The clip lasts seven seconds and shows Vuong Lee, wearing a red winter jacket, leaning on the counter of his empty Hopper Avenue restaurant in Santa Rosa California. He fiddles with his hands and stares out the glass front door. He doesn’t know he’s being filmed.
And then there is the 24-word caption: “it makes me so sad to see my parents just wait for customers to walk through the door to eat at their Vietnamese restaurant.”
Jennifer Lee made the video the night of Jan. 17 while helping out at her parent’s restaurant, Lee’s Noodle House, and posted it on social media platform TikTok the following morning.
Something about the image of dad staring into the distance, something about the song she used, something about a daughter’s caption, lit up TikTok’s collective attention. In just days, it had more than 906,000 views. More than 110,000 users liked it and nearly 2,500 commented.