YSU Student Gains National Recognition for Viral Video

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University junior Brooke Courtney of Hanoverton, Ohio, returned to campus after the holidays with newfound, unexpected fame after her family TikTok video went viral.

Courtney and six family members, both siblings and cousins, surprised their grandparents with an impromptu slumber party after learning about the trend on TikTok.

Courtney, who is majoring in early childhood education at YSU, said she was out Black Friday shopping with her mom when she showed her the trend. Her mom suggested that she gather everyone together and surprise her grandparents in the same way. 

“Six out of the seven of us are in college, and so it can be hard to get everyone together at the same time,” Courtney said. “We all grew up living close to each other and our grandparents, so we used to do this kind of thing all the time.”

That night, the siblings and cousins spent their time playing games, sharing food and appreciating the time they had with each other before returning to school after break. In her video, Courtney’s grandmother, who the family affectionately refers to as Nana, can be heard saying, “This is the best Christmas gift ever!” as the family files in and settles in for their night of fun.

Courtney said though she initially proposed the idea of the sleepover, it was actually her cousin Tori who posted the TikTok that has garnered more than 8.5 million likes. 

“We couldn’t believe it got as popular as it did,” she said. 

Surrounding the buzz, she and her family were featured on People.com and “Today with Hoda & Jenna” and interviewed on Fox News.

Courtney says “no one is trying to get famous,” but they hope to continue creating content with their grandparents to show more of their family game nights and to spend as much time together as they can in between their busy schedules.

Pictured at top: Image via YSU.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.