How a cat meme caused a Florida auto body shop to go viral

If you’ve been on TikTok in the past few days there is a strong chance that you’ve seen a strange meme featuring a dancing cat doing the rounds and people talking about a place called Clancy’s Auto Body Repair Shop.

This is all thanks to car repair shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida which has gone viral in the past few weeks all due to 6-year-old meme about a cat.

Before February 20th, Clancy’s Auto Body Repair Shop did not have a TikTok account. In just shy of two weeks it has gone from having zero followers to more than 200,000 and has more than 8 million likes.

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This is largely thanks to the first video on the account which bluntly said: “Guys I lied on my resume and got a job doing the social media of this body shop, please blow this up so I don’t get fired.” The video then sees the bouncing Maxwell the Cat meme appear above the shop and that’s it.

At the time of writing, the video has been viewed more than 24 million times.

The video and the account has since taken off, with some calling for the person behind the social media account to be given a raise for all their hard and inspired work, with the hashtag #ClancysCult also trending on the video app.

Speaking to NBC, the man behind the account 29-year-old Joel Velazquez said: “One of the trends right now with young people is that they’re lying on their résumé and everything, so I mixed that with a cat. I didn’t know the combination was going to be so explosive.”

Another element of the account’s success is the shop’s Hooman ‘Bossman’ Rafiee, who has appeared in several videos, looking exasperated at the newfound levels of fame that he and his shop is experiencing.

Raifee he “didn’t know what to expect” by delving into the world of social media and that he “thought it was going to die down, but it just kept going.”

The Maxwell the Cat meme actually has its origins in 2017 but has seen a huge uptick in the past few years thanks to TikTok, even though the cat is actually called Jess.

This is hardly the first time an establishment has become a random viral hit on TikTok. In 2022, Binley Mega Chippy saw thousands of people descend upon a chip shop in Coventry after its name went viral online.

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