right ways. Reesa is not capitalizing on sensitivity, but merely recounting the very real events of her marriage. The series establishes a level of candidness the blue-checkmark “influencers” could never dream of.

Digital Campfire Is As Bright As Ever

“Genre doesn’t sell anymore,” I overheard a film critic complain at Berlinale a few weeks ago. “Who TF Did I Marry?!?”—not a film but an independent cinematographic document in its own right—provides very clear proof. Reesa’a video diary reaches far beyond its category, echoing several media sensations of recent years.

You might remember how back in 2017 Kristen Roupenian took the internet by storm with her essay, Cat Person, describing the realities of modern dating. The text was praised for its raw authenticity; it ended up being The New Yorker’s most downloaded publication of that year. In 2019, on a different plane of pop culture, Brittany Broski a.k.a. Kombucha Girl turned her viral TikTok moment, a sip and a grimace, into an extremely successful creator career, demonstrating just how far “relatability” can take you.

Then, in 2021, A’Ziah “Zola” King’s stripper saga, told in a thread of 148 tweets, became a feature film. A year later, Anna Delvey Sorokin rose to fame after her real-life story of social climbing, which read like a playbook from The Great Gatsby reimagined for the Instagram age, was made into a Netflix series.

Enter Reesa Teesa, whose zeitgeist-friendly tale might just eclipse them all. In many ways, Reesa doesn’t obey the rules of our curated realities; instead, she amuses us to the point where the rulebook goes out the window.

It’s exactly these kinds of stories that truly remind us of who we are, who we’ve been, and who we might become. Reesa Teesa is our modern-day yarn spinner who allows us to sit back—and reclaim the power of simply listening.

Dima Samarin

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