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Song lyric can tell if you are a Millennial, Gen Z, Boomer and this comedian proved it

The stand-up comedian used the song lyric to spot boomers in the crowd and she wasn't wrong.

Song lyric can tell if you are a Millennial, Gen Z, Boomer and this comedian proved it
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | ANTONI SHKRABA production

Before generational labels like Boomers and Gen Z, people were identified by cliques such as “band kids,” “theatre nerds,” “jocks,” and “geeks.” Today, tick-box quizzes and memes like “OK, Boomer” define generational traits. For those unsure of their generational identity, comedian Tess Tregellas offers a humorous solution with a song lyric. Her video has garnered millions of amused viewers.


In the classic vintage times, before the naming of different generations, people usually labeled each other with cliques like “band kids,” “theatre nerds,” “jocks,” and “geeks.” Nowadays, things like tick-box quizzes and memes such as “OK, Boomers” define the characteristics of various generational cohorts. But for those who don’t know where to place themselves in the newly emerging generation classification chart, a comedian offers a song lyric. Her video drew the attention of millions of people who had amusing reactions. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Rene Terp
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Rene Terp

The overlay caption read, “How to spot a millennial.” In the short clip, Tess spurred a song lyric quiz with the starting prompt “Hey now” to see how the audience responded. She told people that the way they would respond to the lyrics would show what generation they belonged to. “I am going to sing a part of a lyric and you’re going to sing the other part,” she explained.

As the video progressed and people threw their answers, Tess explained that if someone sang, “Hey now, you’re a rock star,” they were probably a millennial and they knew the Smash Mouth song from Shrek. On the other side, if someone sang “Hey now, hey now,” they were millennial "cusper," implying Generation X, who were thinking of “What Dreams Are Made Of” by Hilary Duff from “The Lizzie McGuire Movie.” If someone gave no response, they belonged to the Gen Z group.  

Whereas, if a person sang “Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over,” they were apparently a boomer. These are the lyrics of the 1986 song “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by the rock band Crowded House. It is well known as one of the most memorable tunes of the 80s. Even Stephen King, the famed fiction author and a boomer, likes to listen to this song, as he shared in a 2023 post.


The video picked up 6.7 million views in just a few days. Over 197,000 people liked the video and more than 1,400 commented. People, however, had mixed reactions to the post, some of them being utterly hilarious.

Image Source: Instagram | @jasonkingfromqueens
Image Source: Instagram | @jasonkingfromqueens
Image Source: Instagram | @lofi_von
Image Source: Instagram | @lofi_von

“I’m a Gen Z who was raised by boomers with a millennial brother so I sang the Shrek and the Boomer song,” commented @nick_fog. @abbiesr said, “Wait you accurately identified that I’m a cusper that’s basically science.” Many noticed that the way she sang the first “Hey now” gave out Lizzie McGuire's vibes.

Image Source: Instagram | @ledodo99
Image Source: Instagram | @ledodo99
Image Source: Instagram | @wild_card_100
Image Source: Instagram | @wild_card_100

Gen X was a little disappointed as they said they deserved to be included in the “Don’t Dream It’s Over” category. @decent_tweaks commented, "Once again Gen X is overlooked." "You forgot about Gen X... and we'd be singing 'Don’t Dream It’s Over,' not the Boomers," said @miesdarcy.

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A post shared by Tess Tregellas (@tesstreg)


Several others said that the lyric markers presented by Tess were not fully accurate. But this is not entirely true. According to Grammy Awards, Shrek’s “All Star” is an unforgettable pop song for millennials. Gen Z knows about it merely through memes.


As for the Lizzie McGuire option, people who said Tess could be inaccurate may be correct here. The 2003 movie, “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” is known to be popular among young millennials since Hilary Duff released her studio album, “Metamorphosis.”

You can follow Tess Tregellas on Instagram and YouTube for more stand-up comedy videos.

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