The Bizarre Story Behind the "Waking Up in the Morning" Song Taking Over TikTok

As the "waking up in the morning" audio sample continues to take TikTok by storm, revisit the tune's decade-old reality TV origins with E! News. Hint: It involves Gia Giudice and some family drama.

By Samantha Schnurr Mar 29, 2021 5:32 PMTags
Watch: Gia Giudice Posts Message to Father Joe After Prison Release

All these years later, Gia Giudice's sad childhood song unexpectedly has the entire Internet...thinking about so many things. 

While it's hard to imagine going a day online without encountering the viral sensation, if you're not up to speed on how the eldest daughter of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice is suddenly taking the Internet by storm with a decade-old song, allow us to explain. 

The unexpected sequence of events begins in 2011, when the third season of the hit Bravo series was airing. At the time, Teresa and her brother Joe Gorga's family drama had taken center stage on the show and, amid their ongoing conflict, Teresa hosted a birthday party for her daughter Milania. However, Gia, then 10 years old, took the guests by surprise when she gave a tearful performance of her own made-up song "especially," as she put it, "for my mom and Zio Joe."

"Waking up in the morning, thinking about so many things," she sang, "I just wish things would get better. I'm trying to get rid of them, but nothing seems to stay the same."

"That was rough," Joe said into the camera for a confessional, reacting to his niece's emotional rendition. "Gia's hurting. She knows what's going on. She's hurting the way I'm hurting and hopefully this can wake everybody up."

Teresa Giudice's Real Housewives of New Jersey Family Drama, Season by Season

10 years later, it's woken up the Internet in a completely unexpected way. The audio sample of Gia's childhood song has recently erupted on the social media platform as more than 270 million—yes, million—people have used the #WakingUpInTheMorning hashtag so far, many using the sound TikTok user Amir Yass posted in January.

And, while the moment was originally awkward, the trending song has since helped bring people together in a brand new way as they reminisce about their own cringeworthy moments while the tune plays in the background of their videos. Celebrities have also joined in, including the Fresh Prince hitmaker. "Remembering the time I thought it would be a good idea to make a St. Patrick's Day video alone in a hotel room," Will Smith captioned his video before sharing a clip of himself singing in a full St. Patrick's Day-themed getup, plaid skirt included. 


Of course, Gia, now 20, has taken notice of the song's new life. "I had a bunch of friends sending me text messages saying Will Smith was singing your song on Instagram and when I saw it, I couldn't believe it," Gia exclusively shared with E! News. "I love Will Smith and I thought it was really cool that he did that." She added, "Maybe I'll do one of his songs in return."

In the meantime, she somewhat hopped on the trend herself with a video of her and her gal pals singing along to the audio sample. "Here you go everyone....," Gia wrote on TikTok. Even Cardi B has joined the list of fans.

"Thinking about deleting this app until I drop my next little project," the "Up" rapper tweeted on March 26, "but then again where I'm going to hear 'wakin up in the morning thinkin about so many things I just wish things will get better '?."

"This is unreal!!" Gia tweeted back. "CARDI I'm in Bahamas let's meet up." While fans cross their fingers for a remix, it's clear—things did get better. 

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)