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How the ‘Where’s my dad?’ TikTok trend started — and how the boy feels about going viral

A musical theater take on Disney's "Finding Nemo" is performing swimmingly on TikTok.

A children’s theater in Brick, New Jersey, recently made a splash on TikTok with their promotion for their upcoming take on “Finding Nemo.”

On July 18, The Brick Children’s Community Theatre shared on TikTok a moment from their upcoming theatrical debut of “Finding Nemo Jr.,” a play based on the 2003 Disney hit about a clown fish with a shortened fin who gets lost from his dad. The TikTok clip features 12-year-old actor Domenic Innarella as the voice and puppeteer of Nemo.

“Where’s my dad?” Innarella sings in the clip. “I’m all alone. I’m too small to be here on my own. I swam away because I got mad. But now I really need him. Where’s my dad?”

The moment for the beloved clownfish in the musical has evolved into thousands of relatable memes on TikTok. In the week since The Brick Children’s Community Theatre first shared their post of Innarella, more than 8,000 videos of the audio have been re-uploaded and duetted with new videos featuring people in overwhelming, grown-up situations.

The original video of Innarella has been viewed nearly 9 million times by TikTokers, who use the actor’s vocals to underline moments such as “When the mechanic tells me my car needs more than an oil change.”

There’s also "Me when I have to parallel park and there are people watching," "Me when I get to the part of my taxes after it asks for my name" and "When I'm filling out a W2 Form."

Speaking to, Innarella says he's taken to the experience of becoming a TikTok trend in stride.

“They’re all like really funny. I crack up at every single one I see,” he says, adding that his favorite take on his performance featured someone dressed as him. “Someone dressed up as me and then someone dressed up as the puppet, and it was like, the guy was like, squeezing her arm to be the puppet. I watched it like a million times.”

Kendra Zarrilli is The Brick Children’s Community Theatre’s president and business director. She says that it’s too soon to know if the popularity of their original post has affected ticket sales, but it has sparked an onslaught of surprising requests.

“We have seen an increase, but not significant enough just yet to know if it is due to the proximity of the show,” she explained via email. “What we have gotten are A LOT of requests for Streaming…which we have never gotten before!”

“Where’s My Dad?” won’t be the only performance in “Finding Nemo Jr.,” which will be performed at Grunin Center for the Arts in Brick, New Jersey, from August 4 to August 6.

“One of my favorite songs from the show is definitely right in the beginning when we sing the song called “Big Blue Whale,” Innarella explains. “I just like how we sing it, and just all the songs are really great.”